June 9th, 2005

beeker

posture

I've just recently started physical therapy for my upper back. Years of typing, hunching over blocking books etc. has caused a condition (that has a fancy name I don't know) that makes my right shoulder blade 'crack'. Essentially if I pull my right shoulder back the blade slides over tendons or ligaments or something making a happy cracking noise. Often it's audible to the people around me. Rock. So I have exercises I'm doing at home to loosen up muscles and little things to do while I'm sitting at a desk and the PT person keeps pushing on various muscles to try to even up the two sides of my back. It's all kind of cool, and it's good that I'm finally doing something about it.

BUT. I've learned something weird about my posture. It's bad, I already knew that. I tend to hunch forward and my right shoulder does pull front. But my good posture isn't right either. When I stand/sit up straight, throwing my shoulders back and putting my chest out (heh) I actually throw myself off balance. I rock my shoulders back too far which causes my lower back to curve in - toward my stomach, and my bottom ribs to be too high. Logical - sit up straight does involve the spine being straight. But this is the posture I've had for YEARS. Trying to change it now is a conscious thought process about how I am sitting and standing all the time. It's very strange. You try to "keep your ribs connected to your spine - don't let them float" and see how you do. It's weird to be aware of my physicality nearly all the time and it's bleeding into how I hold my head, and other ergonomic things. So it's all good in the long run, but will be an interesting relearning process.

On a related topic - anyone have good ideas how to type on a laptop ergonomically? I know that going back into rehearsal is going to make this process more difficult - either the keys are at a good height for typing, or the screen is high enough I don't kink my neck looking down all the time. Does anyone have any theories on achieving both?
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