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I purchased a nice violin for my 63rd birthday and I was as excited as a child on Christmas morning when it was delivered. I bought a 4/4 Apprentice model. I tried to practice twice a day, every day. But I found that the pain in my elbow and in the hollow of my elbow became unbearable. I thought that continued practice would help, but the pain got so bad that I eventually stopped and put my violin away. It makes me sad to have a beautiful violin and not be able to learn to play it. I have psoriasis and associated psoriatic arthritis. I’ve been told that changing to a 7/8 size violin might relieve the strain enough to allow me to play. Has anyone else had the same experience? Were you able to overcome the pain?
O my goodness, you poor thing, I feel your pain - they put me on Otezla when it came out as a trial, and I'm back to functioning. 1st treatment that has ever worked...I combine with red light therapy for joints, alt days. Psoriasis is gone and RA so much better....playing starts off hard (bearable aches and pains) until fingers and wrists have kind of loosened up, but now I'm able to hold the violin, and if I'm having a bad day, I sit and rest my elbow on my desk, on a jelly like mouse mat pad, and even tho its not the right posture, it releases the stress on elbow and able to practice using the middle of the bow.
I'm not sure about a smaller violin, maybe you would be too squished up to play, and it may put more stress on your elbows being at a tighter angle. I do hope you get some relief soon, thats very painful to deal with, so sorry you are going through this.
If the pain is in your left elbow, you might be able to hold the violin body front up with your left hand and practice bowing open strings with your right hand (say 20 bows per string x 4 strings). You might consider purchasing an inexpensive Rogue mandolin for practice with finger placement, since the mandolin strings are pitched to the same notes as the violin, although it has 2 strings per pitch to the violin's 1 string (you may want to remove the extra strings to lessen the force it takes to press toward the fingerboard). You can practice fingering with existing violin method book in this manner until the pain resolves.
On another thread of this forum, mention was made of a device that looked like a neck tie with internal ballast (similar to a roll of nickels). It was attached to the violin tailpiece and suspended behind the back or similar. Its purpose was to lessen the experienced weight of the violin on the left arm.
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