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Is a violin bad for your spine ?

632 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Nate Miller
I am just watching an opera Thais, which contains a violin solo. When there was a close up on the musician, I started wondering, if repetitive strain injury of the neck is a frequent thing for violinists. It looks so demanding and asymetric. Or did only this guy do something wrong ? It never occured to me before, from watching the performance.
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all string players have bad backs. Regardless of whether it be violin, cello, guitar or doublebass. You spend so many hours in an asymetric position, what chance have you really got? Like mbhaub says, that is what technique and fundamentals are all about, really. Its how you manage all that strain by putting your body in the best position so your body doesn't break down and give out on you.

But that's not all the dangers. In my life, I've known alot of upright bass players. Most of them have injured thier backs loading the damn thing up after the gig, nevermind all the hours spent in asymetrical positions

anyway, I've never met a string player that didn't have a bad back or neck.
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why is that sad? that's life. Sure, I have a sore neck, but I got it by playing the Beethoven violin sonata #1 in D major all afternoon yesterday

I got one of the heavy runs in the third movement worked out, too! 🙂

Seems to me I'm still up on the deal
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Hi, Nate,
After 30 years of playing classical guitar with a traditional footstool, I developed back problems about two months ago that were seriously affecting my playing and comfort level. I switched to a Dynarette cushion* and the pain went away. However, it takes a real adjustment to play with two feet firmly on the ground after all those years using a footstool which results in a slightly higher posture for the guitar. However, the higher position has been a real benefit resulting in greater apparent finger strength and a cleaner more perpendicular approach to the fingerboard/strings for chord voicings and working in the upper register.

Dynarette Guitar Support Cushion, XL 5 inches
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Strings By Mail › ... › Guitar Supports

I did the exact same thing for the exact same reason about 10 years ago. I love them. I rebuilt my technique from the ground up because, as you point out, you have a slightly different sitting position, but it was worth it. I dont have the lower back aches like I did.

For me, on top on all the normal back problems string players have, I also have alot of sports injuries from my younger days. I ride bicycles, and I've been hit by cars 7 times as an adult. I used to go backcountry snowboarding in Alaska, and I took some heavy spills up there. One time I fell so far, about a thousand vertical feet, that my ears popped when I stopped tumbling

so between the thousands of hours playing and having both shoulders separated several times each, my upper back is a mess. Yoga and stretching do wonders for you back, though. Enough to keep me living life anyway
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