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Old 02-19-2012, 12:05 AM   #1
PetrH
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knee problems: does everyone have them?

I would really like to hear you thoughts on this. Both problems and solutions. Seems to be a bit of a taboo subject among floor layers.

I've been setting tiles for about 5 years full time. After about 1 year of apprenticing I moved to a smaller town and have had little contact with pro tile setters (except on line). My real concern is that if my knees are hurting after 5 years, will I be walking in another 25?

i use a racatac creeper and foam pads sewn into my coveralls. So my knees don't hurt so much from kneeling, but rather from standing up 100 times a day. So far it's just pain around the knee cap that goes away with icing, and I hear some grinding when I walk up stairs.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:40 AM   #2
Jim Farrell Tiler
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not me, not yet, only been doing it since 1975 though
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
postec by Petr:
So far it's just pain around the knee cap that goes away with icing, and I hear some grinding when I walk up stairs.
Icing, grinding..... If you only been doing this 5 years and you got grinding... not a good sign. Some guys have luck and never have problems or minor and some have to tile with pain in their knees. The knee caps are gonna wear down, bottom line. They aren't titianium. I think many of us go without knee pads early on on our career, course not gonna be a problem at that point. Then we realize though it didn't hurt at the time it hurt us "over time."

If you're having problems now only 5 years in you might want to start looking for another career. Look at Jim, only been doing it 35 years so some never have problems.
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Old 02-19-2012, 06:33 AM   #4
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What Tim and Jon said. No one can know before hand how YOUR body will
react to this type of work. There is extreme wear and tear on the body in
all trades but of course , the up and down , bending over to carry materials
and the weight of mud , thin set , tile and grout add to it.

I've been"crawling on the floor" for over 40 years now - no knee pads - and
I have torn cartilage in one knee already from high school sports that was
never operated on. I'm not Superman. Just lucky.

If your hurting after 5 years, your body may be telling you something. Make a career decision before your not healthy enough to enjoy work and life.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:27 AM   #5
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Petr, if you'll type knee into the Advanced Search and ask for Titles you'll find lots of discussion about knee problems and recommendations for knee pads.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:41 AM   #6
Davestone
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Had both knees ortho'd,and water on the knee a couple times,hernia in the belly button and numerous back,elbow, wrist and shoulder aches.You probably have either torn cartilage grinding around or a torn cartilage and are rubbing your two knee joints together like i did, get the Hell outta this trade.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:50 AM   #7
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I think a lot of the problems we face are of our own making sometimes. How's your weight? Do you take supplements? Are you prepared with your supplies in easy reach, so you don't have to get up and down so much. Do you try to carry too much at a time? All things to consider. Scout
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:19 AM   #8
Todd Stull
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My knees and back are shot from wrestling injuries and after I started tiling floors I knew I needed something to ease the strain... The answer for me was the Proknees, best tool I've purchased thusfar
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:50 AM   #9
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I'm having more and more trouble doing deep knee bends, but tile setting has nothing to do with it.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:00 AM   #10
Levi the Tile Guy
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My knees are shot for sure. I was told 3 years ago now that I needed surgery for my minescus in both knees. I bought some proknees and can set on slab all day now with minor pain. Yeah my shoulders are messed up (baseball injury) my back is a disaster, and my neck is always in pain (I broke it snowboarding when I was 15) I am only 30 so I am doing what I can to build my credit, knowledge, and work on investments because I honestly don't know if I can do this until I am even 50. I love what I do, but I already can't survive w/o my weekly Friday appointment with my chiropractor. This trade is rough on the body, but I put myself in this position. When I started out I didn't always wear kneepads, I would carry more weight than I should have (trying to prove something I guess), and I already did a number on my body as a teenager with competitive snowboarding and skiing, and other sports. Alright enough of my soap box...Just take care of your body.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Petr
So my knees don't hurt so much from kneeling, but rather from standing up 100 times a day. So far it's just pain around the knee cap that goes away with icing, and I hear some grinding when I walk up stairs.
I am no doc. but have some of the same symptoms and I was told by a doc that I barely have any meniscus left in my knees. Take the advice I took from others on this site and get some proknees, with the 1" pads you will be so grateful.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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Proknees. Best 200$ you'll ever spend.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:58 AM   #12
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Petr

on your profile you have your interests listed as "extreme sports".
think that may have anything to do with it? Not gonna judge..

I'm 32 years old. I've been working on my knees in some way or another since I was around 20 (Cement finishing, bricklayer helper, and now setting tile pretty regularily)
I don't really have any pain in my knees, but they are starting to make some strange sounds (like cracking knuckles) occasionaly
The only time I have any pain at all is when it's my own dumb-ass fault. "my knee pads are way over there in the truck, aww screw it It'll only be a few minutes"
My knees HATE kneeling on a cold hard surface. I know that if I do it even for a few minutes they will feel sore for a few hours afterward.

I take this as a sign to smarten the hell up. I think I'll be okay to continue on in this trade for many years, but thats going to depend on me. I know my knees are a weak point (although I've never had problems with them in my life) and I know I need to take precautions.
I think eventually they may degrade to the point that it starts to really slow me down, although I think that if I take care of myself I should be able to hold that off for some time.
As for "luck" I guess that probably plays a role for some. But that "luck" I think will eventually wear out. I havent heard of anyone who's knee's were harder or more durable than concrete!


Now when I look at my 21 year old helper...
I would say his interests could be classified as "extreme sports".
He's broken well... just about everything from the waist down? I donno. I know he broke both his ankles last year (was riding on the front of an ATV and crashed head on into another ATV) and was off work for almost a year. Now he's full of pins and whatever else they put in there.
Especially in the winter months I see him slow down a bit. My first reaction is "move your ass...."
But then I remeber his ankles hurt him a lot in the winter. At the age of 21 he already has to slow down when it's cold out. Whats that going to mean for him in another 10-20 years?

Not going to judge him either though.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming
Holy S@#! !!!! What a ride!"

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Old 02-19-2012, 11:09 AM   #13
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Have you all tried the Glucosamine and Chondroitin suppliment. It helps! Scout
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petr
Holy S@#! !!!! What a ride!
Cracks me up!
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:19 AM   #15
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Man who fly naked... have nasty crack up!
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