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Back Pain In Classical Guitarists
Dr. Timothy Jameson
Timothy Jameson is a chiropractor who specialises in
musicians health and wellness, and runs the renowned
His website is devoted to the
understanding of why musicians are susceptible to
injury, especially painful neck, shoulder, arm and hand
problems. Musicians can learn why injuries develop, how
to prevent them, and discover health enhancement options
available . Read on to hear what he has to say
pain in classical guitarists.
A fair number of classical
guitarists experience back pain at some point during
their career. After talking with a number of guitar
players, teachers and physicians, I have come up with a
list of things that may help to ease the problem:
Check the height of your chair. Some players use a chair
that is too high. If this is the case, your right leg
(or left leg if you play left) might be in a position
that does not fully support the guitar. Check yourself
in a mirror.
Make sure your chair is
comfortable! Use a chair that has a cushion, avoid using
a hard plastic seat. A hard chair will only cause muscle
tension in your back (and backside!).
Make sure your music stand
is at a comfortable height. Adjust your music stand so
that you minimize neck strain. Make sure you are looking
straight (or just slightly down) at your music.
Do stretching exercises
before, after and during your practice. Bend yourself at
the waist (left and right) and touch your toes a few
times. Do exercises for your neck as well. The back and
shoulder muscles are closely related to the neck
muscles. If you have muscle fatigue in any of these
areas, it may affect the other areas of your body. This
is especially important if you are practicing every day
or for long periods of time. It will help you to avoid
the onset of chronic muscle fatigue.
Check your posture and make
a conscious effort to force your back to stay straight!
If you slouch or "hunch over" you will be almost
guaranteed back pain. You may have to sit closer to the
edge of your chair.
If after all this you still have back pain, massages and
hot tubs work wonders! Be careful with hot tubs however.
If a hot tub makes you feel good at the time but then
hours later your muscles feel even more stiff and sore,
this could indicate that you have an injured muscle that
is inflamed. REST and possibly an anti-inflammatory
(like Ibuprofen) is the way to go.
Check the way you sleep. It is recommended that you do
NOT sleep on your stomach, but on your back or side. Use
a proper pillow that supports your head and neck. The
way you sleep should promote a straight and supported
Copyright © 1998-2004 Timothy
Jameson. All Rights Reserved.
About The Author: Dr.
Timothy Jameson has been in private chiropractic practice for 15
years. Dr. Jameson has spent the last six years focusing on the
care of the musician population. His practice is family-oriented
and he also specializes in the care of infants and children.
(Our musicians to be!) He is the author of “The Musicians Guide
to Health and Wellness, which is available for download at
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