First, before you all read this post, I would like to say that I not a Doctor, I have NEVER been a Doctor, and have no plans to be a Doctor. I would also like to direct your attention to my disclaimer, written at the very bottom of this page, in order to highlight my incompetence in certain areas which I will now extend to any sort of medical advice that may be related in the following post... Now, on with the scheduled program...
My Dad's mom, my Nana, has a saying that she uses pretty regularly and at random times. Whether it be my beating her at Rummikub, dropping a pen on the floor, or perhaps she just heard some strange anecdote that she didn't quite agree with...whatever it was we could be assured the first words out of her mouth would be "Oh - my achin back." I am not sure if her back has ever hurt or if it is just a saying she picked up along the way that enveloped all the general feelings she may have been having at any given time - whatever it is I got used to it. So used to it, in fact, that I began to use it on a semi regular basis. These days, I use it multiple times a day. No - nobody has beaten me at Rummikub (that would be a near impossible feat as I ROCK!) nor have I heard a strange anecdote that I don't agree with...I say it because MY BACK HURTS!!! More specifically, my shoulder! And I blame it all on my computer...
I have been a laptop user for many years but for the past 2 years I have been a stay-at-home-work-from-the-laptop-for-hours-at-a-time user. I am guessing that many of my bloggy friends out there are also subject to the amount of desk time that I put in and, while I am at it, I will also guess that some of you work from a laptop as well? Am I right?? Well, it turns out that what they say is true - working from a laptop for many hours a day is no bueno for the body. Again, more specifically, for the back, neck and shoulders.
I have been seeing a chiropractor for chronic shoulder pain for the past year and a half. Actually - make that 3 different chiropractors at separate times hoping I would find the one to fix me. It turns out fixing me was more my problem than theirs, go figure, but with my last Chiro on board and a few simple switches this chronic problem has pretty much disappeared...and FAST!
I case you haven't heard - the problem with a laptop is you are looking down at the screen while typing on the keyboard which is pretty close to the body. Your whole body is out of whack and misaligned. E and I have decided to take the plunge and get me an actual PC but in the meantime (while we are scraping together some cash) we had to make do with the laptop. Yes, you can buy a fancy stand and prop it up...but then what about the keyboard? The stands they sell are about $20 and took up too much space on my narrow depth desk for the keyboard to fit all while giving me ample room for my arms to rest on the desk. For 50¢ I came up with a better solution...
I took one of these jar openers (which is the same material as a non slide carpet pad) and folded it in half like so:
I then opened my laptop as wide as it could go:
Placed the pad centered on my desk about 7 inches from the wall:
And propped my laptop up resting against the wall and laying on top of the pad:
Connect an external keyboard and you are set to go! I know this may not work for everyone but it sure as heck worked for me...IMMEDIATELY. I have been suffering this pain for a very long time...it got so bad I would have to lean into a wall corner just so I could jam the edge into the muscles in my back and relieve some of the pressure. OK - that may sound gross or weird but it felt really good! Only problem was it looked a little weird while we were out at parties or having friends over...that being said it probably isn't the strangest thing my friends have seen me do... Remember this?
I have had the computer switched for a few weeks now and I can honestly say what a drastic improvement it has made. I am still undergoing acupuncture but we are ready to go down to 1 time a week and then narrow it down from there. For 50¢ we managed to fix a problem that a year and a half of chiro (2-3 times a week) and a thousand dollars in medical bills didn't even touch. Man am I glad I am cheap!
Again - I just want to reiterate that I am not a Doctor nor have I ever been one (except maybe in a dream once but eventually I woke up). However, might I also say that I do watch Grey's Anatomy every week so I COULD, if an emergency arose, probably intubate you if needed. If you are experiencing back pain this severe please GO TO THE DOCTOR - it could be something totally unrelated to laptop usage!! If you have been living with it for a while and are using a laptop - I suggest you at least give it a try! Hey - it's only 50¢ (plus the keyboard if you don't already have one which we did) and I promise that if it doesn't help the pain then AT LEAST your body is in a better position than any laptop could give you. Oh - and for those worried about the actual laptop being propped up - so far it has not slipped or crashed or fallen. It just sits there all day long hangin' out and whispering to me...aren't you glad you kept me for a little while longer. Look how tall and proud I stand! And to that I say - Oh, my achin' back!
I am linking up with Informal Home for Lisa's first ever Free Yourself Friday - pop in and check it out!!
Bianca DIY Laptop stand, shoulder pain, computer back,