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Spine and back aches (Read 3037 times)

Offline ciocia_fifi

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Spine and back aches
« on: April 20, 2003, 02:06:56 AM »
hey, i have this serious problem with my back-especially the lower part:it hurts like crazy after a few hours of practising, and its been even worse lately!! thats not the problem of my position, as i m not tense and i alws pay attention 2 d "freedom" of my arms.  my spine rests in a comfortable, stable position. so whats wrong? i ve asked my proffs, but they didnt know how 2 help me. im quite a tall chick ( 1m75 ), and sts (with my 10cm heels :)) i feel like there is no space for my legs under the piano. so maybe thats the point?
i hope u ve got some familiar experiences. what would u suggest? stretching or relaxing helps only 4 a moment...  :( and i alrdy feel like 70 year old!!
...even if I'm not right...;)

Offline rachfan

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Re: Spine and back aches
«Reply #1 on: April 20, 2003, 03:22:33 AM »
Hi Fifi,

Pain in the lower back is more of an uncommon complaint for pianists than pain up toward the shoulders and neck.  Here are some things to try:

1.  Posture--make sure you are sitting such that the keyboard is about 10 1/2 inches higher than the surface of your bench.  Sit only on the front half of the bench toward the keyboard.  If you need to adjust the bench for more comfort, I'd suggest making it a tad lower rather than higher, particularly where you are taller.  That will lessen the need to bend forward from the hips as much as you play.  Also, tone production is richer if you sit lower.

2.  Knees should be one to two inches under the keybed.  Where you are tall, it will be closer to two inches for you.

3.  As for your 10cm heels, you don't need them!  (In fact, indoors you can lose them and forget them.)  So practice in your stocking feet instead.  It'll improve your posture, allow more room for your knees under the keybed, permit more sensitivity in operating the pedal, improve your concentration, and be way more comfortable for you.

4.  Don't do long stretches of uninterrupted practice in your session, given your lower back issue.  Periodically, say every half hour, get up from the piano, walk around a bit and take a break.  Do some stretching and motion to limber up your back.  Nothing will stiffen you up more than sitting in one position for a very long time.

5.  If you are still getting that pain, switch the bench out for a straight backed chair of proper height.  Sit farther back in it close enough to the back to be able to actually lean back occasionally to rest your back now and then.  I've seen  pianists like Lupu and Michelangeli use chairs in performance in the past.

I hope these things help.  If not, you might need to see your physician to further evaluate the problem.

Good luck!  

Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline ciocia_fifi

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Re: Spine and back aches
«Reply #2 on: April 20, 2003, 11:51:34 PM »
thnx a lot rach, hope thats gonna help me a bit:)
...even if I'm not right...;)

Offline ned

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Re: Spine and back aches
«Reply #3 on: April 22, 2003, 05:53:57 PM »
Ciocia:
I seriously urge you to do regular muscle building exercises. I am 201 cm and a lot older than you. I have kept my back clear of pain. The human back is supported by the core muscles of the torso. They have to be kept very strong! Most low back pain is due to poor muscle strength (I assume you don't have spinal disease).
I happen to have a trainer but the routines should be done anyway - principally crunches, which are sit-ups but not all the way. Doing them lying back on a big exercise ball is even better. I also do push-ups and squats onto a bench. Just to see where you are now, assume a sitting position leaning with your back straight against the wall. You are sitting on an imaginary chair. How long can you hold that position? Two minutes?
Best of all visit a gym and get some advice and a daily routine to follow.
This assumes that your doctor has looked you over and hasn't found a disc or other real problem.
I am not joking. You have to keep ALL your body muscles in top shape. Stretch after every session.
Ned

Offline janice

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Re: Spine and back aches
«Reply #4 on: May 29, 2003, 02:46:03 AM »
No wonder you have back pain.  You mean you actually walk around all day wearing HIGH HEELS??? Even if the heels are not very high, still you need to be wearing tennis shoes, or something similar.  Wearing heels throws your spine out of whack when you walk.  So practicing in heels isn't as much of a problem as it is to walk around in heels.  Seriously, you should see a doctor.  You might have a disk that is out of place.  Chronic back pain should always be checked out.
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