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June 27, 2016 8:02 AM   Subscribe

How much physical force is required to play an Anglo concertina? More specifically: if I'm recovering from surgery and not allowed to lift anything heavier than a milk jug, will playing a concertina be kosher or not?
posted by nebulawindphone to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not an expert but have fiddled about....

The force doesn't seem that great, but it can be tiring, specially in your pectorals and arms. I also have issues getting the wrist position correct which is why I haven't made much progress on one. That and having a four year old.

It depends on what surgery you had. If you can sit straight and work your upper body and stomach a bit, I guess you would be fine. You're not bending and lifting.

But don't take a chance, if you try it and are worried, contact your doctor. Better to put if off a bit and heal properly than cause more damage.
posted by beowulf573 at 8:20 AM on June 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes, call your surgeon's office. They might suggest a week or two of no after surgery, or they may be all in favor because deep breathing is very good to keep post-surgical patients from getting pneumonia. It's a quick phone call, make it!
posted by clone boulevard at 9:13 AM on June 27, 2016

I would talk to a physical or occupational therapist about this; you could even bring in the concertina (for them to maybe try), and show them your particular approach to handling it (for them to evaluate).
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:54 AM on June 27, 2016

When I hurt my rotator cuff, I had a hard time playing for longer than 10 minutes. Not talking 'terrible pain and doing damage', just the ache that faded when I wasn't doing much classified playing concertina as 'doing something'. I had better luck when I sat at our dining table and tucked the fixed end (which happened to correspond to my bad arm) between my knee and the underside of the tabletop such that I wasn't exerting much arm force. Still, the muscles were firing to push the arm back and forth, so all this did was extend the time till I got tired.

If the lifting restriction come from your core, should be fine. If it comes from your wrists, probably not. Shoulders and arms maybe. In any case, at least run the idea past your doctor first AND be very aware while you're playing of what feels uncomfortable, so you are aware enough to stop before you re-injure yourself.
posted by aimedwander at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2016

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