Does anyone else suffer from back ache out there? I don’t have back ache whilst I am practising at home but as soon as I am doing a gig where I am rooted to the spot for a couple of hours the top part of my back begins to ache!
I have been having lower back pain lately too, but for me I think it’s because my harp bench doesn’t have a back to it and I am suffering from a muscle sprain from work. When you sit for long periods of time, you are more likely to have a back ache. I get one too from practicing for hours or being at a gig too long. It’s good to get up and take some breaks here and there. My next harp purchase will be an Adjustrite Chair that has a back to it.
You won’t get more respect from the client, you’ll get less (can’t be all that hard, can it–she doesn’t even need a break like the band does, so obviously she scammed us on the price).
Besides, you’re shortening your career by setting yourself up for repetitive stress injury.
I totally understand not wanting to take them–I’d rather be playing, too, than searching for a place to lurk while I’m not. But if you want to still be doing this in fifteen or twenty years, you need to respect your body. It’s already telling you that what you’re doing is stressing it. Take the breaks.
Armande, in addition to taking breaks and ensuring your posture at the harp is good, have you thought of looking into Alexander Technique or yoga?
Both would help correct any postural problems, help you be aware of any tension that precedes the pain and help you to relax.
Restorative yoga might be particularly wonderful for your upper back pain. Small backbends while supported by a bolster and/or blocks could help release tension, stretch the muscles in the opposite direction from harp playing and help to re-imprint your fascia.
Yolanda Kondonassis has some stretches for harpists in her book that are just wonderful for stretching breaks.
I hope you will be pain-free very soon!
Major solutions are needed for back pain. And that would be wearing a brace for support when practicing, and to create good posture habits; and doing core-muscle exercise on a regular basis. When your core muscles are strong, back pain vanishes. If it’s muscular.
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