Saturday, September 25, 2010

It Was The Chair!

I've been dealing with pinched nerves in my lower back for months now. I hurts so much! I can hardly sit for very long and sometimes it is hard to stand. Walking around and laying flat on my back are the two things that seem to relieve the pain. Milking seemed to make it worse, so I adjusted how I milk the girls.

In the spring I had a really bad day after teaching guitar. I really had to walk around and not sit down for more than an hour before the pain settled down a bit. I covered a gel chair pad with some pretty fabric and put that on the chair I teach on. It seemed to help a little bit, at least reducing the pain to bearable.

Gel chair pad before covering.

Gel chair pad after covering. This is what I sit on while I teach guitar. It also helps that I teach for a few hours every afternoon instead of two long days of 5 hours each (10 students each day).
Under the pad is a piece of non-slip shelf pad so that the chair pad stays in place.

The other day, after visiting the chiropractor again, I was trying hard to pay attention to exactly what was causing the most pain.

It was the chairs I sit in! Duh!

My old computer chair. Since my desk is in the great room (kitchen, sitting area, computer area, dinning table), I like using something that looks a little more like house furniture instead of office furniture. Big mistake!
I remember seeing an exercise ball chair with wheels on the internet a few months ago. I wasn't searching for that at the time, but apparently it stuck in my mind.

Hubby has one of those big exercise balls. He didn't like it as much as he thought he would, so it sat in the storage room for a year.

Hmmmm..... I wanted to see if that would help my back. I pulled it out of the storage room, plopped it in front of my computer and, Voila! Instant back relief! I couldn't believe it.

It was a bit low, so I looked on the internet for the chairs just to see how much they would cost.

I'm a cheapskate, so I really didn't want to spend the money on that if I could figure out something using something I've already got.

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
That's what we are taught in order to stretch our resources. I didn't think I could do without something to relieve the pain, but maybe I could find something in the house to 'make do' and raise the height of the ball as well as keep it from rolling around the room when it isn't in use.

I have some wonderful oval plastic buckets that we use for everything from storing kindling in the winter to carrying stuff for camping to storing extra yarn. This is one that had yarn in it.
So far, so good! The bucket raises the ball so that my elbows are even with my desktop, and it keeps the ball from rolling around on the floor when I'm not blogging or doing music on the computer.

Ahhhh..... relief!

It took my hips a few days to get used to the ball. The muscles were a bit sore, but it wasn't the pinched nerve type pain that I was enduring before. And I can wiggle my behind while I'm sitting, which seems to help, too.

I'm not sure if I will be able to use the ball chair to teach guitar from, but you can be sure I will carry it to my sewing room when I am quilting and using the knitting machine this winter. 


Linda said...

Oh wow! That is some chair! I've got one of those balls... it just sits and collects dust. If I ever start exercising again to build myself back up, I will probably dig it out again... glad it helped you! Back pain is no fun.

Sarah said...

Great solution! I sat on a ball at my computer desk until my dog used it as a toy and popped it. It felt good for my core muscles but moved too much on the floor. Maybe I'll try your set-up!