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Old 03-17-2016, 11:18 AM
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Mark Rosenbaum Mark Rosenbaum is online now
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Preventing Injuries

I am starting this thread because Pringle and I have been talking off-board about this. We both have injuries that could lead to debilitating results. I'm not asking who has the most injuries and gory details. I would like to know what have you done for injury prevention. I'm also interested in what you are doing outside of the studio i.e. yoga, stretches, vitamins, other supplements (the legal ones). I'm getting to the point that almost 40 years at a highly physical and demanding craft, is starting to take its toll on my physical being. Thanks in advance....

Last edited by Mark Rosenbaum; 03-17-2016 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:18 PM
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Here's what I have done to reduce my injuries:

- I used to pitch the pipe up to get two and three gather pieces to flow a bit before necking or after necking until I hurt my rotator cuff--now I just ask my assistant to dump it.
- I try to make smooth transitions from low-exertion (like turning while gathering) to high-exertion (removing the pipe from the furnace or pipe cooler with 4 gathers on it). I found I used to hurt my bicep from the sudden strenuous motion.
- I marver on a fairly low marver for big stuff so I don't have to stress out my shoulders. It's not so great for smaller stuff because you have to bend over, but it's great for bigger work.
- Our glory holes, yokes and bench rails are relatively low to keep the lifting and turning at a more manageable height. (I'll never understand the old timers who have almost eye-level ghs and yokes--what a bitch to transition in and out of with little stuff and awful for big stuff.)
- I never risk my back by stretching out across the tool bench to reach long stuff. I don't have long arms so I always work off the bench for anything taller than about 20".
- Our yoke rotates so it's easy to get a big piece or pastoralle fork out of the gh and over to the bench and back.
- I have hose grips on all my pipes and punties that are 3/4" or larger so they're easier to turn.
- I have my assistant take the turns with the pipe an angle for necking anything that's medium or larger size. He also backs me up with turns while blowing which takes stress off my left/turning hand.
- I almost always start my necklines holding the jacks forward like tweezers and on the side (3 o'clock) and using my left hand to stabilize and help start the jack line on bigger stuff. It's easier than trying to reach over the top of the glass and roasting your hand.
- I generally work very hot so jacklines are easy to put in, trims don't require muscle, flattening is easier, etc. You need an assistant with great turns and heat judgement to work really hot but you'd be surprised at how much easier everything is if you currently work on the colder side.

I'm sure there's more stuff I do to reduce injury but it's all kind of automatic by now...
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:54 PM
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Thanks David! I did edit the post to add some additional info if possible. Seeing that I will never do a 20" piece again, I appreciate your scale and issues
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:14 PM
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Back when I was about 40 I had a lot of tendon issues , particularly in my left arm at the distal connection of the elbow and also the ones in my wrist from hyper extending my wrist too much.

I was lucky enough to be treated by the sports doctor for the Chicago Bulls and what he stressed was that you simply have to ice down after every working session for 20 minutes to a half hour and to do it religiously. He said inflammation is the primary villain in every debilitating joint injury. It swells up and if you don't reduce the swelling, it grinds. Once it has ground out a nice hole, you are in deep shit. He was not a fan of glucosamine saying he saw no value in it unless you owned stock in the company.

He also had me doing exercises with my fingers doing ten reps each way in every direction and it's hard to explain: He had me bend my wrist from being straight to a 90 degree angle down 10 times. Then from a closed fist, opening and allowing your fingers to stretch as far as you can ten times. Then opening and closing your fingers ten times. Also hyperextending your wrists slowly (SLOWLY) so the back of your hand comes up and faces you ten times. Every day do this. Then work.

He said too many people confuse their work with their exercise. He said those tendons need stretching just like athletes need it.

He could not stress icing down enough.

Shorty Finley on the other hand was 5'2" and could handle 80 lbs of glass. Shorty levered everything without exception, He wore out benches.
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Old 03-17-2016, 04:54 PM
Tom Fuhrman Tom Fuhrman is offline
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Design items to be made from several smaller components and then assembled instead of straining over large pieces. Glue can be your nfriend as it has been for some of Chihuly's and many others.
When dealing with really heavy pieces use a yoke on wheels to maneuver around. Carrying heavy items is mush more strenuous than just lifting. Some people swear by using a stand up "bench: instead of having to get up and down from a traditional bench.
I think that warming up some parts of your body before working is good too. When I've had strenuous physical therapy, they always put heat packs on before starting, and as Pete said , ice down when finished. When I got my knee replacement they gave me a machine that has a large cuff on it that has either warm or iced water that is pumped thru it. It can be used on many parts of the body.
Figure our how to use molds more so some steps can be reduced.
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:38 PM
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We are looking at bringing in a physical therapist to watch us work and help us with better motion and stretching/post work routines.
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:10 PM
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I'm a distance swimmer in the warmer months, walk a few miles daily (outside of the studio) and stay in reasonable shape but am rapidly losing upper body strength due to spine/back/neck injuries from a 1988 head on collision with a drunk driver. Raynaud's is causing major numbness and circulation in my hands and feet. Had lots of tendonitis in years past but have since learned to stretch and ice. The upper arm strength is a big issue - I'm almost 5'3 and can hardly do a 12 block piece. 10 block is awkward now. I find that if a piece is too heavy I tend to feel like I'm going to fall over - no balance. The fact that I am 58 has nothing to do with it I'm sure! In my right hand I have arthritis, trigger finger, and old tendon injury that causes my finger to hyper extend and the reynauds.
I just went to my 40th high school reunion and compared to a few others (it was a small class) I have nothing to complain about! so I'll keep stretching, blow smaller pieces and hope that things don't get much worse. Or that surgery/medicine gets better. Or maybe someone will come along and be my assistant during the week that will handle the large pieces I want to make AND drag the 50lbs bags of cullet to the shop for charging! That's the ticket!~
or maybe I'll sell the studio and move to the beach
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:14 PM
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PS - to Barb - I have a fabulous acupuncturist. When I first went to China in 1981 I was amazed at some of the things I saw in acupuncture clinics and have been a fan every since. I also have a TENS unit for back problems. It's another life saver.
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:22 PM
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Thanks Richard, Eben and Pringle for your experience and advise. I do need to see a doctor and I will shortly but in the meantime I'm trying to find out what may be going on with my right (dominant) shoulder.
I have regular ongoing throbbing pain all day all night but I also have more severe pain and am unable to lift my arm straight above my head without severe pain at this time. I am icing and trying to not use it unless I'm blowing but you know how that goes.
And Pringle don't discount selling!
Barb
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:55 PM
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Pringle, have you considered stationary blocks where they're lined with paper and you bring the gather to the block while standing? I blow into crucibles lined with paper.
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:58 PM
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I had a movement guy come in and watch us work. He made a couple of videos for us. Some of you might find this useful.

3 minute intro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz6xevVjTtc
4 minutes with a bit of info about how and why it works
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKAiI6P62Rc
3 minutes about ergonomics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQQMxnAZGdc
spine section: front, side, rotation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMH97Phh32Y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLIib32VKz8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ydIp2WUcXo
Forearm section: muscle reset and strength and flexibility
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXDltSJo9U4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWisA4wYsoY
3 minute video showing how the above can be done as a warmup/cooldown/refresh at lunchbreak kind of routine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAji8XQi7pU
2 minute lecture about how to get up from sitting (will likely redo this one)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH6P9MHEHlc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmLr...ature=youtu.be


https://youtu.be/KFI6I0mDqy8
https://youtu.be/5SebBVsBQ4I
https://youtu.be/2MXXTbBlDRA
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:37 AM
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Ditto :-). I have pics. And there is a great burn center here in Chapel Hill!
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:34 PM
David Hopman David Hopman is offline
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Never utter the words "Did you shut off the breaker?" because a YES answer does not necessarily mean a YES result.
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david hopman View Post
never utter the words "did you shut off the breaker?" because a yes answer does not necessarily mean a yes result.
******
diy .
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:44 PM
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When someone is trusting enough to bench blow for you, don't pop them inthe face with your pipe. This happened to friend of mine and he had to get a steel plate to fix his cheek bone
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:15 PM
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There's lots of Italians with no front teeth.
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