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Grooming Lifers, Advice please!

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  • Grooming Lifers, Advice please!

    For the past week or so I've been experiencing some cramping/tenderness in the palms of my hands in that fleshy part of the . Gripping onto my clipper, or a dogs leg, even the phone has been a nuisance lately and got me wondering what the heck is going on. I've been grooming for almost 8 years now, am 27 and hate that I'm feeling grooming related aches and pains.

    I plan to do this for the rest of my career. I was wondering, for those of you who have groomed for decades, what advice you had. What tools, or what you might have done differently, or what I should I watch out for and try to prevent. Just anything cause I'm beginning to get peeved at my body for not meeting my expectations.

  • #2
    great post! I'm 26 and am getting worried about this kinda stuff too!

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    • #3
      Well, i have been grooming since i was 13yrs old and am now 26yrs so going on 13 yrs now that i have been grooming and i did not start having problems with my hands untill about 4-5 yrs ago and now every now and then they ache so bad i cant grip anything. Today it was my forearms and my wrist who knows what will be next. Anyway i take aleve for the pain and just suck it up the best i can till my day is done. It sounds like nerve issues and maybe arthrits or even tendonits. As groomers this is what is to be expectied so find what works for temporary releif for you and go on the best you can. You could try soaking them in epsom salt and there are some over the counter pain releif creams that might help. Good luck!!!!!

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      • #4
        Wait till you start having back trouble! HaHa!
        I don't have an answer for you, been grooming 17 years, I just deal with it (the aches & pains)

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        • #5
          Make sure you double check how you are holding onto things. For me, if my hands are sore I notice I will grip things tighter and start flicking my wrist instead of keeping everything in a nice line if that makes sense. You can also try wearing hand braces at night when you sleep or watch tv, sometimes just wearing them for a week or two puts everything back where it needs to be.
          I can tell you that not only has grooming been hard on my hands, but I did break the bursa in both of my elbows weedeating, that took 2 years to heal and the right one can still be tender at times. Weedeating is just hard on the arms, let the men do it, lol.
          Dull shears can do it too.
          Another thought, it is spring and a lot of people are getting out of the house and enjoying the weather, yard work and such, we had a rough winter here, so its been awesome to be out.
          hope that helps.

          I get accupunture and massage every couple weeks, huge difference.

          Oh and get help when you need it, grooming that is, I had the 'I can do it myself' attitude for 20 years now, wish I had listened years ago when they said ask for help if you need it. Although the first shop I worked at, no one would help each other, was weird now that I look back, everyone would watch you struggle to pick up a dog and if you had a bad one (before Chuck invented Groomer's Helper) you were on your own, they would all stand and watch you fight to the death, we did not have muzzles, we had pantyhose and no idea how to use them effectively, we learned how to hang on thats for sure, oh and then the owner would get mad because all the commotion was making her dog nervous and she was behind. Sound like fun? LOL Anyway, if you do not have one, invest in the Groomers Helper. It is sooooo worth it!
          You can get the braces at Walmart or whatever major pharmacy you have like CVS or Walgreens, thats what we have.
          Accupuncture and massage, a lot of Chiropractors offer all in their clinics or start asking clients if they have ever had either service done and if they could give you the name of their massage therapist and/or accupunturist. Hope thats a word, lol.

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          • #6
            just wait until they go numb and start tingling!

            I've been grooming 20 years; I'm sure I have carpal tunnel but have never gone for that specific issue. Bad shoulder, cat bite, cutting myself with shears I have gone to the dr. for. The one less thing I have to acknowledge, the happier I am in my own perfect little bubble.
            ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
            Apparently common sense isn't all that common
            *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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            • #7
              Try differnt lighter tools, make sure you are not "gripping' hold everything lightly,let the clippers do the work, not you pushing they shpuld glide easy.
              ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~

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              • #8
                Ahh yes, the numb and tingling. The back pain, a ready supply of icepacks and clients asking why you have a hump on your lower back (icepack in the pants), LOL.
                I hate taking any kind of meds, so I use ice, accupunture and massage therapy.
                My numb arms were waking me when I sleep (duh, usually waking follows sleeping, LOL, a redundant statement, LOL). My first accupuncture treatment and they quit going numb, I am a believer!
                I now have some issue with my neck and hip. My neck muscles are soo tight I cannot get them to relax, chiro treatments are helping, along w/accu, but my hip is aggravated all the time, sometimes when I step or turn my leg a certain way I get nerve pain raidating up or down my leg and it feel like there is a rock in my shoe on the inside edge of my right heel close to the arch. I am thinking bone spur but chiro thinks its sciatic.
                I love grooming! Seriously I do, even through all the aches and pains, lol

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                • #9
                  18 yrs grooming here .
                  I avoid clippers that vibrate alot I love the power of Laube clippers but I have found them to vibrate too much for my comfort levels My hands go numb within a few minutes of use also avoid,heavy scissors be sure they fit your hands comfortably and are well balanced, thin handles on combs or brushes My fav combs and brushes had very thin handles such as my hartz cat comb (its ancient) but I love the perfect spacing for all coats ( I wrapped the handle with a thick foam type tape then bandage tape to fit my hand perfectly) some people say the handle looks like a dead mouse lol.the hair has stuck to it lol..my poodle comb also I have wrapped the handle with duct tape to fit my hands. I have found thicker handles on these items have lessened the cramping in my hands

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                  • #10
                    Sounds like carpal tunnel. Take naproxen sodium OTC. Hold scissors and clippers properly every time. If it still a concern, go to the doctor. Your hands are your livelihood. You would be out awhile if you had surgery and then therapy.

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                    • #11
                      I've been grooming 30 years , I sit when I groom ( most of the time ) which is why I still have a back , I also thought I was getting carpal tunnel until I went to a chiropractor for something else and after he adjusted my neck my hands got better . Now I go once a month , and a massage once a month , makes a real difference

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                      • #12
                        Sorry but it does NOT sound like CT, not at all. Pain in that part of the palm, at the base of the , can be arthritis or it can be hyperextension of the . I have had both. Try holding things that do not stretch the . Keep the straighter and if you want to you can wrap the base of the to stablize it. WHen I was haging hyperextension issues even driving would do it. Sometimes the ligaments work their way through the joint, which causes lots of pain and it gets worse with pressure and overuse.

                        PM me if you want the wrapping diagram I have for how to stabilze that joint. If it helps then you know what to do. You can also buy a brace at most drug stores that supports and realigns the basal joint. You want to stop it before surgery is needed. BEEN THERE. HAD THE SURGERY. Need it on the other hand.......
                        <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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                        • #13
                          I had the exact same problem...my grip got so bad that you couldn't even press down on the muscle; it was rock hard! What saved me was I started budgeting monthly full body massages and a simple hand massage every other week. The first time my masseuse did me she had to spend two hours on just my s to loosen them up.

                          For me, it's not my scissoring or my equipment-though that gets messed up too-but my real problem is gripping with my . When I have to fight a dog (say, holding it's foot for nails and it starts thrashing while I'm holding) that is really what gets me. I also do not go bowling anymore and try to avoid activities that require a lot of wrist or arm movement. There go my days of piano playing and badminton, at least for hours on end, but I'd rather groom for as long as I can.

                          It was important to me that my masseuse not only be trained in massage therapy, but in physical therapy as well. It seemed to help a bit more than other massages.

                          Going to the chiropractor is important as well. Wrestling with big dogs tend to put you out of alignment. This helps save your back if you start before you get pain.

                          That's the best info I can give you...lots of preventative maintenence, good and light equipment, utilize doctors, avoid activities that can potentially hurt you, and most importantly, I DO NOT lift over 35 lbs by myself!! EVER! Even though I can. Maybe that's playing it too safe for some, but grooming is really important to me and I don't want to jeopardize myself seeing as I only have one body! I also use ear plugs and a breathing mask, officially making me the dorkiest looking EVAR when I groom, but if it saves me grief I'm gonna do it.
                          There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

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                          • #14
                            I have been grooming for about 8 years now and have the sore hands and hard to grip things problems too. I just bought a pair of the new Andes 5 speed clippers because they are so much lighter than my old Andes clippers and it really seems to make a difference at the end of the day. I also get regular chiro adjustments to help with the shoulder and back pain. The ice pack tucked in the pants waistband, I thought I was the only one who did that! I also have a heating pad that I put on my back when driving from house to house so I can alternate cool and heat on the bad back days. Aleve works great for me and Aspercream on my shoulders and back.

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                            • #15
                              Oh boy!

                              I have only been grooming 3 years and I am going thru this RIGHT NOW!! First thing, find yourself a doctor that specializes in hands, arms and elbows! I had cramping in my /hand and could barely hold onto clippers let alone a gallon of milk. I couldn't lift anything and it was always going numb and tingling. Turns out the symptoms in my hand were coming from my neck/shoulder area. It's called thoracic outlet syndrome and is common in professions where one arm/hand is used more over the other. On top of that I have a compressed neck and upper back. Physical therapy and massage have been the only things that have helped me at all, and it took me almost a year to get a proper diagnosis. SO do not just write off your symptoms as grooming "side effects" because they may be fixable instead of dealable.

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