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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Avoiding neck and back aches? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Avoiding neck and back aches?
reetsi
reetsi  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/25/12 10:24 AM

Hi everyone! One of the wonderful things about sewing is the sense of flow. I can be working a few hours and time seems to just fly. And THEN... I notice that my neck and back are very mad at me. I'm wondering what you more experienced sewists do to prevent this? I'm guessing that maybe my chair or sewing machine aren't positioned correctly. Or maybe I just need to improve my posture? Any advice or tricks of the trade would be greatly appreciated.

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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Date: 5/25/12 10:38 AM

Well, I use an office-style chair, so that I can raise it to the perfect height. One's arms and hands oughtn't to be lifting "up,"as that will put unnatural strain on the shoulder girdle and neck area. So I'd look at the chair you have first....

I also don't sew with my machine straight in front of me (i.e. the machine and I are not at perpendicular angles to one another). The machine head area is slightly tilted toward me, so I don't have to twist my right arm/shoulder at all to be guiding fabric through.

(This is my chair, though mine's in black.)

lgrande
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lgrande  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/25/12 10:41 AM

A few months ago I was having a whole lot of shoulder pain and suffered along until it occurred to me to change the height of my office chair. Lo and behold, that was the answer to the strain.
One I tinkered with the height, trying higher and lower, I found that this was the culprit.
So look there first and see if this applies to your situation.

------
Linda

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reetsi
reetsi  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/25/12 10:47 AM

Thanks ShantiSeamstressing and lgrande! I'll fiddle with the chair height this weekend. I have an older, decrepit office chair. I've never tried to adjust it before so we'll see how it goes. I may need to whip out the WD40.

Beckye
Beckye  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/25/12 2:59 PM

This particular device, Body-Rite, has made all the difference for me.
http://www.nancysnotions.com/product/body+rite+posture+pleaser.do

Elona
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In reply to reetsi <<


Date: 5/25/12 5:05 PM

Certainly, the right chair height is an enormous factor, but I have learned that even with proper adjustment, a certain amount of tension creeps in, particularly if you are intensely involved in what you are doing.

It is very helpful to concentrate on keeping those shoulders down, because there is a tendency to bring them up toward your ears when you are really wrapped up in what you're doing.

I woudl recommend taking a break at least every half hour (using a timer if need be) to shake out and readjust the shoulders. That will help to minimize neck and shoulder tightness.

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 5/25/12 8:18 PM

I'd also like to suggest scooting your chair closer to your machine. So many times I sit on the edge of mine, only to hunch over my machine and then have problems.

------
"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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tourist
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In reply to Miss Fairchild <<


Date: 5/25/12 9:08 PM

My physio told me today to try tucking my chin right into my chest when looking down, such as when planning pattern layouts, hand sewing, ironing etc. It gives the back of the neck a great stretch. She used it while studying for exams. Might be a bit of an issue with bifocals, but I am going to give it a try.

------
http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

NhiHuynh
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In reply to reetsi <<


Date: 5/26/12 0:17 AM

I spend more time standing at my table (pattern fitting, cutting fabric, pressing, serging, topstitching etc) than I do at my sewing machine. So I have my table at hip height. Accordingly, my chair is a taller drafting chair and the foot pedal is also raised to proper height.

------
I finally have a blog. www.detectivehoundstooth.com :)

tinflutterby
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 5/26/12 0:30 AM

I agree with all these but as we get older we also need to put some effort into staying strong. I pay particular attention to my posture bending my knees instead of bending over, holding my abs to assist my back and doing rows (the exercise) to strengthen the tiny muscles in the center of my back that I actually didn't know were there until a trainer taught me to over come the tendency to round my shoulders.

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