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flat
07-31-2014, 06:19 PM
I've finally gone to the hospital due to severe neck pain, and x-rays reveal heavily degenerated c5 and c6 areas. My doctor sent me to a chiropractor, and I've had two visits so far. Although my osteo-arthritis damage was done before I started welding last month, the helmet, welding posture, and position is thought to have exacerbated the already present condition, sending pain over the top.

Look it up sometime. Plenty of welders have a pain in the neck. I'm just trying to find some relief from the neck pain, and shooting nerve issue which is like an electric shock running down the whole arm to the hand. It is more than a tingle feeling when your hand is asleep.

Plus, us, I want to get back to my Warrior project.

flat
07-31-2014, 06:26 PM
I'm sorry. I've double posted, and need to delete one if possible. :)

Twinkle
07-31-2014, 06:38 PM
Hi Flat

Hope you recover soon

Getting old unfortunately comes to us all ( well it come to me ) I just do a little and come back later , Its what we have done before that seems to cause the problems , I have a couple of problems around T3 that need a little massage and lifting the ribs from time to time , and the top rib gives problems since I came of the trex about 10 months ago ) thats when I gave up DKS for USS .

regard emma

Radical Brad
07-31-2014, 09:33 PM
Do you snap your helmet down or use an auto-darkening lens?

I have heard about issues with the constant snapping of the helmet - something I am guilty of.

Brad

FatbackRider
08-01-2014, 05:33 AM
Flat, I am no stranger to arthritis. I have to make certain my posture is correct and the force I use in my joints is controlled. The fixture I'm using is raised so I'm not as hunched over and I make sure I raise up after welding a short distance. That way, I minimize the strain on my neck and back. It's something you can manage. It isn't easy, but you can do it.

Just curious Brad, what would an auto darkening helmet do to affect neck strain? I ask not to challenge, but I ask to know. I'm in a similar situation to Flat and want to mitigate any of those potential issues.

darnthedog
08-01-2014, 07:25 AM
With a really good Auto-darkening helmet the view is really clear so you do not have to raise and lower the helmet between welds. There are units now that can even double a a grinding face shield.
However with an old fix lens helmet you have to raise and lower it every time.
Some older timers will snap their heads forward to allow gravity to pull it down thus Flat's issues. If you'll notice on Tig time videos he some times reaches up and other times tilt his head forward to bring the helmet down. If you just pull it down you reduce the strain. And as Emma says short weld sessions and then get up and stretch in between mitigates the issue. Hope that answers the question.

flat
08-01-2014, 08:21 AM
Hi Flat


Hope you recover soon

Getting old unfortunately comes to us all ( well it come to me ) I just do a little and come back later , Its what we have done before that seems to cause the problems , I have a couple of problems around T3 that need a little massage and lifting the ribs from time to time , and the top rib gives problems since I came of the trex about 10 months ago ) thats when I gave up DKS for USS .
regard emma
Thanks Emma. I'm going to limit welding and grinding to shorter sessions. Although I'm pretty sure that the helmet is not the root core issue, just a possible contribution. Deterioration of the spinal system is the main issue, and I'm hoping the chiropractic can work, at least to ease the pain through adjustment and specific stretches. That's first line defense, prior to surgery.



Do you snap your helmet down or use an auto-darkening lens?

I have heard about issues with the constant snapping of the helmet - something I am guilty of.

Brad
No, I've always pulled the helmet down. Although I've seen the welders at work snap their helmet down, I for some reason, have never gravitated to that. Yes I do use an auto-darkening helmet. Thanks for the input.


Flat, I am no stranger to arthritis. I have to make certain my posture is correct and the force I use in my joints is controlled. The fixture I'm using is raised so I'm not as hunched over and I make sure I raise up after welding a short distance. That way, I minimize the strain on my neck and back. It's something you can manage. It isn't easy, but you can do it.

Just curious Brad, what would an auto darkening helmet do to affect neck strain? I ask not to challenge, but I ask to know. I'm in a similar situation to Flat and want to mitigate any of those potential issues.
Osteoarthritis will affect most of us sooner or later. I've had my thumb joint totally replaced, and my knees are probably next. Getting old isn't easy. My posture probably needs some correction. I've started to sit at the welding table, with my leather apron stretched across my legs to keep those fiery, molten balls from dropping on my vulnerable area. LOL


With a really good Auto-darkening helmet the view is really clear so you do not have to raise and lower the helmet between welds. There are units now that can even double a a grinding face shield.
However with an old fix lens helmet you have to raise and lower it every time.
Some older timers will snap their heads forward to allow gravity to pull it down thus Flat's issues. If you'll notice on Tig time videos he some times reaches up and other times tilt his head forward to bring the helmet down. If you just pull it down you reduce the strain. And as Emma says short weld sessions and then get up and stretch in between mitigates the issue. Hope that answers the question.
My helmet is aut-darkening, but it doesn't lighten up to entirely clear. Grinding sparks do trigger the auto-darkening, so I switch to a rather expensive grinding shield, sans respirator for cutting and grinding.

Yep, I've seen the dozens of video presenters who whip their helmet down by doing the heavy metal neck snap. Witnessed it thousands of times in the muffler-exhaust prototype shop I worked at for 42 years. Although a prototype product development engineer, I visited many welding booths during that time. Funny, those guys welded in T shirts and would occasionally slap the sparks that landed on their front, from their MIG welding. OSHA probably has restricted them from carelessness since.

Thanks for the info, although I'm pretty careful about easing gently into my work station operations. This time though, it seems to be osteoarthritis due to long term over use of old joints, which are deteriorated. Welding helmets are only one contributing factor, and may not be the principle one...

...but the welding is the latest addition and worth limiting sessions at least until the healing is effective.

Tradetek
08-01-2014, 09:36 AM
Unfortunately, I can literally feel your pain... I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease when i was about 20. Had my first back surgery at 34, my second at 42, and now at 44 have been on disability for 2 years with no expectations of that changing.

Even after the fusion at L4-L5 and L5-S1, we know that there is degeneration at L3-L4 and that up I'm starting to see compression up in the T levels.

And it's genetic as my father had surgery to fuse L4-L5, and my daughter had her first surgery at 16.

I can only work on projects for about 2-3 hours at one time, and can only do that every 2-3 days. Unfortunately I have had other household projects that have demanded my time, so I have started builds twice but not gotten very far, and have recently completely changed direction and will hopefully be starting up again soon as my major household projects are about finished.

I TIG, so it is pretty easy for me to work sitting at a surface that is about 32" but I use an office charge with a good range of height adjustment to help change angles. I can't sit on a little work stool, and the ones from HF break easy... the wheels are crap and snap off where the post connects to the baseplate. Fell on my behind and was in bed for 2 days afterwards!

Fortunately, I have not had enough problems up in my C levels yet to impact me yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if I start having problems up there too. Dad already does, but won't let them operate because he is afraid of losing what mobility he has at his neck if they do fusions up there. He doesn't care that a minor case of whiplash might kill him...

Anyway, I hope that the therapy helps. You have made great progress and I'd hate to see that derailed.

Bill

Big Moe
08-01-2014, 09:39 AM
Leather apron on my lap works. If the project allows, I clamp a piece of angle iron across the front of the table to keep the beads from rolling off and into my welding sandals.