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#1969515 - 10/06/12 04:47 PM Overcoming Mid Back Pain
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
I was wondering if anyone has had any success using the LYTP (YTWL) exercises for reducing pain in the lower trapezius and rhomboid muscles of the mid back caused from playing the keyboard?

(If you are unfamiliar with these back exercises, you can search LYTP on YouTube.)


Edited by NoteBender (10/07/12 02:33 PM)
Edit Reason: Clearer Subject
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#1969553 - 10/06/12 06:50 PM Re: LYTP for Back [Re: NoteBender]
Inlanding Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 1632
Loc: Colorado
Those exercises are not designed to reduce pain, but to strengthen the already weakened and over-stretched and under utilized Rhomboids, middle/lower trapezius, and posterior deltoid. One must also consider responsibly stretching the anterior structures - pectoralis major and minor, anterior deltoids and sternocleidomastoid (anterior neck muscles), are pulling forward (anteroir).

Holding proper neck posture is important during all exercises and during all activities during the day. Craning one's neck forward contributes to poor posture, too. One must not forget to work the lowest of the abdominal muscles which are used to strengthen the core of your "core" used to hold you upright from the hip.

Pain can be caused by many things, poor posture is one, but results vary from person to person, depending.

Glen
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#1969584 - 10/06/12 08:43 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: Inlanding]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Originally Posted By: Inlanding
Those exercises are not designed to reduce pain

I guess I should have asked if anyone overcame their mid back pain after doing the LYTP strengthening exercises for a time.

I have had bad posture my whole life and I only have to sit at the keyboard for a few tunes and the pain starts in the lower traps and rhomboids. I've been doing a complete body workout for over 8 months. However even though I find this overall workout great it does not seem to address this seemingly weak area.

After spending some time looking for something that directly works on the rhomboids and lower traps I found the LYTP series a few days ago and just started targeting these muscles specifically.


Edited by NoteBender (10/07/12 02:38 PM)
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#1969868 - 10/07/12 02:38 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Anybody find their pain easing up after doing them for a while?
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#1969929 - 10/07/12 05:03 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4393
Loc: San Jose, CA
Well, have you?

I'm not familiar with these movements, by that name, and my computer is busy listening to Garrick Ohlsson playing Chopin Nocturnes--- can't tear myself away from that leisurely performance on the Imperial. I'll try to get around to the YouTube.

However, this is an engrossing topic for anyone who is dealing with back pain. I'm doing a PT program right now which consists of exercises, stretches, and vigilant posture-awareness and prevention, and these things do help with back pain. I don't know that I could say what's causing your pain, whether it be posture, a spine or muscle or nerve injury, or a side-effect of your workout program or piano studies, and you've already heard from a medical doctor.

If you continue to be in pain, I would suggest that you consult a doctor to get a proper diagnosis (which no one can do over the computer), with a physical therapy program in mind as a first resort. You need in-person help for this, and don't think for a minute it can't get worse; unfortunately, it can if ignored or incorrectly handled. I would also suggest you ask your piano teacher for help, if he or she knows how. If your teacher doesn't know, you might shop for one who does. It is suggestive that the pain shows up when you practice for a certain time.

It sounds like you are motivated to try to help yourself, and that is very much to your advantage. No doctor or therapist can help you much otherwise. But, what the experts know about the body and about effective treatments is an essential part of the picture. I wish you good luck with it.

Meanwhile, if you would care to describe the program you're doing, in words, it would be interesting. A photo or vid of you playing could also be helpful. The obvious things: seat, posture, lighting, the wrong glasses for music-reading--- it could be so many things.

In my case, pain in the mid- and upper-back is usually muscle-spasm pain triggered by a disc injury in the lower back. I have a TENS unit (stick-on electrodes, a little box with a battery) which pretty effectively breaks up the muscle-spasm pain. But I don't know if that's your problem. Anyway, this device is by prescription-only, so you might ask your doc if it's right for you. Applying ice to the affected area for 15 - 20 minutes, 4 or 5 times a day, is as close as your refrigerator and it often is very helpful. Don't put the ice pack right on your skin (freezer-burn can happen to you); wrap it in a bandana or pillowcase, etc. While you're dealing with the underlying problem, any relief is very welcome.


Edited by Jeff Clef (10/07/12 05:13 PM)
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#1970011 - 10/07/12 08:25 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: Jeff Clef]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
Well, have you?

It's only been 4 or 5 days since I started the LYTP. I think I'll need a couple more weeks before I can really say if they make any difference.

I started learning the keyboard on my own since I purchased my keyboard last November, but this past week I've made some inquiries for starting with a teacher.

I mention that I am a beginner because the mid back pain is not something that just appeared out of the blue, I've also been a long time meditator and often after meditating for 45 minutes I get the same back issues in exactly the same muscles. Since I've always had poor posture I'm reasonably certain that sitting erect to meditate or to play the keyboard puts these specific muscles in an attitude that they have not been used to maintaining (even if it is the correct attitude).
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#1970115 - 10/08/12 12:29 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I had a tired back and the piano bench didn't help me!

In Canada where I live there are only pianos in the stores and I hear that they don't leave piano benches because people who can't play the piano want to, people who don't have money to even buy a broken piano want to play the piano.

And in my case I asked if I could play a babygrand because I had never played a babygrand and could you please let me play one that isn't too expensive. He let me play the babygrand, awesome, Yamaha, 5 footer, probaby a Yamaha C. No one said anything but I pulled out my Fetcher piano Book 1and played about 20 tunes that I had learned so far. It was stuff I could play.

Moving forward, I bought a little piano but I didn't know what they called those adjustable benches so I googled "adjustable piano bench and under IMAGES well, it was awesome because I found out what they were "leather tuft Frederick Artist Adjustable Piano Benches. When I go my piano, the piano bench was just that a metal/plastic and fake leather piano bench.

So then I went to a small piano store in the suberbs and it was fairly dark. The door was in the center and pianos on either side. I walked down the center of the store and left my backpack at the door. I asked he had any "Frederick Artist Adjustable Piano Benches" which is a mouthful to try to say cooly. The only guy in the store, 30s. He said "new or old", I said whatever you have. He lifted a leg and a foot and kicked at something just to the left of him and said "you mean this" and I said yes, enthuastically. He said "50 dollars used. No, don't take that one. The other over there is studier, take that one". I reached for my money belt and as
usual I had lots of blue fives - and give him 10 blue bills. I got him to move it to the door because I told him I only had a cheap electronic piano and I can't afford it if I stratched something here.

It was one of those single tuft piano benches made in China and I was as happy as I could be. The slight problem is that I was on my way to Costoco to get groceries but decided to stop into the piano store to see if if they knew where I could buy a tuft piano bench. I never dreamed I would get one that fast and cheap. Google has them as high as 900 etc.

So when I got to Costco, I had to explain how I bought it and I placed it on one of those orange carts and there it sat with the milk, etc. as I walked around the store.

Now I got sidetracked but I soon learned that while the hight was perfect - perfect. I sadly learned that I
could sit for about 15 minutes without being very tired sitting. And I am old so in spite of my long time health

concerns, I had to try and get more than 15 minutes in practice or I will never get to Fletcher piano Book 5 where I learn Ode to Joy and other classical tunes.

I only know that Gould played with a chair with a back and I am no Gould - in fact someone might say that I am no good!

Well, I thought I would go to IKEA - a long way from anywhere unless you have a car - the bus did just fine once every half hour and - to get to the point - I found from measuring at home that pianos and most electronic pianos and even the old beautiful 9' Steinway they had at the hospital had a 22 foot piano bench height.

Well, wouldn't you know it, IKEA had child's chair 22" seat with back and made, of course, for the kitchen table, just an ordindary chair as opposed to one that has "a food throwing tray" - The tray doesn't exist. The chair is 22" high- prfect and sturdy and large enough for my butt!

Boy can I play the piano with that IKEA chair 22" made of glued sodust called INGOLF $70.00 plus big HST taxes in Canada - without my back tiring. Oh, and only in White and fake wood grain - most pianos are black so I chose a white chair.

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#1970203 - 10/08/12 08:04 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
I use a straight-back non adjustable wooden kitchen chair (my back doesn't rest on the chair back), but my keyboard sits on a height adjustable keyboard stand.

Out of curiosity, anyone know what the standard height is of a piano from the floor to the top of the white keys?

I will try lowering the keyboard a little to see what difference that may make.


I had ordered the book "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back" by Esther Gokhale which I should receive in about 2 weeks. The Amazon recommendations for this book were very high.

Also it has been suggested that there are a few yoga postures I should try that also deal specifically with these muscles used to maintain good posture.


Edited by NoteBender (10/08/12 08:05 AM)
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#1970211 - 10/08/12 08:32 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I have a serious problem with that in tuning pianos all day long. My arms are out stretched continually and by the end of the day, my middle, upper back is just fricken killing me! I've had to cut down on my tunings because of it.

What are all of these exercises and stretches that you're talking about?? Do they really help that much with it?
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Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1970238 - 10/08/12 09:48 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
What are all of these exercises and stretches that you're talking about?? Do they really help that much with it?

At this point I honestly can't say they've helped yet.

I'm retired and in November 2011 I purchased a Yamaha PSR-E423 keyboard and a bunch of books to learn to play. As it tuns out for $249 this little keyboard is amazing. I spend some time every day on it and thought how nice it would be to move up to an even better keyboard and actually take lessons from a teacher, BUT the mid back pain puts cold water on this whole idea.

Because the same muscles ache when mediating I narrowed it down to the muscles I am fairly confident are the culprits. I started Googleing to see if other people had the same issues and what they did about it. I actually didn't find that much that was specific to my issues, but what I did find may be the answers I need:

1. The LYTP series of exercises on YouTube. A very simple set of exercises for the upper, mid back and shoulders using resistance tubing. A fellow named Nick Tumminello has 6 videos covering the LYTP. Search YouTube for "LYTP Shoulder Exercise - 3 Best Ways" or try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyBJQQz3e...ture=plpp_video

2. I came across a video detailing the work of Esther Gokhale. Search YouTube for "Authors@Google: Esther Gokhale" or try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYu...ture=plpp_video
I also read the highly rated recommendations for her book "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back" on Amazon and ordered it, but it was back-ordered and I should get it in 2 weeks.

3. It was suggested to me that there are couple of yoga poses that specifically address my posture issues. (i.e. poses Marichyasana and Trikonasana)

Now, since I've just started delving into these pain issues I can't make any recommendations based on results. At this point the best I can do is keep this thread updated as to how I make out. Once I receive and read Gokhale's book and have practiced the LYTP series and the yoga poses for a couple of weeks I'll report back.



Edited by NoteBender (10/08/12 09:50 AM)
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#1970239 - 10/08/12 09:51 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4669
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I had similar back pain for decades. I didn't identify the cause until the pain became severe while working at a desk that was too high for me. I realized I had developed a habit of hunching up my shoulders to adapt to furniture that was too big for me. (I'm 5'3"). When I purchased an adjustable bench the pain got better but did not go away completely. Finally, I had a teacher who helped me overcome the tension habit and the pain went away.
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#1970247 - 10/08/12 10:20 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
chopin_r_us Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 773
Loc: UK
The shape of all three curves of the spine - cervical, thoracic and lumber - are in a dynamic relationship. If one's wrong then the other two have to compensate therefore also going out of shape. I block up the back legs of my stool so the seat slants - the idea is to lessen the need to flatten the lumbar curve. Also it's all too easy to stick your head back (head extension)when reading from a highish music stand. Gokhale deals very well with rolled shoulders in her video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yYJ4hEYudE

This is what you don't want:

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#1970256 - 10/08/12 10:46 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
Amy B Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/12
Posts: 78
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
Another book that I have found very useful is "What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body", by Thomas Mark. It has great info about whole body position, and how to think about specific parts of the body while playing. It really helped me with pain I was having in my hands and wrists, and I imagine it would be helpful for dealing with back pain, as it has sections devoted to the shoulders and back.
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#1970269 - 10/08/12 11:13 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: chopin_r_us]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
I block up the back legs of my stool so the seat slants - the idea is to lessen the need to flatten the lumbar curve.

My using a kitchen chair may not be a good idea as the front edge is an inch higher than the back edge.

Originally Posted By: Amy B
Another book that I have found very useful is "What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body", by Thomas Mark.

I just picked this book up and will start reading it tomorrow. [EDIT: a pricey book - hope it helps]


Edited by NoteBender (10/08/12 11:15 AM)
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#1970594 - 10/09/12 12:25 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
Tararex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 378
Loc: Middle Georgia, USA
A while back I had severe middle back pain for over two years. I couldn't lift or twist my back without wincing, couldn't sleep on a flat surface, and was in pain sitting at a desk.

The two exercises that eliminated the problem for me were:

1. lat pull-downs; front and behind the head. The movement behind the head requires a careful form with slightly arched back. Use a comfortable amount of weight to stretch and strengthen the middle back.

2. Swinging a light free weight from overhead in a slow sweeping arc between the feet and then back over the head, ending with a light arch in the back.

Back pain is miserable. frown
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#1970686 - 10/09/12 08:21 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I was sending/responding on my iPad 3 yesterday during my lunch hour. Didn't have time to listen to the long video but, I did watch it long enough to see her bend forward, straighten up her back and then return to the standing position. Same with the first video. I tried that little motion while tuning my next piano and just that little bit of effort, correct posture, seemed to help!
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Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1970702 - 10/09/12 09:16 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: chopin_r_us]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Originally Posted By: chopin_r_us
I block up the back legs of my stool so the seat slants - the idea is to lessen the need to flatten the lumbar curve.

A couple of players have mentioned to me that they use an adjustable armless office chair and tip the seat forward slightly.

I have a fully adjustable office chair but with arms for my computer. I've just removed the arms and traded the wooden kitchen chair that I had been using for the keyboard and traded it with the now arm free office chair. I'll try using this a little higher than the kitchen chair and try a few seat angles and see what happens.


Edited by NoteBender (10/09/12 09:17 AM)
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#1971134 - 10/10/12 01:59 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Most babygrands are 29 inches from the floor to the top of the white key and most benches are 22 inches from the floor but keep in mind 22 inches is good but if has a soft cushon that is less than 22 inches, it could be problematic for some.

Upright pianos seem to vary in high.

I notice that my chair with a back has eliminated the stress on my back and allowed me to better concentate on the music.

I guess the question to ask is when you type or use a computer
what chair are you using that gives you comfort and that should tell you what you should be using for playing the piano because playing the piano and typing are very close to being the same action. Of couse for typing it has to be lower, but the action is similar.

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#1971183 - 10/10/12 06:34 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: Michael_99]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
Most babygrands are 29 inches from the floor to the top of the white key and most benches are 22 inches from the floor

Thanks for that Michael. At present both my white keys and seat are a couple of inches lower and the relative distance between seat and white keys is 8 inches rather than 7.
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#1979680 - 10/28/12 01:47 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
A progress report on resolving mid-back ache - it's been about 2 weeks so here is an update.

* I've read the two books: "What Every Pianist Needs to Know About the Body" by Thomas Mark and "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back" by Esther Gokhale. They help make one more aware of their body's position and habits.

* I switched to using a fully adjustable office chair (with arms removed) at the keyboard.

* I've been doing the following exercises for posture and mid-back strength:
- LYTP (YTWL) exercises mostly using resistance band and a little with a stability ball with weights,
- Front and lateral arm raises with resistance band,
- Reverse flies with resistance band and a variation with elbows against sides,
- Lateral pull-downs using resistance band between arms overhead pulling down to below collarbone and using resistance band doing a variation while laying on back,
- Yoga poses Marichyasana - Sage Twist, and Trikonasana - Triangle.

* I've started to see a massage therapist at a physio clinic to help release the knots in the left rhomboid area. Tomorrow will be my second visit.

Has it eliminated the mid-back ache? It hasn't eliminated it completely yet. Naturally when I practice it does come back, but to a lesser degree. I can feel a little more back muscle developing and I think my posture may be slightly improved.

I've also taken the plunge and started piano lessons from a teacher. Tomorrow will be the third one.

So hopefully things will continue to improve.
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#1979716 - 10/28/12 03:41 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 781
Loc: Northern, Northern California
This was a severe problem for me, and it has been totally solved. For a while I was taking a chair to gigs, and I had to limit my practice time. I now play for many hours a day, with no back pain.

Here are the things that I think helped:

1. It may have just gotten better on its own. Probably not, but many of these things come and go.

2. In addition the Gokhale book (and her YouTube videos), this book is amazing.

3. Every day I do stretches that include back stretches. Every day.

4. I have a wedge cushion on the piano bench that keeps my pelvis rotated forward.

5. I had done crunches every day, but they didn't help with back strains. I now believe they are bad, and do side planks instead.

Good luck -- it can be solved!
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My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1979717 - 10/28/12 03:42 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5260
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Al, I now believe they are bad, and do side planks instead.

What exactly does that mean? What are 'side planks'?.
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#1979735 - 10/28/12 04:23 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Side Plank:
Lie on side on mat. Place forearm on mat under shoulder perpendicular to body. Place upper leg directly on top of lower leg and straighten knees and hips.
Raise body upward by straightening waist so body is ridged. Hold position. Repeat with opposite side.


You can check out a video by searching "Side plank" on YouTube e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqzrb67Dwf8 .
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#1979992 - 10/29/12 07:40 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: TromboneAl]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Originally Posted By: TromboneAl
2. In addition the Gokhale book (and her YouTube videos), this book is amazing.


FYI Al is referring to the book "7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life: How to Rapidly Relieve Back and Neck Pain " by Robin McKenzie.

Somewhere I have an older version of this book that years ago I received from a physiotherapist that deals specifically with lower back pain. I believe the "7 Steps" is a combination of McKenzie's two earlier books - the one I have and one dealing with neck pain.

I agree with Al - the McKenzie book I have helped me a lot with lower back pain that I suffered with years ago and since then I do not take any chances with straining my lower back (i.e. I have two herniated lumbar disks), however, my current issues and the idea for this particular thread was dealing with the mid-back as there is a significant lack of useful information for mid-back issues.
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#1980271 - 10/29/12 08:47 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 781
Loc: Northern, Northern California
The interesting thing about the McKenzie method is how it was discovered:

[img]http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=13015&d=1320017822[/img]

------------

Lat pulldowns BEHIND THE NECK are reported to be at best ineffective and at worst dangerous.

The Behind-the-Neck Lat Pull-Down


The myth: The best way to perform the lat pulldown is to pull the bar behind your head, down to your upper back

The truth: Unless you have very flexible shoulders, this exercise is difficult to do correctly, and can increase your risk for shoulder impingement syndrome—a painful condition in which the muscles or tendons of your rotator cuff become entrapped in your shoulder joint.

The alternative: Simple—just pull the bar in front of your head, down to your collarbone. You’ll work your back just as hard, but with less risk for injury.

From: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/avoid_...p#ixzz2AjOhlrfr
_________________________
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My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
My Blog: The Year of Piano Sight-Reading

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#1980336 - 10/29/12 10:57 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: TromboneAl]
Tararex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 378
Loc: Middle Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: TromboneAl

Lat pulldowns BEHIND THE NECK are reported to be at best ineffective and at worst dangerous.

The Behind-the-Neck Lat Pull-Down

The myth: The best way to perform the lat pulldown is to pull the bar behind your head, down to your upper back

The truth: Unless you have very flexible shoulders, this exercise is difficult to do correctly, and can increase your risk for shoulder impingement syndrome—a painful condition in which the muscles or tendons of your rotator cuff become entrapped in your shoulder joint.

The alternative: Simple—just pull the bar in front of your head, down to your collarbone. You’ll work your back just as hard, but with less risk for injury.

From: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/avoid_...p#ixzz2AjOhlrfr



Perhaps true for some but not all. I am flexible and found that behind the neck pulls repaired misalignment and worked muscles lower in the mid-back that pulling the bar in front of the head did not. Males and females have different upper body structures so I'll defer that guys perhaps shouldn't do (or if so, do so carefully) "behind the head" lat pull downs because their more muscular structures can't take the additional torque.
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#1980423 - 10/30/12 07:08 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
NoteBender Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 36
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Maybe I should clarify what I'm doing/calling Lat Pull Downs.

I'm not using a Lat Pull Down machine. And I too have read that Lat Pull Downs done behind the head have to be done with caution.

I am simply holding a resistance band between my arms overhead and pulling the band down in front of my head to just below the collarbone.
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#1980459 - 10/30/12 09:41 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11168
Loc: Canada
When I started chasing posture issues, nobody ever mentioned the feet. Part of sitting at the piano is to sit more on the edge of the piano bench, which should be at a proper height, and if you do that, part of your weight will be on your feet - almost as if you are about to stand up. If your feet are not part of the picture, then you will have to counterbalance everything you do at the piano with your back. If you are too high or too low that also plays a role. If your wrists are stiff, not feathering your motions, then that strain can travel up into your neck and shoulders - and so it goes. Getting a good teacher is a good idea. There are also things like Alexander Technique and Feldenkreis (I don't have experience with either one). Just to say there are a couple of sides to this.

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#1980467 - 10/30/12 10:09 AM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 446
Loc: Bristol, UK
I've had trouble with this in the past.My solution was to turn the piano around 180 degrees and sit with my back against the wall and a cushion for support.There's also a radiator behind me as well so that the cushion is heated in the winter.No more problems since.

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#1980969 - 10/31/12 02:29 PM Re: Overcoming Mid Back Pain [Re: NoteBender]
TromboneAl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/12/04
Posts: 781
Loc: Northern, Northern California
Something that helps me is to remember to have the left foot back, as shown by this guy:



When I do that, it effectively prevents me from rounding my back. Try moving that foot forward and back, and you can feel how it affects your back.
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My Book: Becoming a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!
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