Working under cars w/ medical issues


#1

Just wanted to see if any one had any tips for working on the hard ground that has medical issues as well as give some advice myself for what works for myself. I have a narrowed disk in my neck that pinches a nerve and when under a car just examining something can be in a world of pain within five minutes unless I lay flat with a rolled up towel under my neck to support it, though when moving around a lot its not as bad. Laying on cardboard also helps, would use a creeper but I’m on the larger side and my work surface does not allow for easy moving.

So does any one else have any ideas or tips?


#2

I’m on the smaller side so I just either use ramps or elevate the front a little and usually use cardboard. They have low creepers now that aren’t too far off the ground but I don’t use any. My BIL though bought a lift for $2000 from Northern delivered, and he uses that thing all the time.


#3

@Bing glad to see I’m not the only person who does not mind going old school w/o creepers and just rolls with old school cardboard. My future dream garage (assuming I can get that dream $18 and up an hour maintenance job) includes about five stalls and a lift for one of them…keep in mind that is only a dream yet lol.


#4

@Harland

Would this be more up your alley?

http://www.bonecreeper.com/

I’m not so much a fan of the cardboard, because it’s hard to move around. However, clearance is better.

As for “medical conditon” . . . I’ve got a bad back (scoliosis, which I’ve always had), my knees are so-so, and my shoulder is starting to give me problems. And I’ve still got a long way to go toward retirement.

There’s even a guy at work that has a broken back with pins . . . he’s definitely a trooper

I guess my point is that a lot of us are suffering, to various degrees, and in different ways

Are you still working on those ASE certs?


#5

@db4690

Neat product! I also have scoliosis in my lower back, just mild though, mostly the neck that bothers me.

Currently just on extension for getting my HVAC and Electrical done, new term has started and I dropped courses for diesel. I do have my HVAC Sect. 609 through ASE though. If I don’t find a real job during the term (will be applying with a major energy provider for job) I might go back.


#6

As someone who has been there and still does that, I would advise that you really need to consider getting that neck looked at. Anything related to nerves in that area can be very dangerous.

For what it’s worth, I’ve had major surgeries on the right knee, right shoulder, 2 on the lower back, and the worst one about 6 years ago on the neck at C3 when it was discovered the spinal cord was crushed. Go figure; the docs were stunned that I was walking and breathing…
Currently still in need of 4 or 5 more surgeries but those are brushed off for the time being.

I’m still turning wrenches but I certainly understand the point about being underneath a car and straining with the neck and shoulder muscles.


#7

I have had a bad back since age 19, now have a bad knee too. I am mostly a DIY’er so don’t do it often but also don’t have a lift or a creeper. I have started wearing the weight lifting belt when I have to get the tires off the SUV. Putting those tires back just a few inches above ground and finding the holes is the biggest pita for me.

I try to work out and also do some stretches before and after work, The answer to every joint problem is to strengthen the muscles around it. I have stayed away from the knife-for now.

I also have my cell phone with me when under the car.


#8

I’ve gotta agree about the tire deal. I like to rotate my own tires because then I can clean the insides of the wheels, but trying to lift them up an inch and match the holes is a problem, especially after eight wheels. I finally tried a pry bar under the tire and that helped. I think maybe a sheet rock lifter might work but don’t have one to try.


#9

@Bing;
I have tried a piece of 4X2 and now am using my own foot as a lever. Sometimes works, sometimes it doesn’t. I know I do worse when I am tired.


#10

Guys, how about this? I use a larger version at work, but this might suffice for car/light truck use


#11

Yep, that would do it alright. Actually I was thinking of welding something up just to experiment with.


#12

Use a good set of ramps to get the car up a little further so you can use a creeper. You could also get the car raised up with a floor jack and then secure it with a sturdy set of jack stands. (which no one should be without!)