interview with violinist Dylana Jensen earlier this week gave me optimism about the physical problems that can be posed by violin-playing: that it's possible to heal from injuries, solve them, prevent them.Our Violinist.com
Certainly, playing the violin or viola can cause injuries, such as tendonitis, nerve compression, repetitive strain, etc.
Then again, not all injuries can be blamed on the fiddle, but a lot of them make it harder to play; for example: a broken wrist or shoulder, neck pain from a car accident, arthritis, etc.
Personally, I'm going through an interesting experience called "frozen shoulder," a swelling of the capsule that holds the shoulder joint. The doctor told me that it has nothing to do with playing the violin, it just happens to some people at a certain age. (29, in my case, HAH!) It limits range of motion and causes quite a lot of pain. The doctor said it will "freeze," then "thaw," over the course of 6 months to...several years! Fortunately (knock on wood) I can still play, and if I do a lot of excruciating stretches and some daily yoga, that seems to help retain more range of motion. It certainly reminds me that, even with much care, it's not always possible to control everything that happens to our bodies.
Over the years I've also had episodes of repetitive strain (being left-handed and a writer as well as a violinist). I can thank my early teachers for helping me learn to play in position that has worked ergonomically for me, on the whole. And while I use a shoulder rest, I feel free to let go and hold the fiddle with a balance of head and hand.
Do you have experience with injury that has affected your violin-playing? Did the injury actually come from playing, or from something else? How did you cope with your injury or medical condition, when it came to playing? Did you change your technique? Do you currently have a physical problem you are coping with that affects playing? Please choose answer that best fits, and then share your experience, and your advice for others who might be going through the same thing, in the comments.
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