Help! How to avoid corporal tunnel syndrom and numbing fingers?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, May 11, 2007.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    This is my first year and I usually have 20-30 yards I cut each week and they avg about 1/6 acre. I use a $500 lowes John Deer 21 in and a $120 troy built trimmer and a $100 poulon pro blower. I spend about 20-25 hours/week I estimate. No help. For the past several weeks my hands ( mainly the right one) aches in the morning when I wake up, hurts badly when I try to write with it ( at least in the morning ), and has partial numbness at times. :cry: It's really scary to me. I got the best equip I could afford, but would commercial equip be much less vibration or better on my hands? I think it may mainly be the trimmer that is causing it cause I find myself switching hands a lot more cause of discomfort. If I bought a commercial trimmer, would that solve it? I started using gloves but maybe they're not thick enough. Any ideas? If I should find a riding mower would that be easier? Any and all help would be much appreciated cause I'm also a musician so healthy fingers are crucial!

    thanks in advance!
  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    try some finglress gloves with gel palms or try to modify the grips on the string trimmer to something better. fo to a motorcycles shop....Closed cell foam grips worked th e best for me

    I had the same problem on my motorcycle...the buzziness made my throttle hand feel like it was going to sleep...
  3. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    ok, I'll check into that! Thanks MarcSmith! By the way, did u say it was your trimmer also ( and not mower ) that caused the majority of your numbness?
  4. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    just for your info. it is carpal tunnel syndrome. I had a co-worker with it and he wore gloves to help with it as well.
  5. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Well I didn't know how to spell it. My dad just had 2 operations ( one on each hand ) for it. He got it from the railroad, driving the engine for over 40 years. So I was shocked to have signs of it one only my 1st year. Of course this biz is much more vibrations and buzzing than a train engine. How much are the gloves, about $30 or $40. Do they really help a lot? If so I'm sure they are worth every penny!
  6. Tvov

    Tvov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,157

    Your problem may have nothing to do with your equipment. How do you sleep at night? (I am serious). Do you sleep with your arm up by your head / shoulders, do you sleep on your side with an arm under you? Things like this can be a cause, especially since you say you wake up with it. Have you talked to a doctor? Possibly a wrist brace to wear when you sleep could help.

    Some things to think about.
  7. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I never had issues while mowing (Snapper pro hydro with the hoops) and I never had problems with trimming or edging Robin 2 strokes and Shindiawa 230's But I made sure that me or my employee's never spent a realy long time any one machine...

    My problem was with the throttle hand onmy motorcycle...but same thing you'd get the buzziness and numbness from the hi freq vibrations.

    I have not driven bikes in years so I can't rememebr why brand of glove I used.... but for work youd want someting with an open back anf fingeless to help keep the sweating to a minimum.
  8. ChadsLawn

    ChadsLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    I have full blown carpel tunnel.. My advice is to stay away from pistol grip walk behinds..Also goto a drug store and get a good carpel tunnel wrist brace and wear it at night... Ive worn mine everynight for a year and my hand doesnt bother me nearly as much as it did in the beginning.
  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Yes, a carpal tunnel brace that holds your middle finger up in position that keeps you from using your wrist wrong.
  10. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    R hand on the throttle and L hand on the throttle about half the time each for trimming might help. I started with my left hand where the work was not precise, mowing banks and ditches. Still need to improve my skill but haven't debarked any trees left handed.

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