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mom23inmo

Wrist Brace When Wedging/throwing?

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mom23inmo    0

Do any of you use a wrist brace when you are wedging or throwing?

 

I'm developing a serious case of tendonitis in my right wrist, and the repetitive, forceful actions of working with clay are increasing the pain and decreasing my productivity.

 

If you do, would you let me know what you've found that works?  I have a regular wrist brace, but the cloth on it doesn't allow me to be able to wedge while wearing it because it leaves deep crevices in the clay, which, in turn, creates air bubbles.

 

I can manage while throwing - but wedging is going to have to come with a timely solution, and I know I can count on you all for any wisdom you can offer.

 

Thanks!

 

Valarie

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Mark C.    1,807

The trick to solving tendonitis is to let it rest up.Then start back slowy

Since my 3 bones where cut out of my wrist(1 1/2 years ago) I rarely ever wedge  much and am always using the other palm/heel to wedge when I have to.

Maybe you do not have to wedge so much or can shift to other wrist more??

Mark

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jrgpots    231

Do any of you use a wrist brace when you are wedging or throwing?

 

I'm developing a serious case of tendonitis in my right wrist, and the repetitive, forceful actions of working with clay are increasing the pain and decreasing my productivity.

 

If you do, would you let me know what you've found that works? I have a regular wrist brace, but the cloth on it doesn't allow me to be able to wedge while wearing it because it leaves deep crevices in the clay, which, in turn, creates air bubbles.

 

I can manage while throwing - but wedging is going to have to come with a timely solution, and I know I can count on you all for any wisdom you can offer.

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

Valarie

There is a video here in ceramics arts daily video bank that talks about using a wedging machine/wedging wire to decrease the wear and tear on the wrist.

 

The link is www.ceramicartsdaily.org/Community/topic/3542-wedging-machine/

 

It might be helpful.

 

Jed

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mom23inmo    0

Wish I could afford a pugmill, but can't.  I've got to figure out a way to get this done.

 

Mark, I'll try shifting the weight more to the left and see what happens.  Thanks for the suggestion!

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clay lover    133

Softer clay ???

 

Wedge with the rocking motion of your body, not the wrists.

 

I thought I could not afford a pugmill, then looked at the cost of carpel tunnel surgery, chiro, massage for pain relief, and the loss of production. Bought it, never wedged again, AND the clay is easier to throw because it is so homogenous. Now I make more pots, better pots and sell more pots and hurt less. and I bet I'm older than you, with a more checkered, (physically stressful )past.

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Denice    243

I use soft clay directly out of the bag any recycled clay is used for hand building, I have had a lot of problems with my wrist since my early 20's.  So I just cut a slice off and slam it around and go for it.  You can find all kinds of exercises on the internet,  I do some for carpal tunnel and tennis elbow, sounds like you need to heal first.  Denice

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I have seen a potter "wedge" by repeatedly slamming the bag of clay on a hard floor. Sometimes I do that before some final wedging by hand.

 

For what it's worth, I found that a lot of the pain and numbness in my hand was actually coming from the front of my shoulder. The more I work my pecs, which wedging and throwing do, the tighter the pecs get across my shoulders, putting pressure on nerves that run to the hand. I had had an EMG and was ready to have carpal tunnel surgery. I happened to come across a website on thoracic outlet syndrome. I started doing the recommended stretching for the pecs, and I also make sure to work my back muscles at the gym. That has relieved the problem for me. IMO, it was a combination of pressure on the nerve in the shoulder and the wrist causing the problem. I imagine surgery on my wrist would have relieved it as it did in my other hand, but I much prefer a non-surgical solution.

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Biglou13    202

Cut and slam. No brace. Pay someone to wedge. ...... If using commerical clay do you really need to wedge. Wedge with feet. Pay someone to wedge. Fix the imbalance in wrists..... See repetitive strain..... I'll bet money your wedging table height puts you at mechanical disadvantage

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Pres    896

I'll bet money your wedging table height puts you at mechanical disadvantage Biglou said it! Many times I have seen wedging tables in studios that are just way too tall. Mine is at my arms length at 30degree angle. this allows me to work with larger pieces of clay wedging pretty easily.  that distance to 4" above and I think you are in good shape

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Stephen    139

Whatever you do, you should really, really avoid trying to 'work' through the pain. IMHO that is the very worst thing to do and most likely will just make it get steadily worst until it fails. Tendons and ligaments, as Mark said, must heal once they are injured, I learned this the hard way with something unrelated to pottery.

 

The cut and slam method Biglou mentioned would really seem like something you should try when it heals. It seems like there was a video on this site but not sure. I will poke around and see if I can find it and will post if I do. It's been a few years but I do remember that a number of respected potters swore by it because they liked the way it conditioned the clay and I think it pretty much eliminates wrist action.

 

I would also re-consider a de-airing pug mill. There are so many things we think we can't afford but when it's an emergency (think car or house repair) we figure it out and your body is the most important thing to take care of. There are used ones that pop up and the new ones have a range. If you re-consider this option remember it needs to be de-airing for it to take the place of wedging (u probably knew that but thought I would mention anyway :-)

 

Hope your wrist is better soon! Maybe you can spend the time your laid up from making pottery to get a youtube degree on some aspect of pottery you have been meaning to research.

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Pyewackette    1

You must let that wrist heal.  And while you're at it, switch to wire wedging.  I learned to wire wedge (sometimes called "Stack and Slam") 40 years ago, and couldn't figure out why people complained so much about wedging - until I saw what they thought wedging was, LOL!

 

You can do it without having a permanently mounted wire at your wedging bench, but having one really makes the whole process even more of a breeze.  I have little arm/hand strength, very limited mobility in both shoulders, bad wrists, AND bad elbows, but wire wedging is limited only by my ability (or lack thereof) for standing.

 

Here are some links to show you what I'm talking about and explain it all:

 

Ceramic Arts Article on Stack & Slam (Michael Wendt)

 

 

Notice that he never kneads the clay.  I never knead the clay either.  I don't hold onto it all the way down like that (pretty sure that would hurt me, LOL!).  Instead I fling it down from however high I can lift it, cut, turn, do it again.  It works just dropping it as well though it takes a bit longer.  It really takes very little effort, other than just having to stand there.  I CAN do it sitting on a stool but I just prefer to stand.  I feel more solid standing to wire wedge.

 

Here's an earlier discussion about this issue.

 

Wire wedge.  It'll be so much easier on your body, I don't know why anybody does it any other way.  But you'll STILL need to let that wrist heal up!

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Kohaku    22

You must let that wrist heal.  And while you're at it, switch to wire wedging.  I learned to wire wedge (sometimes called "Stack and Slam") 40 years ago, and couldn't figure out why people complained so much about wedging - until I saw what they thought wedging was, LOL!

 

 

Totally agree. I've seen a huge reduction in wrist soreness since I started using this method.

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Biglou13    202

i retried the technique as seen in videos.  with some clay that was stiff and some wet  and some normal.  after over 30 folds i still had a few stiff bits in clay when pulling,   resting will solve my issue.

 

i also had a few air bubbles,  ill watch video again and see if im missing something.

 

ps.  +1 on letting wrists heal first.....

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