When shoulder pain isn't shoulder pain

August 17, 2013 at 07:24 PM · Hello v.com! I'm back after a couple years. Last time I posted, I was dealing with what all my doctors thought was impingement syndrome in my right shoulder. It has since been determined that the pain was really caused by food intolerances. I have essentially gone on a paleo diet and it has helped tremendously with the pain. I am gearing up for a symphony season and I cannot stress to you all enough how important diet is to your playing. My current diet is grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, low-sugar, high-protein, peanut-free, high good fat, moderate non-potato starch diet. Simply put, my staple foods currently are uncured, pastured meats, squashes, coconut, coconut oil, olive oil, berries, eggs, a bit of salt, and all vegetables get cooked. I use stevia as a sugar replacer once in a while for berry shakes that sometimes include fair trade organic cocoa powder. I eat handfuls of peanut-free nuts every now and then. The only thing I drink is water and communion wine. Sounds really restrictive, but it's simple, the pain is gone when I eat correctly, I get a lot of use from my slow-cooker, and I'm getting my life back. I dont take any painkillers. I am posting this in hopes that it might help others who are experiencing pain. It could be referred pain from an irritated gut.

Feel free to contact me if you want more details on the journey that led to this conclusion.

Replies (21)

August 17, 2013 at 08:11 PM · Jenny, I am really happy you found a way to better health and pain free violin playing :)

my private doctor is a great 'believer' of the paleo diet and asks all of her patients to eat this way (her website is www.drmyhill.co.uk )

I can honestly believe all the good changes this has brought to your life, for many people food is indeed the root of all...'heal thy gut' and heal your life, 'tis true...some people can put anything they want in their bodies and suffer very little, some others have to be extremely careful with what they eat/drink/breathe etc.

August 17, 2013 at 08:33 PM · I have been eating paleo just as you've described for a year and I feel better not only in my musical life, but in all facets. As far as music, my mind is much more clear, I can practice and perform longer without fatigue (as long as I've eaten a good amount of protein beforehand) and I'm just generally happier. I've been fortunate to not have any aches in pains in the last 10-12 years, though I am confident that this way of eating is taking preventive measures for the future. Best of luck!

August 17, 2013 at 08:37 PM · I believe there are large numbers of people who haven't evolved to eat a modern diet and I'm one of them. Lots of problems went away when I went paleo.

August 18, 2013 at 12:29 AM · Since the diet of pre-modern man varied vastly between local populations, and differing climates over a vast span of time, one would think it hard to generalize about what exactly a "paleo" diet should be except for just "not modern."

August 18, 2013 at 04:10 AM · This diet worked well when the average life expectancy was about 40 years of age. I am not convinced that it is suitable now. I would be concerned about your calcium levels. Don't let your bone density drop as this can be very hard to build back up again in later life. I know this from personal experience.

Add yoghurt and see if this causes any problems for you.

August 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM · I wonder why the emphasis is on the paleo DIET for health. Shouldn't it also be in the paleo ACTIVITY - go hunt and gather.

August 18, 2013 at 01:09 PM · well, of course Sharelle....leading an active life also helps, you just cannot eat healthy and sit on your bottom for the whole of your life and expect it to work (well, who knows some people may get away with this but not the majority). We were talking about the effects diet has had on Jenny...if the thread was talking about exercise then we would have talked about that too....just because we talked about diet does not mean we dismiss the activity.....

August 18, 2013 at 09:12 PM · But don't the two 'life styles ' go intrinsically together. Or do people take up the diet without changing their activity habits as well?

Only wondering if the change in / improvement that people experience has more to do with them moving a bit more or a lot more, than with eating a VERY pseudo science diet.

August 19, 2013 at 01:33 AM · Ok, I didn't intend to start a debate about diet. I'm just sharing my experience and I am in no way intending to replace the advice of a physician, nor am I a scientist in any sense of the word. I don't even believe in evolution *gasp.*

I'm just saying that if you're in pain, you might want to watch what you eat, do some research, and talk to a doctor. I didn't just wake up one morning and read one blog and say "I think I'm going to eat like a caveman for the rest of my life."

Please save the debates for a food blog. This is a violin blog. Thank you. I feel good eating this way. I'm getting my life back. Yay!

August 19, 2013 at 01:48 AM · FYI, my calcium levels are fine as per a recent blood test. I make bone broth and drink it frequently. As for activity, I work 40 hours a week in a manufacturing job as well as doing yoga and horseback riding frequently and I walk my dogs. Not to mention that practicing is active, too.

I've been through physical therapy, the chiropractor, message therapy, Alexander Technique, icing, using painkillers, eating what the FDA would consider "healthy," all of which helped to a point, but it is diet experiments that have brought me beyond that "point."

Now considering how almost brutally active I am and the fact that I have no pain now, is this not truly amazing?

August 19, 2013 at 01:51 AM · And thank you to the earliest posters for their encouragement! It's nice to know I'm not crazy and that you can testify good results from going "paleo" much longer ago than when I started. Best wishes!

August 19, 2013 at 03:58 AM · Wow! Glad you posted. I do believe that what we eat affects us.

I am curious about your mood. I find my diet not only affects how my body feels but has a tremendous affect on my mood.

I did find a wonderful book called Paleo desserts. No dairy, no grain, lo carb, diabetic friendly. And actual cakes, pies, cookies, fudge, brownie.

August 19, 2013 at 08:41 PM · Jenny, how long after you changed your diet did your shoulder symptoms go away? I have been told I have bilateral shoulder impingement symptoms, too. I have already had bilateral surgeries, but no improvement of pain yet. Did you take a break from playing violin when you had your symptoms?

August 20, 2013 at 12:55 AM · I find it's more important to remove certain foods from a diet,than to add foods.

A diet that removes simple carbs, processed foods, butter and shortenings, high salt concentrations, and other nasty things. This diet is going to be good for you and start repairing your body.

My top 6 foods that I try to eat at least 2-3 times a week are: Sage leaf, walnuts, turmeric, strawberries, seafood and avocados.

Things I stay away from: milk, flours, over processed foods, ice cream and red meats.

A good diet does make a huge,huge difference in your playing, energy levels, concentration, memory and a strong aid in preventing and repairing injuries.

August 20, 2013 at 04:43 PM · and I cannot stress to you all enough how important diet is to your playing.

This is a generalization that helps nobody.

But you made it clear in following posts what you meant.

re "not believing in evolution":

I have a similar problem. I sometimes don't believe in intelligence.

But Jesus didn't want us to use our brains, but to follow him, so it's ok.

Nice to hear you got over your problems.

August 20, 2013 at 11:23 PM · I am glad that by whatever mechanism, the OP got over her shoulder pain.

I now need a repair for the coffee I spat all over my keyboard and screen at the comment 'I don't even believe in evolution'.

What the ?

You're following a PALEO diet ....

Is there a ...missing....link....somewhere in that brain?

August 21, 2013 at 03:06 AM · dear Sharelle,

that`s devolution. The human race has been going down hill for years. Paleolithic man was well known for his fur lined tutu.

In the meantime I remain convinced that Tobais` infinite capacity for insulting great swathes of the population is a God given gift.

Unless it just evolved naturally after he joined v.commie.



(sorry. Too much neolithic coconut smoothie)

August 21, 2013 at 05:50 AM · I was going to say that its OK if you don't believe in evolution because evolution probably doesn't believe in you either ;-) but Tobias is more direct.

I honestly don't know what is scarier, someone who doesn't "believe" in evolution (actually is not about belief or not) or someone being proud of it to boot!

Sharelle, I had the same thought, but then I realised "Paleo" just means less than six thousand years ago :-)

August 21, 2013 at 07:19 AM · I feel deep respect for those who gave women and girls the right to play violin and discuss freely.

It wasn't those who denigrate science and deny evolution.

Now I'll get up completely and have some fine darjeeling tea (after last nite's bit of non communion wine).

Then I'll test the state of evolution in strings: let's see what the newly arrived Warchal e-string has to offer.

August 21, 2013 at 09:18 AM · Tumeric is good after non-communion whine.

Great liver cleanser. Don`t spill it on your tutu though. nasty stains.



August 21, 2013 at 02:28 PM · "Since the diet of pre-modern man varied vastly between local populations, and differing climates over a vast span of time, one would think it hard to generalize about what exactly a "paleo" diet should be except for just "not modern." "


That's true, but it's not hard to generalize about what it was not. In the days before agriculture and keeping captive animals, it was probably very low in grass seed (grains), and dairy products.

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