I never thought about a back brace for quilters until my aunt complained about having back pains while sewing.
She frequently quilts things for a hobby and is pretty good at it. Ever since I’ve been writing about back braces I feel it’s my duty to help those in need of one.
I searched the net for a back brace that can help her to give it to her as a surprise. I have never done a search for this type of back brace before and I found a belt on a website called Leahday.com.
The brace costed a little bit more than I wanted to spend so I searched around and found another one on Amazon. This brace got good reviews and seemed like a good choice so I purchased it.
My aunt was pleased with my gift and she uses it often. This is the back brace that I purchased for her:
Mag Eyes Body Rite Posture Pleaser
The price may go up or down but at the time of writing this it is priced under $35 with free shipping options. Go take a look on Amazon if you want to check it out.
This is a great back brace for sitting for long periods of time and can keep your back from feeling pain. When you sit for long periods of time whether at a computer or quilting for example, you can develop bad posture.
Bad posture is easy to develop but can be fixed with the help of this back brace. This back brace is what will keep you from slouching over and holding your head forward; those are the things that create pain.
Good Alternative to Leahday.Com Back Brace
If you want a slightly cheaper back brace that delivers the same quality then you can purchase the Mag Eyes Body Rite Posture Pleaser.
Read reviews on Amazon
I did some research and Leahday has a good back brace that is perfect for quilting. It is advertised as a back brace for quilters and the way it works is the same way the Mag Eyes back brace works.
I’m only trying to give you options because like I said earlier, I never had searched for a back brace for quilters and it seems that Leahday is the main source for it.
I believe that quilting is a good skill to have. If you are serious about it and frequently purchase items needed then go take a look at her website at Leahday.com.
How Does Quilting Cause Back Pain
Sitting for too long in the sewing position can cause back pain. Your shoulders may haunch over and your spine is in a rounded shape that isn’t natural for your posture.
This can cause aches after a while and make you feel like you need to stretch or get up and take a break. Actually, it is good to take breaks when sewing to avoid this.
If you don’t practice good posture while sewing you can develop spine and shoulder issues. Some people have a condition called kyphosis. This is when the spine is arched at an angle.
Kyphosis is a condition that can worsen if not treated. Sewing can cause this affect if the person doesn’t be careful.
You may feel pain in the top of your neck and skull area. This is the type of pain that I feel when sitting at the computer for long periods of time.
When I feel this pain I tilt my head back to try and stretch my neck area out. I try and turn my head left and right slowly to give it more of a stretch.
We can forget about posture while we are into what we are doing. For example, sewing may cause you to tilt forward to get a better position on what you are doing. This forward tilt is the reason why you may feel back or neck pain.
Another reason why the pain comes is sitting for too long with your hips tilted forward. This causes your spine to form a rounded shape that can become stressful.
As you tilt forward with your hips the spine is rounded at the bottom. The lower spine feels more pressure as well as your hip joints.
How to Practice Better Posture When Sewing
- Don’t have your table too high or too low. A good height for your table to chair ratio should be at your elbow height. When you sit in your chair, your table should be at elbow height so you can put your arms on the table with ease.
- Keep your feet planted flat on the ground. When you tip your feet forward and lean on your toes you cause strain in the lower back.
- Make sure you have room on the table for your sewing machine. This is how you will avoid being compressed into small spaces.
- Keep your legs comfortable under the table and don’t sit in any cluttered spaces that may limit your movement and comfortability. Always make enough room for your pedal as well.
- It’s best to have an adjustable chair and/or table to adjust to your needs.
- If you have to scrunch over to see a lot, make sure that you have the proper lighting that will allow you to see what you are doing from any angle.
- The sewing machine that you use is a factor also. If your machine is hard to use, you may haunch forward trying to make it work the correct way, this can cause you pain overtime. You might want to invest in a better or newer sewing machine, you can check out some here on Amazon.
Recommended Height for A Sewing Table
I did some searching online and found that the recommended height for a sewing table is 27 inches. This is a standard size that is normal for sewing.
I would say that it is a necessity to have it at this height but if it is too low (under 25 inches) or too high (over 30 inches) it can cause bad effects like back or neck pain. It also can make it hard to sew properly.
Of course height will vary with the size of the person but like I said this is standard size height. When you sit at your table you will see what height is good for you. This is why it is good to get an adjustable table and chair.
Sewing Ergonomics Equipment
When sewing you have to worry about ergonomics. This is the body motion that you make and how to keep from causing pain while making the motions.
Make it convenient for your body while you sew. Quilting is something that will give some people issues like arthritis or aching muscles.
This equipment is what is considered to be the proper ergonomics from the website Osha.gov.
Sewing Station Design
What to watch out for when sewing is sewing with a chair that is not fit for you. This can cause your body not to be at a good height to sew.
If your body leans forward too much you can develop pain overtime. If your body is too high or low from the table this can affect your spinal cord and joints.
Your hands are another thing that can be affected by not having the proper height chair when sewing.
A fix to the problem
- Make sure your chair doesn’t have wheels so you can sit in a locked positon.
- Make sure your chair is adjustable
- Make sure your chair has a curved edge for your hips
What to watch out for with the table is it being too high, this will make you lift your shoulders up and have to sew that way. That can cause pain and stiffness overtime.
Another thing to watch out for is sharp edges on the table. This can cause cuts in your wrist area and make it uncomfortable to sew.
The more your table is catered toward your comfortableness the more you will sew without pain. You can work through the pain but that isn’t a good way to produce good quality work.
A fix to the problem
- You can have a table that adjusts in height and also can tilt when needed. This type of table is perfect for sewing especially when you put in long hours.
- Make sure the table allows your elbows to be aligned with it and your hands straight forward without any lean or lift. This will help you keep good posture and effortlessly do your work.
- Make sure the table is high enough to have room for your feet and the pedal.
- Use padding at the edge of the table this is a good option to avoid cutting yourself or causing bruising. This is taking every effort to be safe.
What to watch out for is keeping your foot at an awkward position for too long. This will give your foot an aching pain and can cause stiffness or arthritis like symptoms.
The angle of your foot on the pedal is a big issue also. You can lift your foot too much or less if the pedal is positioned at a spot that makes your foot uncomfortable.
A fix to the problem
- Adjust the pedal to allow for less force when using it. If you don’t have to press down to much than that can help to avoid pain and stress in your foot muscles and joints.
- Get close as you can to the pedal so that you can direct the pressure of your foot to the pedal downward instead of at an angle. This can help you avoid pain and discomfort in your foot and even your lower back.
My Thoughts – Back Brace For Quilters
After reading through all the safety precautions I hope you learned more of how to avoid pain while quilting. Wearing the back brace can avoid a lot of pain but also practicing good ergonomics can really help you in the long time also.
If you sew without a back brace you should practice good ergonomics but even if you wear a back brace you have to still practice safe motions and equipment setups.
The back brace is for pain relieve and to prevent bad posture but it shouldn’t keep you from practicing good posture and safety with out one.
You can read another article of mine that shows how to wear a back brace here.