Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

Can you believe I hurt myself doing too many cakes??? I have been experiencing shoulder pain for a few months now - usually when you get your arms in weird positions smoothing buttercream or fondant - and finally went to the doctor today. Turns out that I have actually 'over-caked' myself into a damaged rotator cuff in my right shoulder! Physical therapy 3 times a week and no cakes (NONE!) for a month!! Have started contacting customers to tell them - I feel awful but it is what it is. Just a warning fellow cakers - be careful out there! Your kitchen can be a dangerous place for creative minds like ours!! ;-)

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so sorry to hear that.  hope you are better soon and back to caking soon.

Oh dear Joann - what bad news for you (and us as we will miss your wonderful creations).  I guess it's the same with anything that is done again and again - the old repetitive strain syndrome and related issues.  Make sure you do as you are told, and look after yourself.  

Oh no!  Like Katy said, make sure you do what you are told so that you can recover properly.  Cake decorating takes a toll on your body in ways we don't even think of. 

I am not surprised Joann. As said above, the repititive motion over & over will take a toll. I have found my back & knees feel the pain as I find it hard to "sit" and decorate. I like to stand, and then the bending & twisting!!!   And you do multiple cakes.... so I can just imagine. DO follow Docs orders.... I know where of he speaks. I tore my rotator cuff on left shoulder, twice. That was from rolling patients over in bed. I was much older than you of course, and it took a long time to to heal. Finally took 1 whole month off for my  daughers wedding, and that is what did the trick.....COMPLETE REST!!!  I would also caution you that once injured, much easier to happen again. Not trying to scare you, but that is a fact. So look at how you are decorating and see if you can find other ways for less stress on your body. Space out the orders etc.  Your health is SOooo important.

Take care of yourself Joann. Come back healthy and ready to cake.

Joann, I had to laugh when I read the header of your post as far as; cake decorating being a health hazard. My first initial 'thought' was, well heck yeah it's a health hazard, when you are constantly sampling the icing, the batter, the cake crumbs...just for quality check, of course you understand, but by doing so, those added extra pounds contribute to such a health hazard too! But, once I read your post, I do know what you mean about all of the joint and muscle pain that is all involved with the decorating process. I had overdone it too and given it all up about 13 years ago, thinking I would never take it back up again. But, I joined this site and read all I could on fondant and decided I would give that a try instead of the tips and bags, and I was able to handle that without pain. I experimented with my icing too, and got it to a thin enough recipe that is soft enough for me to use without all the strain of decorating, but still firm enough to decorate and I have not had any more pain for the last 3 years. I would suggest that when you do begin decorating again, that you use a softer icing, or change your icing to something like the Swiss Meringue Butter Cream, which is much easier to handle. 

Joann, I just took a stroll through your cakes and it looks like fondant is your main medium, so this tells me that you probably need to lay off the fondant and switch to butter cream for a season to get away from how the strain of rolling fondant and such is taking it's toll on your body. For me, all I used was butter cream for years and years and it ended up bringing about carpal tunnel in my wrists. Once I switched to fondant for awhile, that was my solution. But once you are healed up, and if you do switch to butter cream as your main medium, make sure it is soft enough that you can avoid carpal tunnel as well.

I already have carpal tunnel!!!

Oh my! You really are in a predicament! Well, darn! What else is to be said? I feel your suffering, that's for sure. The very thing you love the most, and now you have to stay away from it. Oh, how miserable! It's like having something so delicious sitting right beneath your nose, and you cannot eat it! How wretched!

Joann Gottermeyer said:

I already have carpal tunnel!!!

Oh Wow

Joann you have carpel tunnel! !   My oh my. You need a couple of assistants.   :o)

Used to do a lot of crafting......and I do mean a LOT of crafting! Craft shows, quilting, the works. That's how I got the carpal tunnel. Wear my wrist splints to bed every night, which I hate, but what are you going to do!?? In talking with my doctor, he thinks the way I twist my arm up when I smooth the buttercream and then again when I smooth my fondant on is how I hurt myself. Probably doesn't help that I do so many cakes in a weekend like I stretch myself to do.....last weekend I had 9 orders, 7 of which were for cakes. Three were 2 tier, 1 was a 3tier with a topper, and 1 order was for 6  individual 4-layer cakes covered in fondant with a painted border for wedding shower table centerpieces .....so I guess that was a bit overboard. I have to cut back on my orders and work on a lower surface when I put on the buttercream and fondant, that way I don't kink up my arm funny and hurt myself again.

Holy Moly Joann
7 cakes... 2 tier... 3 tier... AND 6 individual 4 layer cakes. That is physically & mentally exhausting. Me thinks you are over extending yourself my dear.
There is a form of chiropractic called art (active resistive therapy) supposed to be very helpful with carpal tunnel. You can also use arnica montana its an herb that gets rid of pain and swelling - it doesn't make you loopey isn't addictive and non narcotoc (in the states you don't need a prescription) its homeopathy and works wonderfully. Just thought I would add this in case it will help. If this inappropriate to put on this website I apologize.

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