Tendonitis resulting from automobile assembly
I work at the newly opened Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant in West Point, Georgia. I am on the assembly line performing two 'processes' at which I rotate every two hours.
One is a simple matter of tightening 5 bolts with a hand drill at various angles, applying the correct amount of torque to the bolts with a manual torque wrench, and finally marking the bolts with a paint marker to signify that they've been torqued correctly.
The other involves pushing 13-16 small plastic clips into pre-punched holes in the tailgate area to secure a bundled wiring harness to the car.
These clips are at various angles relative to me and require that I push them with a variety of finger/wrist angles. Some of these angles are not in line with the natural motion of the fingers, such as pushing with the outside of the index finger between the first and second joint with pressure pushing the index finger laterally towards the other fingers.
This repeated motion (13-16 clips per car, 1 car a minute, 120 cars in a two-hour rotation) has caused swelling of the index finger, the thumb, and the space between the two, as well as constant numbness of all three of those areas.
I have attempted to vary the angle at which my fingers are used to push the clips into their holes, but it has not alleviated the numbness.
Personally I believe this to be cause not by carpal tunnel syndrome, but rather swelling of the tendons which in turn place pressure on the nerves servicing the affected areas resulting in numbness.
I wouldn't care so much, but it has rendered impossible my ability to finger-pick my acoustic guitar, one of my life's greatest pleasures. I have tried NSAIDs and cold/hot therapy to reduce the sweeling and numbness but it hasn't helped.
Any other remedies would be helpful. I can't quit my job, but I also don't want to be forced to give up a hobby that adds so much value to my life.
Yep, that's the definition of 'repetitive motion'!
And I agree. What every you call it,Tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or otherwise, the dynamic is the same: repetitive motion, irritation, and acute Process of Inflammation, tightness, constriction, and a freaked out nervous system.
The bulk of what you are looking for is in either my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook or my Reversing Guitar Tendonitis ebook.
You're going to have to hit this hard to counter the current acute dynamic, and then, at least in the short term, keep a strict eye on it and like do a certain amount of self care to keep your structure happy.
The job may or may not be a match for your body, but in a context of having to work, then you'll have to put some extra effort into countering the irritation with effective self-care.
'Effective' being the key word there.
The danger is, if you keep doing this specific job and don't effectively counter the negative side effects, it's predictable that it will get worse and you literally won't be able to perform the task.
And then it'll be MUCH harder to rehab the hand/arm.
If you get one of the ebooks, I'll also send you the Quick Start Companion ebook for the Carpal Tunnel Treatment dvd. There is something specific on there you'll probably want to do.
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert