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RSI Injuries from detecting, has anyone encountered this?

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Post  Black Al Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:27 pm

Hi all I detect full time and have gotten RSI in my right arm, I have done over 8 months detecting thruout last season. I was wondering if anyone else has had any other or similar injuries in their time. I have attached a swing arm to my machine to let both arms take the load now. I search with a 17" NF coil most of the time but for the last 2 months I have had to use a 12x7 coil as this is all I can swing. Does anyone have a similar problem?
Cheers Al.
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Post  Guest Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:44 pm

yep
I detect left handed and my left elbow is getting worse and worse Sad

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Post  Guest Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:01 pm

welcome black al,yeah bud get it at the start of the season,they call it tennis elbow,the little mussel in the elbow can cause some pain more so when swinging bigger coils.i personally have a sports injury massuse that works it out,but im sure other members have better ideas as i only use a bungie cord when on big flats.Smile

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Post  marty Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:05 pm

Hi there, i have trouble in both shoulders when swinging for long periods with anything bigger than 16 inches so i use the hipstick in combination with the easy swing arm !! MARTY

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Post  Black Al Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:43 pm

I notice that when when I use my bungie cord it gives you a sore back, as it leans your shoulder forward. My partner has also noticed that the bungie cord causes her back pain aswell. But since I attached a swing arm it has help her. I stopped using the bungie cord and my back strain was relieved, this was good for about six months until my elbow and forearm started playing up. I wear an elbow brace lately and tried the 14x9 over the last 5 killer hot days and managed to swing for a few hours, but I had to take extra breaks to stretch my arm.
Sounds like aches and pains are a common thing when detecting for extended periods of time?


Last edited by Black Al on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Harb Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:07 am

I get a pain in the arse......seems to be there whenever I go home empty handed
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Post  Black Al Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:21 am

Harb wrote:I get a pain in the arse......seems to be there whenever I go home empty handed


Well looks like your getting something if your arse is sore, just not what you were looking for. Try detecting on your own! Even if you don't find gold at least you can go home with no sore arse. Lol cheers for the laugh.
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Post  kim Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:23 am

Hi Guys

Posture when detecting is extrememly important and it is not something a lot of detectorists think about.

When setting your detector up make sure your back is straight and the detector sits comfortable at your side. If you find you are stretching down or lifting the detector/coil when detecting then extend or shorten the shaft. If you are leaning in whilst detecting you will get bad shoulder and back ache very quickly. The handle position also needs to be placed correctly and your elbow should extend an inch or more out from the armrest. If you place a piece of wide velcro around the upper shaft, between the control box and handle, so it is around your wrist it will also help. If your bungie cord is too short it will pull on your shoulder, positioning the bow knuckle for the bungie cord to attach to the detector shaft is usually at a balance point between the coil and control box. Most people just put it on where ever they feel comfortable.

Linc has done so much detecting he cannot straighten his arm out anymore, it is like it has locked in to detect mode. He is so used to using larger coils that when he put a very small coil on he couldn't use his arm for three days after. I thought this was a bit strange but it obviously repostioned his detector to strain on different muscle areas in his arm.

There are aids to help alleviate discomfort issues. Hip sticks work very well to take a lot of the pressure off the shoulders and back putting the weight on the hips. Swing arms put the other arm into action to share the workload.

Kim
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Post  the-A-man Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:43 am



Thanks for the laugh Harb, i can relate to that. lol Very Happy


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Post  the-A-man Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:47 am

Hi Blackal,
How long have you been detecting? Have you tried using your other hand?


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Post  the-A-man Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:02 am

Hi Kim,
Interesting feedback thanks.


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Post  Black Al Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:17 am

Cheers Kim, ill change the position of my bow knuckle as I had it to far forward from balance point. Ill try the bungie cord option again next time I go out. Hope the quad tours are going great and say hi to all.
Cheers Al.
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Post  freshwater Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:42 am

Gday Al, yer same here but mine is a combination of online gaming using the mouse and detecting.
The bungie cord is a must and in your case i recon its why your elbow has gone belly up so quick, as Kim has stated its most important to get your stance/posture correct and has to readjusted to suit differnet coil weights.
Lot of people just slap the detector together and away they go might be ok for a few hrs but over time it will effect your upper back, shoulder and of course elbow.
The swing you have is a good idea, wish i had got one years ago but sufferd from im not that old i need one attitude more fool me i guess.
Regards
John
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Post  Black Al Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:11 am

the-A-man wrote:Hi Blackal,
How long have you been detecting? Have you tried using your other hand?


the-A-man


I've been detecting for about 4 years now, but only been full time for the past 2years. I did try with my left arm but it felt like learning to ride a bike from scratch. Just been doing other activities with my arm to use other muscles to give the sore ones a bit of a break. I still detect every week, just not every day.
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Post  Guest Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:13 am

Hi All,

Try a second bungy,hook the second bungy's hook into the first and attatch the other end onto the rear strap of the cover of the control box

This takes all the strain away from the shoulder and elbow, i am working on an alternative harness where i only have a one sided strap coming over the shoulder which is connected to the centre lower back and a second brace which comes from the left side, which stops the strap over the shoulder from slipping off

My next trick will be to try a solid strap up the back with a curved top so that no pressure is applied to the top of my shoulder

One thing i can't do is strap myself into one of M/L 's harnesses

The second bungy will actually hold the detector basically in the right position with no hands attached, all you have to do is swing(basically)

Works for me!!,
Ron

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Post  slimpickens Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:22 am

authere wrote:Hi All,

Try a second bungy,hook the second bungy's hook into the first and attatch the other end onto the rear strap of the cover of the control box

This takes all the strain away from the shoulder and elbow, i am working on an alternative harness where i only have a one sided strap coming over the shoulder which is connected to the centre lower back and a second brace which comes from the left side, which stops the strap over the shoulder from slipping off

My next trick will be to try a solid strap up the back with a curved top so that no pressure is applied to the top of my shoulder

One thing i can't do is strap myself into one of M/L 's harnesses

The second bungy will actually hold the detector basically in the right position with no hands attached, all you have to do is swing(basically)

Works for me!!,
Ron
Some great ideas there Ron, any drawings or photos to show exactly how it looks?
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Post  geof_junk Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:28 am

I think we have a class action case here against the manufacture of your detector Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Twisted Evil
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Post  Guest Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:50 am

Like Linc I can only use a small coil in short burst now before the ache sets in. I can swing an 18" all day but an 8" for about 2 hours.

I use a bungy strap where as Linc doesn't nor does he use the fore arm strap

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Post  Guest Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:41 pm

Gday Al, I feel for you mate.
There is nothing more frustrating than having an injury that stops you from doing something you love. Rolling Eyes
I get that same feeling when my back plays up,Im normally buggered for a few weeks until it fixes itself.

For anyone else who has back problems while detecting,maybe look at your posture when your out swinging.
Are you always leaning over slightly to get your coil on the ground? You should be standing bolt upright while detecting,and if your not then maybe look at getting a longer lower shaft.I fixed my dramas by getting a Carbon fibre upper and an extra long lower.

Detector weight can be another factor to arm fatigue. I am not a fan of these aftermarket batteries that are fitted into the cover of the detector....they add extra weight.
It might be only a few hundred grams,but it all adds up at the end of the day.
Next time your in a detector shop,grab a carbon fibre upper shaft and a standard minelab upper shaft and see the weight difference. Again,the Carbon fibre may only be 50-100 grms lighter,but it makes a difference.
Another test...hold your arm out straight,palm side up. You can probably do that for 20 mins no probs.
Now repeat the test with 250 grms balanced on your palm, you may be able to hold it for half the time,if that.

What Kim said about correct bungy position is spot on. If anything,go closer towards the control box as the coil will stay lower due to the pendulum efect.
Maybe also ditch the pissy Minelab Bungy and make your own Heavy duty one. Most of the stuff is available from any good Marine shop.

For others who dont do much physical exercise,maybe look at getting into some weights;something like simple arm curls with a couple of 2kg dumbells.
Build up your lower back strength with sit-ups......it all makes a difference when the detecting season comes around again.

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Post  trianglemal Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:00 pm

Some good advice from Gus and the boys here. Had both elbows go on me with epicondylitis (tennis elbow) over the last 18 months and it has been a fair dinkum bitch of thing. Left elbow went because I went stupid digging some hard ground up home here one day and the right one went out in sympathy after the lefty come good. The first injury came good after lots of remedial massage. The second came good with a lot of massage and dry acupuncture. But its still not right and gets fairly sore after a day out swinging over the ground. Its a bugger in the cold of winter and heat packs helped greatly. The problem in healing is that there is no muscle and not much blood flow to speed up any healing. Takes time. You just have to modify your equipment to get the right comfort factor without overdoing things too much...otherwise you pay for it the next day/s. Excercise and building your core body strength is the key and keeping supple. For 30 yrs it was weight training on and off but now its yoga with the cheese and kissus. Thats what it has come down to. What hope have I got? ...........Elbows gone, shoulder gone, takin tabs for the the Prostate and Colesteral ...but its not gonna beat me from getting out into the bush. No way chum.


My weapon of choice is the 12x7 NF bungy and hipstick and I max out at about 6 hours these days.

good luck out there
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Post  slimpickens Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:11 pm

trianglemal wrote: Thats what it has come down to. What hope have I got? ...........Elbows gone, shoulder gone, takin tabs for the the Prostate and Colesteral ...but its not gonna beat me from getting out into the bush. No way chum.
good luck out there

You reminded me of this for some reason:- Very Happy
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Post  Guest Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:26 pm

G'day all when we start detecting over the west it usually takes a couple of weeks to get back into full swing... Feeling all the above strains and pains, I put it down to being unfit due to not getting out much during the hot weather... I don't wear the harness as I feel it restricts me to much and the bungee is a pain in the bum... My coils of choice are 14"x9", 14"round and 18"x12" and once I am in condition can swing any of them all day with no dramas... My 2 bobs worth...

Cheers.

Mike. cheers

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Post  kim Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:14 pm

Me too, it does take a while to build yourself up after some time out. I use a bungee cord but I clip off the spring part with some snippers so it just hooks on and off easily, it is a pain to unhook it otherwise. Very Happy If you do this don't forget to wrap a bit of tape around it so you don't loose the hook.
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Post  Guest Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:54 pm

Gday

The thing about rsi type injuries is the results can take either months or years to surface, so the smart thing to do is to start to protect yourself from the time you start out, I detected for many many years before such things as hipsticks and lightweight spoked coils so its too late and the damage is done. Mad

Dont be a hero and swing big coils without using a hipstick /bungy cord/swingarm or whatever
you are comfortable using before the damage sets in, you wont realise it is there until its already too late to correct it, the thing is all the things you do in your younger years will surface when you are older, so if you are able to use devices that can protect your body now why wouldnt you want to save yourself some grief in your later years Question

Another tip for the new player is we all seem to get into the habit when detecting to scrape the ground with our boot when something is heard, mostly with a sideways sort of scrape, this can be damaging to the knee joints if like me you do the scrape and encounter a solid buried rock, the leg stops suddenly mid scrape and bends at the knee, when I did this it took almost a year to correct itself until I could walk pain free, it would start to come good but any slip or trip had it flaring up again. Mad

Try to get in the habit of using your heel by placing it over the spot and dragging in back towards you, it feels a bit odd at first but it much easier on the knee joints.

cheers

stayyerAU

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Post  Guest Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:08 pm

thanks for the insight stayyer au,thats exactly what i do with my boot! maybe hook up my bungie more often?but carn,t seem to work up gully banks properly with it on?Smile

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Post  Black Al Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:26 am

Cheers to all the great advice, if you are having dramas working up a gullie, then the swing arm would be the best option I have found. The bungie/ hip stick are great for the flats but as soon as you alter the coil height going up/down gullies, it's either too high( going downhill) & you start fighting with the bungie putting more strain on your shoulder, or when you go uphill the cord is now too long and defeats it purpose.
Looks like we gotta take all the above advice from all the posts as exercise, correct setup of detector for shaft length & bow knuckle position, the correct swing aid for what you are working, even the way you scuff the ground to protect your knees, something I didn't even consider.
All top notch 1st class advice, all too important to oversee even if you haven't had a problem/ injury as of yet if ever. I will be out again in the next few days and will take on all advise from this thread. Thankyou again to all the great members for your time.
Cheers Alan.
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Post  trianglemal Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:37 am

shiraz wrote:
trianglemal wrote: Thats what it has come down to. What hope have I got? ...........Elbows gone, shoulder gone, takin tabs for the the Prostate and Colesteral ...but its not gonna beat me from getting out into the bush. No way chum.
good luck out there

You reminded me of this for some reason:- Very Happy
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Laughing

Bit like that Shiraz.....and I forgot to mention the Heal Pain (Plantar Fasciitis) and wobbly right knee from walkin around all day kicking dirt back into holes. The pain is worse when you get out of bed of a morning or been sitting around . (Orthotics have not made any difference)
So apart from this and my other daily medications I feel fantastic most days.... cheers
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Post  slimpickens Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:49 am

[quote="trianglemal

Bit like that Shiraz.....and I forgot to mention the Heal Pain (Plantar Fasciitis) and wobbly right knee from walkin around all day kicking dirt back into holes. The pain is worse when you get out of bed of a morning or been sitting around . (Orthotics have not made any difference)
So apart from this and my other daily medications I feel fantastic most days.... cheers [/quote]

I'll see your Heal Pain (Plantar Fasciitis) trianglemal, and raise you a triple bypass ! Laughing Cheers Harry
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Post  trianglemal Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:15 am

shiraz wrote:[quote="trianglemal


So apart from this and my other daily medications I feel fantastic most days....

I'll see your Heal Pain (Plantar Fasciitis) trianglemal, and raise you a triple bypass ! Laughing Cheers Harry[/quote]


Sheeeeeeesh!!!! No complaints there in that department Harry. Me tickers good for a while yet I hope. I keep up my daily glass of red fortunately. The only thing that is going to kill me is lack of oxygen.
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Post  cabletie Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:39 pm

I used to get back pains when I started detecting but for some reason it settled down and I dont seem to get them anymore, probably built up the muscles in my back so im used to it i guess. Cheers
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