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#1 dwinterfield

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 12:19 PM

I'm in the middle of my 2nd bout with rotator cuff tendonitis in my right shoulder. Thie first occurence was 11 yrs ago, many years before I began playing an anglo. I've been to the Doc, started physical therapy etc. So far progress is very slow. But I haven't stopped playing concertina. The inflamed muscle/tendon is the one on the top of the shoulder. The pain can become acute when reaching over my head, behind my back or out to the side and up (e.g. putting my arm in a sleeve). Other than these acute but short pain events it's just a little sore and it isn't much of a problem during the day. Sleeping is much worse, as it becomes a continual intense ache. These are normal tendonitis symptoms.

I asked two physical therapists about concertina playing. As best we can determine, it doesn't seem to be the cause of or an impediment to healing the tendonitis. There is no discomfort when playing or after playing. The in and out motion of the arm and shoulder should not have an impact on the inflamed tendon and muscle. (If I played over my head or behind my back it would be a problem.)

I'm asking here to see if any of you have had similar issues or maybe I'm missing something. I'm a beginner, and I like playing every day.

#2 ragtimer

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 10:21 PM

I'm asking here to see if any of you have had similar issues or maybe I'm missing something. I'm a beginner, and I like playing every day.

About a year ago I started noticing a milder version of your symptoms, in my left shoulder (I'm right-handed). Like you, it seems to having nothing to do with concertina squeezing, but since I just started the concertina three years ago, I could be suspicious. FWIW, I play Duet, so do not reverse the bellows nearly as often as an Anglo player like you. However, I do exert continuous pressure or tension on the bellows, which may be just as hard on the shoulder (?)

What other physical activities do you do? Six years ago I succumbed to the Scottish curse upon the world, and no, I don't mean the bagpipes, I mean swinging a club at the earth and sometimes catching a little white ball with it <_< If you also play golf or tennis or the like, that may be part of theproblem.

But I don't feel any pain during the golf windup and swing, just when I mis-hit the ball. Likewise no pain on the 'tina, just when I hit the wrong button(s).
--Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer, 11 October 2007 - 10:23 PM.


#3 CaryK

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 11:47 AM

I'm in the middle of my 2nd bout with rotator cuff tendonitis in my right shoulder.


I'm working through the same symptons right now on my left shoulder. Had previously torn the cuff on my right shoulder and it had to be reconstructed, but that was pre-concertina days. The left is not torn, but has had significant thinning and tendonitis. The pain gets a little worse after playing, but the pain started before I began regular playing two years ago.

What has helped is continuing to move the joint and tendons using the physical therapy I've been given. Failure to do this will cause a "frozen" shoulder and then the healing process will take so much longer. So, though it may seem counter-intuitive, keep up with the physical therapy even when you think you should be resting the shoulder. Watch the lifting though. Tiny weights at first or the inflammation will increase. Its taken months and months for me, but the shoulder is slowly getting better and I'm even able to sleep at nights now. Playing the concertina is causing less pain now as well. Good luck. Its a slow process.

#4 doggyvonne

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 03:18 PM

My frozen shoulder was not caused by playing squeeze instruments i..after a consultation with top sports injury specialist Lee Van Rensburg we are pretty sure I caused it using a dog's ball 'chukka' 2-3 times a day over a few months. It was hell for ifirst 5 months - out of my mind through lack of sleep mostly. I had physio asap but it did very little until about 7 months when I was given regular exercises to do. 11months on have ahd 6 hydrotherapy sessions and it has only succeeded in enabling me to get my arm a half inch further up my back. Otherwise I am fine now and sleeping and playing, typing etc are no problem.
I felt a support group in the local hospital might have been most helpful as the pain makes you feel so alone and it is so severe you think you may be damaged and disabled for life. Only by chance did I bump into a few other people with same problem and then began to realise it would improve. Mr Van Rensburg suspected I had also got a torn rotator cuff and it may yet be necessary to have some kind of surgery but I hope not. Frankly I would rather have a baby than a frozen shoulder..it was truly intolerable but you have to tolerate it ..I feel reborn now.

#5 Bruce McCaskey

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:35 PM

I'm in the middle of my 2nd bout with rotator cuff tendonitis in my right shoulder. The first occurrence was 11 yrs ago, many years before I began playing an anglo. I've been to the Doc, started physical therapy etc. So far progress is very slow. But I haven't stopped playing concertina. The inflamed muscle/tendon is the one on the top of the shoulder. The pain can become acute when reaching over my head, behind my back or out to the side and up (e.g. putting my arm in a sleeve). Other than these acute but short pain events it's just a little sore and it isn't much of a problem during the day. Sleeping is much worse, as it becomes a continual intense ache. These are normal tendonitis symptoms.

I asked two physical therapists about concertina playing. As best we can determine, it doesn't seem to be the cause of or an impediment to healing the tendonitis. There is no discomfort when playing or after playing. The in and out motion of the arm and shoulder should not have an impact on the inflamed tendon and muscle. (If I played over my head or behind my back it would be a problem.)

I'm asking here to see if any of you have had similar issues or maybe I'm missing something. I'm a beginner, and I like playing every day.


I've not been on here in months, but took a look today, saw your post and felt compelled to reply. My thoughts on this matter are lengthy so rather than post a long and perhaps boring story here, I'll send you a personal message with details. Feel free to share it with anyone else that might be interested; the personal message is only to avoid a lenthy post, not for an issue of privacy.

The short of it is that I think your concertina playing may very well be directly related to your shoulder issues. It certainly was in my case. Not to take away from the qualifications of your therapists, but unless they practice their healing craft in Ireland or otherwise have exposure to concertina players, I doubt they fully appreciate the mechanics of concertina playing. Both my doctor and physical therapist initially discounted concertina playing as being related to my shoulder issues, but neither had ever seen one being played and I'm certain they didn't grasp how much shoulder work is involved in playing.

#6 fiddlerjoebob

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 03:45 PM

Bruce,

I would be intrested in your sholder pain story if you are willing to post it, or send it directly to me. Very interested in fact.

Thanks

Randy

Edited by fiddlerjoebob, 15 November 2007 - 03:46 PM.


#7 David Levine

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 10:23 AM

... your concertina playing may very well be directly related to your shoulder issues. It certainly was in my case.

Hi Bruce-- I'd love to see your shoulder story. I am a certified physical trainer. I am in the gym doing my own training three mornings a week and I work with other people here, among them a concertina player. I, also, have some shoulder issues. I am a firm believer in doing hard exercises with heavy weights, easing into them over a period of months. The stronger and more flexible you become the better you are equipped to handle repetitive use and the subsequent strain.
Most people don't want to assume responsibility for their own physical well-being, preferring to let a doctor or physical therapist tell them what to do.
I'd love to hear your take on it.
Thanks,
David

#8 Larryo

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 06:39 PM

As someone who has already had to stop one instrument due to RSI, I too would welcome an opportunity to read your thoughts. Larry

#9 dwinterfield

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 09:22 AM

I'd also encourage Bruce to post his comments.

My own situation isn't going as well as I'd like. I'm undecided about what role the concertina has for my shoulder problems. Bruce, several other comments and my own intuition tell me there must be some connection between my concertina playing and my shoulder problems. The physical therapists remain skeptical. In fact one of the them was out with her husband a few weeks back at a folk music program. and because we have talked about it, recognized that one of the musicians was playing a concertina. As he was sitting, we assume it was an anglo.

I've learned a lot about the muscles, mechanics etc of the shoulder. I now can feel the different muscles and tendons. I have learned more than I want t know about impingement. I understand that some motions and postions are a problem and others are not.

Some observations.

I've never felt pain or discomfort while playing or after playing. Actually I haven't played at all over the past week and my shoulder is worse. During that same time I did a lot of yard work and flew to Dallas and back. Those activities have not helped.

The biggest single message I get from the PTs is to pay attention to shoulder posture. It seems that as we age, we tend to roll our shoulders forward. Working at a computer, driving a car, playing concertina, even holding a book in front of you as you read, all contribute to poor shoulder posture. As we roll our shoulders forward, it reduces that space in which the biceps tendon, the supraspinatus tendon and the bursa must operate as we move our arms. This espeically true when moving arms up and/or back. If these muscles and or tendons beocme inflamed, it makes it worse. These are not positions assoicated with normal concertina playing. We also tend to over develop the upper muscles on the back of our shoulders and underdevelop the lower muscles in the back of our shoulders. (I'm intentionally skipping muscle names of which I'm not sure.)

I now have nearly full range of motion, if I start with correct shoulder posture (back and down). The problems with pain are still substantial. I also now understand I made it worse by procrastinating for 6-8 months before going to the doctor and starting PT.

#10 Dan Worrall

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 09:25 AM

After nursing a sore left shoulder for several years now, I finally went to the doc yesterday.

It had been brought on by workouts at the gym three years ago. Though I was at the time a regular, I just overloaded it a bit. The usual symptoms...hard to lift the arm for awhile, painful to sleep on, soreness. I backed off the exercises for months (even now I am no longer a regular), and it seemed to improve. It finally got to a status quo where if I didn't do too much sustained heavy lifting it was ok. What seems to set it off nowadays is any infrequent and particularly heavy exertion around the farm...lifting a big pile of feed sacks, digging trenches, etc....or, interestingly, the rigors of playing concertina for a four hour contradance. The last one left me with an aching shoulder for two days. Normal playing for an hour or so is no real problem.

The doc says step one is to try a stint with the local rehab center for sports medicine...they'll try to help me with some exercises to build up the support muscles around the injured rotator cuff. If that doesn't work, more invasive stuff might follow, but I'm taking it one step at a time.

#11 Michael Marino

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 06:50 AM

Would like to see the full information from the person above with a detailed case. My back ground is a US trained DC with all but exam for Olympic level post grad cert' in Sport Sciences Diploma (en route to a post grad' masters in the same). The mechanics of most frozen shoulders usually stem from RSI or imbalance of the muscle groups/kenetic chains in the area. Do to conditioned neural patterns it can be a bit difficult to break but with a willing patient have done it on many occasions.

Currently not in Practice as dealing with a health issue myself but still keeping up with studies and activities in the field. when moving the bellows the primary groups that should be working are: Posterior: Rhomboids (both), Lat' Dorsi, Teres (Both); Anterior: Pect' Major. Now ther are other muscles involved with this grouping and postural chains that can cause adaption as well. Frozen shoulder is often imbalances of lat' dorsi/teres grp v. Pectoralus grp; though there are variations that differ. Bursitis of the sub clavicular bursa can also play a part in this as well. The amount of weight lifters that I have helped retrain their Erector chains to balance out over training of pect's and anterior muscles is just sad.

For those working out a real simple rule of thumb when strenghtening is this:

Order of muscle strengthening is:

Aerobic before mass always (it is very difficult to go the other way and much easier to do long term damage, also reshaping cell form is much more difficult)

Intrinsic muscles (those that start movement or maintain system tension ( these are small muscles and don't move far but are very important))
Extensors as excluding the hand they should be trained and tensioned to a higher degree than flexors
Lastly Flexors.

The above rules seem simple but you would be surprised at the number of people who don't apply them and are considered to "know" how to train the body. The damage I have seen many times over my years of practice (too many).

Oh by the way working on modifying the hand exercises that we use with kids and climbers for concertina play (enlightened self interest always helps). If anyone is interested will look into creating a dvd of the info once done though the video won't be professional grade i am afraid.

Michael

#12 fiddlerjoebob

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 08:12 AM

Oh by the way working on modifying the hand exercises that we use with kids and climbers for concertina play (enlightened self interest always helps). If anyone is interested will look into creating a dvd of the info once done though the video won't be professional grade i am afraid.

Michael



I would be interested in the DVD. I find what you have said in your post interesting but a bit above my level of understanding in medical terminology. Perhaps you could start the DVD with some basic stuff?


randy

#13 dwinterfield

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:13 AM

Well the PT didn't work and it turns out the cause of my shoulder pain is a torn rotator cuff. More specifically, a full tear in the supraspinatus tendon. That's the one across the top of the shoulder. I'm having arthroscopic surgery later today. They'll stretch the remaining tendon to the top of the humerus and attach it with some screws and sutures.

The cause of the tear is a small bone spur just above the tear. They'll shave down the bone spur today too. Basically, every time I raised my hand over my head and maybe just moved my shoulder, the bone rubbed on the tendon irritating it. Almost 60 yrs of wear and tear took its toll.

I've asked every doc about the concertina. The "tops in the field" doc said that playing concertina probably contributed to the tear but so did most every other normal arm motion. All the other docs said it probably had no effect.

I'll play a few tunes before heading to the hospital and then I'll give it a rest for a week or two.

#14 fiddlerjoebob

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 11:57 AM

GodSpeed...

r

#15 Dan Worrall

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 02:28 PM

Well the PT didn't work and it turns out the cause of my shoulder pain is a torn rotator cuff. More specifically, a full tear in the supraspinatus tendon. That's the one across the top of the shoulder. I'm having arthroscopic surgery later today. They'll stretch the remaining tendon to the top of the humerus and attach it with some screws and sutures.

The cause of the tear is a small bone spur just above the tear. They'll shave down the bone spur today too. Basically, every time I raised my hand over my head and maybe just moved my shoulder, the bone rubbed on the tendon irritating it. Almost 60 yrs of wear and tear took its toll.

I've asked every doc about the concertina. The "tops in the field" doc said that playing concertina probably contributed to the tear but so did most every other normal arm motion. All the other docs said it probably had no effect.

I'll play a few tunes before heading to the hospital and then I'll give it a rest for a week or two.


Good luck with all of that!

In my case, I went to physiotherapy for a few weeks in January, learned some new exercises, and things seem much better. I'll know for sure once I play the next contradance, or when I clean out the ditches on our farm...soon.

Cheers, and best wishes with that operation,
Dan

#16 CaryK

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 09:18 AM

I'll play a few tunes before heading to the hospital and then I'll give it a rest for a week or two.


Two weeks after rotator cuff surgery to begin playing again may be optimistic. I had to be off several months before I could go again. We all recover from surgery differently, but don't get too down on yourself if you are too fatigued or in too much pain to do much after only a couple of weeks. It does take time and the appropriate PT to get your shoulder flexibility and arm strength back after this operation. Most of all I hope your surgery went very well. Best wishes for your speedy recovery. God bless.

Edited by CaryK, 10 February 2008 - 09:20 AM.


#17 dwinterfield

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 08:18 AM

I'll play a few tunes before heading to the hospital and then I'll give it a rest for a week or two.


Two weeks after rotator cuff surgery to begin playing again may be optimistic. I had to be off several months before I could go again. We all recover from surgery differently, but don't get too down on yourself if you are too fatigued or in too much pain to do much after only a couple of weeks. It does take time and the appropriate PT to get your shoulder flexibility and arm strength back after this operation. Most of all I hope your surgery went very well. Best wishes for your speedy recovery. God bless.


Thanks to all for kind thoughts. Surgery went well. I had a load of pain immediately afterward. Got a nerve block and 48 hr. auto novacaine pump. I'm better now. All the medical folks said to take pain pills as directed to stay ahead of it. so far so good. ice is my new best friend. big complex sling. started exercises, all passive range of motion. sleeping in recliner. can't complain. a little bored.

take care of your shoulders!

#18 frogspawn

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 11:23 PM

I too seem to have developed this condition in my left shoulder. I suddenly noticed it in the night about a week ago and it's got progressively worse during the last few days. It's quite painful and unrelenting. It's particularly bad at night and I haven't been able to get any sleep for three nights running, hence this nocturnal posting. I went to the doctor yesterday. I've been put on anti-inflammatories and told to see a physio if it doesn't improve over the next couple of days.

I don't know if this is connected with concertina playing. Firstly I don't get much time to practice anyway and I haven't been playing very much just lately. I certainly never noticed any discomfort when playing. On the other hand I can't remember suffering a particular trauma and haven't indulged in any other new activities that I can think of.

Richard




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