Designland, Mikesville

Shoulders, Neck, and Back to the Drawing Board

Like many people, I spend a lot of hours a day hunched over my computer, endlessly surfing the web…er…working. Yes, diligently working day in, day out. It looks like my years diligence have finally caught up with me.

If my creative career doesn't work out, I could always become a bell ringer...

I’ve been experiencing upper back and neck pain over the last half-year. I would go for a massage, which would help a bit, but it would come back even worse the next time. Finally last week I was totally locked up. I had an intense massage yesterday, and today I went to a chiropractor for the first time. I have been weary of going to one, as I have heard horror stories from some people about going to quacks who took their money and didn’t fix anything. However, I’ve worked with my trainer, Damien Krantz, for years, and I really trust his recommendations. So, I went to a chiro that he loves, Dr. Shelley Cathrea-Roy at Mobilty Plus. She told me that I don’t have any deep-rooted problems, that it’s mostly due to my poor posture. She did a brief (albeit freaky) realignment, and taped by back with an elastic adhesive that’s supposed to show me how I should be standing and sitting. Apparently, since I’ve been hunched over my laptop airbrushing drawings and trying to figure out the perspective tool in Illustrator CS5 for so long, the unnecessary stress I’ve placed on my upper back has caused all of my present pains. Great. She also mentioned that the way I’m arching my neck may explain some mystery flash headaches I have sometimes (don’t ask me to relay the medical explanation of this, as it will shatter your confidence in my intelligence).

So, I thought I would share some advice that the good doctor told me. If you work on a computer, make sure your screen is at eye level. This has been a challenge for me, as I work on a laptop. When it’s on top of my desk at eye level, the keyboard is too high. When it’s on the lower keyboard tray (where I’ve had it for the past year), it’s too low, hence my craning neck injury. She recommends getting another keyboard to type with on the lower tray and keeping the laptop higher up. “Bring your world to you, don’t bend yourself to fit the world you live in,” she said. I kind of like this, not only as posture advice, but it sounds like a good mantra in general.

So, I will be working on improving my posture. I suggest you do the same so that you don’t end up with a frozen bag of butternut squash wedged between your back and a couch. Have fun bringing your world to you!

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2 thoughts on “Shoulders, Neck, and Back to the Drawing Board

  1. Look into pilates. It is the only form of exercise I have stuck with consistently. It helps with posture by making you more in tune with your core/powerhouse muscles. I suffer from the same condition. I feel so much better now that I have learned to lift my body from my core muscles. My posture is much improved and I am a lot stronger. For what it’s worth…

    • Thanks Jenny! Yes, I have actually been going to Pilates for a few years now. It has helped my core and posture a lot, but I need to readjust my work habits because it undoes all the good I get from Pilates.

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