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I had broken my arm a while ago and now it’s hard for me to read him the d string and almost impossible for me to reach the g string unless I have been playing for ten minutes and at that point my wrist is to sore to continue unless I take a break for a few minutes. Does anyone know how I can gain more flexibility in rotating my left hand so my fingers can reach the correct notes and with that what exercise I can do to stop the pain so I can play longer?
I am not sure, but I think maybe speaking to your doctor, bring the violin, so the doctor can see what is involved? Probably will recommend a PT to help. I had read another post elswhere where the doctor and a PT were involved due to injury. Just a thought.
I think if you were in front of a professional PT, showing what movements and stretches are involved, it might be easier to get a start in what you can do, without causing more injury. Take that info to a violin instructor?
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Cello and Viola Time!
(Former Username - cid)
This is after I’ve gone to all my pt appointments. It’s been at least a year. I finally decided to pick my violin back up a few weeks ago. I have the majority of the flexibility back it’s just those last inch or so. Do you think I should just keep trying to reach the strings doing scales as well as doing the exercises the pt doctor had me doing? I can’t really go back to the doctors my insurance ran out when I became 26
Just like in the beginning, you have to take it a little a time. Try epsom salts and hot water, works for arthritis.
Like Pierre says, when it becomes painful, stop. no need in creating a new injury.
If you haven't tried the bottle of quarters yet, it will help build the muscles up. Just like learning vibrato. take a medicine bottle, add quarters, shake repeatedly, just like you would be holding the violin neck. Use the same stretches you learned in PT to regain the flexibility. Use your heating afterward to keep the muscle from tensing up and stretch before and after playing.
Hope this helps and good luck.
@Shane "Chicken" Wang and @Bowe87 Do you think using a heating pad on wrist, arm and fingers before starting would help, too?
Maybe limiting yourself to 10 mimutes a session, maybe no more than two sessions a day to start and build up from there, also?
Cello and Viola Time!
(Former Username - cid)
@Mouse Sometimes I do use a heating pad before. I have arthritis fairly bad due mainly to broken bones. I also use blue emu, tiger balm, other pain creams when I'm done.
It is important to stretch before, it is an awkward position to stand in, or sit in, throws you off balance.
I played a bari sax today that messed my lower back up. Just having that weight and not being used to it anymore. Sounded sweet as molasses.
You can always limit your sessions, stay within your comfort zone. At some point I will be able to play blind, deaf, and laying on my back, but I will play. I am ignorant that way.
It is better to get 5 to 10 minutes practice a day than to have a hour of practice once a week. I love to practice before bedtime. I get to sleep away any pain and dream of the practice I had. When I come back to the same tunes, they are usually so much easier to get through.
To repeat the most important: If it's painful, stop!
I've had to give up a few of my favorite sports because I had the not so clever idea to play through the pain.
Last time I finished a round of PT, the therapist told me to keep doing the exercises... forever! Did your PT suggested something similar?
A bunch of us older folks actually apply warmth (long, hot shower or microwaved bean bags) to the spots that are stiff before playing. For me, it's mostly my left hand and an old right shoulder injury so I try to remember to ice them when I'm done too.
Also, check how you're holding the violin and see if adapting that brings any relief. Even with no past injury, it's easier to reach the G string if the violin is more tilted to the right. The down side to that is that the bow stroke gets weirdly vertical on the E string.
At the moment it sounds like you should be using the violin as a physiotherapy accessory, rather than as a musical instrument. In other words, don't be too ambitious.
I'd say stick to slow descending G or A scales as far as you can go until you think pain might be about to occur then stop before it does.
Rather than do it for 5 minutes a day, try for 5 minutes twice a day or even more often.
If it was a torsional break, then that might make it more complicated, but it sounds like it's too late to ask your doctor for more specific help.
Today I played for a total practice time of 30 minutes starting from the beginning of essential elements book one. I think this really helped me stretch my wrist more slowly just focusing on playing on the d and a string🙂 at the end I was able to play on the g string but it was a little bit more painful. Hopefully after a few weeks I will see a lot of improvements
@Bowe87 Congratulations on 30 minutes of practice.
Great job. I hope you continue to see improvement. My first year of playing, I had a lot of different pains that eventually went away getting more fiddle fit. I however, did not have a prior injury.
The best days are when we play music.
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato