Recovering From Tendonitis
May 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM
I got tendonitis in my left forearm last year and I couldn't play my violin for several months. I recently played in my school's production of the Wizard of Oz and I played for four hours, every day of the week and I had no pain.
However, now as I'm starting to try to practice, I've been getting slight pains. Does anyone know a good "regimen" of sorts to help me gain back my muscle in my forearm?
The first Schradieck book is good for this. The exercises are really repetitive, and to me, inherently tiring. Start one, and the second you feel any tension, stop and shake it out. Start again. See if you can get further before stopping by the end of the week than you could at the beginning.
Watch your left hand position, too, and make sure you ahven't lapsed into any bad habits during your time away.
Cristina--I don't have anything super helpful, but a lot of times you will get more responses if you post in the discussion section--that's where a lot of people do their questions/advice/etc.
Edit: till it goes on the top blogs and then it will be seen! :)
I had tendonitis a few years ago and I went to a great physical therapist who helped me a lot. I went to see Jonathan Oldham in Boulder. I went to other generic physical therapists before that (I was in Aspen at the time, I did what I could) but Mr. Oldham is the only one who really helped me. I'm not trying to advertise for him or anything, I'm just saying that he's really good and not the typical "put ice on it, blah blah" therapist. I cannot prescribe anything because I'm not a medical professional but there are exercises with very light weights that worked well for me. I recommend that you go to see someone to find out what will work for you. I also went to an Alexander Technique specialist who helped me with my posture and my teacher discovered a problem with my wrist position. These are the things that I had to fix but for you it might be simpler. The point I'm trying to make is that you need to make sure that whatever caused the problem is alleviated, otherwise it could come back. Good luck!
As hard as it is, the best thing you can do is to rest, and let it recover. Remember that Tendonitis isn't a muscular problem - it's a nervous problem. Yes, muscle tone helps, but if you don't remove the inflammation then increasing muscle tone might actually make it worse.
Take a look at your technique, and see if you're bending your wrist in a funny angle when you play. That's where the tendons will be getting caught. Also, take a look at what else you're doing with it outside of the violin. Do you use a computer a lot? Check out your posture with how you use your keyboard and mouse. You might need to look into various supports to ensure correct posture.
There are some exercises that you could do to help build forearm strength. For example, start with a barbell with no weights on it. Holding it in both hands while sitting, place your forearms along your thighs so that your wrists are just over your knees. Let your hands drop, then slowly lift the back of your hands up, then back down. Make sure you pay close attention to the wrists - you don't want them to be bending at funny angles for too long in any direction.
Finally, it's probably worth seeing your GP about it. Yes, he may just tell you to RICE it, but at the very least, if you see him, he can then put it on your file, and track the progress if it gets worse over time.
Physical therapy, a good teacher (to make sure nothing you are doing is aggravating the situation), and Alexander Technique--this last assists in helping you use your whole body well, so that you do what you do in the most efficient, least damaging way possible.
If all you do is rest, then return to exactly what you were doing, the tendonitis is likely to return, too. Something needs to change.
Try observe what are the things you do on your hand aside from playing the violin. You might want to try taking Collagen supplements, some does. Might be good if you ask your medical care officer. You might be over using the hand resulting to that. I experienced and observed a bad habit of mine(not related to playing the violin though), that I often do when I'm stressed. Not im trying to avoid doing it. Hope this helps
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