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Back pain at the bench


When I was in my 20s I had a lot more back pain than I do now at
almost age 50. I am sure yoga and going to the gym are great
solutions, but I never had the inclination or time for that kind of
commitment. Two things I do that make a huge difference:

  1. Make sure working heights at benches, polishing wheels, ect are
    all proper for good working posture.

  2. When I feel my back start to cramp or any of the kind of pain that
    comes from holding the same working position too long, stop, stand up
    and stretch for a moment. Reach up, reach down, twist side to side
    and then I am back to work, usually in less than a minute.

Jewelers generally don’t move around all that much at work and that
is bad for you. If you make it a habit to always move around and
stretch every time you take a break, even if it is just to answer the
phone or get something from the self, it helps.

Stephen Walker


I too am feeling the effects of a lifetime of poor body mechanics
and hours at the bench and started physical therapy for shoulder pain
two weeks ago. It consists of stretching to open up the joint spaces
and then strengthening. My therapist says that 90% of shoulder pain
is due to back issues and for that matter, carpal tunnel can be as
well. I believe physical therapy is the place to start, and not in
the surgeons office. That should be a last resort. And the best part
is that I am finding relief already!

So I concur with much of what has been said on this subject to date.
We must be thoughtful about how we work and how we use our bodies,
and seek help before the issue becomes acute. My doctor is great
about providing a referral to an excellent physical therapist, and my
insurance covers it with just a co-pay.

Susan Ronan
Coronado, CA



When I was 20 years younger I had very severe pains at my back. The
doctors told me that I had two slipped discs and I shouldn’t be doing
any bending and household chores etc. I had tried everything the
doctors ordered, like traction, heat etc. and nothing helped.

At this time my children was taking Taekwondo lessons at school. I
told the instructor about my condition and asked him if I started
with the exercises would it help. He said without exerting myself too
much it may help to strengthen the back muscles. I started and I even
got my black belt. Also I changed my soft bed to a very stiff one. I
am now 65 years of age. Until few months ago I never complained of
back pains.

Few months ago one day I had to sit on a stool a whole day without
any back rest and my pain started with a vengence. I used some
ointment to ease the pain but more important I started to build up my
back muscles again. Also I started to use a very hard mattress.

What I want to say is that you have to choose a hard mattress, and
because your back muscles are holding your structure, work on your
back muscles. Keep your back against some back rest when working on
the bench. Kind regards from Montreal,

Oya Borahan