It’s been awhile since I (Kirstin) posted. I’m down at the ranch for Thanksgiving, and it’s time for an update from one of the family spinners. But first, let’s do a little exercise in observation. What is wrong with these pictures?
My hair is all over the place, but that’s not what I mean. How about this one? Concentrate on the way I’m holding my arms.
Now that I’m looking critically at my posture, it’s pretty obvious that I’ve been holding my left arm in a very unnatural, difficult position as I spin. And, as we discussed in this post about how much I spin, I hold this posture for many long hours a day.
Well, three years of bad form has finally caught up with me. The day after the Holly Creek holiday show (first picture), moving my left arm was difficult and painful. My doctor says I’ve sprained my rotator cuff. It’ll be at least four weeks before I can spin and I’ve got limited use of my arm at the moment. So. The moral of the story?
Spinning is a rewarding activity, but take care of yourself. Your elbows should never be behind your body, or way out in front of you, as you draft. Our ergonomics adviser at work says you should be able to hold an orange between your ribs and your upper arm as you work. If your arm is too tight against your body, or behind your body (like mine) you’re putting unnecessary strain on the joints and muscles. Likewise, if your wheel is too far in front of you, you will be reaching out too far, and also straining your arms, shoulders, and upper back.
While we’re discussing this topic, I should mention your chair should be the right height (your thighs should be parallel to the floor). If it is too low, your knees will be higher than your hips. Imagine sitting on the bottom step of the stairs. If the chair is too high, your knees will be below your hips. In both of these situations, that puts strain on your sciatic nerve, which causes sciatica.
Despite this setback, our family is taking some time to give thanks this week. We’re grateful to you, who support us so loyally. Happy Thanksgiving.