My wrist hurts when I play violin!
December 30, 2008 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know of a good wrist brace for a violinist?

I am a classically trained violinist (for 21 years, so no pancake wrist), who plays in a rock band, and putters around on guitar and piano. But without fail, after playing, even after just holding my violin (vertically by the neck), my left wrist will hurt a lot. And then the pain spreads through to my forearm, stopping at the elbow. I'm sure there is inflammation happening, so usually I take a break and put my arm in cool water.

For the most part, I stay in first position, but I've always had difficulty holding my palm parallel to the neck, so I'm usually at a 45* angle. I have a feeling some of the pain is due to twisting my wrist, but I'm not sure, since it doesn't feel twisted, until it hurts. This also happens when I play the guitar (although that seems more understandable to me due to wrist positioning).

I was hoping to find a wrist brace that I can wear while playing. My wrists are very thin (I am a small person) and I have a hard time finding good braces (my knee and ankles have similar twisting problems) or knowing how to use them. And maybe some other advice (wrist exercises, supplements, etc although I've read all the RSI threads here). I don't have health insurance, so please keep that in mind. Also for what it's worth, I do yoga and regularly avoid backbends/non-fist pushups for the same reason.
posted by vaguelyweird to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think you should probably check this all out with a really good violin teacher. I know that you played for a long time, but you might be doing something or have developed a bad habit somewhere along the line.

I'm guessing that playing with a wrist brace is a really bad idea. I think they may be good for sleeping and walking around, but to play seems like it's going to increase your tension problems.

How is your chin/shoulder rest set up? That's made a huge difference for me. Are you able to hold the violin really securely without your left hand? You should be able to let the violin go and look around the room and the violin shouldn't move if your chin is on the chin rest. I bought a bon musica shoulder rest a long time ago and it's been awesome. I seriously can't play without it. It's far superior to all the others, I believe. And infinitely adjustable.

But seriously, I'd be checking this over with a good teacher. Are you in a metropolitan area?
posted by sully75 at 2:24 PM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've been meaning to call up one of my old teachers.

I've been using the same kun chin rest for years, and although I can hold the violin up with just my chin and shoulder, it always seems a little wobbly. also, I use a weird center-chin-rest, and I've been wondering if possibly that could be contributing.

Those shoulder rests you linked to look wonderful. Thanks for the tip.
posted by vaguelyweird at 2:48 PM on December 30, 2008

My sister used to play viola, and she used to have this problem. The best thing she could find was to just tightly wrap her wrist with an ACE bandage. Seconding the it's a bad idea though.
posted by Night_owl at 3:27 PM on December 30, 2008

Can I just say this: the Kun rests are total crap. I can't understand how they sell so many of them. If you look at the curve of the rest, and then you look at someone with it on their shoulder, the curve never meets up with their shoulder.

The center chin rests can be good for certain people. Basically whatever you use, you should be able to walk around comfortably with it under your chin and no arms and no problems. Some people can do that with just a chin rest and no shoulder rest. I have a long neck and neck issues and need a lot of support.

good luck!
posted by sully75 at 2:27 PM on December 31, 2008

« Older Polycom Malfunction   |   What are the most common HTML tags you use in main... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.