Monday, September 2, 2013

Caulker's Elbow

As you know, I am the Air Sealing Specialist at John's new house. That duty entails overseeing any possible area of air infiltration or exfiltration that could occur in the building. It's a really tough, thankless job. It is also a high risk occupation for injury. I now have "Caulker's Elbow".

Caulker's elbow is an overuse injury from compressing too many tubes of caulk or joint sealer with your arms awkwardly twisted to reach distant areas of framing. The pain from Caulker's Elbow is localized to the lateral epicondyle which also happens to be the same area affected in tennis elbow. The major difference is that tennis elbow occurs during a leisure activity while Caulker's Elbow comes from a serious occupational duty.
Photo from Harvard Medical School Patient Education Center accessed on 9-2-13.

Research suggests that one of the most effective treatments for Caulker's elbow or lateral epicondylitis is rest. But no decent Air Sealing Specialist can take that option during the home building phase, especially when the framing is still accessible. So we continue to squeeze that caulk gun and smear that caulk and joint sealer without regard to our own health - looking only to the future benefits of air sealing. Self sacrifice and perseverance are major job requirements of the Air Sealing Specialist and I am up to the task.

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