Step away from the keyboard

So much for the romanticised pain of the writer’s craft, grappling with wild internal passions in a bohemian loft apartment. The real pain of the writer’s craft comes in your shoulders.

I’ve been getting aches in my shoulders and neck on and off for months now. Thanks to Laura I realised that this was also causing me headaches, and at long last yesterday she dragged me to the physiotherapist.

Holy cow. I have never had such a painful and yet strangely satisfying experience in my life. After an hour of vigorous pummelling and sage advice, my muscles feel looser, freer and more relaxed than they have in months.

The small of my back feels like it’s been stamped on by an elephant, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

The most disconcerting part came when the physio compared the muscles along my shoulders with bubble wrap, as she went through the process of pressing out those bubbles. The very painful process.

Hey Paul

I do not want a body comparable with flimsy packaging kids destroy for fun.

Of course all of this comes from sitting at a computer all day, posture deforming my muscles over long years of office and home based work. I now have exercises to balance that out, and I swear by Tolkien, Asimov and Banks, I will do those exercises every damn day to avoid a time when I get this bad again.

So please, in the name of all that is good and holy (or wretched and despicable, whatever does it for you) if you work at a keyboard and you’re starting to get those aches, go see a professional now. Sort it out sooner rather than later, get those exercises in early, and save yourself much pain down the line.

Now excuse me, I need to stop hunching over my keyboard for ten minutes.


Picture by Hey Paul via Flickr creative commons