Reply by ForestGrl

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Posted on Stiff hands from axe/adze work?

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450 posts in 2095 days

#1 posted 11-15-2015 05:02 AM

While what you say has loads of truth to it, I realized one day I had tendinitis. No matter my technique, it hurts. It was caused by years and years of being a carpenter.

- Luthierman

Bingo! So easy to develop tendinitis, and so often people (me included) will self-diagnose as having arthritis (especially if the are over 45 or 50). Good advice above about loosening any death grip, using correct technique, warming up, working in short sessions. I will add a couple of things, based on quite a bit of experience. (a) When you first notice aching, stop and do something else, perhaps shake your hands out, stretch a bit and then go back to work. Most of us determined, focused workers will keep going, grit our teeth, and hold on tighter to the tool. The worst thing to do! (b) Check on other parts of your body—your neck, your upper back, shoulders, etc., make sure you’re not clenching all those muscles too—they should work smoothly together and [c] If you get really sore in your wrists and fingers, ice them to short-circuit the inflammation process and prevent things from getting worse. The problem with developing tendinitis is that, even once you’ve “cured” it with lots of time off, icing, anti-inflammatories, etc., that part of your body will always be prone to it! Really cold water, or a bag of frozen black-eyed peas work.

Jesse, is there any chance you also have carpal tunnel syndrome?

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

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