Elbow pain using weed whip

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Microbe, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Microbe

    Microbe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 172

    Such thing as "weed eater elbow?" Kinda like tennis elbow? I"m a righty, I hold the machine left hand foward right hand throttle. My left elbow has been bothering me lately while using the machine. Left hand front right hand back. Are there such thing as supports for weed wackers?
  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    most likely you are using a machine with too much string out, one string longer than the other or one with a clutch spring broken.

    It could of course be poor technique or just too much linetrimming.

    The only time I really notice that is when I trim for over an hour straight and am not just trimming behind the mower, but ditch cutting or something, or if one of the other things is wrong with the machine and I don't have a back up. But in either case it goes away by the next day.

    supports would either be the neck collar and / or bicycle grips.

    neither of which I think are much help.
  3. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    I had the same problem and this was my solution. I found that the problem was not caused from actually using the trimmer (in my case a hard starting edger) but from trying to get the thing started. The problem was caused when I pulled back briskly with my right hand on the started rope I also briskly straightened my left arm holding the shaft into a straight position. I changed the way that I held the shaft with my left arm by placing the business end of the tool on the ground and holding it straight out from my body in a vertical position. With my left arm fully extended holding the shaft I then pull the starter rope with my right hand and that (after about a month) solved/cured the pain in my left elbow. I hope I've described this so youi can understand it. It basically requires that you don't move your elbow when you start the tool. Give it a try and see if it helps.
  4. Daddio

    Daddio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    yes, I had it bad so I went to the docter he told me it was from repetative use to stop doing what ever it was I was doing to cause the pain. Not an option. I now have 3 different weed whips and rotate them thru out the day .Each one a little different from the other, less repetativeness less pain.
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    I had the problem in my left hand bad last year and had carpal tunnel surgery in december. Its pretty much back to almost 100% fine now altho it does ache sometimes. I gotta get the surgery on the right hand this winter now. Wasnt too bad for the surgery but things were tender for a bit
  6. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    TIGER BALM or ICY HOT plus advill works for me unlees you can find a weedeater operator and put him on the weed wacker twj
  7. SproulsLawnCare

    SproulsLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    from IN
    Messages: 365

    I have been developing that kind of problem this year. Two plus hours on the weed eater in a couple places seems to be the main problem. I was using a trimmer with the bicycle bars, and I just bought one today with the 'D' handle to see if that would alleviate the problem. I have a pretty good idea that it will since it really does boil down to repetitive motion, coupled with vibration. A change in the position that you would normally hold it, or a difference in two trimmers would help break it up a little.
  8. 2 clowns mowing

    2 clowns mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    it's called tennis elbow, drug stores sell a arm band that will take the pain away from elbow:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Yeah, it's tennis elbow... and before you know it, it will likely be in both arms and increasing in pain.

    I'm glad you got an early start on trying different things. Myself, I just kept clicking along like nothing was wrong until the issue was really serious. I was in misery from the elbows down on both arms, and I hurt a very high percentage of the time. I would lay awake at night with it hurting, fall asleep in pain, then wake several times during the night in worse pain and with one or both of my arms/hands partially asleep.

    Anyways, I have 2 threads up here about it.
    I figured that sadly, others would run into this and need the info too.


    For me, the problem turned out to be a combination of things working against me, and me working against myself. To begin with, I was doing too much continous trimming at one time. Too much for any one man to keep doing on and on. It was not odd for me to spend in excess of an hour continously trimming on several sites. Plus there was a lot of repetition involved. I had developed bad holding habits over time that were making things worse. Plus I was doing a lot of twisting my wrists into bad positions to angle the cutting head for trimming ditches and big steep enbankments, ect.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Also, try to refrain from reaching out too far and hyper-extending your elbow during trimming. This puts alot more strain on it. It further aggravates the condition.

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