“How you can beat aches and pains if you love doing pottery”



by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit




If you love throwing pots, you know the satisfaction that comes from creating something from the heart.

After you get the pot off the wheel and it’s been glazed... and put on the shelf with your other works. The problem is... being at the pottery wheel can also lead to PAIN!

Pottery is a set up for neck pain. The long hours spent hunched over the workbench and wheel as well as any time spent extending (bending your head back) can lead to neck strain. This causes muscle aches in the neck and shoulders. You can also bet headaches. So what do you do? Well, first, recognize that this is going to happen if you don’t take frequent breaks particularly if you hold your head in one position for a long time. It’s a good idea to stretch before and after your pottery sessions.

Your shoulders can also hurt. When you work with your arms held in one position… and especially if you work with your arms above shoulder level, you can run into a problem called impingement syndrome. This is when your rotator cuff tendons get pinched. It’s a common problem. Specific stretching exercises for the shoulder before and after you engage in your pottery session should help. Also, make sure you take frequent breaks. Ice packs after you work sometimes help with the pain as do over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines.

Elbow pain is a common problem after any type of repetitive arm motion. Using the wheel, glazing, and using your tools can lead to painful condition called lateral epicondylitis. This is a type of tendonitis that affects the outside part of the elbow. Stretching before you work can help as can stretching and ice after you work. Anti-inflammatory medicines, an elbow band, and physical therapy also can help. You may need a cortisone injection.

Hand and wrist pain is another common problem. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where the median nerve into the hand gets pinched. This causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand. Treatment consists of physical therapy, a splint, and sometime injecting with steroid. In some instances, surgery is required. Different forms of tendonitis can also develop after pottery sessions. You can get trigger finger where the finger seems to stick. A painful tendonitis of the thumb can also be a result of pottery.

Low back pain can come on from standing too long in one place or by lifting and carrying heavy articles. Make sure you lift with your legs. You may need to go down on one knee before you lift. Keep your back straight and your head up. Test the item you’re going to lift before you lift it. Don’t twist. Stretch before you start your session and also afterward. Use ice packs if you strain your back. Over the counter medication can sometimes help also. See your doctor if the pain is severe or doesn’t go away within a day or two.

Knee pain can result if you’re not careful when you squat. Be careful not to go down too long or with too much weight.

Wear comfortable shoes to protect your ankles and feet.



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