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  • Numb Hand From Mig Welding

    hey guys, i am new to production welding, only about 2 months now.
    when i first started i was tigging, and everything was pretty good with my hands.

    but now that i am mig welding all day, especially with this aluminum python gun,
    http://www.airgas.com/browse/product...&WT.svl=244367
    it si so heavy and big, that at night when i wake up to hit the bathroom around 2am, every night my right hand is numb and i can not make a fist because of the pain.
    it is worse this morning since i worked 14 hours yesterday.
    i ran some hot water over my hand for 2-3 minutes, and it worked for a a few minutes, but now is back to hurting.

    any ideas on what i can do ? i have been using this aluminum gun all this week.

    but even when i was regular steel migging it would hurt also, just not as bad as now.

    thanks much..
    Syncrowave® 200
    Lincoln AC/DC 225/125
    Lincoln Weld Pak 100 wire feed

  • #2
    I'm not a doctor and I only played one on TV once! But it sounds like you are in the beginnings of Carpal Tunnel syndrome. I have the same problem when I use a hammer, ore hold a lettering brush or paint brush for that matter. You may want to check it out. It the repetitive motion or holding the object. I use the wrist wrap around braces while working. and the wrist splints at night while sleeping.

    Mine isn't bad enough for surgery and and it is a real pia some days. Hands and wrists numb, and tingling. Along with the stiffness and other downsides of older age onset.

    WebMD would be a good place to start to look for info. And of course you local doctor.
    glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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    • #3
      I got the same thing when running lots of wire, and found it was because for some reason I had a death grip on the gun. I relaxed and the numbness went away.
      Jeff

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      • #4
        Jeff nailed it. You're holding the gun too tight.

        Is there a reason you need the death grip - is something preventing you from using two hands on the gun?
        Syncrowave 250DX
        Invison 354MP
        XR Control and 30A

        Airco MED20 feeder
        Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
        Smith O/A rig
        And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

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        • #5
          thanks guys..

          i weld with one hand on the gun and resting the front of the gun on my wother hnd to help guide it.

          i may be gripping the gun too tight. thanks.

          i might look for a wrist brace and see what happens.

          i know one thing, if it dont get any better, i dont think i can production mig weld all day long, and might need to find a tig job.

          thanks again.
          Syncrowave® 200
          Lincoln AC/DC 225/125
          Lincoln Weld Pak 100 wire feed

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          • #6
            That is the beginnings or full on Carpal Tunnel. It is caused by gripping tightly. I have it pretty bad as well.
            Don


            '06 Trailblazer 302
            '06 12RC feeder
            Super S-32P feeder

            HH210 & DP3035 spool gun
            Esab Multimaster 260
            Esab Heliarc 252 AC/DC

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            • #7
              Sounds like CT to me, gives me fits. I've had it for years now. You may want to try some aleve or advil. They are anti-inflammatories (if your stomache can handle them, mine can't). If they help its a sign that something in your hand is getting inflammed and impinging the nerves as they pass through to your hand. Sometimes it's triggered by muscles (holding the gun too tight!) sometimes bones missalign. I have had good luck with chiropracters (only the wrist, not everything else attached to you spine!) or massage therapy. You may want to also try 20 minutes of ice when your done working for the day, if it hurts less the next day your onto something. Inflammation and heat are a No No.
              Dynasty 200 DX
              Millermatic 175
              Spectrum 375
              All kinds of Smith OA gear

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              • #8
                Carpal Tunnel is cummulative, you're not going to get it after a few days or weeks of production welding.

                Maybe a few years.

                If your previous job included years of repetative motion, then maybe.

                The others have a good point about loosening your grip though. You have to concentrate on that while welding.

                I worked on an assembly line for 10+ years, and probably have CT based on how my hands feel sometimes (go numb, hurt, etc), but I haven't had that confirmed by a doctor.

                What I did learn, though, was that my first few weeks on the line had my hands basically useless, until I got used to it. I couldn't even turn to key in my car's ignition with my right hand my first week.

                Bottom line: You'll get used to it, and if you keep it up for multiple years, THEN you can worry about CT.

                Keep your hands stretched out, there are exercises for people with repetative motion jobs.

                Good luck,

                James

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FABMAN View Post
                  it si so heavy and big, that at night when i wake up to hit the bathroom around 2am, every night my right hand is numb and i can not make a fist because of the pain.
                  Are you sure it's from welding???
                  Dynasty 350DX
                  Dynasty 200DX TigRunner
                  MM 350P
                  MM Passport Plus
                  Spectrum 375 Extreme
                  08' Trailblazer 302

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                  • #10
                    thanks guys.

                    no, i never had this numb feeling in my hands, especially the right, since i started welding. tigging was a little problem, even my left hand from feeding the rod through my fingers, but now with this heavy mig gun my right kills me at night. during the day it is 95% good. so it has to be form all the welding, and probably gripping the gun too tight.

                    i will try ice next time since you said heat is a no no. thanks on that tip.

                    also got a little ace bandage from walgreens to try next week.

                    i jsut dont want to mess something up for life...

                    thanks again..
                    Syncrowave® 200
                    Lincoln AC/DC 225/125
                    Lincoln Weld Pak 100 wire feed

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                    • #11
                      Question here fellas.....

                      Are some of you confusing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with some form of Tendonitis???

                      Reason I ask, is I HAVE CTS - started when I was in my early teens (No Kevin, not from that) - and it has absolutely nothing to do with physical activity or repetetive motion. The bones in my wrists do not have addequate clearance for the nerves and tendons to run through the Carpal Tunnel, and this results in pain and discomfort, numbness, loss of feeling, loss of strength, etc etc whether I am working or not.

                      Granted, activity aggravates the condition, and does make it more uncomfortable, but I can have my hands go numb while driving, watching TV, sitting at the computer, sleeping, etc etc which requires me to switch hands often throughout the day (NO Kevin, keep your mind out of the gutter) as I grind, cut, weld, etc.

                      Just thought I would ask for clarification.

                      Have a good day.
                      Last edited by Black Wolf; 09-20-2008, 10:32 AM.
                      Later,
                      Jason

                      Professional Spark Generator by Trade.

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                      • #12
                        Well,.... I have numbness, tingling, and pain too. I'm also rapidly going blind, and am sure that hair is starting to grow on the wrong side of my hands,... is that a symptom of something else?
                        Warning to young ladies:
                        If you wear loose clothes, beware of the machinery. If you wear tight clothes, beware of the machinist.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jamscal View Post
                          Carpal Tunnel is cummulative, you're not going to get it after a few days or weeks of production welding.

                          Maybe a few years.

                          If your previous job included years of repetative motion, then maybe.

                          The others have a good point about loosening your grip though. You have to concentrate on that while welding.

                          I worked on an assembly line for 10+ years, and probably have CT based on how my hands feel sometimes (go numb, hurt, etc), but I haven't had that confirmed by a doctor.

                          What I did learn, though, was that my first few weeks on the line had my hands basically useless, until I got used to it. I couldn't even turn to key in my car's ignition with my right hand my first week.

                          Bottom line: You'll get used to it, and if you keep it up for multiple years, THEN you can worry about CT.

                          Keep your hands stretched out, there are exercises for people with repetative motion jobs.

                          Good luck,

                          James
                          Try 6 weeks...

                          I never had any problems, till I started a job that required me to be at a desk for 8 hours a day and they were too inept to get maintenance in to adjust the height. Due to my bad knees, my butt needs to be at a certain height, and that means my desk needs to be a little lower than they had all of them set. So I immediately informed them as soon as I sat down that I needed my desk lower, or a keyboard tray added - they said "all our desks are that height," and dismissed my demand.

                          It was only a couple weeks before the pain in the wrists started. It was only a few more till I quit even after having a hand surgeon tell me not to use a computer anymore till they got better. I ended up quitting because they weren't worth the trouble to deal with legally (big company too).

                          Granted, my wrists were at a pretty severe angle to hit the keys, but that was a year ago and they still get sore depending on what activities I do. My wrists also started cracking at that point, and haven't stopped yet (no surgery, and I don't want it either).

                          If you think it's only going to set in after years and years, you're wrong.

                          Another example, was a co-worker of mine about 10 years ago. She'd been working there for a total of 5 years, and had been 2 years post-surgery for carpal tunnel which she developed on that same job. So less than 3 for her.
                          Syncrowave 250DX
                          Invison 354MP
                          XR Control and 30A

                          Airco MED20 feeder
                          Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
                          Smith O/A rig
                          And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

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                          • #14
                            I believe you, Fishy Jim. As someone else mentioned, they got it in their teens w/o working.

                            So, you could be predisposed to it, or have it already because of the makeup of your hands, and just a bit of work would cause it to start hurting worse.

                            In this guys case, though, holding a Mig gun for 14 hours in a day is going to cause some pain no matter what, regardless of if it's the start of CT.

                            I also think that it does take years to sit in for most people, with there being obvious exceptions. (Including a large number of people not getting it). Otherwise, there would no one able to do factory work.

                            James

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                            • #15
                              Fabman, does your wire feeder have a switch which will allow you to momentary push the trigger and it will continue to feed until you push it again? This neat little function is great on any weld which is more than a few seconds, I am using a 60M feeder, hope this helps, Paul

                              PS, I also suffer from 'carpal tunnel problems' and know what you are dealing with, try to keep your wrist as straight as possible as this seems to help as it does not pinch the nerve in your wrist.
                              More Spark Today Pleasesigpic

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