I should’ve gone to finishing school and walked around with books on my head, rather than going to university. Seriously, if I had learned good posture in my late teens, I would not have the health problems I have now.
I have been plagued by RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) for almost two decades, ever since I started using a computer seriously. I have also suffered from headaches on waking for almost a decade. Only in the last few weeks have I entertained the possibility that the two are connected.
I have consulted more medical practitioners than you can shake a stick at for both conditions, and, apart from temporary relief from RSI when given cortisone injections (not a particularly safe procedure), neither have been resolved. I have seen neurologists, ENT specialists and allergists, as well as my very helpful (and long suffering) GP. I have had tests including CAT scan and MRI scan and lumbar puncture. I have been prescribed all manner of drugs, with all manner of nasty contraindications, and the inevitable anti-depressants. (‘Silly little menopausal woman. What’s she wasting my time for?’)
A few weeks ago, I resolved to put up with it, because none of the treatments I was being offered did me one iota of good. The headaches just go on and on, virtually every morning, clearing mid-morning but sometimes returning in the evening. The evening ones are the worst because they prevent me sleeping. My headaches are definitely not migraines because I encounter no nausea or disturbances of vision.
However, a few weeks later, in desperation, I consulted a physiotherapist, who says that my headaches may be caused by the strain and stiffness in my shoulders, upper back and chest affecting my neck and head. My posture is all wrong, as is my position when using a computer. I looking downwards too far, with the result that my chest muscles have become tense and shortened. I have only seen her twice, and I’m going again next week, so it’s early days. I hope and pray she’s right. Whether or not physio relieves the headaches, it will certainly help the RSI and treatment will not involve nasty drugs.
In the meantime, I’m using my laptop on the dining table as much as possible, and, when I do use it on my lap, I’m balancing it on two cushions to raise the screen. Previously, I had always believed that looking down wasn’t so bad but that looking upwards was deadly. I’m also considering buying a lapdesk, to raise the laptop on my knee in a better way than using cushions. I’m trying also to improve my posture, by thrusting my shoulders back and pointing my boobs in the air.
I have removed the advice about using laptops and tablets on the Dreaded Lurgy page on this blog, because, as I now realise, it’s wrong.
I’m suffering for my art.
Btw, for those of you who love a bit of crime, I’ve reviewed three crime novels on my sister blog Dear Reader (by Claire Douglas, Joy Ellis and Lucy Brazier.)