Writing and knitting: therapy or health hazards?
I’ve always considered both writing and knitting therapy and figure they've saved me from many expensive hours on a psychiatrist’s couch. Recently, however, I’ve discovered that there is a down side to both occupations and now I’m in a different kind of therapy: physical therapy.
About a month and a half ago, I started having a strange sort of electric shooting pain in my left arm. It got to the point where I couldn’t sit through a meal without hanging my arm awkwardly over the back of a chair or bending it up over my head and back behind my neck. I was pretty sure I wasn’t having a heart attack (thank goodness!) but eating out in public became problematic and it was quite unpleasant even between meal times.
My doctor sent me to a chiropractor/physical therapist who diagnosed it as an impingement in a couple of vertebrae in my upper neck. Since then I’ve had electricity zapped through me, ultrasound vibrated up and down my neck, massages and magnets and even traction. I also do exercises with an elastic band and weights and a large rubber ball.
The culprit? Bad posture when I’m working at the word processor and on the knitting needles. Slouching, even for brief periods of time, transfers all the weight of the head onto just a few vertebrae which aren’t really meant to support it alone. They squash something with a long technical name and it sends a warning signal down the arm.
The solution? Be aware of how you're sitting and get up regularly to do stretches and move around.
Fortunately, all these wonders of modern technology have banished the pain in my arm and now I just have some residual tightness in my neck.
So when your mother told you to “sit up straight!”, she knew what she was talking about.
Has anyone else encountered a similar problem? How have you conquered it?