Old bones create ‘Hunchback of Northland Fame’I made a visit to the chiropractor yesterday in the hope of ridding myself of a persistent kink in my lower back. My body might be showing signs of aging, but I thought my frame was in good shape. I practice yoga, I walk for exercise, and lately, I’ve added swimming to the mix, all things that should promote good posture and alignment.
By: Judith Liebaert, Superior Telegram
I made a visit to the chiropractor yesterday in the hope of ridding myself of a persistent kink in my lower back. My body might be showing signs of aging, but I thought my frame was in good shape. I practice yoga, I walk for exercise, and lately, I’ve added swimming to the mix, all things that should promote good posture and alignment.
Alas, my framework is more a leaning Tower of Pizza than a stalwart Statue of Liberty. My feet are somewhat flat, my knees turn out, my hips are lopsided as are my shoulders, I carry my head too far forward and my back is hyper-curved.
It turns out I have writer’s syndrome — my term, not chiropractor’s. The pain in my lower back is from slouching in my chair instead of sitting upright with straight spine. The chronic ache in my neck is from winching my head ever closer to the computer screen in a somewhat vulture like stare, and the burning in my shoulder blade is the result of over developed, tense muscles on my dominant side from over use and improper mousing.
Sounds more like something my cat could be guilty of.
Oh, and let’s not forget the dehydration. When the doc asked how much water I drink, I told him I use water to make my coffee. Who’d have known that soft-tissue and joints need plain water to keep them plump and healthy, and plenty of it? Or that swilling cup after cup of the caffeinated elixir of the writing gods was sucking my joint and bones as dry as the Egyptian desert?
I told the doc I’ve been writing, hunched over a typewriter and then computer, for more than 25 years. I never had these problems before.
The kind young man gently pointed out the problem is I’ve been around long enough to have been writing for the past 25 years.
Apparently, I’ve developed some pretty bad habits along the way.
There’s also consideration that until a few years ago, I wasn’t devoting as much time to my chosen pursuit as I am now. I had children to care for, a day job, other things that kept my behind out of the desk chair, which is apparently contorting me into the Hunchback of Northland Fame.
Wouldn’t you know it? I finally come to the point in my life when I have time for personal pursuits and the opportunity to follow my passion only to find my spirit is willing but the old bones are too feeble to carry me through.
He says it shouldn’t take long to get me straightened out. I’m doubtful about the chances of keeping me that way. I’m doing the therapy exercises he recommended and I’m shopping for a better desk chair.
I’m making an effort to be more aware of my posture. I’m even considering hanging a ping-pong ball above my desk that will hit me in the forehead when I start cantilevering my head beyond my shoulders, but I cannot give up the bean.
I cannot replace my hot java, with its depth of character and complexity of bitter and bold taste, for a glass of cold, transparent, bland water. Not to worry though, the doc told me. I just have to drink at least as much water as I do coffee.
I’m sure he’s right about it being the solution, because with that much liquid going in, I won’t be able to stay at my desk long enough to cause a problem.
Judith Liebaert was raised in Superior and now lives in rural Douglas County. She blogs online as the Mad Goddess™. Send your comments or story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.