Shoulder problems - help! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
 
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Unhappy Shoulder problems - help!

I've been having pains in my right shoulder lately. I'm right-handed, so I'll only talk about my picking arm.

It really bothers me because I've been very active since I first began playing about 5 years ago, but NEVER had any pains in arms, shoulders, wrists or fingers. Ever. Believe me I've been practising, and I think I can thank my technique and warm-ups for avoiding any damages.

A couple of months back I started switching from arm/elbow motion to more wrist motion while picking. Mainly on fast picking. I could play pretty fast with elbow motion, but my picking have now become much more efficient and thus, a lot faster and with more control. This is of course fantastic!;D
I don't know if this is what's causing the aches in my shoulder, but that's the only change in my technique that I can remember, which you probably would have asked for if I didn't explain it..

It's only the last week or two I've noticed it, and it really bothers me as I haven't had any problems before.

I've just learned the classical finger-picking part of Jason Beckers "Air", and that may be another reason. I've been practising this a lot the last few days, and it's really coming together. I don't know if I have terrible classical techniqe, but I have been practising stuff like this before, but maybe not this much. I don't know, it's hard to tell, hence this post

I try to relax as much as possible at all times, but it doesn't seem to help. Trying to locate where the problem is, but I can't seem to find it!!
You probably understand my huge frustration as I have been practising heavy all these years, difficult music in several genres, but not a _single_ problem in my hands or shoulders..!

So basically; have you ever experienced any similar problems? Any good tips on how to locate, and ultimately get rid of this **** ??
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:16 PM
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Are you sure it's due to playing? I recently had awful pain in my left shoulder which I thought was down to playing too much or something. It wouldn't go away for quite some time, but actually I am convinced it was because I was sleeping in a weird position.

I could be completely off the mark but I thought I'd throw my $0.02 in.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:45 PM
 
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Well, there are several factors that you need to consider before assuming your guitar playing has anything to do with the discomfort you're experiencing on your shoulder.

Here are some things to consider:

You were very descriptive on how your technique could be causing the problem you're having but, you haven't really told us what equipment you're using (guitars, straps, etc.).

How are you standing when it comes to playing? Are you playing standing up straight or is your guitar hanging by your knees?

What are you using for a strap? I knew a guy who used to use a chain for a strap and he used to complain of similar problems.

How do you feel in the morning when you wake up? As Dee pointed out, sleeping in a weird position can cause various types of muscle aches.

How old are you? As a person gets older, he/she is more prone to developing muscular or bone-related conditions such as tendonitis and arthritis. I would go to the doctor and have a chat with him to find out what's causing your discomfort.

You didn't want to talk about your left shoulder, why is that? Do you have a physical condition on your left side you're aware of and don't want to talk about it? If that's the case, it could be related. Again, I would talk to a doctor.

Let us know what your findings are....

Jimmy
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thumbs up Re: Shoulder problems - help!

No, I'm not sure about the playing, but it's of course the first thing I look into since the day mostly consists of it

But thanks a lot! Dee's tip is very good.. Haven't been sleeping an awful lot in my "usual" bed latery, so we'll see! Good one!

Anyway, I'll go through the things you said Jimmy

- I'm playing an 8670, plain regular Fender strap - the same I've been using for 5 years actually

- My attitude is; I'd rather play good than look good (although I don' think wearing your guitar by your knees is cool), so the bottom of the guitar is around my waist (?) - Not certain about that word, but if I said "my belt" instead.. ?

- Lately I've been feeling a bit wierd in my neck when I wake up, but is only when I sleep in a particulary soft bed. Seem very comfortable, but I guess it may have some bad side-effects. Maybe it's affecting my shoulder too? Always fall asleep on the right side by the way..

- I just turned 19, so my health should, and is, perfect! I've been physically active my entire live, and I am in good shape. Used to swim three times a week!

- Didn't talk about my left shoulder/arm because it's flawless in that manner, and always have been! Thank god I don't have any physical problem anywhere (or mental for that matter, hehe), and no allergies(?) at all!

But thanks for you input! Good tips! Will take them into consideration! I'll keep you updated!

Last edited by Eddie88; 05-18-2007 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Needed ;)
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

I would take something that is designed specifically for muscle pain like Alleve or something. If it takes the pain away, then you know it's sore muscles and not something else.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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Smile Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie88 View Post
No, I'm not sure about the playing, but it's of course the first thing I look into since the day mostly consists of it

But thanks a lot! Dee's tip is very good.. Haven't been sleeping an awful lot in my "usual" bed latery, so we'll see! Good one!

Anyway, I'll go through the things you said Jimmy

- I'm playing an 8670, plain regular Fender strap - the same I've been using for 5 years actually

- My attitude is; I'd rather play good than look good (although I don' think wearing your guitar by your knees is cool), so the bottom of the guitar is around my waist (?) - Not certain about that word, but if I said "my belt" instead.. ?

- Lately I've been feeling a bit wierd in my neck when I wake up, but is only when I sleep in a particulary soft bed. Seem very comfortable, but I guess it may have some bad side-effects. Maybe it's affecting my shoulder too? Always fall asleep on the right side by the way..

- I just turned 19, so my health should, and is, perfect! I've been physically active my entire live, and I am in good shape. Used to swim three times a week!

- Didn't talk about my left shoulder/arm because it's flawless in that manner, and always have been! Thank god I don't have any physical problem anywhere (or mental for that matter, hehe), and no allergies(?) at all!

But thanks for you input! Good tips! Will take them into consideration! I'll keep you updated!
Glad to hear your health is in tip-top condition. Sometimes the simplest things can trigger aches and soreness. To give you an example, my mom was experiencing misc. pain, so my dad decided to throw away their bed and purchased one of those tempur-pedic beds and the problem went away. Needless to say, they both sleep very well. Apparently those beds are quite nice. Try sleeping on your bed for a week and see if the problem goes away (I hope it does). Also, consider purchasing a tempur-pedic pillow. Sometimes having the proper posture on your neck while sleeping can make a world of difference. My wife keeps the fan in our bedroom on all night and sometimes, if I sleep wrong, I wake up with a kink on my neck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaNative View Post
I would take something that is designed specifically for muscle pain like Alleve or something. If it takes the pain away, then you know it's sore muscles and not something else.
I don't think he should be taking painkillers at this stage. While alleve and other forms of ibuprofen can relieve the pain, they will not address the problem but, rather relieve it temporarily. Plus, he's 19, he really doesn't need to depend on painkillers at this point because his health is in great condition and he's young.

Jimmy
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jb4674 View Post
I don't think he should be taking painkillers at this stage. While alleve and other forms of ibuprofen can relieve the pain, they will not address the problem but, rather relieve it temporarily. Plus, he's 19, he really doesn't need to depend on painkillers at this point because his health is in great condition and he's young.

Jimmy

I meant to take it strictly as a way of finding out if the pain is coming from sore muscles or not. My bad for not making myself more clear. I wouldn't dream of giving him medical advice, I'm not a doctor, but taking an Alleve is an easy way to find out whether his pain is muscular or not so he can tell his doctor when he goes if it comes to that.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Smile Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Thanks for all the input and the great tips!

I definitely won't take any medicine at this point, but rather check out what happens if I sleep in my own bed for a while!
As I haven't had any problems like these before, I don't think it's a medical one, but somethings to do with habits.. Well well, we'll see!

The pillow is a good idea.. I think it's a good thing wether you're having aches or not. My mom was in a car accident and had a terrible whiplash, and she's used one ever since. I'll try that if the bed thing doesn't work.

Thanks again guys..!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 04:45 PM
 
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Maybe, just maybe, you'd be better off having a doctor look at it instead of asking a bunch of people on a message board.....I know, call me crazy and old fashioned.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Maybe, just maybe, you'd be better off having a doctor look at it instead of asking a bunch of people on a message board.....I know, call me crazy and old fashioned.
Haha! Well, why not a message board? If a simple advice here can help me, why not? If it doesn't work, I'll see a doctor, but does it hurt to try?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaNative View Post
I meant to take it strictly as a way of finding out if the pain is coming from sore muscles or not. My bad for not making myself more clear. I wouldn't dream of giving him medical advice, I'm not a doctor, but taking an Alleve is an easy way to find out whether his pain is muscular or not so he can tell his doctor when he goes if it comes to that.
Actually, relief when taking alleve, or aspirin for that matter does not necessarily mean that it is "sore muscles" causing discomfort. These types of medication interfere with the inflammatory response that the body uses to try and correct imbalances within it. One of the symptoms of this response is that of pain. Discomfort is not limited solely to muscular pain, and can come from an endless array of sources within the body. I'm not a doctor, however, just someone who has recently taken Anatomy and Physiology 1&2 at the local college. Made A's in both. Woot! (I'm doing a career change from video game designer to a registered nurse.)
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 04:39 AM
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Not taking a stab at you but maybe your right arm is a bit weak, or not used to being held in the same position for so long, since you recently changed how you pick.

Maybe try slinging your guitar higher/lower to a more comfortable position. If that doesn't work, head to your GP or maybe your chemist, theres a bunch of things on the market to relieve muscle or joint pain.

I hope its just a temporary thing due to a change in technique man.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 04:42 AM
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Ah just noticed you said your 19, i thought u mite have been older lol :$

Im the same age, when i changed my picking technique a few years back to try and improve my alternate picking, i used to get aches in the top of my right arm.

I slung my guitar higher and that helped, when i was sitting i would sit the guitar on my left leg and stick a step or something under my foot to hold the guitar a little higher.

It also made playing alot easier since you could keep your hand in a better position, now i get no problems, maybe try that.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 07:46 AM
 
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

go to a doctor, i used to get tendonitis alot(from playing with a really ****ed technique), but i never went to the doctor. I just don't wanna tell u not to go and have it be serious
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2007, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Shoulder problems - help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eco View Post
Ah just noticed you said your 19, i thought u mite have been older lol :$

Im the same age, when i changed my picking technique a few years back to try and improve my alternate picking, i used to get aches in the top of my right arm.

I slung my guitar higher and that helped, when i was sitting i would sit the guitar on my left leg and stick a step or something under my foot to hold the guitar a little higher.

It also made playing alot easier since you could keep your hand in a better position, now i get no problems, maybe try that.

Doesn't work. I always play like that, so it wont change anything =( And either way, it makes me play horribly when I stand up. Jesus, I hate to screw up things live because of that..!!
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