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Bench Jeweler's Right Bicep Pain


#1

I am a small built woman who is a bench/repair jeweler. I have a
constant pain in my right bicep (right handed). I believe it is from
the torch going up my arm from hammering rings on a mandrel. Does
anyone else have this? I would welcome any thoughts.

Thanks
Julia


#2

Ok this is from my knowledge as an armor forger. You need to look at
several things to eliminate what might be causing the pain.

A. First it could be the balance and weight of your hammer causing
your pain . It sounds like you are hefting a hammer that is too heavy
for your needs. You are doing too much of the work instead of the
hammer(tool) doing the work.

B. The time you are working. Is it hammering 9-5? Is it broken up
into 15 minutes at a time with rest in between? Hard to help you
unless we know these things.

C. The height you are working at…since you are as you say a small
built woman most benches tables and work areas by design are wrong
for you. I would suggest getting a setup for your mandrels that is
lower than what you are using right now and seeing if that helps.

D.Body mechanics. Set to thinking are my feet square and comfortably
apart? Am I manipulating and moving the work instead of turning or
torquing your body to hit areas. This is why many armorers used tree
stumps so they could walk around the piece if need be or sit for some
relief and support to lower back.

I am sure there will be many others who can help I just thought a
little food from thought may help. The other thing I have learned is
sometimes pain expressed in an area is a symptom of injury to another
place. Like your elbow or shoulder. Touching those areas? do you feel
tightness or pain in the elbow shoulder or neck? Best to get it
checked out since it is bad enough to be asking us for advice!

Teri
An American Cameo Artist
www.cameoartist.com


#3
I am a small built woman who is a bench/repair jeweler. I have a
constant pain in my right bicep (right handed). I believe it is
from the torch going up my arm from hammering rings on a mandrel.
Does anyone else have this? I would welcome any thoughts. 

I would recommend that you see a chiropractor right away, and maybe
a physical therapist too.

Evaluate your work area. Is the height correct for you? Lots of stuff
in the archives about ergonomics.

No, I’ve never had pain like that. Different pain, but not that one.

Elaine

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#4

Sorry for the delayed response, I’ve haven’t read Ganoksin in a
month, I have one thing to add.

I am a small built woman who is a bench/repair jeweler. I have a
constant pain in my right bicep (right handed). I believe it is
from the torch going up my arm from hammering rings on a mandrel.
Does anyone else have this? I would welcome any thoughts. 

In may I started working as a jeweler full-time, since august I have
been having chronic pain in my hands and forearms (more so on my
right side), almost half of my “production line” involves a fair bit
of hammering.

I went to see my Dr. and she has since put me on some body building
related vitamins (imagine my shock) as well as a healing rub. It has
only been a few weeks and the pain is improving exponentially and
I’m starting to look like a lopsided, female Popeye. I’ve also been
avoiding the foredom as much as I can because I find the vibrations
can be very irritating to my hand. I know that my body is still
catching up to all the wear and tear (literally) but I expect to be
fully recovered soon.

hope this helps…still

aimee
www.fineandgood.com


#5
I've also been avoiding the foredom as much as I can because I find
the vibrations can be very irritating to my hand. I know that my
body is still catching up to all the wear and tear (literally) but
I expect to be fully recovered soon 

There are a number of tools available today that reduce the stress
on your body (important for all those aging jewelers out there).
Examples include the bench mate system with its holding methods which
take the place of hand stress, Aquaplast and Jetset which permit
rapid holding and fast jigs, air powered gravers like the
gravermeister, gravermax and the cadillac lindsay gravers which
eliminate the pushing stresses required of gravers and finally the
micromotors (Foredom has a new $380 retail one out there) which
(while they are an adjunct to a flex shaft rather than a full
replacement) eliminate the cable vibration completely.

Here is an extract from The Jewelry Workshop Safety Report which is
posted here at Ganoksin:

  "Vibration and noise are often linked conditions. Vibration
  can cause injuries very similar to those caused by noise, and
  can also result in special damage to the hands and other
  jointed areas. Vibration has been shown to hasten and cause the
  onset of arthritis, back problems, gout and heart disease, and
  can damage vision with long exposures (Quinn et al 8). You can
  experience vibration when using power tools of various kinds,
  and when using heavy machinery. Hammering can be considered in
  some ways similar to vibration; there are repeated shocks
  occurring to the hands and arms. Holding items on the
  polishing wheel constitutes vibration. A well-known injury in
  the production jeweler's world is "whitefinger," where numbness
  and a white look to the fingers can occur, progressively
  getting worse until the whole hand is involved, painful and
  not fully usable. Professional polishers, or people who do a
  lot of jewelry polishing, most frequently experience 

  whitefinger (Stellman and Daum 108; Kinnersly 67). If you have
  to do a lot of polishing in your work, consider changing your
  finish or procedures to reduce your time at the polishing
  wheel. The job is not good for you, and the ventilation needs
  to be working well to protect you. You could, for instance,
  obtain pre-polished metal for some projects, immediately
  protect a metal's surface with glue-on paper before beginning
  to work it, use firescale retardants like Pripps flux upon
  every heating, seek to avoid scratches to reduce the polishing
  required in your workplace. You can switch to tumbling for
  certain applications to reduce the polishing time on certain
  pieces. 

  There are four main kinds of damage that can result from
  vibration. The hands and wrists develop bone loss in the form
  of small holes that show up on x-rays. This is not supposed to
  make them more fragile, however. The muscles and nerves of the
  hands can be injured by vibration, resulting in loss of use in
  the hand, or, rarely, the tendons contract and thicken, making
  the hand weak and restricted in movement. The joints can
  develop osteo-arthritis; this is common in the elderly, but it
  ensues earlier in people exposed to vibration (Stellman and
  Daum 108). 

  Finally, there is "whitefinger," mentioned above, where the
  circulation of the hands has been damaged. It is very
  disabling. Progressive numbness leads to permanent disability.
  It happens most often to workers who grip vibrating tools
  tightly when working, as well as to production polishers. In
  general, pneumatic hammer type tools are responsible for many
  such injuries (Stellman and Daum 109). Symptoms include (from
  best to worst), intermittent tingling, intermittent numbness,
  blanching of fingertips with or without tingling or numbness,
  blanching of entire fingers in winter, blanching on most
  fingers both in summer and winter (Waldron 165)-and really bad
  pain can be involved too. Whitefinger can end in rare, severe
  cases with a finger becoming gangrenous and having to be
  amputated (Stellman and Daum 108). There is no medical cure
  for whitefinger (Kinnersly 67). Set things up so that you don't
  experience repeated vibration, or if you do, see if you can
  dampen it as much as possible. If your fingers tingle or the
  tips go white when using a vibrating tool it is time to
  consider vibration a problem. Note that some of the special
  "vibration absorbing" gloves that are available from safety
  suppliers (with gel-filled pads on the palm) have been found to
  contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome because they change the
  gripping position of the hand "

best
Charles


#6

Hi

I’ve bought ergonomic things from www.alimed.com and
www.officeorganix.com, and I was pleased with their service. Alimed
has a nice selection of industrial ergonomic items, including
anti-vibration gloves. Office Organix has many office related items.
After reading Charle’s posting on white finger I think I will get
some special gloves as a preventative measure, before I can start
hurting.

Ardetta Bronson
@A_L_Bronson


#7

careful about using anti vibration gloves, better to change the work
procedure and tooling to eliminate the problem. quote from the safety
book:

  Note that some of the special "vibration absorbing" gloves
  that are available from safety suppliers (with gel-filled pads
  on the palm) have been found to contribute to carpal tunnel
  syndrome because they change the gripping position of the
  hand.

bestcharles