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Thread: Anyone else suffer from neck and shoulder pain while sewing?

  1. #1
    Member Geisha Girl's Avatar
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    Anyone else suffer from neck and shoulder pain while sewing?

    I suffer terrible neck pain after a good few hours behind the machine and my shoulders tend to seize up as well.

    Anyone else suffer from this?

    Any tips on how to ease the pain or prevent it??

  2. #2
    Senior Member Connie M.'s Avatar
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    My pain is not terrible, but my neck and shoulders do seize up when I sew for hours. I find that a good chair the right height helps a lot. Also it helps to stop and do a few neck rotations, and shoulder shrugs every half hour or so too. I try to get up every so often too. Just sitting for a long time hurts my back as well as my neck. Hope this helps you. Sewing is too important and fun to give it up. It is worth finding what works for you to ease your owies.

  3. #3
    Senior Member auniqueview's Avatar
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    I have neck and rotator damage, so I am good for about 20 minutes at the machine before the pain really starts setting in. I have to get up and move around for a while, relax on the couch a bit before going before going back to it. What really gets me in the neck is leaning over the table cutting my fabric. I have tried sitting to do it, but it doesn't work as well. Any suggestions on that?
    If laughter is the best medicine, I prescribe a Dachshund or four.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jollyquilting's Avatar
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    I agree that a pain in the neck is a problem, if you will raise your chair so you llook staight on it will help, put a board to rest your dangling feet on and that might help.
    Jo

  5. #5
    Member SoSewSue's Avatar
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    Until last week I suffered neck & shoulder pain after every sewing session as well. Last Thursday I took delivery of a sewing table (SewEzi - no affiliation) and now no pain ! And I have been sewing for hours and hours as I am learning FMQ. The table, which is exactly the same height as the table I was sewing at before, allows for my machine to be recessed so it is flush with the table top. Lowering the machine those 4 or 5 inches made all the difference.

    I read somewhere that for good ergonomics, if you bend your arms so that your forearm is parallel to the floor your sewing surface should be "just" below your arm. So you end up with a very slight downward slope from your elbow to your hands at the machine. It may not make a difference to some people but it made the world of difference to me.

  6. #6
    Member SoSewSue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auniqueview View Post
    ..... What really gets me in the neck is leaning over the table cutting my fabric. I have tried sitting to do it, but it doesn't work as well. Any suggestions on that?
    If I am doing a lot of cutting I use'bed risers' like these to raise my work table:
    http://www.target.com/p/Plastic-Bed-...f-4/-/A-729561

    and that really helps. When I want the table lowered again I just kick them out of the way.

  7. #7
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    That's why I visit the chiropractor often. It makes a big difference.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pepita's Avatar
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    I think this is a common problem. I am getting old, and like my husband get plenty of kinks! A cervical collar helps, your head is really heavy, and the heat and the support help. The other thing I have noticed is that when I start quilting I often raise my shoulders to help more the fabric etc. and it does nothing but cause lots of pain! I got a table tray thing that tilts my machine forward--Now i have one of the sew easy tables and can't use it, but it forces you to sit back in the chair. Try it, just put something about an inch high at the back of your sewing machine base, the 'table' tilts towards you, and you sit back.
    You may also try one of those back shoulder supports they sell in the quilting magazines. I don't know what they are called but it makes you have good posture.

    Don't know if any of this would help, but I don't think it would hurt to try.
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Senior Member Aubrey'sQuiltingCreations's Avatar
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    To have pain like this I would say the ergonimics (sorry spelling) needs to be adjusted either in your chair or table height. I worked in a corporate office and every six months they had a team of people come through and measure how you where sitting in your chair at work and would adjust chairs to make sure you where getting the best seat and posture possible. I would suggest doing some research online of how to have a friend or spouse observe how you are sitting when sewing to get an idea of how to change things to make it better for you.

  10. #10
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Years ago I was having quite the problems with neck and back pain. Wound up at the Chiro. He said I had pipe neck from sitting so long at the sewing machine and that after he worked on me, I could only sew for 10-15 minutes at a time and then I would have to get up and do something else and come back later and sew, etc. WEll after sewing for hours and hours every day that was hard to hear, but eventually I got better. I can go now for 30 minutes or so then have to get up and do something else. My iron is where I have to get up and walk to use it, my cutting table too is set up that way. That is the only way I will be able to sew for the rest of my life. So all you young ones out there don't sew for so many hours in a day it may hurt you later in life.
    Sewbeadit
    Montesano, Washington

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