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Getting numb foot when playing
#2775862 10/27/18 09:22 AM
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I've started getting a numb left foot when I've been at the piano for too long. I don't necessarily mean all at once, but over several practice sessions per day.

This actually started happening after I hurt my knee and had to stop running for a couple of months. I used to spend 2+ hours per day running (marathon runner), and now that I have that extra time, I am putting that extra time on piano practice, in addition to the time I would have spent practicing anyway. When I saw my orthopedist about my knee last time I mentioned it to him. He thought it was sciatica related which is what I had also thought. He suggested I sit farther back on the piano bench. I've tried that but I don't think it helps.

Perhaps I need a new piano bench. The padding on this one is pretty well worn down. They are just so expensive. I've tried using a pillow but that also raises me up a bit too high, and this particular piano bench isn't adjustable. I do think that I am pinching my sciatic nerve, but am not sure what to do about it.

Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if so, what they did to correct it.

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Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2775883 10/27/18 11:51 AM
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I went for an X-style bench which has a thick padding on it :

On Stage Deluxe X Style Bench

Ok, it's not as attractive as an actual "Piano bench" but I got it to try and avoid the issues you're talking about. And I must say, so far, so good. Can sit on it for hours without any adverse side effects.

Also, very cheap, because of its basic design.

Just a thought.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
Zaphod #2775935 10/27/18 02:58 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I ordered one and it should be here in a couple of days. I'll post back how it worked out. The price was certainly right.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2775962 10/27/18 05:36 PM
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Great. Like I say, it is a little bland looking, but it's got a nice big thick piece of memory foam in it and it is very stable and sturdy. Hope it works out for you, keep me updated.

By the way, if you want "inbetween" height adjustments with it, you move one side only by one notch rather than moving both sides. Also, make sure everything's notched in correctly and tightened up on the underside. You'll see what I mean.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
Zaphod #2776066 10/28/18 08:27 AM
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Clever suggestion about that height adjustment. I wouldn't have thought of that. I probably won't get it before tomorrow's piano lesson, so won't be able to show it off to my teacher (i.e. get her opinion ) for a couple more weeks.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2776100 10/28/18 10:25 AM
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Guess the problem is not just the piano bench being uncomfortable but also sitting for too long. Like people who take long flights are asked to get up every few hours to stretch their legs. If you leave your legs in a bent position for more than 2 hours, you start getting leg cramps. This is why you have "economy class" syndrome that has to do with blood circulation. Every hour or so just get up and walk around for a few minutes before sitting down again.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
thepianoplayer416 #2776104 10/28/18 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Guess the problem is not just the piano bench being uncomfortable but also sitting for too long. Like people who take long flights are asked to get up every few hours to stretch their legs. If you leave your legs in a bent position for more than 2 hours, you start getting leg cramps. This is why you have "economy class" syndrome that has to do with blood circulation. Every hour or so just get up and walk around for a few minutes before sitting down again.


Yeah I have had a few problems with my calves cramping up and weird foot conditions. I sit down most of the day. I do go down the gym a couple of times a week, but mostly I'm sitting down, whether it be piano, computer, etc.

I do tend to get up every twenty minutes or so though and have a little walk around.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
thepianoplayer416 #2776175 10/28/18 01:58 PM
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I believe the concern regarding not moving around on long flights is deep vein thrombosis (DVT). To help prevent that, when flying home from a destination marathon I will usually wear calf sleeves to help keep the blood from pooling in the lower extremities. In fact I often wear the calf sleeves during the marathon to aid against calf fatigue, and then just leave them on for the flight home right afterwards.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2776195 10/28/18 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RVDowning
I've started getting a numb left foot when I've been at the piano for too long. I don't necessarily mean all at once, but over several practice sessions per day.

This actually started happening after I hurt my knee and had to stop running for a couple of months. I used to spend 2+ hours per day running (marathon runner), and now that I have that extra time, I am putting that extra time on piano practice, in addition to the time I would have spent practicing anyway. When I saw my orthopedist about my knee last time I mentioned it to him. He thought it was sciatica related which is what I had also thought. He suggested I sit farther back on the piano bench. I've tried that but I don't think it helps.

Perhaps I need a new piano bench. The padding on this one is pretty well worn down. They are just so expensive. I've tried using a pillow but that also raises me up a bit too high, and this particular piano bench isn't adjustable. I do think that I am pinching my sciatic nerve, but am not sure what to do about it.

Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if so, what they did to correct it.


It might be worth putting a thin book on the floor under one side of the bench if you are inclined to put more weight on one hip. I'm not qualified to say anything more, but I did have sciatic pain and numbness caused by my posture being one-sided.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2776326 10/28/18 09:21 PM
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Or of course you could always stop playing Liszt Transcendental Etudes with your foot. laugh

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2776342 10/28/18 11:16 PM
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I've had permanent nerve damage from being hit by a car at 60mph when on a motorcycle. Nerves regrow at 1mm/year, so I am not counting on it ever happening. I found that I get relief from using this cushion on my piano bench. Combined with back brace, I went from not being able to sit 30 mins with being in agony to pretty much being able to sit there however long as I want. I've sat for 2 hours without a problem.


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Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2776353 10/29/18 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RVDowning
I've started getting a numb left foot when I've been at the piano for too long. I don't necessarily mean all at once, but over several practice sessions per day.

This actually started happening after I hurt my knee and had to stop running for a couple of months. I used to spend 2+ hours per day running (marathon runner), and now that I have that extra time, I am putting that extra time on piano practice, in addition to the time I would have spent practicing anyway. When I saw my orthopedist about my knee last time I mentioned it to him. He thought it was sciatica related which is what I had also thought. He suggested I sit farther back on the piano bench. I've tried that but I don't think it helps.

Perhaps I need a new piano bench. The padding on this one is pretty well worn down. They are just so expensive. I've tried using a pillow but that also raises me up a bit too high, and this particular piano bench isn't adjustable. I do think that I am pinching my sciatic nerve, but am not sure what to do about it.

Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if so, what they did to correct it.


Sciatica is to be avoided like the plague. I have issues with a new bed mattress which suits the missus, but most assuredly not me.
I slept with the dog on the settee last night; things were much better.
Your stool could impact on this if the padding isn't too effective. So could your running, and the cold weather you may or may not be experiencing.
I like running, but a mile yesterday with the dog (she'd run forever) and the cold took it's toll
because I'm not young anymore. frown


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Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2776408 10/29/18 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by RVDowning
I've started getting a numb left foot when I've been at the piano for too long. I don't necessarily mean all at once, but over several practice sessions per day.


If you are willing to do therapeutic exercises on a daily basis, I would recommend you get the medical community involved.

See your doctor. He may recommend physical therapy. He may refer you to a DO (Dr. of Osteopathy).

You may wish to see a chiropractor.

I have had great success with these options.


What you are experiencing is a warning that your body is not happy with what you are putting it through.

You need to leap into action before it becomes debilitating and chronic.

Good Luck


Don

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Re: Getting numb foot when playing
dmd #2776482 10/29/18 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dmd & peterws
[Sciatica is to be avoided like the plague.]

If you are willing to do therapeutic exercises on a daily basis, I would recommend you get the medical community involved.

See your doctor.


Sciatica can originate anywhere along the sciatic nerve. The one thing you can deal with on your own is a spasm in the piriformis muscle:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piriformis_muscle

If it's not the piriformis, see your doctor and get a lumbar MRI. Take that MRI to a neurosurgeon who regularly operates on people with spinal stenosis. Only a surgeon who regularly looks at these MRI's and then operates can tell how severe the stenosis is. My primary doctor and the imaging facility radiologist both said mild stenosis, the surgeon said severe stenosis. I had the surgery (laminectomies at L23 and L45). The neurosurgeon was right. That fixed the problem I'd had since 1981. If you're in the LA area, I can recommend my neurosurgeon.





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Re: Getting numb foot when playing
JohnSprung #2776515 10/29/18 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnSprung
The one thing you can deal with on your own is a spasm in the piriformis muscle:


And here is how …..

https://livelovefruit.com/deep-piriformis-stretch-get-rid-of-sciatica/

I had this exact issue 6 months ago and went to a chiropractor and DOS and ended up doing these exercises (or similar ones) and as they say ….

I am now pain free.

If that is your problem, the exercises seem to work.


Don

Casio PX-S1000, SennHeiser HD 559 Headphones, Pianoteq, Focus Rite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2776764 10/30/18 11:09 AM
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Got the famous bench. I should have paid attention to the dimensions. I didn't realize that it was a "one seater." The dog is unhappy that he can't climb up next to me. Not used to one that small. I just have to be careful not to miss is when I go go sit down. I've almost done that a couple of times.

Too early to tell is if it is going to make a difference. it is easier to adjust my sitting position, either more forward or more backward, and it does feel well cushioned. I'll have a better idea after using it for a couple of days.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2776821 10/30/18 02:00 PM
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Looks like it's time to set up a special chair for your dog to sit on next to your new bench.

The upshot of course of which will be that you come in to find your dog has appropriated your new piano bench and you are relegated to the dog's chair for playing the piano laugh

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2777005 10/31/18 08:50 AM
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Well, I don't think the bench by itself is going to cure the problem.

Zaphod: The mechanism for adjusting the height on this bench only has one place to change the setting, and so the different sides can't be raised or lowered independently.


Johnstaf: The idea of the "thin book" may be helping out. It finally gave me something to do with that "50 Waltzes" book, which I have no idea where originated. Still too early to tell.


I had to put my old piano bench right behind and adjacent to my new one, so that the dog doesn't feel left out.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
RVDowning #2777007 10/31/18 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by RVDowning

Zaphod: The mechanism for adjusting the height on this bench only has one place to change the setting, and so the different sides can't be raised or lowered independently.


On the underside, you can move one of the legs but not the other one, by one notch, or one hole, to be more precise. This gives you an "inbetween" setting. If you read some of the reviews of it, for example, a few people comment on this.

I noticed this as well, but the height setting I wanted didn't happen to require me to do that.

Re: Getting numb foot when playing
Zaphod #2777021 10/31/18 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod
Originally Posted by RVDowning

Zaphod: The mechanism for adjusting the height on this bench only has one place to change the setting, and so the different sides can't be raised or lowered independently.


On the underside, you can move one of the legs but not the other one, by one notch, or one hole, to be more precise. This gives you an "inbetween" setting. If you read some of the reviews of it, for example, a few people comment on this.

I noticed this as well, but the height setting I wanted didn't happen to require me to do that.


Yep, you're right. I tried the setting, but the options are a bit too radical. I slid right off the bench. I'd need to Velcro myself in place. I'll try the thin book solution and see how that works out.


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