Hello everyone... I'm in need of some advice.
I'm a third-year university student, majoring in viola. For the past four years or so, I have been unable to play without some sort of intense pain. Sometimes it's in my lower back, sometimes my upper back, or my elbows, or my shoulders (especially the left shoulder). Sometimes it's all of those places at once! I can't even properly wear a seatbelt, because it cuts into my left shoulder, which is constantly on fire. Thankfully my wrists and hands have been spared so far.
I can barely make it through an orchestra rehearsal, let alone a concert. I can't even DREAM of practicing four hours a day, because the pain is just so intense. I have to stop every few minutes. I can't even hold the viola without pain. I've been trying different things, like chiropractic, physical therapy, and cortisone shots, but I've been trying to get to the root of the problem.
I'm so afraid that my pain is going to force me to give up my career. I would be unhappy for the rest of my life. I NEED to be a violist. I've thought about switching to violin, because it's smaller and so much easier on my body, but viola is my passion.
I've been feeling so hopeless for the past couple of years. I feel like my body is deteriorating, and I'm only 20! I'm afraid that this pain is going to rule my life.
Has anyone else ever been in this situation? How did you get out of it? Did you go on to become a professional, in spite of the pain?
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