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I was an installer for most of my younger life, started at 18 up until I was about 31. While I was hanging board, we used mostly the two man, over-head technique, no lifts and piecework at that. Now, after 10 years of being completely out of the trade, I'm paying for it with pain. In 1999, I decided to return to college and now work in the electronics field. Two years ago, I started having pains in my upper right side, shoulder and neck. After some x-rays and MRI, I was told I have 3 herniated disk in my neck in the area of C3, C4, C5 and C6 no doubt brought on by holding sheets over my head. And I just went for an MRI of my rite shoulder but haven't received results yet. This shoulder pain fluctuates but during bad spells, wakes me up at 3 in the morning and keeps me up. I have lost at least 60% of my strength in this shoulder/arm. I think it was undoubtedly brought on by screwing ceiling and wall sheets all day, day after day. I hope I can get these problems looked after soon because the chronic pain is starting to get on my nerves and I also hope it hammers home the point of working safe and intelligently for anyone just starting out in the trade.

Robert in NB, Canada
 

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Robert,
Before I started a drywall business I was a mechanical engineer working for a large telecommunications manufacturer. I spent most of my time seated in a cubicle doing design work at a computer and quickly developed the same chronic pain you describe. I switched over to the trades in my early 30's doing exterior stucco and found that the variety of motion and physical nature of the work actually improved my condition. When I switched over to drywall, the hanging part took it's toll on my shoulder initially but I consulted a physiotherapist and chiropractor and was shown which stretching and strengthening exercises to do whenever things got aggravated. It hasn't been a problem since.

The bottom line - any repetitive stress, even from sitting at a computer or holding a soldering iron, will cause problems. The right exercise regimen and improved technique will go along way in taking care of it - the earlier the better. The rest is the inevitable process of getting old my friend.

Maybe give a physio or chiro a try.

D's
 

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I've had lower back problems since my mid 20's, herniated a couple of disks and rupture on of them. The chiro said that most likely it was genetic, so most likely I would've had problems no matter what I've done. I went to this chiropractor for a while and all he told me was, not to hang rock and come back next week. Well, after awhile of this I got sick of going to him, so I stopped. Things went well for a couple of months, then it started getting so bed that I couldn't hardly get off the floor, my right legs felt like it was in one bad cramp, the whole leg, I wanted to cut it off! I went to see another chiropractor and right away he said that he couldn't help me and go see a real doctor, I wish that the other one would have told me that instead of having me go back to him and give him more money. Anyway, went to one doctor, and I think she thought I was pill seeking, so she gave me some muscle relaxers and told me to ice it. Ya, right, that didn't even touch it. Then my wife had an appointment with our family doc. and he gave her a prescription for me. It was a little streriod/cortasone pill, within 2 hours is was up and walking around, and was able to go to a party that night that I didn't want to miss. After the m.r.i. showed that they were ruptured and herniated I started physical therapy for a while and all was good for a couple more years. There was only one other time so far, that it got so bad, that I had to take them pills, hopefully it won't happen again, but I'm pretty sure it will. It seems like I haven't had any real bad back problems since I quite drinking last summer, maybe there was something going on there? Drinking so I wouldn't hurt as bed made it worse. Now it's just the rest of my body, knee's, elbows, you name it. I'm pretty old for being only 35. :)
 

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work place safety

i think its great when ur a lil heavier and ur boss runs you like a pack mule and screams when you slow a bit been doing this thing with drywall for only bout 3 years and only had one injury due to a flight of stairs but hey i worked 8 hours after busting myself up so i think dedication should count for something
 

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i think its great when ur a lil heavier and ur boss runs you like a pack mule and screams when you slow a bit been doing this thing with drywall for only bout 3 years and only had one injury due to a flight of stairs but hey i worked 8 hours after busting myself up so i think dedication should count for something
Only one? I'm beggining to think your not as drunk as you would have us believe. Maybe your name is a little disengenuous. Your new name is now "slightlybuzzedmexican27".
 

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I'm right behind ya...:yes:

I as well. Putting it off as long as I can, however, most say get it done sooner. BTW, is it just a coincidence that there is a Spine Lab ad right below this thread? lol.

I've been down the "pain management" road.....that sucked, and didn't really do any good at all. Here's the kicker, Spine doc says mri's show that my lower back is "too" straight causing all my problems, That and the fact that I've been hanging and finishing for 30+ years. Most of that time was just me and my dad hanging custom homes with all 12 footers. Young and dumb......but hey, it didn't hurt then, right? I'm paying for it now though.......needless to say, since I have a fairly good, medium sized crew now, I do a LOT more standing and pointing. That is if I'm not doing point up work on other jobs or getting material OR on DWT. lol

You young guys take care of you're backs.......you only get one.
 

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I've got a bad neck, catches when I turn it sometimes, plays up when I'm doing any finnishing work that require me tilting my head bac for long periods...I bought one of THESE, Don't use it often but its there when I need it, I bit uncomfortable having to strap it on but makes looking up at ceiling very very comfortable, keeps the vertebrae in the neck on a nice curve instead of kinking etc and takes the weight off.
 

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Also points to the fact that the human body is wonderfully created but subject to wear and tear and only lasts a while. Good thing to know that we are only passing through. This is only a temporary home!
Meanwhile we need to take good care of ourselves.
 

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I'm beginning to think that our 'intellectual' evolution has let us out pace our 'physical' evolution. And that this is one of the prime reasons for some of the medical malady's that we humans suffer from.

I mean think about it, in the olden day of the cave man, without medications to alleviate our problems, the weak and sickly most likely didn't survive to spread their 'weak' genes. Also, most of them probably didn't live past 30 to begin with, so arthritis, or heart failure, osteoporosis, etc etc, while they existed probably didn't have much of a say in the human condition. Then we discovered some type of pain killer, and had a "HEY!" moment. Even though I'm injured, if I eat this I can carry on at close to 100%. From that moment on we no longer had to physically evolve to get around such problems, and the modern medical industry was created! LOL JMHO
 

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Interesting thoughts - if you actually believe the lunacy of evolution........ But it's a good point, although speaking strictly
of my own experience I have pretty much always preferred to work
in pain than to take drugs for relief. When you listen to the number
of disclaimers most drugs have it makes you wonder: exactly what was it that the FDA was supposed to be doing?
 

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Interesting thoughts - if you actually believe the lunacy of evolution........ But it's a good point, although speaking strictly
of my own experience I have pretty much always preferred to work
in pain than to take drugs for relief. When you listen to the number
of disclaimers most drugs have it makes you wonder: exactly what was it that the FDA was supposed to be doing?
 

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The bottom line - any repetitive stress, even from sitting at a computer or holding a soldering iron, will cause problems. The right exercise regimen and improved technique will go along way in taking care of it - the earlier the better. The rest is the inevitable process of getting old my friend.
 
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