Has anyone else developed neck or spinal arthritis from playing the violin/viola?
My family has a history of this problem but I wonder if mine has to do with bad body positions as well
Arthritis seems to be more genetic than environmental, although certain activities can make it worse. If your family has a history of arthritis, you should consult a doctor who specializes in arthritis, bringing in your violin and showing her/him how you play so that they can make an informed medical decision for you.
"Doctor,- Doctor,- It hurts when I do this" Answer- "Don't do that".
These things can be tricky. I only speak from the experience of lumbar spine problems that started with a tennis accident when I was 26 that led to problems the rest of my life eventually including 3 herniated lumbar disks and surgical treatment of 2 of them (probably a mistake). And then about 30 years later "something" led to a problem with 3 cervical disks resulting in partial paralysis of my left arm and fingers that kept me from playing for a year and affected my playing technique for the next 30 years and will forever more. That something may have been a slightly miss-shaped violin neck cross section (too circular) or too much time working on papers across hotel king-size beds on travel will a consultant.