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Thread: How do you prevent neck & shoulder pain?

  1. #1
    Super Member Sunnie's Avatar
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    How do you prevent neck & shoulder pain?

    Today I was doing some SID and stippling on my sheep wallhanging. I tried very hard to lower my shoulders each time I felt they were about to touch my ears, but I had to quit earlier than I had planned to rest my neck and shoulders. Any suggestions to preventing this pain?
    Sunnie
    a dog show & quilt addict
    www.buckhollow.net

  2. #2
    Senior Member cmrenno's Avatar
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    Can you adjust the height of your chair? I think it helps to be a little higher up.

    Colleen

  3. #3
    Super Member mary quilting's Avatar
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    Put door stops under the back side of you sewing machine to slant your machine toward you. It helps

  4. #4
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    Taking frequent breaks helps me. The change in position makes a difference.

  5. #5
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    Right now I am battling bursitus in my left shoulder and am resting it until the pain decreases. This is my second bout this year and I hope my last. I am existing on pain killers, heating pad and rest.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Sunnie ... what helped me was to raise my chair. I discoverd that what is comfortable for regular piecing and sewing, is not so, when I am machine quilting. Once I got my chair up higher, the ergonomics worked better, and my shoulders stayed down in place, instead of stretching up to my ears!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  7. #7
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Raise your chair and use a childs's packpack with 2 pound weights in it until you build up the muscles needed for quilting.

  8. #8
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    Take breaks often. Stand up, walk around every 15-20 minutes. If you can, bend slowly backwards, then forwards as far as you can go. Repeat a few times. Drink lots of water. Eat oranges, bananas, or watermelon for potassium. Take ibuprofen BEFORE sitting down at the machine. Eat tart cherries for muscle pain. Make sure chair is at the right height. Use Machinger's gloves, or Grabaroos Quilting gloves to help move the quilt around easier, which puts less strain on the upper arms and shoulders by trying to maneuver the quilt. It also helps to have a Supreme Slider on the machine. These are what help me. I very rarely have any pain in my neck, arms, or shoulders anymore.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I don't get neck and shoulder pain anymore. Used to when I quilted in the traditional way, sitting down. Now I place my sewing machine on my cutting table and quilt standing up. I cannot even describe the difference this has made for me! I will never quilt sitting down again!

    In order to have a flat surface to work on, my wonderful dh made a styrofoam surround for my machine when it is on the cutting table. What I really like is that it is lightweight enough for me to move around, plus it stores easily against the wall when I don't need it. Got the directions from Youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g14go...ure=plpp_video
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAS25...ure=plpp_video

    If you haven't tried quilting standing up, I urge you to try it!

  10. #10
    Junior Member Christine George's Avatar
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    Door stops? Really? I'm gonna try that, thanks.

  11. #11
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Also if you quilt is not moving easily for you, your wrestling with it too much, can cause pain.

  12. #12
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    Agree with all of the above but I need to add: remember to breathe. I hold my breath when stippling and have had to teach myself to let go and breathe normally. A blue face is so unattractive on a girl!

  13. #13
    Senior Member BeverlyH's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness! What a great video! Those tables are $35 at Walmart. They're over in the hardware department isle. I appreciate you sharing this, Prism99.
    Take care of our earth. It's the only planet with chocolate!

  14. #14
    Senior Member 4dogs's Avatar
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    If your chair will not adjust up higher, use a cushion, a pillow, a piece of foam, whatever you can find............

  15. #15
    Senior Member qwkslver's Avatar
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    I use Arnica homeopathic ointment. It is good for pain.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    You've gotten a lot of good advice here!

    A simple trick I learned years ago on "Simply Quilts" --- "Yes, No, Maybe So". Every 15-20 minutes, stop sewing for a minute--Nod your head about 6 times, as if you were saying "yes"; move your head from side to side about 6 times, as if you were saying "no"; shrug your shoulders about 6 times, as if you were saying "maybe so". It helps relieve neck and shoulder fatigue.

  17. #17
    Senior Member sewgray's Avatar
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    The thing that helped me was learning to sit in front of the needle, not centered in front of the machine. Also my ironing board is across the room so I have to get up and move around.
    Lord, please keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

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