February 14, 2016 at 6:41 pm #13225
I am 60 years old and started re-learning to play the violin last year. During my life I have been shot, stabbed, blown up, sliced, burned and have taken tumbles otherwise and have multiple boo-boos that won’t heal and suffer a little from degenerative diseases of my joints, plus the usual osteoarthritis pains that we nearly all suffer from at times. I find that when I practice, at least for a while, I don’t even notice it. It’s as if the pain disappears for a while.
Do you, who have these aches and pains, find that playing your fiddle helps a bit to forget the pain?February 15, 2016 at 11:34 pm #13301
- Contribution Score 325
Wow, William! My Jaw dropped when I read all that you’ve been through! Holy cow! It’s totally different for me. I have played professionally and taught for over 30 years. I am almost 60 and last year, I found out I had an injured rotary cuff, on the left side. I hadn’t fallen or anything, but boy did it hurt. All the docs and therapists were certain it was a result of years of playing professionally. Made me mad to think about it. If I play too long now, or even use that arm for other repeated motions like typing, I get a little reminder that more pain is coming if I don’t give it a rest.
I think part of your pain remedy is that you are keeping yourself busy with something you really enjoy and so it provides a distraction from the pains you would normally notice if you were sitting and dwelling on them. I say, if it gives you relief from pain, that’s a plus! Lots of players injure themselves with bad positioning and posture over years and years. So, like any athlete, warm up, stretch out, work it, cool down, frequent rests is key. Sometimes if you have a goal of practicing an hour a day, you might break it up to four sessions of 15 minutes, with stretches and warm ups each time.February 16, 2016 at 3:15 am #13310
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I fully understand as that I’m 79 and getting old is h-ll. For the last few months I have had health issues also but I only have three more trips to the hospital this year (hopefully) then will get back to practice more delligently.But it is true, when playing the fiddle, all pains go away.Right now I’m working on two, Swallowtail jig and Off to California. Peace.February 16, 2016 at 10:26 am #13320
I break my practice up into smaller pieces than 15 minutes. I give myself 6 hours to get between 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours of practice daily, and Sunday is a no practice day, however I may play a few pieces (play… not practice). I stretch s-l-o-w-l-y before each session. The main reason I break my time up, though, is not because of the injuries, but rather, so I can stay focused on the (joyful) task and fix the little problems and smooth the difficult passages. It keeps me from being lulled into mindless practice.
I think I even practice a little when I am falling to sleep… At least in my head.February 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm #13324
- Contribution Score 11
I just turned 66, and I had a shoulder repair on the left side six years ago. I am supposed to avoid repetitive motions, and I usually just work through the pain when there is no getting around it. I feel it mostly when I use a broom or have to shovel the snow from my driveway and sidewalk. But then I come in and warm up and play that violin. I get so lost in the process, that I don’t feel any pain as I am playing. My practice time seems to zip by quickly. (Time flies when you are having fun, right??) I guess learning your limits and trying to push the envelope a bit, is the challenge of aging.February 16, 2016 at 5:03 pm #13325
So the consensus so far is… fiddlin’ is good medicine for physical aches and pains… and, I must add… for the general well-being of the fiddler.February 17, 2016 at 4:52 pm #13366
When I say practice as I am falling asleep, I mean processing the information I gathered during my practice. Things that will make it a bit smoother and a better “performance”.March 7, 2016 at 8:15 pm #13895
- Contribution Score 29
I am with you guys in some ways. I never noticed pain as much in my shoulder as when I started learning the violin. My left shoulder through many years of abuse is telling me something I guess, but again Im too stubborn to listen. Hoping it mellows after awhile but will see. Glad to read all the others who keep on going.March 7, 2016 at 8:59 pm #13897
- Contribution Score 5
My health has been an issue too, as I have picked up my long-neglected viin. I have MS, which makes my hands & fingers numb. I persist in using my hands for violin, knitting, and cooking, and I think pushing through helps retain function. Periods of inactivity worsen my symptoms. MS, like RA, is an autoimmune disease, and though they are very different diseases, perhaps my experience is not too unique? Basically, use it or lose it. And, like another poster here, I have found my flexibility & some sensitivity improves with yoga, exercise, healthy Paleo diet, and homeopathy.April 20, 2016 at 11:03 pm #15173
I was injured a few weeks ago and decided that rather than practice in pain, I would forgo practice altogether until I healed up.
Rather than practice using incorrect technique while trying to avoid pain I figured it was best to leave it alone rather than trying to unlearn bad habits, which past experience has taught me that it takes longer to unlearn bad habits than it took to acquire them.
Today was my first practice session for a few weeks and rather than doing a lot of unlearning bad habits, I found out that it was almost as if I had been practicing all along.
Just thought I would pass this along.
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