View Full Version : My hands swell, tingle, go numb, and contract at night. Carpal Tunnel syndrome?

Dec. 17, 2012, 12:13 PM
So I've been building standards and XC jumps this past 3 months.
I was good for the 1st three or so XC jumps (been building them since Thanksgiving) but now I'm in major pain.

When I sit down to watch TV at night my fingers start to tingle.
When I wake up in the morning my thumb, index finger, and middle finger on both hands are fat and numb. My whole hand is fat but those fingers are scary fat.
Further progression leads to a contracted palm on my right hand.
Once I'm up and moving around--and all day long--I'm fine.

what I have done:
I have a wrist/thumb brace for each hand that I wear to bed.
I use foam tape and pressure tape those 6 fingers in hopes to keep some of the swelling down.
**This does help.

This morning I woke up very early in sooo much pain. I got up and walked it out.
Then went back to bed and hung my right arm off the side of my mattress (no brace or foam tape at this time)--that helped with the pain but I woke up really fat and really contracted.
So obviously it did not do wonders for swelling.

I'm taking Naproxin and Ibuprofen Topically I started using Volterin Gel and Capsaicin.
(side note: Capsaisin cream is the devil's tool)

I'm not sure there is much else I can do. Right now I have to control the computer mouse on the chair next to me because when I lift my right hand to the table it starts to tingle. Down low it recovers. This is a new issue as of today. :mad:

Is there anything else I can do? Is this just me and I have to live with it?

I'm having BLAST making jumps though!!!!
No way I'm going to stop because I LOVE MAKING THEM but as soon as I finish this order I will slow down in frequency. Hopefully that will help my hands. : (

I did an UL and LL skinny last week and this weekend.


here are my others:


Dec. 17, 2012, 12:14 PM
oh! I should add--
on a normal daily basis when I talk on the phone my right hand goes numb...
(so when ever my elbow is bent I have issues)
And also if I cross my legs my toes go numb. So the numbness is not unusual just the product of age I guess.

Jane Honda
Dec. 17, 2012, 12:28 PM
Oh, wow! Those are really nice looking!

I have the same issues, although not as bad. I have over a foot.of titanium in my spine. I broke my back almost 7 years ago and have numb spots all over my body. My arms go numb, my legs go numb when I sit on the floor. Or sit with them straight out in front of me.

I betcha you've pinched a nerve in your back. Certain areas of the spine branch out and co.tell other areas in your body.

I would go see a chiropractor or general practitioner asap.

silver pine
Dec. 17, 2012, 12:47 PM
Your jumps are lovely, Your symptoms are not. Numbness and tingling are not a normal part of aging they are often a sign of compression on a nerve. The question is where is the nerve being compressed, at the carpal tunnel, at the elbow or up in the neck. The fact that you have lower extremity symptoms would make the neck my first target. The physical swelling of your hands is also concerning.
I'm not a physician but I am a physical therapist and treat symptoms like yours often. You need to get yourself to your primary care for a real work up to ensure there is nothing funky going on. Did I mention your jumps are lovely??

Dec. 17, 2012, 12:56 PM
I have many friends who have the same issues with numbness when doing things like talking on the phone, or sleeping with an arm above their head.
It happens when the elbows are bent as far as they can go for a period of time.

Austin Rider
Dec. 17, 2012, 12:58 PM
Nice jumps, but not worth risking your long-term soundness. At minimum, you need to rest your hands/wrists/arms, but really, you need to visit a doctor to determine if this is carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerve in neck, or what...

Dec. 17, 2012, 01:06 PM
Go to a doc.....but carpal tunnel is made worse by 'gripping actions' (ie hammering). So you NEED to take a BREAK. Depending upon the degree there are exercises to help with it, or surgery.

Dec. 17, 2012, 01:14 PM
It's the drilling.
Dang deck screws are pretty thick and hard to drill.

Dec. 17, 2012, 01:16 PM
carpal tunnel for sure. i have the same thing and it is exaggerated by using shovels etc holding lunge whips and a bunch of other stuff.

what works really well is anti inflammatory and wearing wrist braces at night and during the day when it is really bad.

what you might also try - which works really well for me - is to use vet wrap to warp my wrists hand to stabilize my wrists. this works very well. if interested i can find pics of how i wrap.

here (http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&rlz=1C1LAVG_enUS455US455&biw=1076&bih=811&tbm=isch&tbnid=A_q_fW_boQRzWM:&imgrefurl=http://www.indiamart.com/health-care-wellness/ortho-care-products.html&docid=ka-2h3RjG-5JpM&imgurl=http://2.imimg.com/data2/YE/HR/MY-3815358/lp-726-wrist-wrap-250x250.jpg&w=250&h=250&ei=-VPPUPrcHs7migKkioCYCw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=835&vpy=496&dur=2756&hovh=200&hovw=200&tx=115&ty=126&sig=105021753448489758135&page=3&tbnh=143&tbnw=137&start=64&ndsp=35&ved=1t:429,r:91,s:0,i:368)is an image of how i wrap my wrists - this is not vet wrap but it shows you the places i wrap

the braces i wear at night have metal bars on the wrist side to keep my hands/wrists stable at night..

i suggest both. and also ice/rest/wraps to bring the inflammation down.

good luck!

Dec. 17, 2012, 01:30 PM
yup. Because of this thread I started a google search for carpal tunnel.

I found this little bit:
In the Tinel test, the doctor taps on or presses on the median nerve in the patient's wrist. The test is positive when tingling in the fingers or a resultant shock-like sensation occurs.

By right wrist is absolutely positive for this.
My left hand is OK.

This is the first day my right hand and forearm have remained funny feeling and cold.

are these a rip off?

Now that I'm figuring some things out--I kinda feel like I need a DMSO wrap or something to decrease inflammation.

As for medical help, unfortunately I am currently unemployed and have a low cost temporary insurance that really doesn't allow for much. I don't remember when I get in the form of Doc visits and it doesn't pay for prescriptions.

I'll take a break--errrrr--or just build 1 jump a week instead of dishing out 10 hours a day on them. I'll reduce it to 3 or so hours daily.

If I'm not making jumps then I have nothing to do. : (
And on top of that I'm traveling around body clipping horses!
Clipmasters are swell for the issue as well. (pardon the pun)


Dec. 17, 2012, 01:34 PM
take a look at my post - i give you several things you can do to minimize the pain/inflammation - i have managed mine on my own for years.....

wrapping is *critical* for sure - use vet wrap.

Dec. 17, 2012, 01:44 PM
are these a rip off?

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Haven't bought wrist splints in years but they are less expensive than that. Carpal tunnel can be manged to a point. I found the surgery a "No Problem". But had the second hand done in summer. It's a nuisance fitting gloves and heavy coats over the bandages you need initially.

Dec. 17, 2012, 01:48 PM
Sounds like Carpal tunnel too.....I had it pretty bad in both wrists during college.

But go to a doctor. If it is carpal tunnel.....ice, wrist braces and anti inflammatories help a bit. But really severe cases need surgery. I didn't use the things you posted but the bigger wrist braces. Made a big difference....and being very aware of how I was positioning my hands.

Mine is a lot better...but braiding horses brings it back full force....

ETA: sorry, just saw the lack of medical. Get the basic wrist brace from CVS or the drug store. The ones with a piece of metal in them and that you velcro on.

Wear them at night and as much as you can. ICE ICE ICE.....take lots of breaks when you are building or clipping and make sure you do not have your wrist in an odd position. I managed mine for a long time. Surpass might help a bit too if you have some for your horse. It is the imflammation that causes the pain.

Dec. 17, 2012, 01:48 PM
Sure sounds like carpal tunnel to me. Alternatively some pulled/tight muscles in the neck/traps/paraspinals can cause de facto nerve root "compression" even if the spine is OK.

Ibuprofen or naproxen in high doses can cause significant fluid retention in some individuals, and the carpal tunnel is an anatomical area with NO TOLERANCE for extra fluid. So NSAIDs can actually make it worse.

Cock-up wrist splints worn at night are probably your best bet, along with backing way off the manual work. Neutral wrist splints are more comfortable but take less pressure off the carpal tunnel.

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:00 PM
Ibuprofen or naproxen in high doses can cause significant fluid retention in some individuals, and the carpal tunnel is an anatomical area with NO TOLERANCE for extra fluid. So NSAIDs can actually make it worse.

Cock-up wrist splints worn at night are probably your best bet, along with backing way off the manual work. Neutral wrist splints are more comfortable but take less pressure off the carpal tunnel.

Interesting concerning the NSAIDs!

this is what I'm wearing now:
(but maybe they are not as long in the wrist section as the one pictured.

Cock-ups I see are much longer through the wrist..

but they do not incorporate the thumb. Though it seems through what I've learned from everyone and from google is that the issue comes from a nerve in the wrist--so I don't need to worry so much about my thumb but make sure it's my wrist that is best stabilized?

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:03 PM
This is what I used


And yes, it is more about the wrist not your thumb.

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:08 PM
Another helpful tip is to wrap the handles of your tools and clippers! I use vet wrap. Give you a better grip so you don't have to hold so tightly. I have the handles to my manure fork , shovels, clippers, even the wood back brushes are coated so they are not so slippery. Helps a lot.

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:11 PM
That is a thumb spica splint, great for gamekeeper's thumb or what-not. Minimally useful for CTS as it would still allow partial assumption of the fetal position during sleep. Which is what we all do and why we wake up numb and tingly. :)

Get the cock-ups. :yes:

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:13 PM
And YES, padded handles on tools--just to change the grip slightly--can also help. If you MUST use tools and have a couple of different sizes and styles with different handles that can help.

And believe it or not, think about what you're eating. See above about the carpal tunnel's tolerance for fluid--how is your salt intake? :)

Flying Ponies
Dec. 17, 2012, 02:14 PM
I had carpal tunnel in both wrists for years. Eventually got so painful I couldn't sleep and so numb that I lost feeling in my hands while riding and driving, and ..... I ended up having the surgery on both wrists. I can tell you the pain is gone which is nice, but I don't have the strength or dexterity I used to have prior to surgery.

I would say do your best to get everything to calm down and avoid surgery !

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:14 PM
The vibration of the drill and of the clippers are contributing, as well as the gripping. Chain saw and weed-eater are what got me. Be sure you include icing in your treatment. It's a bitch to wake up at night and have to dunk your arm in an ice bath, but it will help. Absolutely the worst pain I've ever felt in my life, that waking up at night. I've since had both carpal tunnels released; very little residual issues though I'm now starting to notice some weakness ~12 years later, but I'm getting up in years also. And some nerve dammage to my left thumb which can be a real bother, but I think that's my fault for doing too much, too soon after the second surgery.

Desert Topaz
Dec. 17, 2012, 02:17 PM
It's something you really should see a doctor for, but I understand the not having insurance. I thought I just had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (similar to CT, but affects the other fingers.) Turns out I have all sorts of nerve crap in my neck and get to look forward to neck surgery in the future. I had to figure out what activities I do that just make me hurt a bit and which ones I'll regret because they make me non-functional for days/weeks. I don't do the latter ones. Alas, one of those activities is grooming horses, but I can ride and muck.

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:27 PM
I've dealt with repetitive strain injuries for the last 20+ yrs. Lots of PT, massage chiro etc. I was fortunate that I had a doctor who told PT to "look higher" even though all my symptoms were in my hands so I never had surgery. The best thing I did was 6 months with a myofacial release practicioner. (I was told to make sure they had studied the John Barnes technique). (She is also a licensed Physical Therapist so insurance even picked up some of the tab)! She basically changed my entire posture and worked out all the "crap". Not sure why it worked, but I was at the point where traditional PT actually made it worse, not better. (Yes, second time I was fired from PT). It's been 2 months since my last treatment and I still feel great and can even sleep on my side without waking up to tingling hands.

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:33 PM
Got it! thank you guys so much.
1. I will go out and buy the large braces right away. I think I'm at the point where I need to wear one on my right wrist all day too until symptoms start to go away.

2. I will also slow down big time on the jump building. I wanted to push through it and get the last 6 done but if there is a chance I could permanently ruin myself I'd rather finish the last ones up very slowly.

3. I will wrap everything!!
I have some horses to clip this week but that is ALL I will do.
I won't start drilling again until I can wake up and not be in tears or running around my house like I'm on fire. --and even then, I'll take it slow.

4. My salt is super. I'm allergic (anaphylaxis) to heavy salt preservatives therefore I have very little for taste for salt in general. I'm a very bland eater. I'm not allergic to sugar though! nom nom nom.

5. I will remember NOT to pick my nose after applying Capsaicin to my hands.
(or like last night--duh Kristen, apply facial cream BEFORE Capsaicin..OMG)

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:47 PM
5. I will remember NOT to pick my nose after applying Capsaicin to my hands.
(or like last night--duh Kristen, apply facial cream BEFORE Capsaicin..OMG)

Also...don't put anything with Capsaicin in after taking a hot bath. Yeah...that really hurt too!!!! I now avoid that stuff if at all possible.

Dec. 17, 2012, 02:58 PM
I had the start of carpal tunnel (I'm only 22) due to my job (data entry). If it's just your hands, wrist, lower arm etc. I can see it being mainly carpal tunnel.

However, your spine or neck could be out of alignment. From my experience (I am not a doctor or in any medical related field) most doctors are more than happy to prescribe something, which doesn't fix the issue. Maybe go see a chiropractor, in addition to your doctor, and see what he/she has to say.

I had to stop seeing my chiro for the last month due to time constraints with work and school and boy have I been in pain. Even my carpal tunnel symptoms, which started to go away, have started to come back.

ETA: Absolutely beautiful jumps!

Dec. 17, 2012, 05:47 PM
most doctors are more than happy to prescribe something, which doesn't fix the issue


"Most doctors" also realize that to "fix" something is often a lot to ask, when many problems, like this one, are hugely multifactorial; never mind the fact that if one's livelihood depends on using one's hands, asking the sufferer to "just stop working" is unrealistic. Although that might actually "fix the issue". At which point other options need to be entertained. Most doctors face reality--not everything behaves perfectly and goes away politely with minimal to no intervention.

I would also offer that most chiropractors make promises they can't really keep, and take a lot of credit for things that just get better anyway. Yet I still send people to chiropractors if I think that's what they need, or to *gasp* doctors when that is called for.

Sorry for bristling. Been doing a lot of imperfect stuff today, and haven't fixed a damn thing. :sigh:

silver pine
Dec. 17, 2012, 05:59 PM
I'm going to Bristle at this one too. As a physical therapist I have huge issues with "alignment" as a concept. If your neck was out of "alignment" you would have much larger problems than what seems like a radiculopathy. If after 4 weeks of stopping treatment your symptoms are returning I would assert that while the interventions are keeping the symptoms at bay, you are not "fixing them"

I'm not anti-chiropractors, there are great chiro's and terrible chiro's, same goes for PT's, MD's and Vets for that matter. But if you need consistent treatment to "fix" a problem are you really "fixing it".

Deltawave is 100% on point. Task modifications that the patients can live with are going to be far more successful "than don't to that".

Rant over.

Dec. 17, 2012, 08:29 PM
yup, it's true.
I went to a medical supply store and bought two pressure gloves. They didn't have the glove I needed in my size though so I have to go back tomorrow for the righty and they ordered the lefty. The right is the bad hand so at least I'll have something for it tomorrow night.

I also have 8" braces now. The right I am wearing 24/7 at this time.
I'm still going to work but very very slowly and always with braces.

And honestly, as bad as some people may think it is--I'm going to put a DMSO wrap on my right wrist while I watch TV tonight.

I talked to a friend of mine who sells all of the goodies needed for woman who have been through breast cancer....
He has a pressure pump and if I don't find relief with the gloves then he is going to bring a pressure pump by for me to try.

I have horses to clip after Christmas and I have jumps to finish. I'll do it as smarty as possible--I still have to work. And right now I have no other way of income.
And I'm a doer. Not doing will drive me mad. And also possibly end the world.

thank goodness I asked COTH! I would have never suspected carpal tunnel. NEVER.

thank you all so very much!

Dec. 17, 2012, 10:57 PM
Serious carpel tunnel! I wore braces non stop through HS and college. I can control it now (no more writing) and my lap top alleviated my typing symptoms for some reason. Texting makes it hurt...

Remember my fb post the other day offering to give a free lesson to whoever drilled my jump standard holes bigger? I'd been putting it off for three years because I knew I'd be crippled after doing it. I can't turn a door knob after weed eating/drilling/screw drivering.

Dec. 17, 2012, 11:01 PM
I caution you, as an occupational therapist, not to take advice from a forum on your nerve health. Without a full evaluation you won't know where the nerve compression is located. You do not wear the same brace for every impingement and you may be worsening your symptoms depending. Also, most store bought braces are not formed exactly as they should be worn and a PT or OT would be able to help you adjust it and wear schedule.

Most outpatient rehab clinics offer free consults that I would check into in the hopes that I could have a greater understanding of what is going on and treatment. The clinic may also be able to offer you a sliding scale payment.

In regards to your numbness, imagine your nerve is a hose. When you kink a hose the water flow decreases or altogether stops, if you quickly unkink it the flow continues. The next time you use the hose, it's likely to rekink in the same location. Over time the kink is visibly more noticeable and takes more effort to undo. Eventually even unkinked the flow is decreased. This is essentially what is happening to your nerves. Blocking your elbows and wrists from flexion at night can help but I'd really recommend finding a clinic that offers a consult or screening.

Dec. 17, 2012, 11:29 PM
When I worked in a warehouse and moved a lot of boxes my hands would fall asleep at night and it would wake me up. It happened to pretty much everyone there - maybe because of the constant compression of lifting boxes? Anyway I would have to lower my hands and sleep with them at my sides on the bed and it would feel better.

My hours ended up getting cut and it didn't happen as much. When I quit and moved on, it eventually stopped completely.

IOW I think it's related to the work you're doing building the jumps.

Dec. 17, 2012, 11:33 PM
fwiw, my braces were from the DR. based on those i wrapped my hand/wrists for daytime and it is pretty easy to tell when it is working - or not.

however, if you can do go see a dr.

oh and fwiw, my Dr didnt prescribe something in the hopes it would cure me - he spent a lot of time testing me and went so far to send me to the electro shock guys to test my nerves - however i chickened out and canceled . as long as i wrap/wear braces, etc etc i am golden......

i will also say that my arms go to sleep from my shoulder down at times - and my Dr said that could be a symptom of something much bigger - again one reason why he wanted me to get the nerves tested.... we will see...

Dec. 17, 2012, 11:40 PM
I have carpal tunnel and the first thing I had to do was to get tested to make sure the problem originated in the wrists and not the neck. The test wasn't fun and was expensive ($750 -- and if I hadn't had insurance it would have been $1500) and a lot like repeatedly grabbing an electric fence. Then steroid shots in both wrists. Those didn't cost that much -- $250 total, I think. The shots helped a lot but probably won't be the ultimate solution.

Dec. 18, 2012, 08:53 AM
I hate to jump in and further cause a ruckus :)) Here goes: I had carpal tunnel in both wrists and ended up at a specialist because my physician couldn't get the shots to work (he's not a specialist.) My surgeon said "it's carpal tunnel (he's a shoulder to hand specialist) and we don't do the testing because it's painful and it only tells me what I already know." I wore a brace, got the shots again (yes they work when done correctly) and then went back when they wore off. My insurance company made me do the brace, shots thing again.

We did the surgery and it was a miracle. It takes a long time for the muscles etc to get back in shape which was a nuisance to say the least. I mean a year or so, but they do come back. And now I don't mean to scare you, but I do know from hours of talking to him that if you wait to long to have the surgery there can be permanent damage to the nerves, that's all I'm gonna say on that. . . My left wrist is also affected, but with annual shots we have it under control although eventually I will need surgery on that too. I have a bet with him that I won't.

I've had 2 other tendon surgeries with this doctor and totally trust him. He had to repair a torn tendon in both my elbows and both were 100% successful.
I will also tell you my surgeon does not do anything other than open surgery because of the risk of nicking the nerve and there is no recovery is not longer or any difference except I have a tiny scar (who cares.) My husband works with a girl who waited a long time to have surgery then against what my husband told her, went and had closed surgery . . . guess what? The surgeon nicked the nerve and she now has no feeling in part of her hand.

I would go with the surgery (open) and find a surgeon you trust.

Dec. 18, 2012, 02:16 PM
Thanks for all of the advice!

Whom ever mentioned icing: THANK YOU SO MUCH! Just one day and one night of treatment has made a huge difference to my hand health, swelling and numbness.

For those worried about me taking advice online--it's all just ideas. I'm not an idiot. And I'm not totally clueless. I'm a biomechanist and do have 1/2 of an idea.
I just would have never thought "carpal tunnel" from the start because my hands don't hurt WHILE I'm working.

And this has only been going on for 2 weeks. So it's in the very acute stages. If I act quickly and hit it hard then I can probably clear some of it up myself. The rest is just a matter of time and continuing using bracing and pressure gloves long term.
I wore my mother's glove last night on my right hand and the numbness alone has been decreased significantly. Also the swelling was very little this morning.
So I'm making fast positive progress.

My left hand actually woke me up last night! That's when I pulled out the ice.
I went from crying in pain to "holy cow I feel totally normal with NO pain" in a matter of 15 minutes. THANK YOU ICE CELLS! haha. I cut strip of them off one of my horsie leg wraps and shoved them in my wrist brace.
I then slept from midnight to 8am. awesomeness.

I wore the ice in my braces for some time this morning while a fed horses as well.
Awesome way to ice the wrist, palm and fingers.

I can also say with a fair amount of confidence that this issue is caused directly from the power drill. Not from my neck. The median nerve runs right through the crick in my thumb and palm where I put all of the pressure on the drill. There are times that I have to double hand it and put all of my weight down on the drill to get the larger screws in. That's potentially 160lbs of weight + force on my poor nerve.
So, basically I need to find an ergonomic way to drill in order to keep the median nerve happy and pressure free.

I'll wear braces to work. It will be like wearing a thimble on my palm.

and though some folks get freaked out about internet diagnosis--with my education and all of the spectacular responses on this thread I have already been able to decrease my symptoms greatly.

so I thank you all once again.

Dec. 18, 2012, 06:58 PM
Dude, those jumps are AMAZING!

And yes that sounds like Carpal tunnel :( I have it too, it sucks. I use a mouse/keyboard for my daily work (Graphic Design), and the thing that makes mine flare up is cleaning more than a few stalls!! I had to quit working at the barn in college because my arm would go numb from shoulder down after the 3rd stall.

I use a brace to hold my wrists straight during flare ups, and it helps.
But the only thing that really works is to change what you're doing with your wrists...in other words, stop doing what is causing it. Or find a different way.

When I have to clean stalls now, I try to mostly 'scoop' and not 'sift'....it is the sifting part that really irks my stupid little wrists!

Good luck and I hope your wrists feel better soon.

Dec. 19, 2012, 01:28 AM
Oh, and scooping feed does me in, too!!

Dec. 19, 2012, 01:54 PM
I had a great night and am having a great day!!
The gloves are what is making the huge difference. My hands are slimmer than they have been in quite some time. So it's obvious that my fingers have been swelling for a while now.

I slept from 11pm to 9am and woke up with only slight tingling. : )
I have had ZERO pain for over 24 hours.
I'm going to do a teeny bit of jump work today--while wearing my braces. Interested to see what my hands are like tomorrow AM.

I'm super happy with the changes so far.
You guys totally rock.

Dec. 19, 2012, 04:04 PM
You should see a doctor. I had symptoms similar to this - we thought it was a slight sprain in my wrist, then maybe tendonitis, etc etc After time went on more things started getting swollen, stiff and tingly/numb at night and the pain began getting so bad it would wake me up at night. It ended up that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. You should definitely go to the doctor and get it checked out.

P.S. I lived in braces for my wrists for a while, too. It helped for a while.

Dec. 19, 2012, 09:34 PM
Have you tried drilling pilot holes a little smaller than your screw circumference?

I had this problem a few summer's ago when I was using vibrating equipment for several hours a day... Leaf blower, weed wacker, cflippers, etc. Stopped that and it nearly completely cleared up.

Dec. 19, 2012, 09:50 PM
Have you tried drilling pilot holes a little smaller than your screw circumference?

I had this problem a few summer's ago when I was using vibrating equipment for several hours a day... Leaf blower, weed wacker, cflippers, etc. Stopped that and it nearly completely cleared up.

this is what I have to try.
My hands are in good condition and were great all day. I have a slight amount of residual tingle in the very tips of my right hand fingers.
But no pain at all.
Which is a 90% progress in just 2 days of treating with ideas from this thread.

I picked up lumber today and will start to work on a new jump but very slowly and very cautiously!

I won't drill pilot holes but I do have a screw holder...
and will put the perpendicular handle on the drill for my left and and try to use it dominantly.

I suppose we shall see what happens tomorrow night! Yikes. It's a little scary.

Dec. 21, 2012, 06:40 PM
Why no pilot holes? Afaik it won't weaken the structural integrity, though I could put the question to a very friendly woodworkers forum that I belong to if you want confirmation from the super pros.

I love your jumps so much btw. I am sending my up and coming naughty eventer to Florida for the winter to refine his dressage and this is one of the building projects on my list while I am horseless. Do you have a gallery somewhere?

Dec. 21, 2012, 07:02 PM
DH always drills pilot holes. He keeps one drill motor chucked up with the correct bit and the other with the screwdriver bit. We drilled and filled several thousand fasteners in a wooden boat that way, and he won't do it any other.

Take the time. Please. You only have one body, use the tools that are out there to make the job easier.

Dec. 21, 2012, 07:42 PM
Page three before someone suggests pre-drilling holes for the screws? :D I don't get why you won't consider that...

Also consider a hammer drill (impact driver) that will lessen the need for you to grip and push on the drill to get the screws to go in.