By Skoivuma (Own work)
via Wikimedia Commons
Yes, really! I played like a demon from age about twelve until after I'd graduated from university. It's a really fast game and you repeat certain actions hundreds of times, often in quick succession. I used to play for hours a day as a teenager (mostly because the best place to go was the YMCA and I was usually the only girl there, tee hee).
Then computers came along and I was an early adopter. I wrote on an Apricot - one of those computers with a little monitor with a black screen and green writing. It had 128K of RAM and cost me £2,500 back in the early 1980s. Gulp. Oh, and it was attached to a daisywheel printer that whirred and clicked and took hours to print out anything much longer than a page. It gave me time to go and do some gardening or hang up the washing. Life was so much more civilised then!
Once Apple Macs came in, I started doing design work as well as writing. Designing on a computer requires many small, very controlled movements with the mouse and before too long I became aware of chronic pins and needles down my right arm. Then the back pain started.
Oh, that back pain! Anyone who has suffered will know what I mean. At its most extreme, you can't move, walk, sit or stand and as for getting dressed or even going to the loo... well, the less said the better.
I have to manage my back. I spend a lot of money on it. I see a chiropracter and a physio regularly. My back ties itself in knots that have to be pummelled out. I bought a hand-held massage machine that works on the knots in between massages, otherwise I'd be needing attention every other day and the cost would be prohibitive.
I've also paid a great deal of attention to my sitting habits and the way my computer is set up. When I use my laptop for writing, I set it on a box to bring it up to eye level, and I use a wireless keyboard and mouse so that they, too, are at the right level. I have a wedge shaped cushion to tilt my pelvis forward and another cushion at my back to give me support. I try to remember to stand up and stretch regularly.
But I know (and my physio knows) that after any intense period at the computer, I am going to get problems.
Do you get back pain from writing? And if you do, how do you deal with it?