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Well I'm bummed.  :(

 

Even though I've been practicing regularly (daily)...but less (30 minutes a day because work is interfering with play for the moment)...I still managed to hurt myself.

 

You'd think if you were in 'shape', but not overdoing it - you would be getting better when taking it up a notch...not worse!  But the combination of bringing my left arm in more and stretching my hand more to make double stops...(maybe in part because of my arthritis?)...has caused an issue.  I would understand if I was overdoing for 4 hours a day...but I'm not...

 

So I need to take some time off from playing...tried Friday at lesson...and I couldn't.  Yet I have my recital coming up in May...*bleh*

 

In the meantime...guess I'll work on theory and ear-training!  I just had my first 'in depth' look at the counterpoint in Bach's Gigue...

 

I've been slacking (work again!) on the bassoon too.  Playing it doesn't seem to aggravate the elbow.  Not sure if I should do a bit more there while I pull back from the violin...or rest my elbow from everything?

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I've had tennis elbow from playing in the past, and one of my students had tendinitis from her work as a prep chef.

 

There are two items of advice I have. One is a technique alteration, the other are exercises which will strengthen your arm assembly.

 

In reverse order. Hold your arm straight out from your shoulder, fingers comfortably extended (no tension!). Drop your entire hand down from the wrist as far as it'll go without pain; your fingers should point at the floor. Use your muscles to hold your hand down like that. Then, slowly (slooooowwwwly) swing your forearm in toward your body, using only your elbow -- keep your upper arm pointed out. Whilst you swing, use the muscles in your wrist to keep your hand pointing down as far as possible without pain.

 

You should feel a stretch in all the muscles of your forearm. These are your finger muscles, and they're involved in the tennis elbow problem. 

 

Repeat the stretch several times. Then, raise your hand in the same fashion, so that your fingers point up. Repeat the forearm motion as before. Next, instead of using an open hand, close your hand into a loose fist (again, no tension!). Repeat the forearm motion with your fist pointing up, and down.

 

If you have a friend who's into physical therapy, I suggest availing yourself of that friendship. :)

 

Technique-wise, this is a warning sign that you're overusing your elbow in your bowing. Just like in tennis, bowing must predominately come from the big shoulder muscles. Ironically, the source of this overuse likely has nothing to do with your elbow or shoulder. I suggest altering your bow hold significantly, so that your shoulder is automatically activated in your bowing motion.

 

I hope some of this is at least modestly helpful. Rest up, take anti-inflammitories if you can.

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Thanks!  I can certainly do that! :)

 

It's my left arm.  <_< ​My bowing arm is fine.

 

I'm not sure how to change my position though...I have to stretch my hand to reach note combinations, and I have to bring my arm under to play up on the G-string...

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It's my right arm.  <_< ​My bowing arm is fine.

 

 

Ah! Apologies, I mis-read. 

 

The same general issue applies: you're getting a warning that there's something in your technique causing tension.

 

May I suggest bringing your thumb forward, such that it will rest on the neck across from the first and second fingers, approximately between the two in a relaxed pose. Many modern techniques try to send the thumb as far back as possible, and this creates enormous tension. 

 

Additionally, shoulder and chin rests are notorious for creating physical issues. They force you to conform to them, not the other way around, despite notions to the contrary. I suggest a thorough investigation of both, and consider removing at least your chin rest. It's the worst offender in physical ailments, in my experience. Although the shoulder rest is not without its issues as well.

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Rest.  That's the first step in the resolution of a tendon issue.

I had some good time working with an OT resolving the RSI in my right wrist late last year.

 

Holding the left arm up for long periods of time is genuinely tiring.  I find that after 2 hours of orchestral practise I am much more worn out than from 2 hours of playing at home, I think because of the vast difference in posture (seated vs standing).  I just don't have the same practise time seated as I do standing.

 

Rest, then strength and flexibility exercises. 

I wish you well on your recovery.  Not being able to play is frustrating.

 

Which Gigue are you working on?

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Do you bow with your left arm?

Sorry! My mistake. I have a moderate case of left-right confusion...and this is proof of that. No I bow with my my right arm.

Oddly enough...I have no issues with direction...North, South, West and East...not a problem. The brain is a funny thing!

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Thanks Andrew! I will try that! :)

My chinrest seems comfortable. And I have never used a shoulder rest.

Thanks Renee! :) I think I will have to rest it...I also have arthritis...so nothing is 'simple'...but it's all frustrating.

I am starting out with the Giga (not Gigue...another mistake! Sorry!) from the Partita No. 3 in E major (s. 1006).

The Gavotte and Rondeau is on my bucket list...but apparently I'm not quite ready for it yet! And that's fine...I'll take this time to work on theory...

I actually rather like theory...

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The brain is a funny thing!

And some, as MN postings tend to prove, are much funnier than others.  ;)

 

I'm currently munching NSAIDS again, thanks to the effects of Spring on my right wrist and upper back.  Between gardening, pruning, planting trees, helping dismember storm-fallen oaks with a chainsaw, running the results through my bandsaw, general housework, animal care, using fiddly hand tools, etc., etc., the 20 +/- hours a week spent (some would say wasted) on violin practice are just the frosting on top.  :rolleyes:  As you also own a farm and do crafts, one wonders if the violin might be the least of your irritants.  :)

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I am sympathetic and empathetic!

And I warn you...I am also feeling very sorry for myself...

I keep thinking of all those sayings, "the final straw", "the straw that broke the camels back", etc....

Well...at least I'm not alone - "misery loves company"... ;)

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I am sympathetic and empathetic!

And I warn you...I am also feeling very sorry for myself...

I keep thinking of all those sayings, "the final straw", "the straw that broke the camels back", etc....

Well...at least I'm not alone - "misery loves company"... ;)

 

I'm a pretty good at diagnosing technique issues when I can hear/see what's going on. Send me a PM if you'd ever like to chat through your issues. Happy to help, the world needs more musicians than it currently has, and we can't afford to lose one! :)

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Thank you! :D That is a lovely offer that I might take you up on!

Turns out that my recital and our community orchestra concert conflict.

So I will take it easy with the violin...and focus on the bassoon music instead for the next month.

I may have a chance to play my violin recital pieces in June instead (there are 3 of us who can't make the official recital so we'll just do an informal one)...so that option will likely be better for me right now...

I will see how my elbow feels as I go along. I am doing the exercises...and it is better...but the issue hasn't fully gone away yet.

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  • 1 month later...

Well...my left arm isn't getting worse. I think it's getting better. I'm starting to play a bit more, but don't want to push it.

Who knew it would take this long? :(

Don't think I can do the delayed violin recital either, but we'll see. Bassoon recital coming up...but don't know if I'll do a solo piece...along with all the kids or not. Might just take part in the group performance.

I'm trying not to feel too sorry for myself. One of the bassoon youngsters I've come to know a bit...is now 17. He was walking with a cane when I saw him on Thursday. Turns out he broke his leg jumping on a trampoline. Not in a recognized trampoline accident (like hitting the edge or landing on the ground)...he just came down 'wrong'. He now has a rod in in leg.

But I'm also jealous...he's got a beautiful new bassoon! Well deserved of course...but still, I'm jealous... :D

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You can also get tennis elbow from knitting because of the repetitive closing actions of the fingers, which are activated along tendons that run in from the elbow.  Rest, as Renée says, is one part of it.  Years ago I had "golfers elbow" which is sort of the same thing but reversed.  If I put even a coffee cup into the affected hand it would simply drop out, until the nerves had healed, or lost their inflammation or whatever was going on.  I had been practising a rapid passage on my alto recorder and had also discovered on-line Solitaire, and that combination did it.

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I also have arthritis...or something related, that's part of it. They other part is that as I progress, I have to pull my arm, elbow, hands, fingers, etc., into positions that aggravate the arthrtitis thingy. But even I didn't think it would take this long to clear up...and I'm assuming (hoping) this isn't a new 'permanent' state of being...*keeps fingers crossed*

You can also get tennis elbow from knitting because of the repetitive closing actions of the fingers, which are activated along tendons that run in from the elbow.  Rest, as Renée says, is one part of it.  Years ago I had "golfers elbow" which is sort of the same thing but reversed.  If I put even a coffee cup into the affected hand it would simply drop out, until the nerves had healed, or lost their inflammation or whatever was going on.  I had been practising a rapid passage on my alto recorder and had also discovered on-line Solitaire, and that combination did it.

I can see knitting causing an issue. I tend to knit in marathons...lol...and I know avid knitters just go and go and go...

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Is tennis elbow that tingling funny bone sensation?  I was briefly I guess you could say debilitated by that.  The fix was laying off for awhile, and then after resuming, laying the fiddle down at the very first sign of that.  It allowed me to build up stamina or resistance to it.  Careful warming up was helpful too.  And general watching out for tension.  I think that some fingerboards or setups are worse than others for this.  I would say in particular small necks and narrow boards are bad, but my experience with it is limited.  I think there are a lot of unnecessary even detrimental surgeries.

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