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Playing with pain
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Ashra
Kansas
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August 2, 2011 - 3:52 pm
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Hello,

I've been having a lot of pain in my fingers, wrists, and elbows. I work at a call center with a lot of data entry as well as I am on the computer at home and sometimes play videogames. I also have a work related injury to my left shoulder blade that causes me trouble. I would very much like to play the violin but worry the pain will make it impossible. Does anyone else experience pain such as this while playing the violin? Or has anyone developed such pain after playing the violin for years? This has only been occurring the last week or so, but any advice would be most appreciated. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day.

~Ashra

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David Burns
Winfield, Missouri
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August 2, 2011 - 5:14 pm
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We have a stretching program at work and I have been in it since it started. The program has eliminated most if not all soft tissue injuries in our work center. I do not have a copy of our stretching routine but here is a link to a page with some very similar stretches that focus on the wrists. You can find some for the shoulders as well, basically shoulder rolls and moving the shoulder through a full range of motion. Breathing is very important as you stretch as it brings oxygen to the joints and tendons. It is very important not to over stretch to the point of pain, do not bounce or tug forcefully. Firm steady pressure, breathe deeply and drink lots of water throughout the day. I take some Ibuprofen before playing and stretch before and during my practice. Neck stretching is also beneficial.

 

Dave

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 2, 2011 - 7:04 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Can't find the link David.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Robyn.fnq
Queensland, Australia
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August 2, 2011 - 9:13 pm
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Ashra, I also have pain most days.  Many years of minor damage to my neck and spine and I need to be very careful of my movements.  I've also developed a degree of arthritis in my fingers, especially the thumbs, and playing can be quite painful at times.  

But the only thing that actually stopped me playing was the acute attack of Trigeminal Neuralgia.  OMG ... you couldn't imagine that pain unless you've been through it.  And mine was all left sided, so all that side of my face, jaw, neck and shoulder were in agony with lightning bolts of shooting pain just one after the other.  There was no way I was going to hold a violin with my chin.  Who am I kidding, I couldn't get out of bed most days.

Luckily these attacks are not often, and the medication that actually gives me relief just turns me into a zombie (but that's ok, because there's no pain).  It took me another week to get the courage to pick up the violin again, but all is good now.

I can only recommend that you try gentle stretches before and during playing.  Stop playing if the pain is too bad, take medication as prescribed.  You can try heat and gentle massage if they help relieve pain.

Good luck.

coffee2

If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.

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David Burns
Winfield, Missouri
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August 2, 2011 - 9:46 pm
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Fiddlerman said:

Can't find the link David.

Oops! I knew I forgot something.

Here is the link, remember if it hurts stop, ease up a bit, your goal is to loosen the joints, get blood flowing into the joints with some fresh oxygen.

 

Stretches

This will open in a new window.

 

Dave

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Ashra
Kansas
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August 3, 2011 - 2:27 pm
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David, thank you so much for the link! I'm sure it will help greatly. Fiddlerman, thank you for pointing out the missing link. Robyn, thank you for your aid as well. I'm sorry for the pain you go through. It must be terrible, but your love for the violin and ability to play through the pain is inspiring.

I get some pain in my fingers and wrists, but it seems to be mostly in my elbows. I will try to persist in my hobbies and also try the stretches out.

I can take anti-inflammatory medicine for my shoulder, so I wonder if that will help as well? I really appreciate all your help and advice, thank you very much. Robyn, I hope there's a drug out there or soon to be made that will stop the pain without making you a zombie. I wish you all the best.

Take care,

~Ashra

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pky
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August 3, 2011 - 3:37 pm
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I have pain on my left shoulder as well. I tended to carry stress on my left shoulder so I have pain almost every day. I tried to remind myself to relax my shoulder, otherwise the painwill travel up my neck, then to my temple, down through my arm to my fingers. With this kind of pain I do a stretch -- link my head to my right shoulder and put my left arm behind my back. That usually helped. If I couldn't stand the pain I would take tylenol (panadol).

I played my new violin for the first time (second time in my life that I played a violin), and I over did it so I had pain for several days now. I put ice on it  before I went to bed and that helped, too. I may tried ibuprohene since it will take care of imflammed tissue or tendon.

One argonomist told us at work that she stretched her hands out flat before she falls asleep. I tried that, too, but I'm not sure how much that helps.

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David Burns
Winfield, Missouri
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August 3, 2011 - 4:48 pm
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Wow, I am very fortunate to not have severe pain all the time. Knock on wood. My heart really goes out to you. I too hope you can get something that works for you and does not have bad side effects.

 

Dave

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DancingDiva
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August 3, 2011 - 5:32 pm
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I am a dancer, sometimes my neck, shoulders and back are really sore.  It sometimes bothers me when I am practicing my violin.  My mother put me into a yoga class at our local YMCA and it has helped me a lot with the pain.  I often do a few poses before I start practicing my violin and even before a dance class.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 3, 2011 - 5:42 pm
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That sounds great. I wish that I could do a few poses as well. dancing

My poses would look more like the dancing M&M above.

I think that your mother did a great thing by signing you up for Yoga. I'm one of the least limber people you'll meet. Started stretching before running about six months ago and I can at least touch my toes while keeping my knees straight and that is a GREAT accomplishment for me. 

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Ashra
Kansas
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August 4, 2011 - 6:09 pm
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Pky, thanks for the tip on that stretch! I tried it just now and my left shoulder felt a bit better. It's a repetitive motion injury, and I've had to do physical therapy for it and been to Occ. Med many times for it- all in all, not a fun experience. I hope yours gets better- mine is slowly, slowly getting less painful.

DancingDiva, I feel you on that. I did belly dance for two years and it caused me some pain and injuries. It exacerbated the pain in my shoulder somewhat as well. I would really love to try yoga, but no place nearby has classes. I did recently buy a Kinect and a couple of fitness games, one of which has some Tai Chi and yoga moves in it. I wish you the best in getting rid of your pain as well.

Fiddlerman, congrats on your accomplishments! After dancing for a few months, I started to notice I became more limber even though we only did about 15 minutes of stretching before our weekly dance class. I've lost that over the months since I haven't been stretching hardly at all, but it is amazing what stretching can do for our bodies.

Thank you all for your responses. Take care.

~Ashra

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