Jasonspsyche’s Weblog

{March 16, 2008}   Even my jeans think that I am … 2 SHORT: Tips for Relieving Shoulder Stress When You are Petite and Large Busted

Even my jeans think that I am … 2 SHORT:

But, I’ve found some helpful tips for those of us that are petite and blessed with a double-dose of Dolly Parton bust lines.

My shoulders use to hurt a lot and they wanted to curve in – making it hard to sit up straight or do tasks at surfaces like counter tops and tables. But now, I am free of tension and want to share my findings.

#1 – Take the pressure off of your shoulders. I’ve always had a hard time finding good bras. I’m not a big person – but my boobs are. I suppose I could have gone the Punky Brewster route, and had a reduction surgery – but I like being busty. [My husband is a self-proclaimed mastofact and says that he prefers naturally large breasts to what he terms “fried eggs” (small breasts) or implants.]
I love my breasts, and I’m going to take care of them so that I don’t end up with National Geographic boobs. Unfortunately, the typical bra (particularly one that can handle me and still look cute) wreaks havoc on your shoulders. It pulls them towards your breasts and digs in to your skin and muscle. The answer: T-BACK or RACER BACK or POSTURE bras. Posture bras used to be these hideous granny things that shaped your boobs into road cones. No more. I found some gorgeous front closure lacy posture bras that are super comfortable and sexy. Even going with a T-back or racer back makes a huge difference. Here’s a link to some that I like: Vanity Fair bras, Vanity Fair bra at Bare Necessities

#2 – Get taller in the kitchen. Even though we live in a handicapped-accessible house (it just happened to be outfitted that way when we bought it), and the counter-tops are a few inches shorter than standard, I’m still too short to properly use them. Yes, I can reach them, but I don’t get full arm extension and I can’t reach a good portion of the cupboards. My grandmother, who was 4′ 10”, had her own answer to this problem: she wore slip on high heels in the kitchen!! As fun as that might be, even in my clear stripper heels (I’m still not quite sure if I feel offended or complemented for being mistaken for an actual dancer at the shop in Hollywood), we have small moving road bumps, also known as pet tortoises, that stalk me while trolling the kitchen floor for dropped veggie scraps. Since I don’t want to trip on a tortoise and break my neck, and they have a habit of walking on my feet while begging for handouts, the answer was to give myself a platform. Solution: Aerobic exercise step. I use one that is high enough so that I can extend my arm while cutting and washing things, and reach the top shelf. In addition, it’s long enough that I can work at the stove and sink without moving it. Plus, I get a little extra workout going up and down while cooking. There are additional bonuses like pretending that I’m a go-go dancer while listening to MP3s, being at just the right height for an afternoon quickie, etc…

#3 – Make your workstation ergo friendly. This may seem obvious, but stuff is adjustable for a reason, and if it doesn’t go low enough – get something else. Don’t settle. (This is my new philosophy in life since meeting Jason – since he is so incredible, I have decided that everything else around me should be as well. Settling for less sucks and will not be tolerated.) You don’t have to live with something that causes you to suffer. Stop whining and take action. I have a very adjustable desk with three computers – two laptops on risers, and a swing-arm monitor for the server. I have a natural keyboard (thank you Microsoft company store), and can position myself so that I have 90 degree angles for my knees, back and shoulders, and arms. Since I am such a munchkin, this requires a special seat. I have had good success with the kneeling type chairs (if I can scoot up close enough with them down that far), and a ball chair. However, my new favorite is the Swopper.
Swopper Black Ultrasuede
The Swopper is a bouncy, swiveling stool that not only promotes great posture and core strength, but it is fun to sit on. And bounce on. And twirl around on. Plus, it doesn’t take up a lot of room. Jason and I like to sit close together while we work and this chair makes it easy to hold hands and touch while we work at the computers.
When I’m not holding Jason’s hand, or resting my hand on his leg, I’m mousing. A lot. When you move the mouse, you move your whole arm. If you are leaning or have any back or neck tension, this can lead to a really sore upper shoulder. Jason’s solution is to use a trackball. I tried that, but I have a retarded thumb. I’d have better accuracy with my nose. Solution: the Ergo Rest. It’s probably the single best investment I’ve made at my workstation. I loved mine so much that Jason got one and now he uses it with his mouse more than the trackball.

All of these changes have made my shoulders nearly tension free. What’s next? We’re probably going to get an inversion table. That should be interesting…

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