Yes a boring post I’m sure but I feel the need to share. This time last year in my old job I had some lower back pain, which I was pretty sure was caused by the fact that the seat of the chair I had was just too large for me (I’m only 5ft3!) and so I couldn’t support my back properly. I didn’t really say anything at the time because a) I was working in the public sector and they had NO MONEY and b) I was looking for a new job. I finally got a new job and discovered that the chairs there were INFINITY better, they had lumbar supports and everything! Unsurprisingly my lower back problems pretty much went away (for the most part) as I could sit properly! (or so I thought.)
So knowing that slouching is very bad for your back, and having a chair where I could support my lower back and made sure that I was doing my best to sit up straight. Around Nov/Dec I noticed that if I rolled my shoulders I got a very unpleasant grinding sensation. I thought it was just that I was really tense and had lots of knots.
Then about 3 weeks ago I signed up to do a 5k in September (my first one ever, I’ve been meaning to do one for ages!). Now 5k isn’t far, I could totaly walk it if I wanted to, but I decided that this would be a perfect excuse/opportunity to get fit. So I did some jogging, that went fine, then one evening I put on one of my keep fit dvds (I didn’t feel like going for a jog). Turns out that was a bad idea, as by the end of the next day my shoulders were in serious agony. (Not helped by the fact I’m in the other office that day of the week and hadn’t actually managed to figure out how to adjust the chair!). By Sunday I was still really stiff and in a bit of pain so I thought going for a swim might help loosen it up. That was perhaps one of the worst idea’s I’ve ever had. I managed about 30 mins of very low intensity laps before I thought I might be pushing it with my neck. I spent the rest of the day lying on the bed, head propped up slightly with pillows with a heated thing around my neck, because my neck muscles were really painful.
I say thing, I’ve no idea what it was called, but it was in some ways the best present ever. It’s long and rectangular and has little balls in it, you pop it in the microwave for a few mins and it heats up, I think it’s supposed to smell of lavender too, bu tit’s quite old now. I always use it when I have muscle pain, it’s had quite a lot of use these last few weeks.
So I spent much of last week finishing my working day in quite a lot of pain, (so much so that I almost felt like crying) particularly on my left shoulder, (so I can’t even blame RSI as I’m right handed). I was even wearing a bum bag at the weekend to avoid carrying anything on my shoulders.
Leading on to today where I had a desk assessment to make sure everything is set up properly. And I have discovered what may have been the culprit to my bad shoulders. Apparently trying to sit up straight is all find and dandy as long as you have something supporting your shoulders!!! I didn’t, the angle of the back of the chair isn’t quite right, so basically to sit up straight I was creating unnecessary tension in my shoulders.
So after lowering my chair slightly, so that my feet were flat on the ground, and pushing the seat back so that my lower back was actually pressed against the curvature of the back of the chair it already felt a million times better.
The lady also said I need something to support my upper back, that when she wrote everything up she would suggest either some kind of back rest or a different chair (also because the arm rests are really wide on the chairs we have which means I don’t make any use of them), and that it would be up to facilities as to whether they’d get either. Personally I’m not that fussed about a new chair, but I do hope I can get a back rest, it would be nice to potentially be able to unlock the back of my chair so that I can lean back in it occasionally, because right now I can’t, it doesn’t give me enough support as is.
Anyway my whole point here is, make sure your desk is set up right. Feet flat on the floor, legs at a slight angle, back and lower shoulders supported, otherwise seriously world of hurt.
I’m just hoping hoping that in the long run this will work, I’ve been avoiding any knitting because I think that would create unnecessary tension on my shoulders. I can’t exercise (or walk to briskly) as my neck muscles start to object, and sitting to type/use computer is just awkward. I even bought myself an A4 notebook so I could write story scenes. I am also contemplating some yoga, I’m wondering if that might help a bit…
Right I will stop boring you now!