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> Back Pain, This may be an odd question...
voices_in_my_hea...
post Nov 13 2010, 07:29 AM
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So I've recently gotten a new job that I love doing that that pays really well. The only problem is that it requires me to spend a pretty long time each day in front of my computer, typing away.

I've always had very slight back pains, but since I've gotten this job I've been getting really bad knots all the way from my neck to my shoulders to my mid-back.

Naturally, I've read up on correct postures and whatnot to use while sitting at the computers, but I found that I'm already using the correct posture - my monitor is level with my eyes, my keyboard is at a height so that my shoulders can relax while typing, and I sit more or less exactly in the way described by all of the websites I've found. I've even made sure that I take short breaks every thrity minutes or so to walk around.

So what in the world is my problem? Does anyone here, maybe, have a job that also requires sitting for really long periods of time? Any at home remedies? Or maybe just some "Hey, dumba**, you're doing it wrong" comments?

Also, I haven't been able to get really far in looking into correct postures because 90% or so of the websites on the topic are just spam sites advertising some book that I have to buy to get the answers to my problem. So links to websites that are actually useful would for sure be awesome, too. smile.gif

Thanks!


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I_am_the_best
post Nov 13 2010, 11:02 AM
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Hmmm, not quite the same, but I do spend an awfully long time sitting in front of a piano (about 8hrs..). (However obviously I'm still moving a lot.... don't get me wrong, I'm not one of these silly people who sway all over the place with the muisc, but since my arms are always at work my back will be too). I did used to suffer back pain having played for just 15 minutes though. So... a few things I found helpful:

What are you doing with your legs? Make sure that they're not crossed, but about a hips width apart and flat on the floor.

Try lifting from the very bottom of your back, letting the top of your back 'sit' on top of the bottom. Put your hands on your lower back, around where your kidneys are, and feel the muscles there working. You should feel your back arch a bit, then totally relax the rest of your back. You can make sure you're relaxed it by first tensing all the muscles there first, then releasing them all.

Before playing I've been given exercises to keep me loose. Can't exactly demonstrate. but the general idea is just moving my arms around slowly, concentrating on breathing, tensing then releasing. Just to make sure that you really are totally loose when sitting, as occassionally tense muscles can creep up on us, and we don't realise. So perhaps do things along these lines every time you take a walk.

Alternatively, there are wedge-shaped cushions you can buy which help for back pain.

Hope it gets better!


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voices_in_my_hea...
post Nov 13 2010, 09:36 PM
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Thanks! smile.gif

I had a bad habit of crossing my legs when I'm typing. It's so much more comfortable, and when I'm trying to concentrate on whatever I'm writing comfort = important.
But I guess it's not worth it if the price is not being able to sleep 'cause of an achy back later.


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LoLo
post Nov 14 2010, 04:50 PM
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I have found that when I do 30 minutes of pilates in the morning that my back ends up not hurting as badly on a day to day basis. The exercises help to get your back into alignment (much like a chiropractor would, but without the bill) and if you do it on a daily basis it helps build up the muscles around your spine to help keep everything in place and from hurting as much.

I found that Easy Pilates is a good dvd for starting.


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Hobbes
post Nov 22 2010, 08:38 PM
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I've had my fair share of back pain, which resulted in an operation a few years ago. Mine was in my lower back, and so most of the pain was actually felt in my legs due to a protruding disc causing pressure on my sciatic nerve.

I still get back pain from time to time - and probably always will do - but it always tends to be when I'm in one position for a long period of time. i.e. sitting at the computer for ages, or standing in a crowd for a long period of time. So, for me, getting a chance to shift between standing/sitting helps a great deal.

It's also preferable to have your knees lower than your hips, when sitting in a chair. Unfortunatly, this is usually pretty difficult with certain seats, but it can help.

The hardest thing is that, often, you don't realise if you are sitting incorrectly. You might be posture-perfect, but as you type and work, you begin to hunch your back or bring your shoulders in tight. It's a really difficult habit to break.


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Lurker in the Pa...
post Nov 22 2010, 10:03 PM
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I'm in a similar position to Hobbes, in that I have an abraided nerve in my back that gives me leg pain, although happily I've not had to have an operation on it. My suggestions would be regular massages (once a fortnight or as often as you can stand it) and back exercises. Regarding the massage, start with the problem spots and work outwards, it's amazing how much different areas of your body affect each other, I get a tension headache if anyone massages my shoulders. The back exercises will help you posture and should help prevent you ending up in the same boat as Hobbes and I. Deep exercises like the Pilates Lolo mentioned or Yoga will be most beneficial, it's perfectly possible to have the musculature of a greek statue and still put your back out cause the underlying musculature is weak. However a basic back extension a few times a week will help, especially if you're not a gym bunny to start with.
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Mata
post Nov 23 2010, 11:40 AM
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I had some serious back pain a few years ago and I ended up going to a physiotherapist. She recommended doing (what I think is called in yoga) the scorpion pose. This is where you lie face down on the ground and push only your shoulders and head away from the ground with your arms. I was told to do that three times, three times per day, holding the pose for ten seconds each time. In a month the back pain had gone! Magic stuff!

The pose is the second picture on this page: http://yoga.maxupdates.tv/yoga-poses-to-ma...ou-look-hotter/


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Pixelgoth
post Nov 23 2010, 07:59 PM
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You could buy one of the ergonomic chairs....ya know the ones that you sit forward on effectively kneeling which pushes your spine in to the correct position. I have one. Although.....I still slump. It's about changing habits. My back is knackered from years of playing the violin and a car accident but I am concious of needing to correct my posture and have been doing it more and more. Good luck with it though smile.gif If all else fails a warm bath, glass of wine and a nice lie down always work for me wink.gif


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Hobbes
post Nov 23 2010, 08:04 PM
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I've known a few people have these 'Posture Chairs', but they've always ended up gathering dust in the corner. And, the couple of times I've sat in one, I felt like I was about to be tortured.

Still, it's a possibility:



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Pixelgoth
post Nov 23 2010, 08:37 PM
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QUOTE (Play-Doh Hobbes @ Nov 23 2010, 08:04 PM) *
I've known a few people have these 'Posture Chairs', but they've always ended up gathering dust in the corner. And, the couple of times I've sat in one, I felt like I was about to be tortured.

Still, it's a possibility:



Yeah that's the one. My mate gave me hers as she wasn't using it and I use it when I'm upstairs on the computer but mostly I'm on my laptop on the sofa these days so it is also gathering a certain amount of dust! biggrin.gif


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Daria
post Nov 28 2010, 10:37 PM
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Osteopath! See one.


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Hobbes
post Nov 29 2010, 10:47 AM
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QUOTE (Daria @ Nov 28 2010, 10:37 PM) *
Osteopath! See one.


*Good non-quack osteopath! See one.


~

Or... assuming you have sufficient health insurance, go see a Doctor so that you can get referred for an MRI scan, just to make sure that everything is as "in line" as it should be.


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Daria
post Nov 29 2010, 05:28 PM
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Haha. I forgot that there can be controvesy over osteopaths. I used to work for one, so I guess I'm biased- but I did learn a lot and am currently writing this on a keyboard plugged into my laptop. The latter is sat on a pile of books so it's eye-height, and my chair is Just-So adjusted so it's comfortable and the right height.

I was going to mention earlier that a pain you have in one area probably comes from a strain you have in another area. Because the first place is hurt, you hold yourself differently: which affects the rest of your body and how it sits, therefore causing pain in other parts. I used to get lower-back pain from using a [computer] mouse too much: it would screw up my wrist, causing me to hold my arm differently, causing my shoulder to sit differently, causing my back to hurt. I used to get free osteopathy, so I guess I'm used to seeing an osteopath if something isn't quite right. It's nice to be put back in line every once in a while, too.


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Hobbes
post Nov 29 2010, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE (Daria @ Nov 29 2010, 05:28 PM) *
Haha. I forgot that there can be controvesy over osteopaths. I used to work for one, so I guess I'm biased...


Hehe. I've visited a couple in my time, but neither were able to offer me any real long-term benefits. Surgery was the answer for that. However, I couldn't say that either of the osteopaths were "quacks"... my visits to them merely provided very temporary relief.

I have two friends whom are physiotherapists, and they often have a lot to say about osteopathy and chiropracty wink.gif


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voices_in_my_hea...
post Dec 2 2010, 07:28 AM
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Yikes! This is what I get for not checking out the forums recently - I've now hurt my shoulder somehow. Feels like a really pin-pointed knot on my shoulder blade.

I think I can manage the scorpian pose, though intense yoga sounds like a great way to embaress myself.

As for the posture chair, it looks horribly uncomfortable! Though if this keeps up despite trying yoga (which, I will do depsite the possibility of embaressing myself) I'll look into it. I just can't imagine how one would go about sitting in one.


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Her dignity shone so bright like a light on a hill
and she burned for me, no other man came near her flame.
Bad country songs - the deafening twang of the rich white kid blues.
You can own the strange, but the lights and glares will not make you real.
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Lurker in the Pa...
post Dec 2 2010, 10:22 PM
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Bum on the top pad, knees on the bottom pad. They're actually pretty comfy.
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Hobbes
post Dec 3 2010, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE (Lurker in the Dark @ Dec 2 2010, 10:22 PM) *
Bum on the top pad, knees on the bottom pad. They're actually pretty comfy.


Aye, like this:



An ex-girlfriend of mine had a posture/kneeler chair that was height adjustable, but I was always scared that the adjustment would collapse and I'd end up sitting - and squashing - my own legs. I never got on with it particularly well, anyway.

After my back operation, the hospital provided with a seat for a short time. It was a tall stool, thus removing the need to bend down too much (not an enjoyable activity when you've just had pieces of spine taken out), and the seat as tilted forward ever so slightly. So more pressure was put on your knees, than your back.


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mooooooooooopo
post Dec 3 2010, 11:06 PM
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I've been looking around for a kneeling chair for a while but it seems like they come in two varieties: ones with a flat seat which actually do nothing (and possibly make things worse) and ones that cost an obscene amount of money. Am I looking in the right place? Am I hijacking the thread? Who knows!


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voices_in_my_hea...
post Dec 7 2010, 07:33 AM
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I suppose you could build one, I mean surely it wouldn't be too hard?
Mind, this is coming from someone with no knowledge of how to build anything. But that tends to be my approach when something is really expensive.
"Five hundred dollars? Hm....I've got plywood and a staplegun. Just as good, right?"

See, now that I've seen that picture it makes a lot more sense - I was thinking that your back (somehow) went against the top one and you sat on the bottom one....which was just confusing.

My back hasn't given me any problems until today. Meaning - Yoga may be working...or maybe I've just been lucky!


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Her dignity shone so bright like a light on a hill
and she burned for me, no other man came near her flame.
Bad country songs - the deafening twang of the rich white kid blues.
You can own the strange, but the lights and glares will not make you real.
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Hobbes
post Dec 7 2010, 06:36 PM
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QUOTE (voices_in_my_head @ Dec 2 2010, 07:28 AM) *
Yikes! This is what I get for not checking out the forums recently - I've now hurt my shoulder somehow. Feels like a really pin-pointed knot on my shoulder blade.


Sometimes these newer pains are due to the original problem: often you compensate for back pain by leaning slightly in one direction, or altering how you sit, etc. And that can mean pressure in places that don't usually take that much. So the new shoulder pain might be as a result of that. Quite likely that, when asleep, your body might be positioning "itself" in odd ways, too, to make things more comfortable.


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