Sewing without back pain

I have struggled for a few years now with severe pain in the muscles
of my mid-back after a couple of hours of sewing, cutting, pressing,
etc. Leaning over is apparently really hard on my old back. I
thought perhaps something to keep my back supported while I sew
might help, so I ordered one of these:
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I just spent over almost four hours doing a lot of hand basting,
sewing and pressing and my back is MUCH better than it would have
been without the brace. \o/
... and wow, am I happy to be able to sew for more than two hours
without feeling exhausted!
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BEI Design
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I'm so happy you found something that works. I'm on my third round of physi cal therapy to try to help my back pain. My hurts long before I start sewin g and the problem is more than muscles. It's because I have stenosis and th ere is not much that will help that. It's not going to get better and it mi ght get worse..
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Thanks for the endorsement. I see a lot of clerks in stores with these type back brace/support on. But when I see them they have the things undone and I'm wondering how in the world can that help if they don't have it cinched up?
Question: Do you wear this over or under your shirt?
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I have one of those type of Back braces . I got it when I strained a back muscle for a 2nd time . they are around 60? here in France but I got mine on prescription from the doctor so was fully reimbursed by insurance . Great on those days when I can just feel things are twingg-y. I wear it also for unloading the car when I am on a market. over my shirt but under my pullover. OH wears his for long car journeys.
Reply to
Claire in France
"BEI Design" schrieb im Newsbeitrag news:nugom5$m12$
Great to hear that, Beverly! I remember that my grandma (who was born in 1906 and died in 1993) used to say she was wearing her girdle to keep her back from aching. Mind you, I always thought it was more like a habit; I've seen pictures of her older sisters in full pre-WW I attire, including a corseted shape, long skirts and that bun on top of the head. Grandma, I'm sorry that I thought you were just pretending. And I'm sure her back must have ached a lot; until three years prior to her death she'd still go digging up the entire garden in spring, not only the vegetable patch but also the flower beds all around. And Beverly, I can imagine how your back must hurt after a couple of hours sitting and working only with your hands mostly. Good you found a solution.
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Ursula Schrader

They probably drive around with their shoulder belts tucked under their arm as well. :-}
Under, next to my skin. I suppose I should give 'over' a try, it might make having to launder the thing less of an issue.
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BEI Design
For now, I plan to use it for sewing only, I don't want to become dependant on it. I suspect my biggest issue with sewing pain is posture, and it helps to keep my back upright.
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BEI Design
I have arthritis, and I had to stop taking an NSAID after I had a GI bleeding episode in August, so ALL my joints hurt worse now, but the back pain was starting to interfere with my favorite activity.
Standing/leaning over the cutting table and ironing board were actually the worst triggers, it's just that all the hand work was what I was doing the last few days.
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BEI Design
Ergonomics may be more of the issue. Have you seen this?
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As a charter member of the bad back society, I've had to learn a lot of things the hard way, and paying attention to ergonomics is one of the better things I've learned.
The other thing I've learned is to keep moving. I started out by setting a countdown timer for 15 minutes... when the bell went off, it was time to do something else. Go do some pressing if I'd been sewing, or sewing if I'd been pressing. Switch the pedal from the right foot to left foot. Shift the foot that was on the floor for the one on the raised foot rest. If nothing else, it was time to stop and stretch for 10 seconds.
I don't need the timer any more, but I do keep moving while I'm sewing. Life is much better.
Reply to
Kay Lancaster

Very informative, thanks! Based on her suggestions my sewing machine table is at 29.25", a good height for me, and the needle is centered nicely.
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I just adjusted the height of my chair, it was a little low.
However, the serger bench DSIL built for me is currently too high, the machine beds are at 32". I don't spend nearly as much time on them as on the Singer, but I will think about lowering all the brackets, and see how I like it.
My cutting board is 3' X 4', mounted on two storage cabinets, and it is 36" high. I can pull out the top drawers to support folds of extra fabric. No matter what I do, though, I have to do a lot of leaning while I'm cutting. My ironing board is also a good height, 31.5". I have a gel pad positioned to keep my feet happy.
Kay, thanks for sharing that site, I hope it will help.
I think I move a lot, although I have never timed myself. But I sew for a bit, move to the ironing board, sew some more, move to the cutting table, sew, etc., etc. A major issue that is I had to stop taking the anti-inflammatory I was taking for arthritis. I had NO IDEA how much it was helping until I stopped. Knees, hands, shoulders, back, hip ... Ow!
Thanks again,
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BEI Design

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