How are you guys doing with your knees? Especially the older guys--do you have any good tips or secrets for preserving your knees, not getting injured, etc.? I'm almost 41, and have been doing this trade for about 13 years. I'm in pretty good shape overall, and have always done well with physical work, even before electrical. My knees were always in pretty good shape, but over the last few years I've wrecked them at work. If I put any weight on them kneeling, they start aching and they get messed up for a few days or longer. I really trashed them earlier this week doing a lot of work in a tight crawl space. I was wearing rubber knee pads at the time, something I started a couple years ago after a particularly bad job I was on. So do any of you guys wear pads, or do you just try to avoid that kind of work, or what? Even in new commercial construction there is a fair amount of work that requires installing wire and equipment down low, it's almost unavoidable. And re-wires seem to have tons of it. Any good tips would be appreciated.
I blew out one knee in 71, had it opened and the acl repaired. In 92 I damaged the other one, but just had it scoped. Since then, they were always flareing up. It got so bad I had to stop walking my way to work (less than 1 mile), stopping 1/2 way, relaxing, the I could continue. Finally got fed up with talking ibuprofen in large doses, so I went to my doctor. He put me on VIOXX, which helped, but raised my blood pressure. Switch to BEXTRA (50mg a day), blood pressure down, and I can even jog a little now.
Great stuff BEXTRA, no side effects, I have even changed from once a day to every other day, and supplement it with Glucosamene/Chondrotin tablets (2) every day.
I still get sore after a day's hard work, but soreness goes away rapidly.
To all you young guys and gals, be nice to your knees while you'r young, and take as much caution as you can when working where damage is possible.
To all you older guys/gals with bad knees, talk to your doctor about BEXTRA & G/C, makes lifes' pains a little easier to take!
I'm 29. I've been eeking and creeking since I was 16. My friends used to tease me and say I acted like an old man. Overall I'm in pretty good shape, but I've had problems with my back, wrists, and a little with my knees.
As far as the knees are concerned: CRW, you've got to be mechanically minded being in the trades and all. The knee is poorly designed to be used as a peer or footing to support the weight of your body, not to mention any excess weight. When you say:
put any weight on them kneeling, they start aching and they get messed up for a few days or longer
I feel your pain. I've been told from many fitness training type people that when ever the knee is bent more than 90 degrees, it puts tremendous stress on the joint, especially under load (weight training or working hard). Just going into a squat for putting outlets in can stress them, moreso if you carry a heavy load (tools or belly). I used to get razzed for sitting at each outlet, but now I'm the boss, so it doesn't matter anymore.
I avoid straining my knees as much as possible. I bought a creeper for one job ($30) but I know most attics and crawls aren't a smooth hard surface. The one I got is a seat on wheels and you can put tools and parts on a small platform right below and slightly in front of you.
Also I've found that by exercising, my aches aren't as bad. For knees try something low impact like cycling. Set the seat so on the down stroke your knee is still barely bent so you don't hyper extend (lock). You need to increase blood flow to the effected area to promote healing.
I like the pads idea. I should probably pick some up.
My only other suggestion would be to get a helper and do more pointing.
Re: sore knees#34470 02/13/0408:57 AM02/13/0408:57 AM
...I have a torn miniscus ligament in the right knee,and 3 herniated discs,..(2)lumbar,and (1) thoracic..[sp?] I creak and groan like an old suspension bridge,but I'm still goin'..at 41....out of sheer laziness,I don't wear knee-pads,...I know I should tho'.. AR
.."if it ain't fixed,don't break it...call a Licensed Electrician"
Re: sore knees#34471 02/13/0411:17 AM02/13/0411:17 AM
I am 46 and have had that built in barometer for about 5 years now .when the knees ache I know it is going to rain within 48 hours. I wonder if knee pads would have helped when I was younger.Now I see that there is a small stool with wheels that I would like to get for those low receptacles installs.
For resi. work I use a seat type garage creeper; has tray under seat for devices;on rough-in, great for 'making up' receptacle boxes,putting them in @ finish.Some times ya' got to clear the floors some,but it does save the knees.About $25 at wal-mart.BTW I'll be 50 on Monday.
My knees are starting to play up on me these days. The thing that really hurts them is kneeling on trusses and ceiling members while installing wiring and junction boxes in roof voids. I've tried knee pads, but when I nearly fell through a ceiling after the pad slipped on the timber, I gave up on using them. There must be a better way.
Well , I 've just been looking through all of the post on here an came upon this one . I use rubber knee pads and I'm 53. Still crawling in those tight spaces too. anyway ..... just thought I would reply to this.