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What to do about tendonitis?

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The problem with talking about this game like there is a correct way of doing anything is that ...there is not.

I have had tendonitis building to september, and really bad for the 6 months following , physio and 6 weeks complete rest did nothing. osteopath helped but wrist stretches seem to do the trick, so I am ok again, thank god I am not a production smith.

The whole correct hammer height, way to hold hammer and ergonomic hammer technique thing is that its all just best guess work. best guessing correct technique in foresight is a very hard thing to do.....and its not so simple in hind sight...

I would agree with the majority of Matthew's video, but disagree on the hammer lifting part . I have always found it easier forging hard by lifting the hammer as high as I can, including tippietoes (seriously) .the more time you give the hammer to accelerate with the aid of gravity the less you are having to force it. But that is just my just experienced opinions and not a lot more.

I have recently observed a smith in his 70 and still swinging away happily with his thumb on the back of the hammer, seemed to work for him for 40+ years.......

Stretching seems to have helped me a lot, stretching back the wrist at the end of each rotation with the hand back and then forward, 4 stretches per wrist.

learning your limits is the real trick in all this , but thats a herd thing to do especialy when its your living.

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Well, it's been a few months, and the left arm is good, the right still twinges at the elbow occasionally, so I've started forging occasionally again. And I realized something.


As you can see from the picture below, I have a big elm stump for an anvil stand, with my anvil centered right in the middle. The result is that instead of pounding close to my body, I was having to reach out to hit the anvil, which put added stress on my arm.


The sad thing is, in my karate class, we're always told how you have more power closer to your body (when doing throws and the like), and less leverage further out). You'd think after 6 years of hearing that, some of it would have sunk in outside the dojo.


Next project: build a better anvil stand. One that's a lot smaller in diameter, so I can get closer to it.


AND the right height. AND rework my hammer handles (I'm a generically average size guy, with smaller hands). I'll definitely take Allen's advice on reshaping my tools to fit ME.


Thanks all! Hopefully I'll have some pictures to post in "Show and Tell" soon.




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The two dibilitating skeleto-muscular injuries I've had in the last 12 years of smithing;

1st; Caused by riding stupid too-small hipster bicycle with racing handles to the pub.

2nd; Caused by throwing things for the dog. (I throw like a 90 yr old granny after 5 large G&Ts)

The moral being; it is not always smithing that fuggers up your body, so, you know, look after yourself.

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Good thinking Buck, moving things around to be more efficient and reduce the potential for risk should help with some re-occurrence of the same injury.


Owen, you made a good point. Not everyone is the same and there isn't one solution for everyone. What works for me, may not work for you. Just pay attention to what your body is telling you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

When setting up the handlebars on a mountain bike I like to put my hands over the grips with my eyes closed so that my hands are

In a comfortable position, then I roll the handlebars forwards or backwards to match the position of my hands, and for target shooting I was told to hold the rifle still and to aim by adjusting my whole body with my eyes closed, that way I'm just holding the rifle and its pretty much aimed so only small adjustments are needed to hit the target.


By making those adjustments by feel only, you should end up with something that feels right, maybe it works for smithing too?


I think if you arent holding something straight it will want to be straight and work against you.

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  • 1 year later...

Just found this yesterday

The link didn't show up in my Safari, so if interested google "Wrist Pain Relief Tool - How To Use It, Video 2 of 2"


Built a tool and saw almost immediate improvement in wrist pain that has been annoying for about 6 weeks and got bad last week. Better than Aleve and visiting a Chiropractor as well as being cost comparably effective. The inventor uses one ball and a pad, made one of those first then made the double one. I like the 2 baller better. The balls are racquetballs. The ball holders are 1.5 inch plastic pipe couplings. Hot formed roughly square to friction fit the pads of the clamp.




Album: http://s842.photobucket.com/user/blacksmith13/library/Wrist%20Pain%20Tool?sort=3&page=1



Edited by Matt Walker
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