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John O.

Posts: 1723
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

What can happen if you overdo it... 

...somehow on topic, as I know flamencos tend to overdo it I need to rant about this right now, no better place than here, I guess.

So the (very basic and simple) weight training I did to compensate for my bad back together with guitar playing did quite a bit of damage. I've had this sh*t for about three months now and, although much better than at the beginning, it's still with me on a daily basis.

Tennis arm, both arms, inner and outer side, according to the doctor not dangerous, but very painful. The more I play, the more pain I have the next day. I never have to play with pain, thank god. I took four weeks off and it completely went away, started playing again and it creeped back, not nearly as bad, though. By now my left arm can handle me playing the whole day, the right outer elbow is still causing problems, but any physical therapy I do for my shoulders makes both arms burn like hell from the shoulder through the biceps down to the wrists for up to 3 days after.

Guitar playing is now my only income, so I can't really afford another break. I haven't practiced a minute this past month (though I can still play just as always) and am just going from rehearsal to rehearsal and show, playing as little as possible, constantly paranoid about what I'm doing to myself, been having a lot of anxiety and depression. The orthopedist I was at told me not to worry, I'll just have to "juggle" with playing and breaks until it's gone, which can take 1-2 years. It's only pain, there's no damage involved.

Next month the schools are closed for 6 weeks, 2 of those I'm on vacation and I won't be playing at all, hopefully it'll get even better. Tomorrow I'll be trying acupuncture.

This can happen to anyone and it sneaks up on you without warning, I've talked to so many guitarists by now who have had something similar, dancers too (from palmas or castañuelas). Stretch before you play, focus on good posture and gentle ways to build up muscle strength to prevent tendon strain. These are all things I did wrong and now I'm stuck with this crap...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 7:51:47
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

These damm health issues always take a ridiculous amount of time. Before the injury broke out, i could recover within 3 days, when i needed a break. After the injury it indeed took 1-2 years till i could play daily, without increasing pain the next day. But my problem(s) had nothing to do with yours, so maybe you can recover faster.
Hope you get well soon.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 8:22:19
 
rombsix

Posts: 7776
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

quote:

This can happen to anyone and it sneaks up on you without warning, I've talked to so many guitarists by now who have had something similar, dancers too (from palmas or castañuelas). Stretch before you play, focus on good posture and gentle ways to build up muscle strength to prevent tendon strain. These are all things I did wrong and now I'm stuck with this crap...


I'm sorry to hear that John. Thanks for the valuable and heart-felt advice. I have my share of aches and pains, and something new seems to pop up every once in a while, even though I'm only 26. I can't practice nearly as much as I want to (because of studies too) due to wrist pain, right arm numbness/burning (mouse over-use), and back pain (improved with traditional sitting position and moderate weight training, but I can't play well in the traditional position). I guess being a musician, let alone, a guitarist, has its share of occupational problems not to be undermined. Vicente had to lay flat on his back for a good deal of time due to disc problems. He's lucky he recovered with surgery. Hopefully we won't get to such levels of injury.

Stay healthy!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 8:48:57
 
John O.

Posts: 1723
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to rombsix

I was told Manolo Sanlucar had to stop playing 1-2 years and relearn playing technique because of hand problems.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 8:55:09
 
rombsix

Posts: 7776
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

quote:

I was told Manolo Sanlucar had to stop playing 1-2 years and relearn playing technique because of hand problems.


Don't you just HATE flamenco and guitar in general?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 9:15:36
 
John O.

Posts: 1723
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to rombsix

Well, it's been going back and forth lately. It's sad to think about how playing isn't fun for me at all anymore - even though when I'm on stage I do catch myself having a good time. My orthopedist said "You could go back to work in an office, where you'll sit all day using a mouse and keyboard, the same thing will happen...", including anxiety and depression . In any case, starting around 35 you just have to keep better track of how your body is reacting to repetitive stress.

One thing I learned through this is that at an advanced level routine is much more important than repetition for technique. Although I haven't practiced AT ALL for months I'm playing better and more relaxed than ever. It's because I'm less obsessed with scales and metronome settings and more focused on musicality and repertoire.

I think although I'm having a rough time now, once it's over I'll be glad it happened.

Here's something I just bought for my posture while playing. Highly recommend it:
http://www.ergoplay.de/was_ist_ergoplay_daten/was_ist_ergoplay_engl.html

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 9:33:21
 
rombsix

Posts: 7776
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

Man, I've been looking for one of those things you stick to the guitar to allow more comfortable playing in the traditional position. Can't find one in Lebanon though! Damn it!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 10:00:20
 
machopicasso

 

Posts: 970
Joined: Nov. 27 2010
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

Well, I do a lot of weight training (in addition to daily flamenco practice), so I'm curious as to what exercises caused you trouble. (And I'm over 35, so I know what you mean about paying more attention to your bodily health as you get older).

When I've had injuries in the past (e.g. rotator cuff, i.e. "Rotatorenmanschettenriss"), I've successfully recovered using a combination of stretching, ice packs, hot water (shower), massage (unfortunately self-applied!!) and weighted exercises to strengthen the muscles around the injured area. That's worked for me. Maybe some of that will work for you. Viel Glueck.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 10:43:32
 
John O.

Posts: 1723
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to machopicasso

Danke!

Yeah, I read starting at the age of 35 the blood flow through your tendons and therewith your ability to heal them goes back a lot, which is why it's the average age for such problems.

I really only did the most basic exercizes, didn't do free-weights. Chest press, seated row, reverse butterfly, lat pulldown. 3x15 twice a week. However all these machines strain the same shoulder muscles stressed while playing, and that's what I think caused the problem. It otherwise wouldn't make sense that I have the same problem in both arms, though the right side is taking much longer to heal than the left.

I do remember making a post about this here before and taking the weight down considerably. Confusing is that pain can come 1-2 days later and never during the actual strain - at times it felt like the weights were helping my shoulders. Knowing I had back problems already, I couldn't tell if holding the guitar was causing the shoulder pain and the weights were helping. Apperantly both were hurting. It went from a tiny little annoying pain to a horrible unbearable pain within less than a week and it was too late.

Weightlifters often get tennis arm too and train it away with little bells for the forearm muscles. Problem is, once it gets as bad as mine you can't train the muscles without your nerves going crazy.

There are really bad tennis arm cases where the patient can't move the arm at all in the morning and has to apply a hot water bottle to the arm and manually stretch it out. That's why the orthopedist kind of laughed my problem off. I'm fully flexible at all times and have all my strength, it's only pain. Very bad pain, though.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 11:25:18
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

Problems like that are common in many professions / regular executions.
Typical for the conditons in our civilisations are one-sided applications, especially one-sided engagement of the upper bodys and arms flexors.

It leads to replacement of muscle tissue through tendon at the muscle ends, hence shortening of the functional muscle and losening of its antagonists. An imbalance that over time will also affect joints.

Modern medicine in this realm seems to only slowly grasp cause and well-directed measures. Still, for a great part relying on passive and symptomatic treatment methods ( massage, salves, cooling / warming, injections and surgery aimed at symptoms instead of at muscular cause).
A pity, seeing how fast and without side effects causal measures work.

In all the years since I have been helping people with muscular problems by methods tought in WT, there have been only two or three cases whom I couldn´t help. These having been unattentive / dismissing recipients in the same time, however.
All the others recovered so fast, even when about long-term established and painful issues, that they could hardly believe the results themselves. Some even had announced or scheduled carpal tunnel operations, that could be cancelled then.
Almost all of them after a shot while even forgot the individually prescribed exercises altogether, which I wouldn´t really approve, as they were intended as steady execution.

Anyway, related muscle-prolonging isometric exercises yield surprisingly fast developing new muscle cells at required spots, bringing neck, shoulder and / or arms apparatus back to balance in only a few weeks, with relief being experienced right away.

What guitar playing is concerned, sitting position makes for the least suiting posture anyway.
I had already written a long post on the foro about playing up-right by use of a special harness, which however was accidentally deleted by moderator.
Not only does it prevent typical guitarist injuries on big limbs and back, but a freely one-point suspended guitar also does contribute to significantly better playing conditions, technically as well as in terms of rhythm sensed and supported by the whole body.

Thus, I am convinced that we will be seeing even the classical fraction playing upright sometime in the future.

Could also be that there be more builds around like Kenny Hill´s Stand Up guitar, as it faciliates ergonomy one more time.


Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 11:43:46
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1506
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

Sorry to hear of this. Unfortunately from my own personal experience it appears that all of the standard changes and issues that occur as we age actually do happen--lol. It helps to have a backup plan just in case you can't continue making your living as a musician.

Have you considered a gluten-free diet or other dietary changes to assist in recovery? Good luck, John.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 11:52:27
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pgh_flamenco

Unfortunately from my own personal experience it appears that all of the standard changes and issues that occur as we age actually do happen--lol.


For what it´s worth:
On Sunday, I think, there was a little input on German TV ( ZDF ) in wich three elderly in their midst seventies ( two men, one woman ) competed against three twens in their early twenties ( two men, one woman ).

The youngsters had not been active in sports, whereas the elderly had. The two groups competed in relay race, swimming and body lifts.

Until the last seconds it looked as if the elderly were to win. The young in the end only won by a hair of ledge.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 11:59:49
 
erictjie

 

Posts: 163
Joined: Apr. 11 2011
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

i recommend you to learn basic taichi , you really need it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 12:45:06
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

Can i ask all you guys who had an injury a question?

If you knew beforehand how hard guitar playing would be, would you really have started it at all in the first place? I really dont know it. The thing that bugs me the MOST is that the better you get, the more you feel like you just suck. I can barely remember more than 3 moments over the past 3 years where i was really happy about my playing.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 12:53:41
 
erictjie

 

Posts: 163
Joined: Apr. 11 2011
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

basically guitar playing posture is one of the worst you ever seen in any musical instruments playing posture and the guitar itself is not very ergonomic. if guitar posture is ying the taichi is yang , weight training will do more damage to you actually.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 12:56:56
 
John O.

Posts: 1723
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

quote:

Have you considered a gluten-free diet or other dietary changes to assist in recovery?


Lots of vitamin B, most important B12. I tried acidic free - that didn't help. I tried calmus oil - stinks like terpentine - I think it helped a little.

Taichi sounds good, I thought about yoga, too. Michio, a great flamenco guitarist, had this for a half a year and after 2-3 acupuncture visits it was completely gone. I'm trying it tomorrow for the first time, wish me luck!

I think I'll continue to live as a musician and get through this. I have a really heavy schedule this month and can't notice the pain getting worse, it's only unbearable after doing physiotherapy. Looking over the past couple months I'm slowly improving.

Deniz, knowing what I do now I would do it all differently. Like I wrote before, I don't practice scales anymore and now my runs are BETTER now that I spend all my time just playing. This goes for all the other techniques, too.

This also goes hand in hand with worrying about how good or bad you are. Let the experience come naturally and relax. Don't spend too much time fighting your own body - when you struggle too much trying to improve technique this is pretty much what you're doing. I wish I'd known this before. Now the obsession and the stress of getting better are gone and suprise - I can still play.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 13:21:37
 
erictjie

 

Posts: 163
Joined: Apr. 11 2011
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

John
when you do acu please ask to put electric current on the needle . it will help you recover much faster.
you must insist , cause some naughty acu specialists want you to come many times to recover and they don't want to put the eclectric current on the needle. ($$$)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 13:53:06
 
Rmn

Posts: 308
Joined: May 14 2011
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

sorry to hear this. hope you get better soon.

really watch out for your elbows guys. there is a nerf going there right beneath the skin. I bumped my left elbow nearly two years ago. First half of year after that I couldn´t play at all anymore. then it got better, but until now I feel it every day and I don´t think it´s ever going to go away
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 14:01:31
 
Pimientito

Posts: 2481
Joined: Jul. 30 2007
From: Marbella

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to rombsix

quote:

I've been looking for one of those things you stick to the guitar to allow more comfortable playing

You mean one of these?



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 19:01:54
 
rombsix

Posts: 7776
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to Pimientito

quote:

You mean one of these?


Ask Haitham.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 19:27:32
 
GuitarVlog

Posts: 441
Joined: Mar. 19 2009
From: San Francisco Bay Area

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to rombsix

quote:

ORIGINAL: rombsix
Man, I've been looking for one of those things you stick to the guitar to allow more comfortable playing in the traditional position. Can't find one in Lebanon though! Damn it!


Order a Gitano guitar support. It folds almost flat and can easily be shipped in a bubble-wrap padded envelope.

I ordered one. When it arrived I thought the envelope just contained the strings I had ordered. It turned out to be the strings AND the Gitano.

Of course, Pimientito's suggestion would work rather nicely too.


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 20:20:04
 
Florian

Posts: 9282
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

Hey buddy :-)

i had a scare like that too a year back...mine was more just in my left hand palm and i was very worried..it was from getting too excited when accomp for dancers and doing rithm and i would grip the guitar neck too hard without noticing (felled as if i had teared a muscle in the middle of my palm, very uncomfortable).....but then i started being more aware of that and checking myself on it all the time.....(practiced soft and less for about 3 months)...it completely went away

anyway its good to get reminders like this to keep checking my posture every now and then

I am sure it will work out for you, I am sure you will find a solution...but i wish you fast recovery anyway

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 21:28:15
 
rombsix

Posts: 7776
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to GuitarVlog

quote:

Order a Gitano guitar support.


Is it comfortable to use as a support with the guitar on your RIGHT thigh? I've seen classical guitarists use this, and they all use it on the left thigh. I'd appreciate your feedback.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 21:36:43
 
GuitarVlog

Posts: 441
Joined: Mar. 19 2009
From: San Francisco Bay Area

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to rombsix

quote:

Is it comfortable to use as a support with the guitar on your RIGHT thigh?

Using it over your right thigh creates two problems:

1. The neck may be too sharply angled upwards.
2. The guitar shifts its position too far to the right.

Both of these make it hard to replicate the traditional position where the lower bout rests on your right thigh as the guitar is counter-balanced by the weight of your right arm.



For the sake of ergonomics, I have already compromised and play my flamenco guitars in a position that is closer to classical.

The Ergoplay Tappert can adjust a little closer to the traditional flamenco position.

Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 22:02:53
 
Mark2

Posts: 1853
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

When I was playing for classes 10 hours a week plus doing gigs, I developed a problem with my strumming hand. I did acupuncture only once, and took a few weeks off. It worked.

I've had back problems for thirty years-ruptured a disk when I was 21, and that has been tough at times. I'd tend to practice for two-three hours without getting up, and then when I did, oh boy was I in trouble. Barely stand up. I played a lot with bad posture, and that was a lot of the problem.

These days I don't play much, and I have to confess, that not having a gig, or any pressure to play has been a relief as far as back issues. I had to cancel a gig here and there over the years because I simply could not stand up much less get an amp to a gig and play for three hours.

There's no doubt that sitting in a chair playing for hours over the years can contribute to serious health issues if you don't take the time to stretch, to rest, and keep your general health in order.

Best of luck to you John.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 22:28:07
 
Leendert

Posts: 153
Joined: May 27 2010
From: WI, USA

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

Wow, and here I am reading this post after I just came back from the doctor, after having horrible pains in both my left and right hands and arms for the last two weeks!
It started in my left hand and creeped up down my arm and my other hand.
Diagnosis; a mix of arthritis and tendinitis!...Damn!! And I only started my flamenco journey about a year ago....finally am accompanying dance class and was on my way to get ready to join in on some shows....Damn damn!!
For me I think it is more from my work then playing...after all I work 40 hours a week and I am happy if I barely make like 5 or 6 maybe playing?
At work I lift almost continuously and do finer work with my hands, also in coolers and freezers for a big amount of the time, which according to my doctor increases this.
The worst pains are the horrible inflammation at every 'ffin joint in your hand..
so bad it made me lay awake at night and blink away some tears.
I got some medication prescribed, rest and if all that does not help I am facing an appointment with a hand surgeon for some shot (?) or in the worst case......well no..for a shot..!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2011 22:42:02
 
Rmn

Posts: 308
Joined: May 14 2011
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

sorry to hear thin leendert. I hope you will recover very soon and play again.
I´d quit work and only play. that´s what I did too: quit uni to be able to play the whole day
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2011 10:04:55
 
Pingaloka

Posts: 42
Joined: Jun. 9 2011
From: Granada, España

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

HI John O. I'm new in this forum, but been playing flamenco guitar for almost 10 years now. Let me tell you that I have big problems in my back, having been diagnosed a disc disease.
2 years a go I started doing "Iyengar Yoga" and from my personal experience I highly recommend it as it has helped my back, and body in general amazingly I a very short period of time. Specially "IYengar Yoga" as its very serious regarding every posture or asana, very technicall. TaiChi, acupunture, and other techniques can also help you. But I tell you, if you have the time and chance, try Yoga.
Hope you get better!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2011 10:59:52
 
John O.

Posts: 1723
Joined: Dec. 16 2005
From: Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

I have the Ergoplay Tappert and it works great for me on the right leg playing in the traditional flamenco position.

I see I'm not the only one here with problems, my condolences to you all...

The acupuncturist felt my arms and told me if I don't have it chronically then it's not really bad enough for a treatment. He said he could try, but I should first consider taking it easy and see if it doesn't go away on it's own before coming for €50 a visit. He could tell by my arm muscles that I was doing too much weights for being a full time musician.

I was excited about trying yoga but saw the sun greeting and think I shouldn't put any stress on my wrists at the moment. I might check out Taichi.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2011 12:09:05
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: What can happen if you overdo it... (in reply to John O.

Stress should help your wrists, provided it being the right one / precisely appropriate exercise needed.


Seeing you guys talking about accupuncture ... and thinking too of the docs in my family who bowed to it ...

What would you say if physicists in China were ridiculing accupuncture? Having dismissed it long ago as hocuspocus, only held available for western pilgrims?
And what if you heard of that George Soulié de Morant who "brought" this practise to Europe, was a sharlatan?

A guy who claimed to have healed patients of a cholera epidemy in 1901, whilst there was no such epidemy.

A guy who likely never saw any accupuncture session during his ten years in China, as the treatment was forbidden since 1822.

Who must have started his AP trip back in France, and for lack of details invented the "Meridian" and "Energy" on which todays AP is based on.

In trad. Chinese medicine "jinglou" is supposed a vessel system through which blood and Qi are to flow.
Morant however interpreted the flow as immaterial energy, which yet made the theory acceptabe to westerners who naturally new that blood flows a completely other way than the arbitrary branch drawing of jinglou.

The traditional Chinese medicine was not taken for serious in China anymore since the 19th century.
Yet, when western AP friends pilgrimed China in the mid seventies of past century the Chinese realized that they better don´t point out the voodoo, as it after all brought in foreign currency.

In Germany health insurances had prematurely accpeted AP ( just like other esotherics like homoeopathy ). Last year however a nation-wide survey revealed one other time that there cannot be traced any healing effect with AP, which finally led to the dicision to no longer finance it either.

Placebo effects are just as valuable as any help, but you better don´t rely on them when there exists conclusive alternative.

What has been described here and in the other thread, as a muscular issue can be treated very efficiently and fast.
Just make sure to get on the causal path instead of on the symptomatic one, with the latter unfortunately still being routine with vast of modern medicine in the muscular realm.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2011 13:17:08
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