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Topic: BACK PAIN !  (Read 3472 times)

Offline pythagorus

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BACK PAIN !
on: January 07, 2005, 10:29:05 PM
It seems I am constantly correcting my posture, and in doing so, it seems everytime I think I am sitting correctly, 10 mins into playing there is a sharp pain that is directly below my left shoulder blade. I just cannot seem to sit the right way to avoid it. Please anyone give advice if you can, it is drastically effecting my playing and practice time. Please help!! thanks

Offline RappinPhil

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #1 on: January 07, 2005, 10:46:27 PM
See a chiropracter.

Offline xvimbi

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #2 on: January 07, 2005, 10:52:55 PM
Without seeing you play, there is no way of telling. I would suggest you talk to somebody very experienced to see if that person finds if there something obviously wrong with your posture. There are lots of reasons for back pain. One that is often overlooked is playing with low wrists. Are you doing this by chance?

Offline sirpazhan

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #3 on: January 08, 2005, 12:47:54 AM
do you exercise? if not,, maybe you should start doing some back exercises to strengthen your muscles.
\\\\\\\"I like these calm little moments before the storm. It reminds me of Beethoven\\\\\\\"

Offline anda

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #4 on: January 08, 2005, 09:33:22 PM
if you say the pain is right behind your shoulder, then most probable cause would be a too high position of your shoulders. have you tried playing with your shoulders relaxed?

more important: have you talked about this with your piano teacher? s/he could probably tell you better why you have this pain. anyway, 90% of cases, pain derives from doing something wrong.

best luck

Offline JP

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #5 on: January 09, 2005, 11:57:27 PM
As anda said, you are probably keeping your shoulders excessively tensed.. Consciously or unconsciously.

Offline offenbach

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #6 on: January 10, 2005, 05:19:46 AM
Is this something that happens only when practicing or no matter where you are sitting or what you are doing?

I would certainly check with a very knowledgable piano instructor, as well as your physician if pain persists. Excercise can also help strengthen weak muscles and help with discomfort, not just in the back, but all over. You may look into this as well.
Hope this helps.

O :)

Offline ehpianist

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #7 on: January 10, 2005, 11:46:15 AM
Check your bench height.  If you're constantly having to readjust your back position to have it straight then there is something wrong with where you are sitting. Try higher and lower and see if it helps.

Elena
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Offline Floristan

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #8 on: January 10, 2005, 06:14:57 PM
It seems I am constantly correcting my posture, and in doing so, it seems everytime I think I am sitting correctly, 10 mins into playing there is a sharp pain that is directly below my left shoulder blade. I just cannot seem to sit the right way to avoid it. Please anyone give advice if you can, it is drastically effecting my playing and practice time. Please help!! thanks

    1.  Have you seen a doctor?  He/she might recommend physical therapy.  It helped me tremendously with numbness in my thumb and index finger.  Physical therapy requires a lot of follow-through and daily exercises, but I was amazed by how much it helped me.
    2.  Chiropractic seems to help some.
    3.  Many pianists swear by the Alexander Technique, which seeks to make one hyper aware of the body, posture, proper body positioning, etc.  I believe Alexander is taught at Julliard as well.  Most large metro areas have independent practitioners who offer individual and group instruction.
    4.  It's possible that the pain comes from underdeveloped muscles under your shoulder blades.  Physical therapists have specific exercises to increase the strength of those very small muscles that we only use when doing things like sitting unsupported on a piano bench.
    5.  As noted above, if your shoulders are tense, it could cause this problem as well.  It's hard to self-correct this problem without a teacher -- either a piano teacher or and Alexander Technique teacher -- to help you learn what the correct position is.  (Many of us are slump or "stoop" shouldered and don't realize it.  It takes some training and a lot of consciousness and practice to correct this bad posture habit.)
    6.  Piano bench height is also very important.  Rule of thumb for correct bench height:  sit at the keyboard.  Hold your hands in a loose fist (not clenched), thumbs on top.  Place your left loose fist on C2 and your right on C4.  Your elbows should come to about the bottom of the keybed.
    7.  Distance from the keyboard is a very individual thing, I realize, but if you're sitting too far from the keyboard and having to reach forward with your arms a lot, that can put a lot of strain on the back.  A teacher should be able to help you with this, too.

Offline anda

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #9 on: January 10, 2005, 07:39:00 PM
if you do have a physical (medical) problem - see a doctor about that - it helps if you practice (at least part of the time) sitting on a chair with back-support (i don't know what it's called in english). i pull the chair till it almost gets under the piano and sit leaning against the back of the chair (and have to use my heels on the pedals :) ) whenever i accompany, this helps me relax and save my strength for real practice.

Offline wintervind

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #10 on: January 14, 2005, 12:52:53 PM
This is interesting. I have precicely the same problem, not quite as severe, but it occurs in my right shoulder blade. Are you by chance left handed? I have changed often my posture and seating position but it doesn't seem to help. Massage has been one way for me to loosen the muscles behind the shoulder blades but I am still at a loss as to how tension can be avoided in this peticular area.

*I also know several pianists with the exact same problem
Tradition is laziness- Gustav Mahler

Offline pianonut

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #11 on: January 16, 2005, 02:45:30 PM
Try lying flat on the floor with knees bent (and hearing pop pop pop) and you'll feel better.  Just stay there until the pain goes away.  Or, if it doesn't, bring your knees to chest one at a time.  Sometimes I bring both feet over my head.  It stretches out your spine and pops it into place.  Perhaps we think that simply sleeping at night makes our back straight again.  I think that if we sleep with one arm over our head, or up, that we may unconciously have "crink" before we even start.
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.

Offline holden4th

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #12 on: January 19, 2005, 08:09:34 AM
The likeliest cause of the problem will actually be your neck, not your thoracic spine and there is an easy way to check this out.

Stand against a wall, as tall as you can without overdoing it, and turn your head as far as it will go to the side where the pain is. If you feel dizzy in any way while doing this then it's your neck that's the problem. If there is no reaction then turn your head as far as it will go to the other side. If you can turn your head further in one direction than the other the once again it is a neck problem.

Offline pianonut

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Re: BACK PAIN !
Reply #13 on: January 21, 2005, 01:35:17 AM
interesting!  but, how do you strengthen your neck?  i used to have a bunch of chiropractor's exercises and i do remember them saying to bend head forward three or four times, back, and side to side, and also to roll the neck.   i feel much better when my middle back pops into place and then my neck follows.  but it goes out of place kind of easily after sitting for awhile, and lying on the floor seems to work better for me than against the wall.  i wonder, too, if those slant boards are even a better idea, because they pull the bones apart enough to let them go back together correctly.
do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.
 

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