Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.7 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
What's Hot!!
PIANO TEACHERS Please read this!
-------------------
European Tour for Piano Lovers
JOIN US FOR THE TOUR!
--------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

Who's Online Now
82 registered members (anotherscott, Beemer, aliaksej, Animisha, barbaram, Artur Gajewski, 90125, 23 invisible), 967 guests, and 7 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
I am in so much pain please help!!!!! #1163838
03/16/09 08:49 PM
03/16/09 08:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 166
B
BarbVA Offline OP
Full Member
BarbVA  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 166
I posted several weeks ago about pain in my arm and hand after starting piano lessons. It is now my entire Trapezoid muscle and shoots pain to my elbow which radiates pain to my hand. I don't actually think that it is the piano playing causing it, but rather too much computer time (I work 10-12 hours on the computer each day), but I think the piano time is agravating the over use at the computer, but I can't change that with my job, and I'm not in pain until I start piano practice.

I had a severe case of whiplash from a car accident about 10 years ago, and this is the closest thing to that pain I have ever experienced.

I am hurting so bad, can't practice and certainly don't want to quit, but not sure what to do. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: BarbVA] #1163845
03/16/09 09:00 PM
03/16/09 09:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 476
Roswell, GA, USA
F
FormerFF Offline
Full Member
FormerFF  Offline
Full Member
F

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 476
Roswell, GA, USA
First question: Are you using a mouse, and if so, with which hand? Also, where is your keyboard and mouse? Is it at desk height?


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.
Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: BarbVA] #1163847
03/16/09 09:06 PM
03/16/09 09:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,439
Land of Enchantment
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Elene  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,439
Land of Enchantment
BarbVA,

I'm a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and I work with this kind of thing a lot. Unfortunately, there could be a lot of factors and I can't diagnose from what you've said so far. The good news is that this is almost certainly fixable.

(Do you mean the trapezius muscle, in the upper back/shoulder/neck?)

An acupuncturist can most likely help you.

Do you have a chiropractor-- a GOOD, low-force one? Or an osteopath? Most likely you have misalignments that are contributing to this pain.

There can be extremely subtle aspects of piano technique that are hard to see, things you may be doing to hurt yourself that are not obvious to your teacher. I wish I could see you playing because during the years that I taught these things came up and I have some ideas about what might be happening. I've been through severe tendinitis myself at the piano and was able to get better. Now I find that playing the piano helps to keep up my upper-body strength to do bodywork for my patients, and prevents pain in my hands.

Whatever else you do, please carefully observe yourself at the piano and try to ensure that all your joints are in as neutral and easy a position as possible-- not overly relaxed and floppy, but not under strain. If something hurts, it is probably wrong. Chances are you will have to make some changes in the way you use your body.

Look into:
Taubman Approach for piano
Egoscue Method for the body in general

Gosh, if you're working at the computer 10-12 hours a day, how in the world are you managing to practice piano at all?

Elene Gusch, DOM




Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Elene] #1163854
03/16/09 09:23 PM
03/16/09 09:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 707
Massachusetts
Waltz Offline
500 Post Club Member
Waltz  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 707
Massachusetts
BarbVA,

The best advice which can be given you already know. You should see your family doctor; an internet forum is hardly the place to seek medical advice. Best wishes.

W


[Linked Image]
Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Elene] #1163856
03/16/09 09:25 PM
03/16/09 09:25 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 203
Canada
D
Dave123 Offline
Full Member
Dave123  Offline
Full Member
D

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 203
Canada
If the pain is bad and it sounds like it is, get it checked out by your doctor, maybe have a few days break from the piano and maybe check your posture. I am sure some of the teachers here would have some good advise on that.

Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Elene] #1163858
03/16/09 09:29 PM
03/16/09 09:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,805
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Jeff Clef  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,805
San Jose, CA
You really need to see a doctor. And yes, you will have to stop--- something. At least for awhile. That is what the pain is telling you. If you try to force your way through it, or ignore it, it is likely to keep getting worse and also will take longer to heal.

Working with a piano teacher who understands how to help you avoid keyboard injuries (not all of them do) could be a big part of the solution for you. They can see you as you can't see yourself.

The computer keyboarding at work sounds like a big contributor, as you describe it. Ergonomic workstations and devices to minimize RSI can help. Elene's suggestions are excellent. But, unless you stop the continuing process that's causing the injury, you cannot expect anything different to occur.

Please don't put off seeking help


Clef

Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Jeff Clef] #1163866
03/16/09 09:51 PM
03/16/09 09:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,523
New Jersey
mom3gram Offline
1000 Post Club Member
mom3gram  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,523
New Jersey
Oh, I wish I could help. I've had pain from mouse overuse a few times, but not quite that bad. I hope you can find a doc or some other professional who can help without depriving you of piano for very long. You've done so well at it and I know you don't want to have to take too long of a break now. Good luck.



mom3gram


[Linked Image]
Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: mom3gram] #1163889
03/16/09 11:09 PM
03/16/09 11:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,663
NY
Elssa Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Elssa  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,663
NY
I'm so sorry to hear of your pain, and can definitely relate to it. I type about 7-8 hours a day for my job (medical transcription), and pain/soreness is a chronic problem for me as well. What I do is have an ergonomic setup where I'm sitting up higher than the keyboard (contrary to most advice to sit level). I just feel less strain leaning down into the keyboard. With both my computer and piano keyboard, I have a light-action keyboard. Heavy-weighted keyboards usually puts more strain on the hands and muscles. Sometimes I just take some Advil and have a good cry, but these other things can help. I'm grateful I haven't gotten carpal tunnel syndrome - yet, but my cousin who's a piano teacher has that now (we both have thin wrists and a delicate bone structure), and she has learned the Alexander piano technique, which she thinks has been a help. Take good care, and hope you find some relief soon. http://www.alexandertechnique.com/musicians.htm

Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Elssa] #1163914
03/17/09 01:29 AM
03/17/09 01:29 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
London, UK (though if it's Aug...
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
keyboardklutz  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 10,856
London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Elene is right. Find yourself a good Taubman or like teacher ASAP.


snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/

Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: keyboardklutz] #1163920
03/17/09 02:53 AM
03/17/09 02:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,439
Land of Enchantment
Elene Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Elene  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,439
Land of Enchantment
Hi again,

I checked back to see what other suggestions people had. I'm interested in Elssa's mention of Alexander Technique. It isn't specifically for piano, but it is one possible way out of this kind of problem. Elssa, often what appears to be carpal tunnel syndrome is coming from the neck, or neck and shoulders, not really the wrist, and Alexander thinking would be extremely likely to help.

I just wanted to comment on the idea of seeing one's family doctor. That MIGHT be helpful, especially in terms of getting referrals to physical therapy, etc., but the typical family-practice MD is not trained to deal with this kind of issue and could not offer much besides ibuprofen and rest. There are individual exceptions, of course.

Anyway, with any luck, it will turn out that there is something reasonably obvious that you are doing to cause this and as soon as you find it you will be able to start getting better right away.

Elene

Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Elene] #1163975
03/17/09 08:37 AM
03/17/09 08:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 921
North Carolina
O
Opus45 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Opus45  Offline
500 Post Club Member
O

Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 921
North Carolina
I experienced similar problems many years ago when my job required me to use the computer every day most all of the day.

These problems dissappeared gradually over a period of weeks & months after I switched from using a mouse to using a track ball instead. At the same time I also started using keyboard shortcuts whenever possible instead of using the trackball. This was beneficial in many ways...it all but eliminated the repetitive movements required to use the mouse....it split the work load across all of my fingers instead of the 'mouse finger'....it was more efficient (i.e. a keystroke or two instead of having to zoom in on a point on the screen), etc..

I still use the computer most every day and since teaching myself keyboard shortcuts and using the trackball I'm happy to say I've not experienced the kind of pain you described in over 10 years.


Jeff
[Linked Image]
Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Opus45] #1164015
03/17/09 09:55 AM
03/17/09 09:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 166
B
BarbVA Offline OP
Full Member
BarbVA  Offline OP
Full Member
B

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 166
Thanks for all the advice and support. I'm going to research the methods suggested, and I've rearranged my office desk (putting the monitor in front of me instead of to the side) and laying off the piano for a couple of days, if that doesn't work its off to the doc, but I'm not holding out much hope from the doctor.

Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: BarbVA] #1164059
03/17/09 11:45 AM
03/17/09 11:45 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,358
MA
Kymber Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Kymber  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,358
MA
Originally Posted by BarbVA
I don't actually think that it is the piano playing causing it, but rather too much computer time (I work 10-12 hours on the computer each day), but I think the piano time is agravating the over use at the computer, but I can't change that with my job, and I'm not in pain until I start piano practice.


I am so sorry to hear that you are in pain. I have to agree it is probably your computer and not your piano. I had/have a similar problem. I went to physical therapy and I was afraid they would tell me to stop playing. But both the primary care dr. and the physical therapist said it was due to the computer. The physical therapist actually said that there are three groups of people that she see's that have good posture. they are dancers, horseback riders and you guest it pianist. Well my posture at my piano is good now b/c my new teacher corrected it. You might want to have someone do that for you.

This is what helped me. 1. I had someone evaluate and correct my work station. 2. started physical therapy. 3. I started making a point to get up and move through out the day, i even started running up the stairs at work (four flights and I am up to 4/5 reps). and I started doing about 1/2 hour workouts at home. I definately have made some good progress. It is very important to be aware of and correct your posture as soon as you notice it is off- even if you are sitting watching tv. I know I start my day off fine but a few hours in and I start slouching and leaning on my arm. If you are spending that much time one place it's easy to do.

It also helps to heat a healthy diet. I dont know if any of this helps. I had RSI for about 15 years and am now only finding relieve because I am putting a more serious effort into getting better and its working.

I hope you find some relief from your pain soon!


“The doubters said, "Man cannot fly," The doers said, "Maybe, but we'll try,"
And finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
― Bruce Lee
Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Elene] #1164091
03/17/09 12:28 PM
03/17/09 12:28 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 256
Houston, TX
T
tjbsb Offline
Full Member
tjbsb  Offline
Full Member
T

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 256
Houston, TX
It's not the computer or the piano; it's you. Years of bad posture, decaying physical fitness and lack of attention to the signals your body was giving you have put you here. There is no pill or surgery that will undo all of that in a short period of time. Go see a sports medicine doctor (not a chiropractor, a surgeon or a GP), get any phsical problems fixed if possible and then get into physical therapy and do what they tell you to do. Get to the gym, hire a personal trainer, lose weight and build up your overall strength. In time you will get better. You will stay better as long as you don't fall into the same bad habits.

I think I've told you my story before. My pain got to the point where I could not lift a glass of water in my left hand. After about 3 months of physical therapy, changes in my posture at work, changes in my posture at the piano and a year of dilligent work in the gym, I can play the piano as much as I want. I can also play guitar for about a half-hour at a time. I no longer experience pain when doing ordinary activities. Unfortunately, I have torn ligaments in my left elbow so I will never be 100% pain free. However, I have learned how to listen to the warnings my body provides. I ice the elbow the moment I have pain and I know how to do various massages to release tension on the tendons in my elbow. As a nice side effect, I am fitter and trimmer than I have been in years and can do things in my mid-40s that I would not have been able to do in my mid-30s.




Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: tjbsb] #1164125
03/17/09 02:23 PM
03/17/09 02:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 476
Missouri
Agilita Offline
Full Member
Agilita  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 476
Missouri
I was having problems with my right hand and arm and our health and safety office sent someone out to evaluate my work station. He did rearrange my work area but the best advice I had from him was to start mousing left-handed. I first told him that I wouldn't be able to do that but he urged me to try. It really wasn't that hard once I got used to it and I no longer have any pain. I did reverse the buttons on my mouse (so I'm using my left index finger to click or double-click on things and a right click is really a left click for me).

Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Agilita] #1164201
03/17/09 04:30 PM
03/17/09 04:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 72
Etobicoke (Toronto) ON
B
Brian Taylor Offline
Full Member
Brian Taylor  Offline
Full Member
B

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 72
Etobicoke (Toronto) ON
BarbVA, you don't say where in the world you are, but you might be able to have a look at this and go from there:

Musician's Clinics of Canada

Dr. John Chong has an outstanding reputation for dealing with the difficulties faced by musicians in pain, and I have have heard only good from people who have told me they have been to him. Although one needs a reference from a family physician to see him, it is not impossible that there might be a similar medical service closer to where you are.

Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: Brian Taylor] #1164206
03/17/09 04:38 PM
03/17/09 04:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 22
keyboardmuse Offline
Full Member
keyboardmuse  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 22
Hi BarbVa. I'm so sorry to hear of the pain you are experiencing. I would like to echo the advice of some early responses recommending the Taubman approach. It is remarkably helpful in getting your whole body correctly aligned so that the playing mechanism is completely tension free. Many body work approaches can be helpful--like Feldenkreis or Alexander. But getting your body in correct alignment won't fix the specific problems at the piano keyboard.

Edna Golandsky has worked with injured people at the computer keyboard, as well as at the piano, and has had excellent results.

My best wishes for your improvement!

Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: keyboardmuse] #1164329
03/17/09 08:25 PM
03/17/09 08:25 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19
E
EmilyA Offline
Junior Member
EmilyA  Offline
Junior Member
E

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 19
I would also suggest possibly getting a penpal and pad, instead of a mouse, and an ergonomic keyboard. Can't tell you how much better it is for me now that I have mine....It's a Microsoft keybaord and has this optional piece you can use, which lifts the front of the keyboard. Your wrists are supported and lifted to a very comfortable place, and the keys are angled in a way that is better for your hands also.


Re: I am in so much pain please help!!!!! [Re: keyboardmuse] #1164343
03/17/09 08:38 PM
03/17/09 08:38 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 476
Roswell, GA, USA
F
FormerFF Offline
Full Member
FormerFF  Offline
Full Member
F

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 476
Roswell, GA, USA
I was having some carpal tunnel issues a number of years ago. What worked best for me was to start using a trackball with my left hand, which is my nondominant hand. Also, make sure your pointing device is at keyboard height not desktop height.


Piano self teaching on and off from 2002-2008. Took piano instruction from Nov 2008- Feb 2011. Took guitar instruction Feb 2011-Jul 2013. Can't play either. Living, breathing proof some people aren't cut out to make music.

Moderated by  BB Player 

(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Petrof
(ad)
Sweetwater - Keyboards
Sweetwater
ad
Jazz Piano Online
Jazz Piano Lessons Online

New Topics - Multiple Forums
What would you have done.....Hammer problem
by Duaner. 01/16/19 06:39 AM
For Pianoteq devotees: new instrument introduced
by QuasiUnaFantasia. 01/16/19 06:37 AM
Yamaha Smart Pianist Recording
by oneilt130. 01/16/19 05:42 AM
Dynamics and listening skills - tip!
by Animisha. 01/16/19 04:21 AM
Tips for playing Mozart K310 First movement
by hyena. 01/16/19 03:38 AM
Forum Statistics
Forums40
Topics189,600
Posts2,782,233
Members92,114
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
(ad)
Accu-Tuner
Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Please Support Our Advertisers
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

Sweetwater

PianoTeq Petrof
Piano Buyer Spring 2018
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2018 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2