Nancy- One thing about shoulder injuries is that the higher you have to hold your arm, the more it stresses the shoulder. Getting your arm above shoulder level requires a major shift in everything in the shoulder joint. I know, because I had rotator cuff surgery years ago. What I would suggest is that for the period of time that the shoulder is healing, you play pieces that are quite low on the instrument. No Prokofief Prelude in C for example. No Contemplation of Renie. I hope this course of treatment takes care of the problem. Good luck.
I, too, have had some shoulder problems in the last few months, and I’m wondering if it’s harp-related. It’s just affecting my left shoulder, and now it’s almost excruciating to move my arm behind my waist or reach back as if putting on a coat. I have the shortest arms in the world and really have to reach to get to the low strings on my Mademoiselle. Could that be causing the pain?
It doesn’t hurt when I play, though. It’s almost as if I’ve been reaching forward so much that my body doesn’t want me to reach the other way. Anyone else ever experience this?
I have an excellent doctor named Levon Nazarian who has created, with his partner, a new procedure to treat soft-tissue injuries and joint disease. He uses ultrasound to view the tissue and joint, and then using the image as a guide, he injects cortisone into the bursa or the tendon sheath, as he has done for me; if needed, he uses an ultra-fine surgical needle to remove calcium deposits from a joint, or stipples scar tissue or thickened tendon sheaths to make them supple and allow the tendon to glide again, thus curing trigger-finger conditions and relieving carpal-tunnel syndrome, as he has done for me, or other problems. He has published his procedure in a journal, so it should be possible for your doctor to read up on it. He can be contacted for referrals, as he teaches many residents who are now working around the country or world. He teaches and practices at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Radiology Department. I recommend anyone explore this approach who is having carpal-tunnel, trigger finger, bursitis, arthritis and such problems. He cannot do spinal injuries, it has to be visible with ultrasound. As for bursitis, I recently started with a “straight chiropracter” who seems to have helped a lot, the severe pain has decreased considerably. It seems to me the bursa should be able to heal, so I wonder why you’ve been told it was permanently injured. This is the first chiropracter I’ve been to who has made a noticable difference. Somehow, I think there will be a doctor in Missoula who can help more.
I can say that my fingers will start to trigger when the weather is coldest, so keeping them warm seems to help.
The other factor in my improvement (I didn’t even mention the tennis elbow), has been exercise. I started swimming, and doing a little weight lifting in the pool or out, and strengthening the arm and upper back muscles, and lower back, are key to making it easier on the wrists and hands. Movement keeps the blood circulating through the injury and helping recovery more than keeping it still. Braces are the worst thing, I think.
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