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I Forge Iron

Pinched Nerve!


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I would also suggest muscle spasms might be the cause of the pain. I had surgery about 12-13 years ago that required spreading a couple ribs. Ever since then I have had sharp pain on and off at the site. I just figured there was a nerve problem in one of the ribs. So when I finally asked my doctor about it just last year, he said the intercostal muscles are small and when they spasm, it feels like a cut. He suggested some stretching exercises and that really solved it. I still get the pains if I forget to stretch regularly, but stretching makes them go away almost instantly.

Now I've got some nasty back, shoulder, and neck pain from shoveling snow, I've got about 3000 sq ft of driveway and my stupid tractor/blower keeps breaking belts. So that means lots of shoveling, and we were hit hard in Dec. Stretching there hasn't helped yet, but the hot tub feels good :)

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agsolder gives some good advise about taking care of yourself and not overdoing things. But, on the other hand he sounds like the poster boy for the AMA, which for years prohibited MD's from condoning the use of a DC or sending one of their patients to one, with the threat they would be kicked out of the AMA.
There are good DC's and bad ones, just like MD's. The nice thing about a DO is they are MD's who have been trained in the manipulative arts like a DC (Chiropractor).
The bad name given DC's was a propaganda thing of the AMA and people who believed them. MD's have a tendency to treat the symptoms, while DO's and DC's look at the whole bodies symtos and decide which is the best way to treat the patient.

I have been very fortunate to have a DC that practiced with well known and highly regarded DC's before going into his own practice. He treats my problems with not only what he learned in Chiroptractic school, but Oesteopathic measures also.

I Europe they have been following the whole body welfare thing for many many years and practice adjustment of the spine along with the other treatments. They are so far ahead of our US doctors its not funny.

If it were not for my Chiropractor, I would have been in a wheelchair long ago. Also one of my daughters seperated her clavical in schools sports. The school specialist recommended surgery with either stapling or sewing the parts back together. After he saw her, I immediately took her to see my Chiropractor, and he diagnosed the same problem but asked where the special clavical brace was the surgeon gave us, he had only given her a simple sling. Following my DC's recommendation I obtained another sling to help immobilize the affected arm and we wrapped her in a piece of old bed sheet at night to hold it in place. One week later when we took her back to the surgeon he saw the other sling and asked where the special sling was he had given us. The nurse had the record and agreed he only gave her a sling. He was furious as the clavical had already started to heal, and he couldn't over charge the school for surgical procedures that were not needed.

Another time she twisted her knee out of place and it swelled up terrible and she couldn't put any weight on it. Again he recommended surgery, and again I took her directly to my DC after his exam. My DC x rayed it, took her into and exam room and put it back in place. When we went to the next scheduled appt with the surgeon, at first he looked at the wrong knee and had to be shown the chart that it was the other knee that was the problem. He almost went berserk and starting cussing bad, when I put up the xrays my DC had taken and showed him what was really wrong.

One time I got my leg entwined in a fire hose as it was being laid to a hydrant and ended up with my toes pointing backward with a very visible lump sticking out under the skin at the knee. I went to my DC, he xrayed it, then proceded to put it back in place, even getting rid of the lump which was he damaged cartlage. It took 6 treatments to get it completely back, but I have never had any problems with it since.

I don't know whether agsolder has had a bad experience with a DC in the past, but one should not discourage someone from seeking help from alternative sources to surgery.

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I agree with skunkriv. I would also add you are probably holding your breath while hammering.
When starting out, your hammer handle is a throw away item. Buy several hammers, a half-round bastard file and a medium-sized wood rasp. Your hammer handle MUST conform to you and your hand, not the other way around. Shape the handle such that it is comfortable to grip and you can swing it with confidence. My grip on the handle is such that the thumb, index and middle fingers have a slightly snug grip and the other two are used to accelerate the hammer. If you are unable to do this, re-shape the handle until you get it right. You may go through several handles to get to this point.

Swinging the hammer is employed almost all the time, the most attention should be paid to it when beginning. Despite this, we are ALL exited to create something NOW, and fail to stay with the basics. While everyone's physical makeup may differ to a degree, the movements must be natural and done such that all the muscles in the body work as a whole, not singly. Get the technique right, and do it all the time and it should be done in as such or you won't last long.

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What can I say? You are taking a chance with any medical practitioner. I can only present as my evidence a Time-LIFE home medical library volume on bones and muscles that quotes a source stating flatly not to let a chiropractor work on your neck. And. then there is my M.D. sister-in-law, an Ob-Gyn who came to lunch one day after a night of delivering babies at a hospital in Albuquerque. As she came off the delivery room she toldus, she had met a classmate from medical school who was winding up a night tour as the emergency room doc. One patient that shift: a poor soul who had gone to a chiropractor with his stiff neck problem but had to be taken to the ER totally gorked, a quadriplegic. Howver, I must admit New Mexico may be the U.S. capital of quack medicine. Iridologists, crystal therapists, empaths, psychic surgeons, etc. abound. All such off-brand health providers, chiropractors included, scare the xxxx out of me.

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I have had neck problems and if not for my chiropractor I doubt I would be able to move my neck at all. As said there are good and bad in every profession especially medical.
If you need a Dr. MD or DC, do your homework, research it, talk to people, once you settle on one, go see them and if your not comfortable with them then find another. Look at this way, if your going to have a contractor do work for you chances are your going to get a couple quotes and meet them to find the one your most comfortable with , well thats just your house, your body is the most important thing you have so why would you let a Dr cut you open or twist and turn you if you were not 100% comfortable and confident with him?
Anybody that says you have to keep gonig once you start with a chiropractor has had a bad chiro or has been mis informed, there are those chiropractors out there who want you to come in once a week for ever but there are salesmen who will try and sell a motorcycle to a man with no arms too....I think you know what I am saying.
Chiropractors are the greatest thing you can do for yourself, you just need to find the right one.


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Practicing medicine is almost as scary as practicing law. Don't forget this. I have been adjusted a few times in my life. Second to last time the DO knocked a rib out but put it back. By nature I'm really a fairly nice guy but I did a bit of cussin after the rib was out. He was extremely apologetic and I cut him some slack ( he may have thought I was gonna thump him I dunno. ) He knows what I do for a living and that I don't whine much. I have since returned to him once. at 54 years of age my body is telling me it is no longer 30. While once I could run stuff all day one handed ( big air grinder for example ) I now pay dearly unless I work smarter and slow down a bit using alternate hands and perhaps both hands. Steve ( Skunk River ) said it first. Don't choke your hammer handle to death and keep your thumb wrapped. Hope your recovery goes well.

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Got the results back from my MRI today. There is definately some bulging in the C4 area and some inflammation in the nerve roots of C5. The doc thinks that PT would be the way to start. I thought that going to get an opinion from a neuro-surgeon would be a good thing as well. So tomorrow I start PT and I should get a call from the NS hopefully by next week.

Overall the pain is down from last week but still taking it's time and I really want to get this taken care of once and for all.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been virtually pain free for almost 3 weeks now and have done 2 short smithing sessions. Paying particular attention to how I hold the hammer and how I swing the hammer. So far so good.

I saw the Neursurgeon today and reviewed my CAT scans and while there is some "tightness" in my neck around C4-C5. There appears to be no damage to the spinal cord itself. The doc says if I'm feeling better that we should just go with that. There is no indicator that it will get any worse as long as I take care of myself and use better forging technique.

I also went downhill skiing yesterday and while my neck aches a bit from a fall, it feels muscular and not nerve like pain.

I want to thank everyone for their help and support!


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  • 4 weeks later...
I get neck problems when I bend over the anvil to get closer to the work and elbow problems if I hold the hammer in a death grip

Hello Jon Jon! :)

I find that I can get a sore thumb & elbow. I suspect it's down to my hammer technique & am looking into adjusting that.
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