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Message Board > Patterns and Notions > Sewing and Back Pain ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Sewing and Back Pain
Can only sew for a few hours
kcstarr49
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kcstarr49
Advanced Beginner
MO USA
Member since 10/7/08
Posts: 124
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Date: 10/10/10 10:37 PM

I am 30 years old and in good shape. I love to sew and really enjoy getting in the groove of my projects. The problem is, once I really hit my groove --- after cutting out the pattern, making all my markings, and cutting the fabric --- my back tires out and I can no longer stand it.

Tell me your favorite ergonomical chair, back exercises or back pain remedies to help me be able to stay in my sewing groove and do what I love to do, which is to sew!

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild  Friend of PR
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USA
Member since 8/24/02
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In reply to kcstarr49


Date: 10/10/10 11:00 PM

I go to the chiropractor when the pain is bad (I have a spine curvature, so ask me how that feels!) I try not to hover over my machine, and make sure it sits exactly at 30" above the floor.
-- Edited on 10/10/10 11:00 PM --

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

SEE MY ETSY SHOP HERE: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AuntMaymesAttic
My blog: http://auntmaymesattic.wordpress.com/

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
Intermediate
BC CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
Posts: 6097
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In reply to kcstarr49


Date: 10/10/10 11:45 PM

It's the standing to do all the cutting and marking that tires most people's backs. Raising your cutting table will help. The other option is to do the standing work in stages so you aren't doing it for hours on end. Take breaks, do some stretches and non-bending forward things for awhile and that should help. Tough advice to take when you have only a certain amount of time and a ton of stuff to get done, though. BTDT!

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

Peggy L
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Peggy L  Friend of PR
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In reply to kcstarr49


Date: 10/11/10 0:00 AM

I catch myself "perching" on the edge of my chair and have to remind myself to sit correctly. You might check to see if your machine is too high/too low.

------
www.thereisjoyadventures.blogspot.com

marec
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marec  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OR USA
Member since 5/11/08
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In reply to kcstarr49


Date: 10/11/10 0:55 AM

Quote:
I am 30 years old and in good shape.


I used to be! seriously, I know how you feel. I have a serious back problem from many sports injuries and just plain bad luck. My husband bought me a drafting table which is adjustable in both height and the angle. It also folds up if I ever want to put it away. It's only drawback is that it is only 3+ ft long so fabric must be supported by chairs etc if I'm cutting a large piece.

My advice:
1. start with back exercises ASAP. Get a book from dr or library.
2. do yoga
3. get a table with height adjustment
4. cut or trace patterns while sitting-I do some work on the floor so I am not bending over.
5. try a little pillow in the small of your back when sitting at the machine.
6. get up from the machine often. I get up every 10 minutes or so, if only to walk over to my work table.
7. break up your cutting, tracing etc into smaller segments of time. Do some before work, or on your lunch hour.

I hope this helps. I have lots of specific exercises if you want me to scan them in.

------
my blog: http://kf-biblioblog.blogspot.com/
Sewing through my pattern stash-145
completed.

Leslie in NZ
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Leslie in NZ
Advanced Beginner
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 12/24/05
Posts: 433
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Date: 10/11/10 1:30 AM

I have a very bad back, and I agree with Marec's list. I would add:
Strengthen your abs!! I have very strong abs and follow most of Marec's advice and now seldom have any pain. Back pain can limit your life, take care of yourself!!

------
Leslie (Auckland, NZ)

goodworks1
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goodworks1  Friend of PR
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IL USA
Member since 7/19/03
Posts: 3620
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In reply to marec


Date: 10/11/10 5:48 AM

Quote: marec
I have lots of specific exercises if you want me to scan them in.

What a great list! Thanks for posting these hints.

And I'd love the specific exercises, if you feel up to sharing with more of us....

------
blog: goodworks1.wordpress.com

Clareew
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Clareew  Friend of PR
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 5/10/06
Posts: 1054
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Date: 10/11/10 6:17 AM

I have a bad back which now includes lots of screws and plates.

I find my best friend is my ironing board. Once a garment is cut out, most work can be done standing with the ironing board raised to a suitable height.

Although only 5' 3, I have the ironing board high and use it as a table for pinning and shaping. Doing this standing without neck too bent gives my back a rest.

Pressing every seam is good for your back. Sew, get up, press. Stops everything getting ceased up.

------
Clare

Machines: Juki F600, Juki 654 serger, Bernina 550 for art work, Janome Coverpro 1000cp barely used
A Singer Featherweight Centennial and an old Necci in the loft waiting for TLC

http://art-by-clare.blogspot.co.uk/

gymcats

gymcats
Advanced Beginner
CA USA
Member since 3/13/05
Posts: 479
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Date: 10/11/10 7:49 AM

I used to have back pain and stiff neck when I was cutting and sewing. After I read a couple of books on sewing spaces, I realized that my sewing table was too high and cutting table too low. I bought adjustable tables from Ikea and I don't have the same problems anymore.

M.S.
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M.S.
Intermediate
Member since 3/6/09
Posts: 1229
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Date: 10/11/10 8:29 AM

After I had to go to physical therapy for a bulging disk & pinched nerve, I got a gym membership. I don't know which exercises are helping, but I run, do bench press, do the back machines, and abs. Then I bike. I also have orthotics (arch supports) in my shoes. I raised my sewing machines and always cut at a counter.....not a table. Take lots of breaks, too.

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