Subversive Sewer

{July 31, 2011}   Back pain, or why I don’t sew as much as I’d like

So yeah, I’ve had back problems since I strained it working in a factory in 1995. That convinced me to go to college, but I’ve been living with pain about 50% of my waking hours.  I’ve tried a variety of things, but doesn’t really help. The most effective seems to be improving my posture.

Anyway, I end up with horrible back pain after less than an hour at the cutting table or sewing machine. I think I’m going to try having my machines at counter height and see if that helps.

Anyone else have this problem?


mamafitz says:

i know someone who sews standing up. that might help. my other suggestion (which you may have tried) would be to strengthen your core. have you seen a chiro?

stacy says:

My daughter was having horrible back pain (different issue, but was an 8 on a 10 scale for pain) and finally took her to a chiropractor who does Active Release Techniques – basically they work the muscles and not just deal with the spine. After 2 sessions, she was practically back to normal! They also gave her a lot of PT type exercises and lots of tips on correct posture, etc.

Lucy says:

As a fellow back (/hip /neck) pain sufferer, I’d 100% advocate the above suggestions – chiropractic and pilates-style core muscles exercises. The combination makes you feel like a new person!

I also have a special seat-insert-thing (terribly technical description I know) which goes on top of an existing chair to make it more supportive. It wasn’t cheap and I’ve no idea whether you can get them in the US or not, but it’s made a HUGE difference to me over the past few years. The website’s at . No affiliation other than happy customer.

jan says:

I bring up the height of my cutting table to cut out the pain. I use the lifters that are sold to lift a low bed. I also placed a slantboard under my sewing machine. Otherwise I couldn’t function

Dana says:

I went to a chiropractor for years (the initial back pain came after lifting a bolt of vinyl to cut at the fabric store where I worked) and it did work. But after about 12 years of chiro apts. I mentioned the pain to my doctor and she recommended a physical therapist. After 3wks of apts. I was “cured” as in the pain has not ever returned. From his perspective he said the chiros relieve you temporarily but the back has a memory and if you can ease it back (as opposed to snapping it back) to its original place it will stay there. Of course, there are exercises to along with the “easing” part. I will add that when I talked to my doctor about how good I felt she said that she had sent patients to other PT’s but everyone she sent to this PT had the same experience I did. In other words, you’ve got to find the right one! Hope you can find someone to help because back pain stinks!

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