"Chair"ity - Jennifers Chair in the PDH News

Postby Anna » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:16 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Chair And Arm

My many-years old chair has been suffering from entropy for a long time. I didn't want to risk another metal-fatigue incident landing me painfully on my backside, possibly with something broken, so I opted to save my pennies and get another chair.

I wanted a high-backed roller chair, something both hard to find these days in office stores, and expensive should it be found. I finally settled on a chair I thought was wonderful; metal construction, moderately high-backed, real leather.

But, after a week, the narrow metal arms of the chair had pressed into the median nerve of my own arm, my drawing arm, and I realized I had a problem. The arms were too high, and not well padded enough and were damaging me. I was also damaging myself by how I had to compensate for the chair.

Long story short, I now have a almost completely numb index finger on my drawing arm, occasional numbness in my thumb and middle finger, and occasional shooting pains in my elbow and shoulder, and cramping in my arm muscles, like they are gasping for blood.

I quickly exchanged my metal chair for a much cheaper, pillowy but plastic, shorter backed chair that is soft all over. It won't last as long, but at least it isn't causing damage.

That said, my arm is still hurting, and my finger is still numb. It's been weeks.

I'm trying to rest it, but it's hard. Just about every single thing I do, or that I enjoy, demands the use of my right hand and my right index finger. Everything. I am very right-handed. My left hand is only used for support, really. I definately cannot draw with it, I cannot eat well with it, or brush my teeth, or write, or paint, or sculpt, or use my mouse well with it. My left hand is clumsy as hell.

I can tell there is some kind of problem with my elbow, and with my shoulder. A little with my neck. That's all I know. My wrist seems to be fine. It's creepy to type with a numb finger. It's creepy to draw, too. Hell, it's creepy to have... a numb finger. Half-numb. On the left side of the finger. The right side still feels. Farging weird.

Protect your median nerve, folks. It's a huge nerve that runs down your arm, under your elbow, and it provides both control and sensation to the thumb, index, and middle finger of your hand. The index finger is the first to go.

If you select a chair, make sure the arms are fully padded and low enough that you won't get a lot of pressure on your elbow sitting there. Especially from any part that is hard.

In a strange way, I've come to the odd realization that my most important limb is my right index finger. It is the other god of my body - the main god being my eye and brain - everything I do, everything I am good at, everything I create comes from the use of that one body part. How strange to see that. I guess it is true that one does not know the value of something until it is lost or compromised. Eight fingers, two thumbs, and one of those fingers is more valuable than all the rest. Strange that.

If it doesn't get better on its own, I shall hope to see a nice chiropracter I know, the next time we go to get our teeth cleaned, a few weeks from now. Maybe that will help.

Anyway, protect your median nerve. It can get damaged almost before you realize it. At least it went that way for me.

I'd read that with interest, I'm also planing to get a new chair, nearly the same kind of model Jennifer has.
But I think I will not have her problem, I'm over 6 feet tall, The "Armlehne" will be in a comfortable position.
Maybe all the designers of chairs are also much over 6 feet tall.
(I doubt that, for my opinion, they are dwarfs!
A chair exchange program would be helpfull, german office chairs to the USA, US office chairs to Germany.)

Hm, you are living in the USA, couldn't you get a laywer and get a million, or so, from the chair factory because of your injuries(?), - ahm, just an idea...

About the arm. That's sounds bad and as a former nurse (25 years ago) I'll suggest you a therapy to play Wii.
Gymnastics could really help. Eat some "Ibuprofen" medics, (prevents also a dementia, as I wrote).
Call me back in the morning or so. Or better, do not.

You should also think about a change in the position you usually sit in the front of the monitor.
What seems very comfortable isn't it maybe.
Didn't you told us earlier about similar problems?

Some years ago, 2004, my own office was in an other room,
two things made me pain, one was my left arm, I don't know why,
I didn't used it much, I'm right handed, maybe my daily food? (fat & sugar, yummy...)
I'd made a diet, and did get a new office and new furniture, it disapered.
Jennifer's story made think about it, if it was getting better because the change of my office,
because one other thing was obvious, I had a heels spur, a small one, but it did hurt.
I liked to put my feet on the, ahm, "legs", "feet" of the chair, you know, where the little wheels are.
Now I don't do it anymore, I've got space enough, and I'd prefered to walk, so the heels spur vanished over the year.

(Edited to "repair" the worsest english mistakes)

Relee's note/post is also funny...
Da kommt Freude auf.
Bah, use an online translator, ... grin
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Re: "Chair"ity - Jennifers Chair in the PDH News

Postby meatwhichdreams » Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:51 am

Invisible carpenter in the [i]sky[/], that's scary. Pain and tinglings and worst of all strange finger numbness. :boggled: Perhaps a combination of rest (well, what rest you can give your most important limb!) with some sort of finger stretches would help? There might be finger exercise sections on one of them physical therapy sites on the interwebs, but I'll bet you've checked those out already, so.

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