Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34

Thread: Body Aches/Pain from FMQ

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    56

    Body Aches/Pain from FMQ

    I am experiencing pain around my right ankle and radiating up my leg from holding down the pedal during FMQ. I don't spend long periods of time at one stretch, but intermittent sessions through the day/week. I tried a phone book to support and provide rest for my foot behind the foot pedal. It seemed to help some, but is not the answer. I have stopped quilting for now trying to figure out what to do. I don't want to strain my body and cause damage to nerves or something.

    Does anyone else experience body aches/pain from FMQ? And what do you do about it?

  2. #2
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    15,121
    When doing FMQing, I know I tend to tense my leg muscles too ... go at it for a constant stretch, whereas when piecing, you do a seam, stop and relax. Then do another seam etc, So I understand what you are meaning.

    Yes definitely ... think of the ergonomics and how it is effecting your body and what you can do to alleviate. How high is your chair? Moving your foot pedal back closer to your chair might help. Also, is your machine set into a table? or on top of a table? These are a few of the things that I would consider.

    By chance does your machine have a stop/start feature where you do not have to use the foot pedal?
    That might help a lot if it's primarily your ankle and leg that is being affected.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  3. #3
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    30,826
    I have neck nerve impingement if I over work the shoulder muscles too much. I take lots of breaks and do my posture and neck exercises. If yours is caused by the putting pressure on the foot pedal, look into a machine with a start/stop button so you don't need the pedal. Kind of sad isn't it? I finally can do a decent job on FMQ but my body limits how much I can do.

  4. #4
    Super Member mandyrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    lehigh valley pa
    Posts
    1,253
    I don't feel pain on my legs but I'm with Tartan on this one I get pain on my shoulders and a knot on my right shoulder blade that sometimes last for days and yes just when I'm finally fmq half decent my body limits me also.

  5. #5
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,873
    Can you use your left foot. Try moving the foot pedal closer so you are not reaching too far. Do stretches before, during breaks and after FMQ.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    536
    Does your machine have a stop/start button you can use instead of the foot pedal?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    421
    I have severe back and leg pain, so doing ANYTHING is so painful. I just made myself some supper, by the time I had made my meal, I was in so much pain I had to take a painkiller and sit down in my recliner for a while. I hope that you will never be in the pain that I am, but, I can give you some pointers in how to reduce pain. Work on your quilting for 15 to 20 minutes, then stop, stretch your muscles. Get up out of your chair, if you were sitting and walk around for 10 minutes or so. That may mean, go put a load of clothes in the washer,take a load of clothes,put in the dryer. You get my point. Do something to make you move. I know, quitting after only 15 to 20 minutes seems like such a short time. But, I think you body will find it easier if you break up your day with different tasks that require different muscles. Good Luck!

  8. #8
    Senior Member SlightlyOffQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Somewhere Out There
    Posts
    378
    What about attaching your foot pedal to the leg of your table so that instead of pressing it down with your foot, you are pushing it with the side of your knee / thigh ? You could use zip ties / command strips( like they use to hang hooks on the walls ) to attach so it would not be permanent or do damage to anything. Then you would just have to press your leg to the side instead of pressing with your foot.
    If you ever see a quilt without any flaws, rest assured that I did not make it ! http://slightlyoffquilter.com

  9. #9
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    England Alton Towers
    Posts
    6,640
    Blog Entries
    1
    I spent a whole afternoon after having my long arm frame set up. No breaks no stops. Two days later I could hardly move any part of my body without pain. Now adays I do. Twenty minutes spells at a time and then go to another machine to do piecing or hand applique etc.one set up in different. Places. Advantages of living alone.
    I have even used a timer.
    Sorry for your pain.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  10. #10
    Super Member busy fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    6,439
    I find that if I put a large book under the non pedal foot it evens up pressure on my spine. Both feet are elevated and equal.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    193
    Quote Originally Posted by SlightlyOffQuilter View Post
    What about attaching your foot pedal to the leg of your table so that instead of pressing it down with your foot, you are pushing it with the side of your knee / thigh ? You could use zip ties / command strips( like they use to hang hooks on the walls ) to attach so it would not be permanent or do damage to anything. Then you would just have to press your leg to the side instead of pressing with your foot.
    This is a BRILLIANT idea!!

  12. #12
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    martinsville Indiana
    Posts
    4,476
    A glass of wine may help you to relax before quilting!

  13. #13
    Senior Member sew4nin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    St. Charles, MO
    Posts
    306
    I am with leatheflea. I tend to tense up and can have pain for days after a FMQ session. I have found that if I drink wine before, during, and after, I tend not to tense up while I am quilting - true story!

  14. #14
    Senior Member SlightlyOffQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Somewhere Out There
    Posts
    378
    Wine is not always an option. For those that have have chronic pain or other medical conditions, most are on medication of one sort or another that would make drinking alcohol in any form very dangerous. Others prefer not to drink alcohol for their own reasons. Personally I take a little xanax when I need to relax, but I know better than to touch my machine once I have taken it, since I would have to have the Ambulance on stand by to remove the sewing machine needle from my finger !
    If you ever see a quilt without any flaws, rest assured that I did not make it ! http://slightlyoffquilter.com

  15. #15
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    15,121
    Quote Originally Posted by SlightlyOffQuilter View Post
    What about attaching your foot pedal to the leg of your table so that instead of pressing it down with your foot, you are pushing it with the side of your knee / thigh ? You could use zip ties / command strips( like they use to hang hooks on the walls ) to attach so it would not be permanent or do damage to anything. Then you would just have to press your leg to the side instead of pressing with your foot.
    Quote Originally Posted by RN-Quilter View Post
    This is a BRILLIANT idea!!
    That's the way the "old" machines were. I learned to sew on an old black singer in a cabinet with a knee pedal. When I got my first machine with a knee lift, I had a hard time coordinating my knee and foot to do the jobs they were supposed to do!

    So, if you have a knee lift, the you would want to mount the foot pedal on the left side.
    You also might discover that the pressure it takes may be harder on your knee/leg than having it on the foot.

    I take you back to the earlier questions/suggestions I gave.
    and will add ... What angle is your leg to your hip? your knee bend from upper to lower? and your ankle bend from lower leg to foot? Likewise for your elbow bend when sitting with your forearms flat on the sewing machine surface? Ergonomically you want them to all be closer to 90 than not.

    What can help to adjust these ... chair height and/or a platform for both feet and foot pedal to be on.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    329
    On my Sweet Sixteen I can set my maximum speed on the control panel, then that is as fast as it will go when the pedal is pushed all the way down. My foot/leg can relax, no tension. Although I really like the idea of attaching the foot pedal to the leg of the table!

  17. #17
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    home again, after 27 yrs!
    Posts
    16,254
    Blog Entries
    2
    I tend to get a cramp in my left foot. I press down on it a lot while using my right on the pedal. I tend to place the toe of my foot on the pedal rather than the whole foot. that makes it hurt more I think but I do it every time! watch some tutorials that show the quilters foot action. that might help.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    56
    Omg--what an overwhelming response from all of you. What a wonderful group of people on this board. Thank you all for your support, well wishes and help! It took a little time for my response as I was trying some of your suggestions and thinking about others.

    Actually my primary machine sits flush in a relatively new style cabinet--Perfexion 851 Quilter's Dream by Horn. I am able to sit right in front of the needle for a more comfortable position in relation to my machine. When I designed my sewing space last year ergonomics was a top priority. Unfortunately there are not many sewing machine furniture options in my area so I bought the cabinet online without trying it out. I do like it a lot, but one thing that is problematic is the design of hte bottom of the cabinet to the rear. It has a support piece of wood that juts out about 3-4 inches and sits parallel to the floor. This prevents me from being able to place my foot pedal far enough toward the back of the cabinet so that my calf and thigh form a 90 degree angle. I think this is the crux of my ankle/leg problem with FMQ. Now I will attempt to respond to your (mostly) wonderful suggestions:

    QuiltE, Tartan & Mdegenhart - Unfortunately my primary machine does not have a start/stop button. However I have a small Brother sewing/embroidery machine that does. I tried FMQ on it last night and it was absolutely wonderful. I can't quilt on that machine; it's just too small. But testing with a sandwich enabled me to observe how that would work. A new machine with start/stop might be in my very new future. ;-)

    Mandyrose - I'm sorry for your pain.

    Hopetoquilt - I really can't use my left foot after sewing for 50 years with my right. Foot pedal is too close already which I think is a large part of my problem, but I will try stretching before and after. I think that would help.

    SlightlyOffQuilter - I am sorry for your pain also. I will try your suggestions also--limiting FMQ time and moving around during breaks. I can't mount the pedal on the side of the cabinet because it is too far away from my seating position. Good idea though!

    DOTTOMO - Thank you.

    Busy fingers - I did try a phone book under each foot. My spine/back is fine. Just my ankle/leg were in pain.

    Leatheflea - & sew4nin - Don't ever drink, won't ever drink--I have to answer to a Higher Authority ;-). Tension is not that much of an issue for me. Sometimes I actually find FMQ relaxing. :-)

    QuiltE - I think ergonomics is definitely an issue for me with this pain. My calf to thigh angle is probably at about 65 degrees while pushing and holding that pedal--putting strain on all those muscles and tendons. My upper body is fine.

    Nativetexan - I will try to find some tutorials; it might help.

    Well what I did today was put the old pedal back on my Singer 201 that is mounted in a beautiful art deco period cabinet. Then I reinstalled the pedal in the cabinet to use the knee control. I have tried FMQ on it before and it is amazing, but FAST for a beginner. Using the electronic pedal, I had replaced the original with, on the floor didn't provide enough speed control. The original with knee control seems better. I will try FMQ tomorrow and see. If it works out I'll use my 201 for FMQ until I get a new machine for my H

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    56
    (Sorry I must have hit some sequence of keys and posted prematurely.) If it works out I'll use my 201 for FMQ until I get a new machine for my Horn cabinet with a start/stop button or even a BSR! ;-)

    Thanks again and Blessings!
    (Hope this post wasn't too long.)

  20. #20
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    15,121
    Sheddah ... I can relate to the cabinet issue! I got a new cabinet last year locally made, but probably Horn-like. For mine the shelf that the machine sits on in order for it to be flush with the table top brings it down lower than I really like. And too, I can't really get that 90 on the knee and ankle. I did a lot of FMQing on the weekend, and at times my foot/ankle got too far in front and oh my how my ankle got overextended and uncomfortable pretty quickly. I had to stop a few times and re work the positioning. It would all be OK if the foot pedal were not so high by its own design!

    It looks like you are on track for figuring it all out ... just keep at it and you will. One thought I have had and might work for you ... is to put the desk on top of blocks of wood, in order to raise it up a couple of inches. Haven't done it yet, as would take some help and I want to make sure it would be a highly probable solution! Raising it, then affects the chair height, so would I gain? or would it just change all the other heights and angles and I would be no further ahead?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  21. #21
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    6,487
    I find that sitting in a tense position while driving can cause some of the same issues you mentioned. I've learned to change my position frequently and if I notice myself tensing up, to consciously relax. And whenever I stop for a break I stretch as many ways as I can.

  22. #22
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    1,002
    I had the same problem when I was using a foot pedal, except if I tried to run, or step more quickly,(like crossing the street quickly at a crosswalk) my calf muscle would seize up and pretty much bring me to my knees. Just for reference, this started happening when I was still in my 30's and I considered myself in decent shape.
    Since moving to my new machine with the start/stop button, I no longer have this issue. However, I went to do a quick testdrive of a HQ Sweet Sixteen, and within 5 minutes of using the foot pedal, I had irritated that calf muscle again. Took several days for it to settle back down.

  23. #23
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,427
    Perhaps a physical therapist will offer stretching exercises to help with this and all quilting pains.
    sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  24. #24
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Monroe, IN
    Posts
    2,285
    Try a different chair....the seat height can affect your legs...I have short legs and if the seat is too far off the ground (so that my feet dangle) it will make my legs go to sleep....stretching to use a foot pedal in a similar position would cause me grief

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Mission Viejo, CA
    Posts
    826
    Blog Entries
    27
    Good suggestions, I think I will try the book under the other foot idea. Yes...my shoulders and back are in severe pain after FMQ'ing. I am trying to not tense up so much, but my concentration is focused on the quilt!
    Mother yourself just as you would your own children, you will be surprised how much better you feel...Debbie Marie

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.