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Old 01-31-2005, 07:29 AM
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SVanderkolff SVanderkolff is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Mildmay, Ontario, Canada
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preventing back ache ?

I actually managed to get 4 straight hours in the shop on Saturday, which was wonderful, but ended up with a real backache as a result. So while thinking about it I figured a general thread on "How to prevent backache" might be a good idea. So please add your thoughts tot he thread.
I imagine I am not the only one getting older.


Stephen Vanderkolff
Please come on over and check out my website.
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Old 01-31-2005, 08:27 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Location: Wauconda, WA
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You are certainly not alone on this issue. On the machines where I spend a lot of time, like my belt grinder, I have built up a special table so that I can stand straight up while I grind. That has helped a lot to reduce back pain as well as making it easier to see what I'm doing. I intend to do the same thing with a forging press this summer........


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Old 01-31-2005, 08:29 AM
Dementia Dementia is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 68
but i have found that a decent back brace can do wonders for when you are at the grinder for a long time or if you have to forge out some stubborn steels.

Last edited by Dementia; 07-28-2007 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 01-31-2005, 08:31 AM
cactusforge cactusforge is offline
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Location: Quartzsite Az.
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Ray is so right, posture is everything. Get the grinder the right hight, one reason I like the Burr King. Gib

Old 01-31-2005, 01:36 PM
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McAhron McAhron is offline
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Location: Under the Redwoods in Beautiful La Honda CA
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I have a degenritive baack condition and have improved greatly over the last few years by following the doctors orders.#1 walk two miles five times a week.#2 stretch, it took me 4 years before i could touch my toes,staying limber prevents so many problems,# never lean on one hip while standing and dont cross your legs when sitting#4 when sleeping on your side always sleep with your knees touching and your ancles touching,never sleep on your stomach.#5 always lift with the knees.I hope this helps

N'T McAhron Sqwaukin Vulture Verrinder
"to create is to make art"
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Old 01-31-2005, 02:02 PM
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Bernez Bernez is offline
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Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 263
The use of some special anti-fatigue floor mats seems to help a lot of people.
I used to stand on one of these by my former job (cabinetmaker) and I can say it helped me.
In the evening, I could tell the difference working on such a mat or working the whole day on the bare floor.
Mostly less pain in the lower back and overall, I was more relaxed when going home.
That's my thought.



Be patient: in time, even an egg will walk.
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Old 01-31-2005, 07:08 PM
billf billf is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: northeast
Posts: 16
Hi all

Lots of good advice so far - as an orthopedic surgeon, let me add a couple more
1. Quit smoking (if applicable) - smokers have 3x as many lumbar and 4x as many cervical disc problems

2. Lose weight - less pressure on discs and facet joints

3. Strong abs - they act like a support cable for your spine

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Old 01-31-2005, 08:00 PM
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Raymond Richard Raymond Richard is offline
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For the first time I bit the bullet and bought some fairly spendy insulated boots for the colder weather. It took me a fairly long time to figure out why just about every joint of my left leg was bothering me. I even went to my favorite chyropractor for several adjustments and nothing seemed to be working. A light bulb finally went off in my head and I took the arch supports out of my usual work boots and put them in the insulated ones and the pain went away. I wished I would have thought of that sooner......

Raymond Richard

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Old 02-01-2005, 08:57 PM
Fsawyer Fsawyer is offline
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Location: Texas
Posts: 158
I work 12 hours a day.. 3 days a week in a pro sword making shop.. mostly I grind.. grind.. grind.. My shoulders and back were killing me..

Motrin.. Motrin.. Motrin.. and taking breaks as much as possible.

When I say I'm going to the daily grind.. I mean it.

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Old 02-03-2005, 08:56 AM
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rhrocker rhrocker is offline
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I think bad work habits contributed to my back problem, and led to the surgery where a big mess of titanium rods and screws were "installed" to create a fusion, this was in March of 04. Then a 2nd procedure to impant a pump in my abdomen to provide a constant stream of pain medication to my spine. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, believe me. I've been trying to adapt all of my tools to my situation, making some things higher, some lower. Yes, getting the belt grinder at a good point is very helpful. I didn't like bending over to look into the forge, so I made a stand for it that puts the opening at about shoulder level, and that has helped me. Also, try to avoid very much bending over as you work. In other words, if you have a 4 foot work bench, don't bend over the table to the other to work on something. It's a common sense thing also, if it doesn't feel comfortable to do something, then there may be a better way, that's easier on your back.

Robert Hensarling
Uvalde, Texas

Hensarling Custom Knives

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Old 02-05-2005, 04:09 PM
C L Wilkins C L Wilkins is offline
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I can second what Robert just stated. I have had back surgery as well but nowhere near as severe as his.

Like Robert, everything I have is at a level where I don't have to bend over. About the best advice I can give to someone is to walk. Just walk. Take a break and walk a bit.

Remember, sitting is bad, walking is good. A padded foot surface is good for where you work and what has already been suggested, good shoes or boots with a good sole.

A good soul also helps with being a better knifemaker as well.


"When I first started, I didn't know anyone that made knives. Now, all my friends are knifemakers."
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