Keeping Fit for Fiber Arts

My neck and shoulders have been bothering me lately so I went to see my chiropractor. I was concerned that I was developing arthritis in my shoulders and he gave me an evaluation and tested my range of motion in both arms. His diagnosis is pinched nerves due to poor posture. I’m letting my shoulders roll forward when sitting to knit, weave or read.

Good news that it’s not arthritis and is something I can counteract with proper posture and exercise. Shoulder shrugs are good. One good stretch that I like is to stand with my back to the wall, arms parallel to the floor and touching the wall, palms facing out, and push myself away from the wall, relax, and repeat.

Another good stretch that my daughter taught me is to simply bend over at the waist and let my arms dangle free. Then I let my weight pull me forward a little at a time and stretch my spine. It feels great. I relax my head and neck and arms and eventually my hands are resting on the floor. I hold that for as long as it’s comfortable.

I’m putting together an exercise routine involving the shoulder shrugs with five pound weights, wall stretches, the spine stretches and head rotations to relax my neck. I think three times a day would be good and any time after I’ve been sitting for awhile and need a stretch.

I noticed when sitting at the floor inkle loom a couple of days ago that my upper back was tensing up. I’ve obviously been leaning forward as I weave so sitting on the edge of the recliner isn’t the best idea after all. The folding chairs I have in the workroom are too low for me to use at the inkle loom and I think I’m just going to take one of the dining chairs to use in my workroom. We keep four chairs at the table and the two extra chairs in the living room simply because I couldn’t think of another place to stash them. One chair is used for folded blankets and Brad’s knitted afghan. The other chair is rarely used so it will be OK for the workroom.

Eventually I will find an adjustable office chair to use in this room. I have one in my spinning corner in the bedroom.

The taller chair will be good for sitting at the sewing machine as well. It’s also perfect for Brad to sit in when I cut his hair and the workroom is perfect for that.

I can tell that I need to change the pillow I have behind my back when I sit in the recliner. Recliners are not built to fit my 5’3″ frame and I end up with my head being pushed forward by the headrest if I don’t use a good pillow at my back. It keeps my shoulders from rounding forward and contributing to my shoulder/neck problems.

Another thing that can be a problem is my biceps and shoulders get tired and sore from knitting for long periods of time. The stretches will help that as well. It’s amazing how something as simple as knitting can make my arms that sore. Getting old is not for the faint of heart.

Published by thenerdyyarnlady

I am a Native Texan, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Catholic Convert residing in rural North East Texas since 1975 when I married my husband and this small town girl became a country girl. I was taught to knit at the age of ten and discovered the writings of Elizabeth Zimmerman shortly after I married. I learned to ‘unvent’ things as I went along, to create my own patterns and generally have a blast with yarn and needles. In the mid 1980’s I explored the idea of spinning my own yarn and eventually got interested in weaving on a floor loom. I have three spinning wheels and a 24″ four-shaft Herald floor loom that I purchased from a friend in the 1990’s. I also enjoy sewing, tatting and making rosaries. I have a work room that contains my fiber, yarn, floor loom, sewing machines, serger and rosary making supplies. I have a spinning corner in a bedroom next to my work room, both with north windows looking toward the creek.

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