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Trying NOT to see a Doctor about this...

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  • Trying NOT to see a Doctor about this...

    I had a project over the last 10 weeks that required several hundred (few thousand actually) screws to be piloted, countersunk and driven. I used 3 different cordless tools and 6 batteries to keep this job going steady and now I cannot straighten out my right arm. The muscles and trendons developed a familiar setting to my arm being bent around 60 degrees for all of this driving duty and it all simply got sore. Now, it is very painful to try to straighted it out..and actually I cannot fully do it. If I move my fingers it hurts like H E L L in my elbow. Pain meds are not an option but I have been taking aspirin. I still have around 500 more pilot, counter and screws to go and it hurts to touch my elbow. Sleep is difficult as well.

    Week 3 of this pain.

    I over did it.

    Twisting my arm while trying to fully extend it is crazy pain.

    Anyone have any ideas of a light regiment I can do to get this back to normal? I simply cannot imagine anything a Dr. would do other than to perscribe meds and my Chiropractor friend simply said I have to "put up with the pain and work it out..I have severe muscle and never damage"

    Anyway..just a warning that doing TOO much work can have serious repercussions. Now...what to do about it.

    Epson salts are of NO help so far
    When in doubt, unplug the saw.

  • #2
    Sounds like you are planking a boat!

    I've done that before. Feels like what "tennis elbow" is described as. Seemed in my case, the only thing that helped was not continuing doing it, ice, and Advil.

    Good luck


    • #3

      also try to find a brace to limit the movement in your hand. I would think that would help the "trendons" and it would probably help your tendons too.


      • #4
        Have you used a heat pad to try to loosen it up so you can get some movment out of it? I would start with that. Sounds kinda like tennis elbow. I would just heat and strech it out a few times a day. If it is still that bad after another week I would see someone about it. That is a long time for it to still be messed up. I don't need to tell you that you should stay off the drill untill it gets better. Hope you feel better


        • #5
          Sounds like a typical repetitive stress injury...tendinitus.

          Sounds like a typical repetitive stress injury...tendinitus. The only way to "heal" such an injury is to "cease and desist." You need to let the inflamed tendons rest.

          If you are coordinated enough, you should switch the driver to your other hand. Also, consider investing in an impact driver. They put much lower stress on the hand and arm. As was suggested, braces can help but nothing will work as well as rest.


          • #6
            Certainly a Doctor would be your best investment, but can understand your reluctance. If there is any swelling, then you need to get some ice on it. Otherwise I'd cease what you are working on for awhile, try to soak it in warm water, take aspiren, motrin, or Aleve to minimize the inflamation. You also might want to get a good liniment (sp?) that will help with the musle pain. I don't know of a particular exercise that would be good, but surely your Chiropractor friend should be able to help with that. I'm NOT a medical practitioner, but these have been my experience with back and neck pain.

            I hope this helps,



            • #7
              In Denmark we have something called "Gammel Dansk" a dry liquor based on rowan berrys. This is old fashioned Danish Witch medicine, take a glass of it, rub some on your elbow, & "administer the rest internally" This works for most aches & pains in about 50% of cases. Even if it doesn't cure you, then the side effects of the remedy are very pleasant!
              Ask your liquor store, or if you have some Danish neighbours.


              • #8
                all I have to say is to keep it moving and not let the tendon adhear to the tissue around it in the elbow, because tearing it lose and a getting it working again is worst, than moving it now.

                I got about the same type of pain in my elbow one time after power washing about 10 barn sized buildings and painting them.
                Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                attributed to Samuel Johnson
                PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.


                • #9
                  Go to a doctor, preferably a neurologist. It could be tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, or something else. They can test you pretty quickly. If you know what it is you can treat it appropriately. Treating it incorrectly can cause permanent problems.


                  • #10
                    I agree with Rafael. I know it sucks (and is a bit scary) going to a doctor about something you are concerned about, but the sooner you see a doc the sooner you can start to heal. Improperly teating an injury makes it worse.

                    Take your medicine - see a doctor.


                    • #11
                      i'm no m.d but a sewer doctor.

                      i had the same symptoms and it was "tennis elbow". a very simple wrap with a very inexpensive elastic belt? was all it took. it even helped out my hitting of a softball

                      wore it for a few weeks and it was all fixed. no drugs, shots, or drinks

                      best $10. i spent on a cure.

                      phoebe it is


                      • #12
                        From the responses, it looks as though quite a few folks have gone through this "repetative pain syndrome". I had to prevail some with the pilot holes and countersinks...did them with the trusty (and thourouly worn out) drill press until the belt finally gave out.

                        After the drill press died (no time to go belt hunting) I put a table together that is rather low in height so I could do the rest of the pilots with my arm extended as far as it would go. OHHHH the pain..but I got through what I could do. I think I am going to hire one of the neighborhood teens to do the screws. Don't worry..whoever is up to it will be compensated very well (75 bucks for 3 hrs should get someones attention)

                        I appreciate the suggestions. The below is what I have learned from this experience so far:

                        -Drive and drill with a lower table and arm almost extended, not locked. Take breaks often. 10 hrs of solid screwing (lol) is not worth it.

                        -Dado and glue instead of screws. Much cheaper, much better overall joint and no screw-heads to fill. A 150 dollar Dado blade could have saved me all of this grief.

                        -Get a lightweight driver for drilling and screws. Better yet, predrill using the drill press. Those 18V batteries take their toll. Even a nice 3/8 inch corded DeWalt is considerably lighter weight than these cordless tools. A few HALF INCH drills out there are not much heavier!

                        -Stretching exercises are vital after 15 min of solid work. I was born in the 50's and this old body simply cannot take it like it used to. Perhaps it was all of those power lift 1/2 curls in College are coming back to bite me 35 years later. I tell you is the lifting of a window bent over that will put me out of commission much faster than lifting hundreds of pounds. Just a few months ago..I had no problems muscling the TS3650 bare handed and by myself..whole saw. 300LBs, no problem...9 lB screw gun...will kill ya.

                        Tonight..still hurting very much to straighten it out. Elbow is "cold" to the touch as well. I think I will make an appointment to see the old "sawbones" before middle next week. Perhaps we can learn more.

                        Funny thing, only in the last 8 or so years have I been in the position to own and use really good tools..and here I am getting hurt. Even with trash tools real problems but as mentioned earlier..age takes its toll.


                        I stopped drinking alcoholic beverages 18 months ago. Just quit it cold turkey and have not looked back. I have one of those bodies and brains that the stuff is no good for. I enjoyed a good drink for years but I got towhere one drink would affect my health to the point of being "worn totally out" for 3 days. Quitting was the best thing I ever did in my life. Those who have quit know exactly what I am talking about. Those who can take a nip or few..I am envious.
                        Last edited by Directorate; 11-30-2006, 01:35 AM.
                        When in doubt, unplug the saw.


                        • #13
                          Hey, maybe my suggestion on the impact wasn't so good!!!


                          Of course, this is from a company that makes a product that competes with impacts...but it still true that vibration can be another source of injury which is why OSHA is regulating it.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Directorate View Post
                            I over did it.
                            If I were you, I'd consult the Merck Manual. Just ask it about tennis elbow to start.

                            EDIT - OOPS, I sent you to the Pro website, unless you are a caregiver, it might be Greek to you. Use the Home version instead - Merck Source
                            Last edited by PhilG.; 12-01-2006, 02:45 AM.
                            Tools Rule


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PhilG. View Post
                              If I were you, I'd consult the Merck Manual. Just ask it about tennis elbow to start.

                              To use these manuals, look under "injuries"
                              lateral epicondylitis is the technical name for tennis elbow. OR possibly medial epicondylitis also known as golfer's elbow.

                              Good luck.

                              EDIT - See previous post regarding the Home version of the Merck Manual.
                              Last edited by PhilG.; 12-01-2006, 02:48 AM.
                              Tools Rule