Back Pain

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Back Pain
5
Thu, 10-25-2012 - 3:10pm

Does anyone else get a sore back when sitting at a sewing machine? Is there a proper way to sit, or a certain type of chair, that would prevent back pain when sewing? How do those factory workers do it? Sometimes I put off or avoid sewing altogether because of it :(

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
In reply to: CMEvelyn
Thu, 10-25-2012 - 11:03pm

Hi Carol, and thank you! Sitting straight is harder said than done. I like the idea of the sewing machine that tilts - I wish mine did that. Maybe that's why I can type for hours, because the keyboard is tilted?

You can put a link in when using the WYSIWYG format, but you have to paste it in, then select it, then paste it into the insert link box.

http://www.sewing.org/files/guidelines/21_110_sewing_room_setup_for_healthy_sewing.pdf

Also, the 503 errors have been fixed now.

Evelyn

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
In reply to: CMEvelyn
Fri, 10-26-2012 - 11:18am

I went to a lecture on this at quilting guild last year but she didn't have any handouts or I'd send you one... But I did a google and what she said is roughly the same as what I found around the internet...

- sit ram rod straight; never hunch your shoulders or bend forward toward the machine; only bend your neck down, never jut your head forward. (like the best advice and what I NEVER seem to be able to do!). You can also take the back off an office chair to sit on. It swivels and rolls easy, even on carpet. There are several gadgets/widgets on the market to correct posture (although taking the back off the chair is the cheapest and best idea to force you yo sit straight) like a lumbar pillow, a "Posture Pleaser" (Clotilde sells one --- one poster said she put weights in a child's backpack and that was cheaper than the Posture Pleaser! LOL), tilt the chair forward a little (if it's not on wheels of course). 

- place your machine low. Bring your hand up until your elbows are 90º to your upper arms, that's the height your sewing machine needs to be. About the height of a pull out keyboard on a computer desk. And placement of the foot pedal is critical too --- which means your chair has to be high enough that your legs are comfortable on that pedal... BEFORE you adjust your sewing table hieight.

- tilting the machine forward if sewing for longer then a couple of hours sometimes helps but not everyone agrees on this. (and I can't do this with my machine anyway, wihtout major modifications to the table)

It also helps to get up and move around occaionally... not a bad idea to stand and stretch every 15-20 minutes or so... Just stretch the areas of your body that have been flexed... neck forward? pull it back? shoulders hunched? go to the doorway and, holding onto the door jamb on either side, lean through the door, stretching your chest muscles. Hold stretches for at least 15-20 seconds. Don't stretch til it hurts... stretch til it feels good! Then hold that position for 15-20 seconds, minimum... Don't forget your hips... Stand up, keeping knee straight, slide foot behind you until the front of your hip is stretched...  (I beleive the quilting lady said that is why one really should keep the ironing board and cutting board a little way away from the sewing machine as it forces you to get up and move around. I've tried this and it helps wonderfully!)

Here's a good link:  http://www.sewing.org/files/guidelines/21_110_sewing_room_setup_for_healthy_sewing.pdf

Hope this helps...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2001
In reply to: thatyank
Fri, 10-26-2012 - 11:19am

I went back and did the link fix you provided and it worked. Also did a manual spell check.

Anyway, thanks for teh tip.

Hey --- for some reason, my edited post now appears below your reply! Or is this just temproary?

Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
In reply to: CMEvelyn
Fri, 10-26-2012 - 1:29pm

Hmmm, seems it's treating edited messages as new. I've added that to the report.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-16-2012
In reply to: CMEvelyn
Fri, 11-16-2012 - 3:25pm

If your back gets more sore the longer you sit (whether it's at the sewing machine or anywhere else" the culprit is most likely poor posture. A forward curving spine places extra stress on connective tissue and the surrounding muscle. The key is to maintain good posture while performing the task at all times but, even moreso, you should attempt to have good posture even when you're not at the sewing machine. This will make it easier to sit with good posture at the sewing machine. Willpower doesn't work. You have to retrain your body from the inside out. The key is to strengthen and realign your postural muscles. I have found a machine that does this  in a few minutes a day. I'll spare you the explanation in favor of their websites: www.improveposturenow.com & www.bodyaline.com.   Try it. It works. You'll be sewing pain-free for the rest of your life.