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Ziret
12-11-2016, 11:06 AM
My right shoulder has developed pain with certain--many--movements, and it is difficult to find a position to the uke that strumming and picking don't hurt. I don't know whether the uke caused the pain (I play about an hour a day) or whether it's due to something else and showing up when I play. It also hurts when I twist my shoulder and arm to the back, so it's in many activities.

My right elbow has been hurting a bit too, but I think that may be due to disc degeneration.

Is there any poor form or technique that could have caused this? Is there any way to avoid it in the future? Has anyone else had this? How should I be holding, strumming, and picking that I could correct my technique. Do you know of any videos that would help? There are no teachers around here.

I realize all it may take is some time and it could go away, but I also have seen people who suffer shoulder pain for years.

And I also realize that maybe a physical therapist is who I should be talking to, but I don't know any who play the ukulele!

Thank you for your help.

kypfer
12-11-2016, 11:54 AM
First and foremost ... don't do ANYTHING that makes it hurt ... it'll only get worse.

Second ... see a specialist. Ukulele player or not, a professional will be able to assess your condition, make appropriate recommendations and or prescribe treatment.

Thirdly ... see first point!!

Those you know who've suffered for "years" probably never got (or took) professional advice ... maybe they're masochists and actually enjoy "playing the martyr". If you don't want to join them, seek professional help!

Camsuke
12-11-2016, 12:00 PM
First and foremost ... don't do ANYTHING that makes it hurt ... it'll only get worse.

Second ... see a specialist. Ukulele player or not, a professional will be able to assess your condition, make appropriate recommendations and or prescribe treatment.

Thirdly ... see first point!!

Those you know who've suffered for "years" probably never got (or took) professional advice ... maybe they're masochists and actually enjoy "playing the martyr". If you don't want to join them, seek professional help!

This is great advice. The quicker you get it sorted the sooner you'll be playing again. Good luck!

sculptor
12-11-2016, 12:02 PM
I have tendinitis in the shoulder and I got some exercises from a PT that helped. So go see a doctor and let him have a look so you can eliminate the pain.

ukatee
12-12-2016, 04:42 AM
Do you use a strap? If not there may be added tension in the shoulder. In any case, though, see a doctor as above.

#4horse
12-12-2016, 05:59 AM
The above posts all offer sound advice. You might also want to consider stretching before, midway, and after playing for an hour. A good PT could offer some useful stretches, and you might want to try icing your shoulder for 10-15 minutes after playing. Also consider your playing posture. I've found that as comfortable as my sofa is initially, playing while sitting on a stool or chair puts me in a more upright position that's kinder to my back and shoulders. I sound better too.

Doxuke
12-12-2016, 06:23 AM
#4horse, those are great suggestions. Posture plays a big role in shoulder issues. I agree that sitting in a regular chair helps, and I use an adjustable foot stand, too. Icing is important to reduce inflamation. There are special ice packs that strap on your shoulder which makes it easier to get around while icing.

Ignoring shoulder pain is a very bad idea. I ignored my shoulder pain until it turned into 'frozen shoulder' which you don't want. Very painful and difficult to get rid of.

Doc_J
12-12-2016, 06:43 AM
Thinner bodied ukes, an occasional OTC pain reliever/inflammation reducer, and less continuous playing time helped me with some shoulder tendinitis. YMMV

Maybe check with your PA, MD, or the other medical professional before you take or do anything mentioned here.

Michael N.
12-12-2016, 10:42 AM
I've had every musicians injury known to man. :mad: Including severe shoulder problems. Mine was due to poor posture and pushing the shoulders forward. Of course I didn't realise I was doing it until the damage had been done. It's a long recovery. Well over 8 months of not playing until the area had recovered. Then it was exercises designed to prevent the same happening. It didn't do so entirely (old habits die hard) but I wasn't as badly injured. A couple of years on and I'm now seeing benefits. The right shoulder is OK now, the left is still giving a little trouble although I'm correcting it. You need to give the area a rest, let it recover otherwise you are piling problems on top of problems. Go see a specialist. If the area recovers start doing stretching exercises, perhaps a month before you start playing again. Ease into the stretching exercises, then ease into playing. Watch your posture/shoulders, not at all easy to do when you are playing an instrument.

Ziret
12-12-2016, 11:38 AM
Not to worry, I'm not doing things that hurt. No pro uke players around here, though.

Ziret
12-12-2016, 11:40 AM
The above posts all offer sound advice. You might also want to consider stretching before, midway, and after playing for an hour. A good PT could offer some useful stretches, and you might want to try icing your shoulder for 10-15 minutes after playing. Also consider your playing posture. I've found that as comfortable as my sofa is initially, playing while sitting on a stool or chair puts me in a more upright position that's kinder to my back and shoulders. I sound better too.

That's a good reminder about the sofa. My experience is the same.

Ziret
12-12-2016, 11:42 AM
Thanks everyone. I do have a strap and usually use it. I'll get off the couch and sit up right. And I'll talk to the doctor about PT.

Joyful Uke
12-12-2016, 12:56 PM
As everyone has already mentioned, finding out what is causing the pain is a first step.

I have no experience with Alexander Technique, but have heard good things about it. That might be helpful for you.

I have lots of experience with acupuncture, which can be very helpful, depending on the cause of the pain.

Just a couple more things to consider, if you're interested.

Michael N.
12-12-2016, 10:00 PM
Assuming it is the ukulele playing that is causing the issue. There should be another great benefit to solving the problem: your playing should improve. Poor posture virtually always results in too much tension which virtually always results in greater difficulty for the finger movements. It starts in the upper back as well. Any problems there and they effect the finger movements. There was a time when I couldn't form a simple D chord, even though I had been playing for years. The strength in the left hand had completely gone. I had some muscle knots in that side of the trapezius area, they were certainly caused by playing and poor technique/posture. Most teachers are now aware of posture/tension issues. Piano teachers seem to be obsessed with it, probably for very good reason. Address these issues and not only should your playing improve but your whole experience of playing will be much more enjoyable.