Reloading with a sore back

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by frogfurr, Jan 8, 2022.

  1. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I have my Dillon 550 setup on my stand up workbench. Don't have a powder cop die and like to look in the case after each powder charge. To do this in the past I stood up to reload which I didn't mind. Here lately I have had some back problems making extended standing painful and ordered an adjustable stool. It came a couple of days ago.

    I kind of did a sit test on it out after I got it together after work earlier this week. Going to try it out tomorrow while reloading.

    I think I need a little more light too for the Dillon 550 also. I have an Inline Fabrication Skylight
     
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  2. redcon1

    redcon1 Member

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    Brother I feel you. I was recently laid up for 9 months with some disk injuries that were so bad that I could barely walk let alone reload. I had to give up reloading and shooting and everything else I loved and basically fell off the earth for the better part of a year. I still can't tolerate prolonged sessions at the bench-maybe an hour and I have to do something else. Back problems suck.
     
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  3. tominboise

    tominboise Member

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    +1000
     
  4. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I'm going to try to work though this. For those of us with back problems we'll see how this works out.
     
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  5. BW460

    BW460 Member

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    I hear you too. Spine fused a few years ago. Going in for more surgery in a few weeks. There will be a day when I can no longer participate.
     
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  6. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    You may want to set up mirror to check for powder.

    I feel your pain. I have permeate nerve damage in my low back for close to 20 yrs now, runs down into my feet. There are good days and bad.
     
  7. Bolson

    Bolson Member

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    I too, feel your pain. My bench is setup for sitting...I haven't been able to sit without pain for over a year now due to bulged disc. Having disc replacement surgery first thing Monday morning. Looking forward to reloading again soon...I hope.
     
  8. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Between having back problems and MS I do my reloading sitting down. Even doing that I have to stand up and stretch a few times every hour.

    Like someone else said, back problems suck. I hope you fellows get better.
     
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  9. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    Grab the back of the left side of the Dillon when you are applying (pulling down) on the handle.

    Keep using the stool.

    I have to use the presses on my bench in this method, because of same/similar problems as you.
     
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  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The KNS^2 UFO lights are quite bright. I have a small reloading room with 8 overhead lights and the press mounted light makes it seem like I was loading in the dark.

    78237CF6-C942-4F41-A3B7-BAD82CE84FA2.jpeg

    +1 on the mirror idea. Even a small dental mirror does the job once you have the light you need.

    479D3530-972E-4106-881A-0901045E7C9C.jpeg

    Set everything up so you don’t have to stretch or contort.
     
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  11. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I reload sitting in a regular height table chair kind of like one you might use at a kitchen table. It gives me a fixed back rest to use. My several presses are mounted on floor stands at slightly different heights in an attempt to find the optimum height but for the most part, each height has some pluses and minuses but all really do not aggravate my back.

    I have enough confidence in my powder charging that I use a powder cop die to insure there is powder in the case.. I do not need to fiddle around trying to look in the case. (my Dillon SDB's are an exception here, but it is a whole other thing with them).

    It keeps my back supported while reloading and I'm not constantly fidgeting around.

    Standing or sitting on a bar stool while reloading are not back friendly for me.

    In my metal shop, I have a couple stools with seat backs. They have adjustment for height, arm width, and back depth that have been good. Adjustments are by a ball detent in the legs.

    I use them primarily at my welding table. Unfortunately, I forget the manufacturer off hand but if interested I'll get the info off the sticker on the stool.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
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  12. BOISE BADWOLF

    BOISE BADWOLF Member

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    I know the feeling brother, just had spinal fusion surgery Dec 8th. Loading before surgery always made me hurt and stiff for a few days. I don't know that there is a way around that for guys like us.i have to sit and it's the little bending forward a thousand times that gets me. I don't figure I'll be loading for a few more months still, if I'm lucky. I still expect to have a sore back and pay for a few days after reloading. Still worth it lol
     
  13. starling

    starling Member

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    Golden years not so golden. I went through about 20 years of chronic debilitating back problems before I fixed things. I wouldnt wish that on anyone. Nothing like not being able to walk for 4 days, urinating in jugs, and passing out when crawling to the bathroom. Hard to believe now I went through that.

    Never too late to turn things around. I run 5-10 miles 6 days a week and have not had a back issue in 7 years or so. You Just have to make a decision/commitment and stick with it. I had lots of doctors who wanted to fuse me up too. Degenerative back disease.... I heard it all.

    Maybe take a break from reloading and go for more walks in the meantime. Lay on your stomach and stretch your abdominals for relief. All that sitting in chairs leaning forward puts a lot of strain on the lower back. Add obesity to the mix and you are just asking for problems.

    Chronic back issues are truely hell on earth.
     
  14. Nasty Canasta

    Nasty Canasta Member

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    I use a digital color inspection camera that I bought for mechanic work from Harbor Freight & have it mounted on my progressive press so I can visually confirm powder level at a glance before placing a bullet on the case. Works great & not that expensive has o lot of of other uses too.
    xO1cOgml.jpg
     
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  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    You didn’t see all of the ‘call don’t fall signs?
     
  16. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    When I built my current bench, I built it high enough so that I could comfortably use it while standing, and then bought a stool and modified it so I could sit at basically the same height. I've got back issues as well and the one thing I can't stand is... standing, immobile in one place for any length of time. If you were to stand and talk to me, you would think I have ants in my pants because I almost continually move from side to side... standing at the reloading press I can do that, too, while working the Magic Handle... but I do get tired, and then I will spell my back with the stool, to break it up a bit. Sitting on the stool, however, makes my legs go to sleep... so I just rotate to keep everything moving.

    +10000
     
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  17. tominboise

    tominboise Member

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    This sounds like what I do. I reload standing up and have since I started and read "The ABC's of Reloading" by Dean Grennell in 1972 or so.
     
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  18. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

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    My main loading bench was built back in the 80's when I could stand to stand.I now use an adjustable stool,but I suggest not getting one with wheels like I did.It wants to move when I get on it and try to sit down.I have 4 bad discs and scoliocis.There's about a 3/8 of an inch curve in my spine because the left side of the discs is worn or compressed more than the right side.Now,on top of that I have a torn miniscus in my right knee that I finally get to go see the surgeon this coming Tuesday about.I'm struggling along now,but back in deer season I was doing good to make it to the bathroom.Getting older is tough.At 60,now I understand why old men are grumpy-they're in pain.I've had one back surgery and am probably going to get another one,but the back Dr. can't tell me for sure I'll get any relief.I'm not going to go through another surgery and wind up in just as much pain.
     
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  19. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    This popped up today on my FB feed... although tongue in cheek, you veterans will know...

    j5HwJXSm.jpg
     
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  20. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    I did two things to cure most of my back problems while reloading. The first, I have a concrete floor.......so put heavy mats in front of each press. Then, I adjusted the height of my press so that I wasn't dropping my shoulder on the down stroke. Between those two adjustments, I've pretty much eliminated back pain while loaded. The mats I got are called "anti fatigue" mats, and were made to alleviate stress from standing. They are amazing, really made an improvement in my quality of life while loading.
     
  21. EricBu

    EricBu Member

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    "Here's a prescription for 800 MG Motrin, take it 5 times a day. And a walk at your own pace profile" ~ Army doc to soldier with open tib/fib spiral fracture and head injury
     
  22. KY DAN

    KY DAN Member

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    Not to detract from the discussion of back pain and reloading, could you go into more detail of how you over came back pain.

    I know I and probably a lot of others would like to know as to potentially improve our day to day lives as well as our hobby
     
  23. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I used an inversion table for years to unload the disk. It works but can be short lived. Stretching the low back can do a lot of good to take the pressure off the nerves. Hamstrings and gluts are the main offenders. I do extensive stretching everyday before I go to bed. Tight mussels can pull things out of place increasing the pain. Once you get these to release the nerve may not have pressure on them, relieving the pain. A good physical therapist can go a long ways in getting the mussels to relax. Also acupuncture (needling) is a good alternative in managing pain. I used it many years ago along with a home traction unit to get a disk to heal in my neck/back. It's now been 35+ yrs and still no pain in that area. I've had a total of 4 major back surgeries. The last one did more good than any of the previous 3. I had a zone above my original disk that was not stabilized causing most all of my problem. And my surgeon though one of the screw post may have been too long. Now my biggest problem is keeping scar tissue from growing. I get injections now every 4 mo to address this. It's what keeps me up and moving. Standing in 1 place with no movement is bad. As well as a chair that does not fit you. I've been in some cars that I start hurting within a few minutes, because they don't work with me. My last vehicle I bought was based on my comfort. It allows me to go several hours before I have to stop and do some movement.

    Pick your neurosurgeon wisely if you most have surgery.
     
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  24. starling

    starling Member

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    Started with Keto which took a lot of the inflamatory junk out of my diet while I dropped weight. Then started walking a lot. Picked up a roman chair and just did three sets a day to target my lower back. Its a hard spot to get too exercise wise. I was pretty heavy when I started... 220lbs or so. I keep myself around 145-160lbs now.

    Weight (staying light) and inflamation are everything when you get older. That excess girth around the waist puts tremendous strain on the lower back. I was not huge either... just thick. My back was so compromised though through years of abuse that I could not sit in a chair to eat and had to lay down when I ate dinner. So you pull the preasure of by dropping the weight.... eat a non inflamatory diet...and rehabilitate your back with exercise (eventually). Just have to go easy at the beginning. Worst thing you can do is any sort of abdominal work.

    Back issues are a vicious cycle that snowballs. You get laid up....then your putting on weight....then you start favoring things. Next thing you know hips and knees start hurting....kneck problems etc. etc.

    Holiday/winter season is especially rough... you eat to much... put weight on... get lathargic Weather gets cold... things get stiff etc. Really easy to have back flare ups in the winter. Lots of factors contribute to it. Stress levels go up.. cortisol... more inflamation... more weight gain etc. etc.

    Cant emphasize how important it is to stay light and eat non inflamatory. You dont have to do hours of exercise every day. 85% of weight loss is diet. You cant exercise your way out of chronic health problems when you get older. When you are young you can pull it off but the body just wont bounce back fast enough as you age unless you dial things in with diet and exercise.

    I have never been a low activity person BTW. Crazy miles and abuse on my body from work, sports, running, training etc. lady friend (big on horses and tennis) of mine had major back and hip problems... she followed what I was doing and tried it. We played tennis 5 1/2 hours yesterday and neither one of us are sore. She is at the barn going riding right now. She is 67 years old and very happy. She probably dropped 50lbs... all back hip problems gone for years now. No meds either anymore. She can run circles around my wife despite a 20 year age difference.

    So you dont have to be miserable... just have to make a decision, adjust things, and follow through. I wont go near doctors anymore. Between them wanting to fuse me, knee/hip surgery, meds etc. I just stay away. Its always a "proceedure" or drug. Most of those proceedures cant be reversed either. Those fusion surgeries never end with one. There is zero downside to dropping weight and cleaning up the diet. You cant really over exercise or get injured when it comes to walking. So I try to encourage folks in that direction before going to a back hack for proceedures or drugs. You cant make people commit though. I just am outspoken because I hate seeing people go through it. Quality of life is just daily misery when the back goes south. You literally cant enjoy anything. Even good sleep is a problem. Reloading benches would have been impossible. I spent many hours a day just taking hot baths when I was going though it.
     
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  25. starling

    starling Member

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    Tight abdominals are a lower back killer. I dont stretch anymore routinely becuase its temporary but it can help relieve pressure from abs tightening up and pulling that lower back out of spec. Its a very thin muscle and once it tears its like tissue paper. You just cant let it get to that point. One little wrong move and your are in bed for days. Happened when I was packing my suitcase for our honeymoon. Couldnt get out of bed the first 3-4 days.

    I tried those inversion tables and liked them. I use to put on ankle weights and hang from a pull up bar as long as I could as well. Anything to pull that pressure off. Feels like your spine is going to snap. I tried lots of pain killers but nothing really ever worked.... just made me feel lousy.

    Took me years to figure out what was going on. Every doctor had a different theory or solution. Best advice I got was from a Golf specialist (I hate golf) who was really good on biomechanics.
     
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