I've been having a lot of pain lately in my upper back and neck. The more I'm on the treadmill, the worse it is. The more I'm on my piano, the worse it is, too. This is not good.
I've had several sessions with my physical therapist to try and nail down the problems. I've been showing her videos of me at my treadmill and at my piano. She didn't like the way my legs were bent sitting at the piano, and suggested a footrest. I've built one that can accomodate the pedals, and it seems to have helped some, if I remember to do the other postural things she's suggested ("long neck, scapulas back").
The treadmill is more problematic. Today she put me on her exercise treadmill to see what we could do. "Breathe into your sides, into your chest. Breathe out, keep your shoulders up. Bend from the pelvis, lean forward." She poked and bent and adjusted my back, my pelvis and my head and positioned me until I felt like a robotic cyborg. "Put me in a brace like this, and I'll be fine," I told her.
"Don't go under 1.6 mph. If you saunter you slouch. Faster is better for you. At 2 you look real good."
My PT also wants me, ideally, to limit my work sessions at a treadmill to 20 minutes (I talked her down to 30). I need to break it up with something else, like sitting down. It's not something I should do for long periods without a lot of breaks. It should definitely not be an all day mode of work.
I've been putting between 3 to 8 miles a day on mine. I love moving all day. I've solved the foot soreness problem (a Soucony Ride-6 with an insole). I'm going have to relearn how to walk, apparently, and I'm going to have to sit down more.
What does this mean for anyone else considering a treadmill? It can exacerbate some problems as it fixes others. Postural issues are crucial to address. Foot care is significant. You will spend lots of money on specialized bodyworkers (I'm seeing 3). There's a learning curve to working with a keyboard and mouse. A foam wristrest is really useful. I'm fine working now at 2 mph, but I wasn't when I started.
I'm hoping that I can build up to long sessions upright eventually. Until then, I guess I have to learn to actually be conscious of my body. Oh well.