Hand Cramps -- "The Claw"

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flashlight

Senior Member
Location
NY, NY
Other 20+ yr. wire twisters: Do you get hand cramps after/during days of making up splices/terminations in disconnects, j-boxes, panels etc. ?

What helps ? Glucosamine ? Bananas ? Time Off ?

Would welcome any insight on this.
 

walkerj

Senior Member
Location
Baton Rouge
I am 25 years old but I have the hands of a grandpa:grin:

Lotion and hand massages keep me going strong, but the cold makes it so much harder to deal with the pain.:mad:
 

220/221

Senior Member
Location
AZ
I notice it more when I get dehydrated. I've had hand cramps so bad that I could no longer hold a screwdriver.

At 58, my solution is to cuss, shake it off, take a drink and plow through.
 

KevinVost

Senior Member
Location
Las Vegas
I had contact with an electrcian recently and he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome after some 25+ years in the trade. He told his doc that he was unable to hold tools for long periods of time and would get real bad cramps during work and rest. He is scheduling surgery to correct it sometime in the near future. I hope this is not your case but you may want to get a check up.
 

fondini

Senior Member
Location
nw ohio
Carpal tunnel sucks, if your hands turn blue,black then red as they warm up[and hurt like hell] you could have Raynaulds Syndrome. This really sucks,trust me I know. Takes blood work and someone looking for it to find.I am cursed with this.Cold weather effects it most and you feel it in all joints. Our hands are a big part of our livelyhood so take care of em.
 

nakulak

Senior Member
apple juice. beats the crap out of bananas. in a pinch try a teaspoonful of applecider vinegar (used to keep a bottle in my truck). get the right tools (wirenut spinner, offset screwdriver etc)
 

petey_c

Member
220/221 I notice that the claw/cramps happen more often when I'm dehydrated. Too many diuretics; coffee, caffeinated drinks, beer (after work) and not enough hydration. I take potassium and magnesium supplements and a multivitamin every day. I also drink Gatorade G2. It has all the electrolytes of regular Gatorade but with less calories. My wife says I should eat better, more veggies, etc.. It's hard enough to eat while driving to the next job. When I got really bad, I'd wake up in the middle of the night with severe leg cramps. This getting old stuff sucks. pete
 

Howard Burger

Senior Member
Flashlight, we're about the same vintage, and 220/221 is correct - hydration will help offset cramping. I notice that late in the shift is when I have the most problems with my hands not wanting to work. Also, for me anyway, when my attitude goes south, I know I need to take a drink (of water - don't use the other stuff), and it really helps.

I've used glucosamine for a couple of years, and it took probably six months before I noticed my shoulder wasn't hurting any more, but it didn't do anything for hand cramps.

Last, be sure to use gloves or some sort of vibration dampener when you use a roto-hammer - I'm real obnoxious to the juniors about that, and hearing protection (I SAID, HEARING PROTECTION!) lest they end up like me, deaf and cranky.
 

AV ELECTRIC

Senior Member
apple juice. beats the crap out of bananas. in a pinch try a teaspoonful of applecider vinegar (used to keep a bottle in my truck). get the right tools (wirenut spinner, offset screwdriver etc)
Wow didn't know it worked for cramps I gargle with vinegar when i get a slight soar throat and it seems to go away and no cold what a great product ps it takes some time getting used to
 

nakulak

Senior Member
Wow didn't know it worked for cramps I gargle with vinegar when i get a slight soar throat and it seems to go away and no cold what a great product ps it takes some time getting used to
I used to work with a farmer/HVAC guy, and he made me try it one time cause I was getting cramps, otherwise I would never have believed it, but cramps go away in about 60 sec with the apple cider vinegar (supposedly it has a lot of potassium in it and it metabolizes quickly)
 

AV ELECTRIC

Senior Member
I used to work with a farmer/HVAC guy, and he made me try it one time cause I was getting cramps, otherwise I would never have believed it, but cramps go away in about 60 sec with the apple cider vinegar (supposedly it has a lot of potassium in it and it metabolizes quickly)
If i can find something that doesn't involve pills ime on board ill try it on my next cramp episode
 

mivey

Senior Member
I get the occasional finger or thumb cramp, but it goes away if i press my hand flat on a table.
I've tried the flexing stuff but it is just temporary and the claw gets progressively worse. My only "fix" is to swap to a different task for a while and come back to the current task later. I can not effectively turn a screwdriver using the side of my thumb as a clamp...I've tried.

I am willing to try the hydration, cider vinegar, and banana/potassium suggestions so thanks for those. I tend to get dehydrated when working so it kind of makes sense. The only thing I have used vinegar for in the past was to keep from getting red bugs.
 
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