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Injuries or chronic problems related to wood harvesting/splitting

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by gwiley, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. gwiley

    gwiley Addicted to ArboristSite

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    At 40 years old I still have never injured my back, but I am starting to sense that I push my luck more often than I should. I was unloading a load of red oak rounds this weekend and starting getting signals from my lower back that the twist and heave was a bad idea.

    Can you guys trace injuries or chronic conditions to firewood splitting/lifting? I am wondering whether I am inviting a retirement as an invalid by pushing my luck here?

    What about shoulder/back injuries connected to manual splitting (axe/maul/sledge)?

    I am 6'4"/250lbs and have always figured my body was just about indestructible, but little aches and pains (6 months to recover from some sort of shoulder pain last year) suggest that I am mortal now.
     
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  2. MarylandGuy

    MarylandGuy ArboristSite Operative

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    You could just sit on the couch and run the oil burner, though I suspect your body would be a lot worse off becoming a couch potato.

    Two popular sayings come to mind, "It's best to do everything in moderation" and "A man has to understand his limitations".

    Continue to cut, but be aware when your body pushes back.
     
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  3. MNGuns

    MNGuns Cut, Split, Repeat....

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    Some how I managed to acquire a firewood elbow a few weeks back. Seems to be getting better. Before that I had a run in with a saw that did a little damage, but other than that I've been good to go.
     
  4. wdchuck

    wdchuck Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Firewood elbow, 8 weeks ago, and still an issue despite my best efforts to avoid aggravating it.

    The cardiologist verified clean plumbing from the same work though. " Keep up that woodchopping".

    Did crush a finger between the wood and footplate of the splitter though, that was not a good day.

    guess you can't have it both ways.
     
  5. Curlycherry1

    Curlycherry1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sorry dude but once you hit 40 all manner of body parts start to fall apart.

    For me I get numb arms after using my 660 or my 051 for more than about 4 hours. It goes away after a few days but if I was to cut 8 hrs/day I would be in trouble.

    My brother was forced to get a processor because he could not do all the sawing the splitting by hand that he needed to do to keep up. So the processor allowed him to increase his operation and now he is suffering in other ways. Standing all day is bad plus he does a lot of resplits to make sure his wood is uniform after going through his 4 way or 6 way wedges. He insists on consistency and that comes with a price to his body.
     
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  6. time warp

    time warp ArboristSite Operative

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    I'm 51 & hurt all the time. 33-yrs in the flooring business,cutting wood,laying under old cars restoring them or parting them out. It all adds up to pain the older you get.
    But the more you do the better it is for you. I have friends that are so lazy they drive their car to the end of the driveway to get the paper. These same guys wonder way they are 100lbs. over weight & can't bend over to tie their shoes without being out of breath.
    I'll take the pain!!!
     
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  7. bayard

    bayard Addicted to ArboristSite

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    sit up,s etc.

    you must do sit ups , deep knee bends,and light barbell work outs.3 to 5 days a week.get to 50-60 sit ups and the same with deep knee bends.pace your self.and start slow.i,am 51 .i still hurt alot of the time, but i do recover.i did get firewood elbow last year took 6 months to go away,i did way to much one month.k
     
  8. cornraker

    cornraker ArboristSite Member

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    ouch ouch and ouch
     
  9. Soby1

    Soby1 ArboristSite Operative

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    37 years old...Just starting to figure out I can still jump as high as I used to just can't stay up there as long.:givebeer:
     
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  10. unclemoustache

    unclemoustache My 'stache is bigger than yours.

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    Funny, but when you mentioned your age, my first thought was "old," until I suddenly realized that I'll be "old" myself in less than a year.

    I've noticed a great deal of decline, especially in my knees.
    Several months ago I was bending over lifting a good sized round, and did the dumb thing of turning while bent over. That hurt, and continued to do so for a couple weeks. I need to remember to be careful with the back!!!
     
  11. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    I worry more about busting a gut. I have had to learn to slow down and let equipment do the work. My back hurts many days arm shoulders feet the whole nine. I am not going to lay down and die though. The human body is not meant to quit. Many times a little head scratchin will give you a better way with less fatigue, that is my plan. I split right at 25 cords this summer and yes my body acked but now I have free heat and some money for my efforts here and there. Anyway stretching before a heavy day always seems to help me. I am 46 and 3/4 not old but working on it. I have to look forward to at least 20 more years and good health to see a retirement. Unless I hiit the lotto but seriuosly if I did hit the lotto I would still do things just pick and chose more lol:cheers:
     
  12. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    I worry more about busting a gut. I have had to learn to slow down and let equipment do the work. My back hurts many days arm shoulders feet the whole nine. I am not going to lay down and die though. The human body is not meant to quit. Many times a little head scratchin will give you a better way with less fatigue, that is my plan. I split right at 25 cords this summer and yes my body acked but now I have free heat and some money for my efforts here and there. Anyway stretching before a heavy day always seems to help me. I am 46 and 3/4 not old but working on it. I have to look forward to at least 20 more years and good health to see a retirement. Unless I hiit the lotto but seriously if I did hit the lotto I would still do things just pick and chose more lol:cheers:
     
  13. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    I worry more about busting a gut. I have had to learn to slow down and let equipment do the work. My back hurts many days arm shoulders feet the whole nine. I am not going to lay down and die though. The human body is not meant to quit. Many times a little head scratchin will give you a better way with less fatigue, that is my plan. I split right at 25 cords this summer and yes my body acked but now I have free heat and some money for my efforts here and there. Anyway stretching before a heavy day always seems to help me. I am 46 and 3/4 not old but working on it. I have to look forward to at least 20 more years and good health to see a retirement. Unless I hit the lotto but seriously if I did hit the lotto I would still do things just pick and chose more lol:cheers:
     
  14. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    Sometimes ole rope gets to ramblin ya know lol
     
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  15. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    Man I believe that, I burned a full cord last week. My odwf is a converted basement furnace I capped the plenum and took the dual blowers off hooked duct to each one cold air return one to the floor registers. It is redneck as hell but it is central wood heat:clap: The big problem is; I need to build a insulation shed around it, lose too much heat when its real cold. But hey, a poor man has poor ways ehhhhhhhhhhhhh:monkey: My bills go down in winter:clap:
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  16. Curlycherry1

    Curlycherry1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I did that too. Pulled the skin and meat off of my left pinky under my finger nail. The doc said a messed up finger nail is a bad thing so he opted to remove my pinky fingernail permanently. Now I got a stumpy finger that is real handy for poking people in the eye in bar fights.
     
  17. lobsta1

    lobsta1 ArboristSite Operative

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    Well, I'm 61, 5'6" & about 160 lbs. Two months ago I was bucking 4' diameter (& a little more at the butt) oak logs. Noodled down into thirds to try & make them little more manageable. HA! Didn't notice until next day how sore my knee was. Doctor said I have a minor tear in the meniscus cartilage. I kept cutting on the oak logs until they were all cut up. Since I only have a 6401 with a 20" bar, it took awhile. Knee was still sore but improving.

    A few weeks ago when it was 15 degrees out, I was splitting the oak. In the course of working I let my seat work off to the side a little instead of keeping it to the front of the splitter. (vertical mode) One of the oak chunks exploded with each piece going sideways. Each piece was at least 60 lbs. The left one ended up about 10' away. The right piece flew on a beeline right into the sore spot on my knee.

    I've been wearing a brace since then. It is improving again, but I would definitely say I won't be back on skis this winter.
    Al
     
  18. dingeryote

    dingeryote Blueberry Baron

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    Up untill a week ago I was starting to get used to bieng 40+ and not tossing rounds I used to and noodling them, and that sort of stuff to keep my back from getting worse. I toss Heavy lugs around in mini marathons of pain for two months of summer and already have sciatica from too much weight on a belt for too long... gotta mind the back and spine.
    Any way to keep the load off the back or reduce time spent hunched over is a good thing. Splitter tables, pulp hooks, longer bars for limbing, that sort of thing. Like Rope said, "smarter" dosn't mean less work, just less painfull longer.

    Now I find out all those dings and twists to the knees as a younger maniac come back at one time. 40 sucks!

    Watch the footing when carrying heavy stuff in deep snow.;)
    Knees will tolerate some twisting, but with a little build up of scar tissue from past insults, they wont tolerate as much. Just sayin.
    I cussed the bark plum off of an otherwise healthy Maple yesterday afternoon, for having the gall to sneak a root up under the snow where I was walking. Watch the ankle turning and knee twisting with a load.

    Stay safe!
    Dingeryote
     
  19. diesel3408

    diesel3408 ArboristSite Member

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  20. Gologit

    Gologit Completely retired...life is good.

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    LOL...just wait.
     
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