Where does it hurt?

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For the first time in four months, I spent a day quilting! I’d love to say that it felt really good — because emotionally it did — but my body is saying something different. I have been having a lot of hip problems recently and sewing (like everything else I seem to do) aggravated my back. I went online and quickly realized that I am not alone. Here are a few suggestions that I came across:

1. Sew Standing Up. Put your machine on your cutting table and sew away. I know this would take away the pain from sitting, but I think it would be difficult to operate the pedal without putting more weight on one leg than the other.

2. Use a 3-legged stool. One woman learned to sew on a 3-legged stool. This forced her to keep her back straight or risk unbalancing the stool. While this seems like a reasonable idea, the thought of sitting on hard wood — instead of an upholstered seat — is painful.

3. Use an exercise ball instead of a chair. This engages your core muscles and is supposed to be much healthier than a traditional chair. However I doubt that I’m coordinated enough to balance on a ball and use the sewing machine.

4. Take lots of breaks. This is already part of my routine. I keep my ironing board a few steps away to ensure that I get some exercise.

5. Don’t forget about heat and ice. Again, already a part of my routine.

6. Seek professional help. I’ve been seeing an osteopath, an accupuncturist and a massage therapist. Seriously. Do I need anyone more on my medical team? However I decided to consult a physical therapist and see if he has anything to offer me.

7. Medication. I have some drug allergies and can’t take aspirin-related products. That is definitely a shame because I know that anti-inflammatory medications can be a big help.

On the upside, I got the quilt top finished for an upcoming show. I wonder if the design will reflect my pain!

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