Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Pain of Pottery

Since late February I've had a bit of lower back pain that started when I was throwing some big punch bowls. It felt like I had a pinched nerve or something, but I never got it checked out. With enough yoga I feel almost normal. Until last Monday... I lifted a heavy box the wrong way and hurt it badly. After sitting for a while I would get up and hobble along like an old lady with a bad back, so I went to the chiropractor for the first time on Wednesday. Maybe I'll feel normal again with another couple sessions. Are there any potters out there with ergonomic wheels? Any advice to make throwing more comfortable & back-friendly?

3 comments:

Brian said...

Erin,

If you're still sitting at the wheel, switch to standing.
I wrote about my compressed disk and resources I found on my blog here -
http://brianfieldspottery.blogspot.com/search/label/health
and Cynthia in CO recently switched and wrote about it here -
http://coloradoartstudio.com/2008/10/23/throwing-pottery-while-standing-thanks-to-new-table/

Once you get used to it, you'll wonder why they even make those short legged wheels.

Diana said...

Hi Erin,
One thing that helped me is breathing...very basic, but when you hold it in, your muscles get tight and pull on your spine. My physical therapist encouraged me to view throwing as a meditation - breathing and all.

Also, being in the same position for any length of time, sitting or standing, will injure your back. The best thing is to stretch every 20 minutes or so. And keep up the yoga!

Feel better!

Erin said...

Thank you Brian & Diana, both great advice! I'll be trying out the standing wheel today, and doing yoga tonight :)

 
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