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  • #17213 Reply


    Hello everyone!
    I have just recently (within the past month) started playing my violin again. I general practice for about 1-2 hours a day. I sit on either a piano bench or balance/yoga/ballet ball when playing. I have begun noticing that my user back will begin to hurt after about an hour. I am sitting up correctly and am not slouching! I do not remember ever having this problem 6 years ago when I was consistently playing. Perhaps I just have to build up my upper back muscles or maybe my music needs to be at a higher elevation? Has anyone else experienced this problem?

    #17314 Reply


    I’ve been going through upper back and shoulder problems for a few years now. There are many causes to it, and you need to be careful because you don’t want to cause any long term injuries. If your pain persists, you should probably seek the advise from an Alexander technique teacher, massage therapist, or physio therapist. Personally I find I can play for longer without being sore when I’m standing versus sitting. I don’t know why that is though.

    Here are a few causes that I know of:
    -Even when thinking about posture, violin tends to make people roll in their shoulders, which makes everything go out of line.
    -Since one side is holding still and the other side doing many repetitive motions, it is easy to become unbalanced between the right and left.
    -When we are incredibly focused on our playing, it is easy to not notice if we are being too tense.
    -If your chin rest and shoulder rest are not the best match for your body, it can cause the shoulders and neck to do bad things in order to compensate. People with short necks usually don’t have much problems with this. Although, people with long necks like me often needs to experiment with their setup. First find a tall chin rest so that your neck doesn’t have far to go. That way it puts minimal tension on the back of your neck. Then find a shoulder rest to match.
    -Remember to stretch your arms/shoulders before and after you practice. Think of it like going for a jog, where you need to do a proper warm up and cool down in order to prevent injury!

    #17358 Reply


    If you are having pain I highly recommend seeking the advice of a physical therapist. I also really liked the list of causes that Chantelle listed, above.

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Reply To: Upper Back Pain When Playing the Violin
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