Dear Reader,

I bet you are here because you have some kind of back pain.  I don’t post articles all the time lately but I’m still here to support you and to answer your questions about simple, natural methods of pain relief.

Thank you for stopping by!

Kathryn

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2 Comments on I’m Still Here To Support You

  1. Aching says:

    Hi I’ve been enduring back pain for quite awhile now, finally researching online for help. It seems more people suffer from lower back pain from what I read, but not me. Lower’s fine! I’m not sure where exactly my problem is, if in shoulders/back/neck. Probably all. Pretty sure more neck than anything. No injuries or past accidents.

    My real problem is simply with sitting. I cannot sit in a chair at a desk for any length of time at all without feeling major pain. My head feels filled with rocks- too heavy to support! Extreme burning, I think between shoulder blades. Something like numbness along top of shoulders but probably more centered.

    I don’t feel it all the time, but I do feel it every time I try sitting in a normal chair, like if I sit at a desk for computer use, which is unfortunately what I need to do for my work (at home). I use the computer all day long (and often all night long), but when I was able to use my laptop, I could use it while sitting up in my bed. I had to do some seriously creative arranging with pillows and rolled up foam padding etc, but as long as I was propped up and with my legs outstretched, I had no pain. It wasn’t perfect; I’d have to frequently readjust things and my arms would “fall asleep” from pressure, but moving around &/or rearranging pillows (behind and actually all around me) made it possible.

    But then my laptop broke! Can’t replace it yet, so I moved to my desktop PC that I haven’t used in years. I sit in an office desk chair to use the desktop, but within an hour, maybe even half that, I had pain up by my neck. I tried again day after day after that and same thing. I realized that I simply can’t sit in a regular chair anymore for some reason.

    I remember back when I only used a desktop and would have terrible aching painful muscles then too, but I was always overdoing it at the computer, staying on for way too many hours at a time, not taking care to stretch or take breaks or anything. I’d sit there feeling the pain, but continue anyway. Now I may be paying for that.

    Also, back then, after hours at the desk with no breaks, my feet/ankles would REALLY swell. So much I couldn’t even fit shoes on my feet. Which, of course, I also ignored.

    So now I’m back TRYING to use a desk again and really unable to. So far, I’ve found a marginally comfortable solution, but far from ideal. It seems if my legs are out in front of me with feet up, it’s better, for ONE thing. Which also wards off feet/ankle swelling. But I really also need to be able to lean back, I think so that I’m “sitting” almost way up above my tailbone. Hard to describe. I say “sitting” in quotes, because it’s more like lying or at least reclining. If I sit normally (on my butt), it hurts my neck/upper back.

    So I put my Papasan chair in front of my computer! It looks funny & takes up too much room & actually sits too low, but it’s better on my back! It has a huge soft cushion that sort of rises up all around me, and I think that’s the key. I can lean back like I need to, and the cushion envelops me giving my back support that I need for some reason. But it’s hard to type from it, and it really doesn’t fit in the small space I have.

    To type this LONG post (sorry), I had to sit up at the desk, and yes, I feeling the pain now. If I sit back, so my neck is resting on the back of the chair, it’s much better, but you can’t do much like that. I feel it all in upper areas, not lower, probably on sides of neck and tops of shoulders/back. I would say it doesn’t go any further down below my shoulder blades. I think it’s all above there. (If I am correct about where my shoulder blades are!) It’s all way up anyway.

    So why it seems like I have to be almost if not lying down (instead of sitting up) to be comfortable, I don’t know. I wonder if it’s actually all related to the neck problem, because when I sink back and recline, my neck is then supported, and I know that helps. But it doesn’t make sense to me, because the desk chair I sat in years ago despite the pain, had a tall back, and I was definitely able to rest my head against it, but it didn’t help then. In fact, the reason I remember that so well, is that I specifically recall times when I was aching so badly (and had been in the chair for way too long) when I would start to feel like my head was too far forward, like I needed to push it back, but couldn’t because the chair back was there, and so I would literally lean over to the side of the chair and hang my head down and back, to be able to push my head back beyond the chair! I don’t know why, since that was a good desk chair, designed specifically for office desk use, but it sure seems to me that the head rest was too far forward. Maybe it was only a problem if you overuse it like I did though. Which is probably all a part of my problem in all of this, I know.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. Anything you can think of to suggest?

    I am going to try the tennis ball. I bought an electric neck massage device that seems promising; it really gets in there. It hurts but feels good. I read your posts about pinching your muscles to relax them, but I can’t tell if I do it right. Is it just skin (and fat) that I’m pinching or is it muscle? I’m not fat, but I can definitely pinch an inch (or more) at my waist, so how to know if I have muscle in the pinch or not? It is uncomfortable when I do it, but pinches usually are! I know neck massage feels extremely good, but really no one to do that for me, and wouldn’t be able to pay for that right now.

    I do feel back pain when I do other activities, scrubbing the floor, for instance, but it’s more generalized back pain. I definitely feel it when I stand in place for too long, and that’s usually more kidney area. But it’s the desk pain that’s the problem. If only because that’s really all I do! Almost! I’ve always overdone everything, no matter what I’m doing, and eschew moderation in all things, all the while knowing I’m doing myself harm. And I surely overdo my computer time and hardly spend any time on basically anything else, which is likely the real reason why this problem manifests itself in that activity in particular.

    But the work I’m doing at this time (plus my personal internet addiction!) requires that I overdo it in regard to my computer use. I’ll be getting a replacement laptop which I suppose will really help the problem, but it doesn’t fix anything. Besides, I get ridiculed by my friends/family for being bedridden when I’m perfectly healthy. Do I really have to go back to being bedridden just so I can comfortably work on my computer again? Seems like there’s something better I can do!
    Thanks for your help. You sound really knowledgeable and caring.

  2. Dear Aching Person, First I will apologize for taking so long to respond. It wasn’t the length of your comment, it was my email server. 🙁 Hopefully, it’s all repaired now…

    Here’s what’s happened. The muscles in front of your body have become shortened due to the posture you used at the computer (and maybe at the dinner table, on the sofa, etc.) They (and your heavy head) are pulling you forward when you are trying to sit upright. Then the muscles in the back of your neck and shoulders and back become strained. They complain. They ache. They want to be strong, not wimpy and strained.

    Here’s how to make them happy, in a nutshell: Part one: Lengthen the muscles in front, from your thighs, abdomen, chest, arms. Stretch those muscles, gently, thoughtfully. Take as far as they go comfortably (not into pain) and hold a couple of seconds. Then relax them, letting them go back into normal position. Start slowly, thoughtfully, paying attention to how your muscles feel. Gradually, over days, build up from a couple of stretches to several each day. Part two: Strengthen the muscles in the back of your neck and in your back. Here’s how: http://www.simplestrengthening...../#more-215 http://www.simplestrengthening.....k-muscles/

    Start slowly and thoughtfully when starting a strengthening program. It will probably feel really good–like your muscles are waking up! Some people do have to really think about it because their muscles are just not used to moving anymore but they, and you, can get there.

    Here’s the deal. If you don’t start moving your body in these ways, you will get into more and more pain and dysfunction. I don’t want to see that happen to you. It takes only a few minutes a day, several times a day (after a few days; work up gradually) to make a big difference.

    A lot of people find benefit from using a Nadachair. It’s a yoga-assist belt that helps you sit up straight, with your head over your shoulders instead of hanging out in front of your body. The last back pain man I had use it actually used the word “amazing” within a minute of sitting with it. I use it at my desk, too. If we sit for hours in poor posture, we get kind of ‘stuck’ in it, but bodies can change and heal.

    Even though you have pain behind your head and neck and shoulders, that’s not where the problem starts. It starts in front. It starts with your heavy head pulling on your neck and back. Gotta get the head back over your shoulders, like when you were a little kid.

    A laptop isn’t the answer, either. They cause more dysfunction for most users. A table top computer is more adjustable and typically can provide better posture and less discomfort. Wiggle your feet, roll your ankles, and squeeze your buttocks (bounce) when you are sitting. Keep everything moving! 🙂

    Let me know how you are doing and thank you for asking about how to get rid of the pain in your back and neck. You can do it! (You just have to do it.)

    Kathryn
    The Pain Relief Coach

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