Tendonitis and fibromyalgia, anyone?
I am new to violinist.com, having recently decided to pick up my violin again after 56 years! Unfortunately during that time, I developed chronic tendonitis in both arms and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have learnt that by avoiding foods with a high oxalate content, I don't get that overall pain that comes with fibro. However, I still have the tendonitis problem to deal with and wondered if anybody here manages to play their violin with this condition and could perhaps pass on any tips. I know that RICE is the recommended treatment, but I confess to not carrying it out very much.
Thank you for reading this and I would very much appreciate your input.
The cello, I'm told, is much more forgiving to people with mobility, range-of-motion, and other issues that begin to affect folks when they reach a "certain age." v-commer Andrew Victor is a good resource on this kind of thing.
RICE is pretty much abandoned concept, especially among sports medicine experts. Moreover, the physiology of tendon re-creation is still a mystery.
Proper technique with a lack of tension is vital. So is avoiding overuse. I take frequent breaks. If I know I'll be playing for an extended time without meaningful breaks, such as in a lengthy rehearsal or a concert, I will take ibuprofen about half an hour before; it seems to help significantly.
The last time I got "viola neck" I was out of commission for two months. I didn't see (feel) it coming. I've learned to be more aware of the signs. Also I cannot launch right into heavy-duty 16th notes when I start practicing. I do 5 mins of a slower etude to get things working. I've found Accolay to be a good warm-up piece.
I agree that cello is more ergonomic than violin. With proper technique and setup, you can play violin for as long as you want without pain, as long as you don't have other physical health issues. It's important to take breaks during practice, not just for the benefit of your body, but for the benefit of your brain as well. After an intensive playing session, you might find your brain overworked and unable to focus and work as well as before. It's time to take a break at this stage. Lengthy rehearsals can have very short breaks as well. It's just a matter of taking advantage of them.
"as long as you don't have other physical health issues."
Andrew Victor, you are so right! I am ignoring any other health issues, physical or otherwise. Violin is my first passion and although cello might be easier on the body and I love its more mellow tones, that idea must wait unless all else fails. Initially I wanted to just leap back in from where I left off and go on from there, but I can see that isn't going to be possible. I intend to take things slowly. Extremely frustrating, as patience was never one of my virtues.
Thanks Andrew for pointing that out. I did include aging-related conditions in "physical health issues".
You have my heart felt commiserations . Lots of good advice . Stick at it and be gentle with yourself .
Lyrica/preglabin for the fibromyalgia?
Thank you all so much for your input, and perhaps there will still be more to come. Will brooks, I thank you for your observations. I'm trying to approach this with that same attitude. I can't say I've made a lot of progress yet, but I feel encouraged to push forward!
Rose -- you're right ... Lyrica is for neurpoathic pain specifically, but there are TV ads for Lyrica targeted toward fibromyalgia sufferers. If you've solved those problems using homeopathic remedies, then I suggest writing a book about it and selling it in airports. You'll make a mint.
I am not going to talk much about Fibromyalgia(FM), because I only know 2 people with it and I have never taught anyone with FM, but I will talk about resilience and how to increase our resilience.
Correct posture, correct posture, correct posture...
I just found this