Apologies for appearing a little needy just now! Don't worry. I tend to disappear for a while after posting in small bursts.
About a month ago I began practicing a study by Sor (Study 9, Op 60). It was beginner level, but was throwing me some challenges and so I worked on it pretty hard. There was a short passage (measure 13 below) that required me to rotate my left elbow away from my side a little bit, not too much. However, I practiced going over this passage a lot, and was quite focused on repeating it over and over again as I tried to perfect my technique. Well, when I finally stopped drilling and came out of my fog, only then did I realize that my left shoulder muscles really ached! With a bit of digging around anatomy figures, I determined that it was the medial deltoids that were aching, precisely those muscles required to help rotate outwards and suspend my elbow.
The point is that I've never recovered. For some weeks now, every time I play, and almost regardless of what I play, my left shoulder starts to ache and remains sore for the rest of the day. It feels better briefly if I apply a hot pack or try to massage it, but it has never recovered. I should say that I don't think there was anything wrong in my hand/arm position, and I don't think I was applying more tension than what was required for that particular sequence. But I guess I should have taken more breaks. Any advice on how to deal with this? Maybe I am accumulating more tension in those muscles than necessary. Should I be exercising those muscles to build up resilience? Should I avoid using them and work around them somehow? Should I...gulp...stop playing for a while?
Oh, I should have also noted that at the time of the injury, I had the guitar riding quite high on its support, so I had to reach higher for the neck. I've since lowered it and that is certainly easier on my shoulder.
The joys of approaching 60. Sigh....
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Francisco Navarro Concert Classical, cedar top, 630 mm scale, 50 mm nut
"The trouble with normal is it always gets worse."