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Carpal Tunnel

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mowerman90, Apr 9, 2001.

  1. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    Any of you have Carpal Tunnel? I was diagnosed as having it moderate in one wrist and severe in the other. I'm a one man show so I can't take off during the summer season and will have to wait til next winter if I should decide to have one or both wrists operated on. Have any of you had this operation? If so, how long did it take til you got back to work? I use a Grasshopper so I don't have to worry about griping the handles of a WB, but the trimmer and edger are another story. It really doesn't bother me too much now (just a little numbness)but my doctor says it's gonna get worse the more I do.
  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    I was talking to a woman that just had it done in January. They are using a less invasive method. Her scar is only 1/2 long. She missed 6 weeks of work.
  3. jrebeiro

    jrebeiro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    I have worked in an office with alot of typing for over 5 years. I too have carpal tunnel and cut lawns. I never got the surgery and continue to work ok without it. Are you experiencing great pain only when you squeeze the triggers or just all the time?
  4. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491


    It comes and goes. Mostly, I'll have pain across the top of my right hand after I go to bed at night. Sometimes, while watching TV in the evening both hands will go to sleep. It never seems to bother me while I'm working.
  5. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    not making light of the condition as my soninlaw hasit .
    it really steals his hand strenght.
    just wonder if the old time farmers who plowed a mule had it. ive seen family pictures of my grandpa headed to the field w a hundred lb fert on his shoulders an another under his arm.
  6. jrebeiro

    jrebeiro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97


    Same here I have a terrible problem with my hands falling asleep. I'm 22 years old and with the amount of problems I have with my parts I should be about 85!!! But hopefully in a few years I won't need to be mowing lawns anymore.

  7. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    I have it also. It's not real bad, so I live with it. The problem I'm having now is heel pain. Time to see the doctor, I guess.
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I've never been checked by a doctor, but I experienced a problem in the first year I did lawnwork full time. That was about five years ago. My problem was my right arm was getting numb when sleeping, at least the lower part of the arm.

    I talked to a friend of mine who is a physical therapist. I explained what was happening. He said, "...you are creating a stress in the carpal area of your wrist." I have a hydro w/b, blower and trimmer. But, I thought the problem was from using the trimmer (Shin T-320), the vibration. I learned to hold the trimmer on my left side, rather than the right side, meaning my right hand was on the loop, not next to the engine. Actually, I got quite good and this reverse position. It seemed akward at first, but I learned. But, the problem persisted.

    He suggested holding the trimmer differently to take away the stress in the carpal area. Initially, I was holding the trimmer on my right side, right hand on the throttle nearest the engine, left hand on the loop. After his assessment, I then changed my right hand on how I held the handle. My initial position was from the top, over, with the index finger on the throttle. My change was to hold the handle from the bottom, up. I still can use the index finger on the throttle.

    This change made the wrist hold the weight differently. Whereas formerly, the inside of the wrist was being squeezed, now the inside of the wrist is being stretched.

    This solved my problem!!! My new position doesn't quite give me the control for exactly trimming. Occasionally, I will move my hand to the top for a few moments, but for the vast majority of the time, my hand is underneath.

    I also changed how I hold the handled on my LB. Rather than "hand over" postion, I will operate as much as I can with "hand under." Again, the new position of the wrist means the inside of the wrist is being stretched.

    BTW, learning to hold the trimmer in the reverse position, left hand on the throttle, right hand on the loop, has enabled me to more quickly do trimming. Rather than move my body to a new position, it is quicker to switch hands on the trimmer. I do this for short periods of time. I am naturally right-handed.

    ... hope this may work for some of you. I thought I was going to have to quit because of the problem.
  9. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    Thanks to all that replied. It's great to have a forum such as this. I don't feel all alone with my problems any more. I'm going to try holding my trimmer from the bottom and see if that helps any. I sometimes hold it that way when I'm touching up the edge on a bed. I'll let you know if it helps.
  10. Grateful11

    Grateful11 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    Some numbness in the hands can be caused by Ulner (not sure on spelling) nerve damage. That's what my doctor told me I had. It's a nerve that runs thru the elbow area and can come from overuse and from resting your elbow on a armrest or car door rest and some other things. I've changed the way I do a few things and haven't had much of a problem since last year. My wife takes vitamin B-6 for the numbness in her hands and it helps. Disclaimer: Check with your doctor before taking any vitamins or minerals.

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