Guest Post: How the UPLIFT Monitor Arm Helps With Back Pain by Kern Ramsdell
Posted by Human Solution on May 5th 2015
Kern Ramsdell is a musician, producer, and the host of the Home Recording Weekly Podcast. Today, he shares his thoughts on what the UPLIFT Monitor Arm has done for him! If you like his post, make sure to check out his Video Review as well!
My name is Kern Ramsdell. What I'd like to discuss with you is my story, how I stumbled upon Human Solution, and how one of their products has made my life way better.
I am in deep, or in way over my head, in the music business. Well, I should say that music is my business, and it is music that brings me so much joy. I currently have several ways in which I pull a salary out of the music business. Let me please explain why I am telling you all of this stuff.
I often work as a "live sound reinforcement professional", or a "sound person", to use layman's terms. I also run a website and podcast dedicated to the "self" recording, mixing, and mastering of music. I simply try to give solid, practical advice to fellow home recording musicians. The website and podcast take up great amounts of time, but I want come back to that point in a moment.
Please let me move forward and tell you a little about what brings me to Human Solution.
I have had several back injuries. I first hurt my lower back while serving in the U.S. Air Force, as a soldier in the Gulf War. I wish that was the only time I hurt my back, but I can be a slow learner. Believe it or not, the first two times I hurt my back I was able to bounce back to almost perfect health. It’s true; after a few short weeks of "down time", I felt pretty good. I did notice a range of motion loss and some places of rotation that were impossible to remain in for any length of time. After going through several weeks of not being able to walk, I felt lucky about the whole affair.
The third (and final) time I hurt my lower back I was not so lucky. That was "the one" that ended a couple careers and took away many hobbies that I so cherished. That third lower back injury would be my last, as I hurt myself really bad. It has been a very long time getting back to where I am today. If you have ever had a serious injury, then you understand how life-changing, physically and mentally, it can be. I will say that the two things that make my life impossible, today, are prolonged sitting and standing. Prolonged sitting and prolonged standing are simply impossible for me.
Among the many hobbies that I used to have, some actually have made me some extra cash. For example, I used to play the guitar in a rock band. That was my first venture into the world of live music, and, simply, I loved making music. But, like I said, the third injury to my lower back ended that hobby and that income stream. I have always had a strong will to remain in the music world, somehow, and I guess I found my way to where I am now.
Being a live sound guy can be rather physically demanding. But it is a passion and a hobby that can earn me extra cash. However, there is a lot of gear to lug around and then set up. There is a lot of running back and forth too. You need to be very careful as you lift equipment in and out of a venue, and work through a show. I am sure that you can understand the type of hazards that go along with being a live sound reinforcement engineer.
But that is not where my hobbies and passion for making music stop. I also spend great amounts of time sitting behind a computer, recording my songs and other musicians’ music. Sometimes, making that recorded music sound as good as it can get demands even more work. As a mixing engineer, I can work on just one song for up to 8 hours straight, or even longer. You can add in another few hours for the task of "mastering" a single song. That can be a whole lot of sitting down in just one place.
Running a website, a YouTube video channel, and a podcast demands even more "sitting down time", again, at my computer. It is easy for me to sit down for hours and hours, day after day, in order to just keep up with all of the content that I need to make and put out there on the web. To give you a glimpse of what I must perform, I plan podcast shows in advance, conduct interviews, write countless emails, watch product videos for reviews, write reviews, record my talking, edit audio, mix audio, shoot videos, and set up lighting and cameras. Again, that is a quick look as the list goes on and on. I really love what I do, so please don't think I am complaining. I am just trying to paint an accurate picture for you.
At this point in my life, the name of the game is to stay ahead of my back pain. To squash the chronic pain before it even starts to appear. The whole trick for staying ahead of my back pain is to move. I must remember to get up, periodically, and simply move. Not only do I need to get up and move myself, but I need to move my chair height, monitor height, and simply change whatever I can. Once I fail to do this one simply task, the pain creeps in.
Once my back starts to hurt, it is most often times too late to stop it. It will not stop hurting for days and days on end, and that is if I am lucky. It is a constant pain, too, with no escape at all. I have some tools that can help with the pain, once it starts, but nothing does more than distract my mind for a short period. These tools can include tens units, medicines, meditation practices, sleeping on a special bed, sitting on a special chair, and lots and lots of slow walking on level ground.
You can probably imagine the importance that I place on moving, and changing my body’s position, as much as possible. This is what has brought me to Human Solution. Human Solution specializes in ergonomics, and making furniture that allows for those of us that must keep moving.
I decided to go with the UPLIFT Dual Monitor Arm. I posted a review, and a video, for the UPLIFT Dual Monitor Arm on the website. Here is a link over to that review post. I needed a way to constantly "shake things up" with my back, neck, and shoulders, and a way to just keep things moving. It might sound like something that you have never heard of, but I benefit from constantly moving my monitors about. My back, neck, and shoulders wont cramp up that way, and chronic pain that leaves me bed ridden will not creep in.
Lastly, I have gained my desktop real estate back. I used to employ a method of moving my monitors around on my desktop, using monitor stands and thick books to move them in a three dimensional space. That was the way I came up with to move the monitors up, down, back, and forth. The problem associated with that was I lost my working desktop. I have desktop tools that need to be available to me, and that was not working very well. There had to be a better way. Welcome Human Solution and the UPLIFT Dual Monitor Arm.
I require pages of notes on my desktop to read as I conduct interviews. I use remote faders and midi keyboards as I write and mix music. Before I found the UPLIFT Dual Monitor Arm, I constantly found myself running out of room to work. There had to be a better way to work. The answer was to employ dual monitor arms from Human Solution, and that decision has made my work, my music, my life, so much better. I just feel so much more organized, more professional feeling and looking, and better pain-wise.