This is my first post on this forum. I'm male, 28 y/o. I thought it might be good to share my recent back/neck pain experience with all of you. Clearly, from what I have read thus far, I can tell my problems are not as severe as some. Nevertheless, I've had quite a lousy past few days and thought it would be therapeutic to share...
I suppose my back has never been perfect. I've never had good posture. I tend to hang my head forwards all the time, especially when sitting at the computer or at a piano (which I play). I also tend to slouch in chairs constantly. I went to a chiaropractor a few years ago that told me I had some scoliosis, and also some problems caused by one leg being slightly longer than the other, in addition to the curved-forward neck I already knew about.
Mainly, this has led to the ongoing problem of aching and numbness on the right side of my neck/upper back. Usually about 20-30 of piano playing and I need to stop and rest my head or else would get very sore and stiff. It also makes me feel the need to constantly stretch my right arm. My sleeping habits include rolling around into different contortions 50 times a night. It's been a problem, I guess, but it's funny thinking back how little thought I really gave to it - it never really distracted from my life or routine.
Recently though, I had my trusty computer chair of about 10 years now break on me. It was a simple yet worked quite well for me: a big, wide, no-frills backrest that leaned back on spring tension. I'd sit up until my neck felt sore, then lean back and rest my upper back on the comfy back rest for a bit. The back broke though, which made my internet-heavy life difficult, so I happily went to scout out a fancy new chair.
Of course, there's a new name in chair design now: '"Ergonomics" - or roughly translated by me: "put a big, painful bump on the lower half of the back that screws up everything". The first chair I bought had such 'Lumbar support', which was adjustable, and which I adjusted while sitting in the chair (bad idea) to try and find a comfortable position. This pushed into my lower spine and made me feel like I needed to throw up. I had a lousy day of stretching and trying to relieve the pain, and returned the chair the next day.
The next one a got had a mesh back, still 'Ergonomic' though, and it's given me an equally horrible experience. As I sit here, I dare not sit back into the mesh even once, lest the past 2 horrible sleep-deprived nights return again. It's amazing how difficult it's been to find another acceptable chair.
What's amazing though, is how this experience has wrecked my whole routine. I feel like there is no place I can go to truly relax my back. Not a bed, not a couch, certainly not a computer (I'm sitting up in pain at the moment, and dare not leaning back into the chair even once). Constant attempts to stretch and relax have made my spine feel like it's on fire, and my back breaks out into cold sweats. I've been overcompensating by trying to keep my neck in 'perfect' posture all the time, which makes my neck feel like it doesn't know what to do anymore. My 'routine' of fixes, like pushing up on the arms of a chair so my torso hangs free (often previously accompanied be the comforting *crack* *crack* *crack* of the problem being fixed) don't provide comfort.
It's so very strange to be in the place that I'm at right now. I'm thinking about all the things I've done in lousy chairs forever (teaching music lessons, taking the train, sitting in classrooms, etc.) while barely giving a second thought to those things now all seem like "how did I ever stand to do that?" I can't stop thinking about the uncomfortableness, and I can't relax - and I'm sure there's a psychological aspect to all of this, but I can't seem to get my mind off of it. Getting to the gym, which in the past has been a wonderful way to get myself sleeping soundly, isn't working either. I just want to go back to my care-free-slouching-poor-posture ways and not have to deal with this anymore, but I don't know quite how to do it, or quite what I need to do to get there...or when and how I can finally find the right friggin' computer chair that I can finally relax in again!
Anyway, that's my story. Comments and sympathy are quite welcome!