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Bram Heemskerk

3 months frozen left shoulder

January 22, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Like Vengerov I also have had shoulderinjuries, 2 times a frozen shoulder. In 2008 my right shoulder. I skated on artificial ice with a icehockey shoulderprotector. I fell and thought : everything is ok, because I have enough protection. 2 weeks later I skated 200km on nature ice with a little pain in that shoulder in 10 ½ hours, but a month later I hardly could move that shoulder. A lot of pain, but I adapted my shoulderrest, so my violin was in a more vertical position so I could reach easier the Ging, because I hardly could lift my right arm. In the beginning I only could bow with my right pulse and moving my left arm with violin to the right and the left. Full recovery took a year. I decided never to skate on artificial ice in my life any more. But last januari 2012 there was nature ice so I had to skate. But suddenly I fell on my left arm. I had pulseprotectors, a downhillsuit with elbow- and shoulderprotection and my icehocheyshoulderprotection, so I thought this time I was even better protected, but still had the feeling that my left shoulder was not 100%. But playing in orchestra’s and having lessons was no problem. In the summer I visit my physiotherapist and he said that I needed perhaps 8 treatments to get the shoulder 100%. During that time I used my shoulders a lot as postman and with some amateurorchestra’s which started in september. My shoulder deteriorated and at that time I had 20 physiotreatments. During violin playing I got pain, so I played often half rehearsals. During a 2nd violin group rehaersal for the Sacre of Stravinsky I played the whole evening while my left elbow rested on a table in a classroom to dimish the pain. That was too much for my shoulder. The next day it was frozen and very painfull and I had to cancel the Sacre which I will perhaps never play again in my life. But now the recovery is much faster. The exorotation is now 74 degrees and must be 90 for a healthy shoulder. I could play 30 and 40 minutes, but had problems to get my left elbow good under the violin. Last week I could play a whole reheral of an orchestra without pain.


From Corwin Slack
Posted on January 22, 2013 at 7:10 PM
About three years ago I was practicing a difficult passage a lot. During the middle of the night I woke with very severe shoulder pain.(left) I went to the doctor who diagnosed a pinched nerve and a "frayed" rotator cuff. I went to physical therapy and experienced modest improvement. I never felt any pain while playing but holding the violin on my knee during orchestra rests was excruciating.

For other reasons, I took up strength training. My training protocol included slow movements (on machines) with very heavy weights. We continue for about three minutes until I reach a point of total fatigue. This completely and totally cured my shoulder in three to 4 months of weekly exercise. I have no problems sleeping, playing or working. I recommend this "slow burn" strength training style. It must be supervised to be effective. Bad form will damage the muscles.

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