Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Awareness and Repetetive Stress Injury

I've been in such a state of inertia for the last several months - the reason I haven't been blogging or doing much of anything...

After cutting back on my hours at my day job, I went crazy in the studio making jewelry for my summer shows.  It was fabulous!  I loved every minute of it.  However, my body paid the price with a repetitive stress injury - frozen shoulder.  The pain started in late July or early August.  But it wasn't until October that I really got the message.  The message - slow down, everything in moderation, ya da, ya da, ya da...  Here it is approaching February and I'm still fighting it.  I want to get back to work!

So, I've been to the orthopedic doc for x-rays, and an MRI.  I've been to PT for six weeks. That didn't work!  Now, I'm Rolfing.  It's painful, but the shoulder is showing signs of improvement.  I'm learning about digestive health from my Rolfer and I've made some changes there.  Now, I'm looking at my workstation ergonomics.

I've got five work stations in my studio - if you count my desk.  Some of them are at the right height and some of them are not.  The trick is to figure out what works for my body.  I'm telling you all this because repetitive stress injuries can happen to anyone.  In fact, my daughter is experiencing a similar scenario.  She works in a deli, slicing meat.  In my past life, I was a secretary.  My arms always hurt when I spent too much time on the computer. They still do!

So, now that the light bulb has turned on, you can expect to see some before and after shots in the studio.  I don't know how long it will take me to revamp.  It all takes time and money.  In the meantime, I am thinking about ways to break up my day more.  A massage therapist once told me that you should change what you are doing every 10 minutes.  That's a hard thing to say to an artist.  We get in the zone and lose ourselves for hours.  However, I can stop every ten minutes and roll my shoulders and do some stretches.  The key is to be aware of my body at all times.  It's a tough trick, but one that may put me more in the present moment.  I really hope so!


  1. This is a great post! This happened to me also. Only it was my hips and my back. I'm better now, but I'm still working on getting better balance in all things so as not to overdo any one thing. It's hard to back away from the bench when you're in a creative flurry! I think it's better for our art work in the end though.

  2. I'm sorry you had a similar issue. It is very hard to change how we work. But you are right. It is better for our artwork in the end.