Q: I recently went with a friend to a chiropractor, and after telling the doc it was my first time even stepping in an office he proceeded to explain what he was doing to my friend and the benefits of it. I got to watch the whole process and it made me cautiously curious. My mom on the other hand has been a RN for most of my life and needless to say has thought none too highly of chiropractors, or “those quack back-crackers” as she likes to call them. Like most in the illustration profession I find myself hunched over a desk all day either drawing on paper or getting closer to the computer screen. Im kind of a bigger guy clocking in at about 6’3″ and a good 250 so I feel things always seem a little too short for me and thus hunch a little more. I was curious what you thought of chiropractors? Have you ever had any back pains from hunching over all day? If so what do you do to combat that? I have been working out now for almost a year and have found that it seems to help… some. I noticed you mentioned you have an “expensive and ergonomic task chair” – any recommendations/suggestions?
A: Considering the time I spend sitting hunched over a drawing table or computer tablet/screen, I take no chances with the health of my back. I buy expensive, fully adjustable ergonomic chairs both for myself in the studio and for my artists who draw at the theme parks. I make sure they are adjusted properly with good lower back support. It’s important to sit in them properly as well. The trick is to maintain the curvature of the spine to mimic as closely as possible your standing position. Your chair should be adjusted so your hips are higher than your knees, your feet are on the floor and your back is curved in a natural position. Good chairs also allow for some movement of the lower back.
As far as chiropractic goes, I have seen a chiropractor and while I believe the spinal cord is an integral part of your health I don’t buy that subluxations in your spine are the root of all evil in your body. I think if you try chiropractic and it provides you either relief from pain or you feel it prevents pain and discomfort, more power to you.
Thanks to Dale Stephens for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!
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