Nora’s Story: How I Overcame Chronic Back Pain

Working with swopper.com is very special to me. Our company is very passionate about delivering great products that improve peoples’ health and wellness at work. This is something we all care about deeply. For me it is especially important, because I have experienced this first hand.

Here’s my story:
In my early teens I was diagnosed with Kyphosis. This is best described as a curve in the spine.

kyphosis

I came very close to having a full spinal fusion at that time, which is surgery to join, or fuse, two or more vertebrae. Spinal fusion is considered major surgery. Thankfully the specialist I was referred to recommended a combination of physical therapy and a back cast instead, so I dodged a bullet.

The condition never got in my way or limited my activities growing up. In school and college I was very active in sports and the like. When I graduated from college I started my career in retail banking. The nature of my work required me to sit in an office chair for extended periods during the day. I found at the end of my workday my back was sore, tired and it was difficult for me to stand completely upright.

Fast forward about eight years later; a friend of mine who happened to be a chiropractor, introduced me to swopper. He was very passionate about what the chair could do, and suggested that I give it a try. I remember thinking it looked cool, and so I sat on it. That moment literally changed my life!

Swopper chair

I immediately, within seconds of sitting, felt incredible relief in my spine. Even better, for the first time in my adult life, I had no back pain! I describe the pain I had experienced as a little gray cloud, not debilitating by any means, but just a nagging consciousness of discomfort more so than anything. I had become resigned to it. But when I sat on swopper that day, my little gray cloud went ‘puff’. I was immediately conscious of not having pain. I will never forget it!

This experience was a turning point in my life. I immediately realized that what happened to me was incredible, and then I thought, “This could help other people too.” Long story short, I became an advocate for Swopper and went on the road telling my story.

I began to research low back pain (LBP) and found that LBP was the second most common reason for an American to see a healthcare professional. I also discovered that 75% of Americans were required to sit at work. To me these facts were directly linked. With more research, I discovered that poor posture while sitting is one of the main causes of LBP. Then the penny dropped! I realized I only became conscious of my back pain when I started my career and started sitting all day. I was in an office and I was sitting, most likely in poor postures with no reason to get up and move. No wonder I had pain!

So why did swopper help me?

1. It corrected my posture. The bounce (vertical motion) immediately corrected my spine and put it into a neutral position. The combination of the convex seat shape and the forward tilt allowed my pelvis to rotate forward. This allowed me to stay in that neutral posture very easily as a result.

Proper Posture

2. I had no back support with Swopper. This meant I had to support myself in an upright position. This made me engage my core muscles and therefore condition and train these muscles around my correct posture. This had a long-term benefit of improving my posture even when I was not sitting on swopper, because when I was sitting I was exercising and getting stronger.

The best part of all was that I was doing this unconsciously. I mean I didn’t have to think about it, I didn’t have to adjust anything, I just had to sit on Swopper.

3. All of the movement; bouncing, forward tilt and lateral movement was intuitive. If I moved it moved with me. I couldn’t sit still for long as it encouraged me to move. This movement kept me from being static, it kept me from locking up or feeling stiff. I always felt that way when I sat in an office chair.

As a result of this experience, I developed a need to learn more and became a certified ergonomist. Now I have the opportunity to share my experience but also help educate others on the healthful benefits of swopper.

My main message for those considering using swopper – Try it! Even if you don’t have back pain, it will prevent you from getting it. At the very least, it will change the way you work and change the way you think about how you work. But who knows, it could very well change your life too!

Nora Fenlon Swopper

Nora Fenlon – CAE

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