Back Pains

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...

Back Pains

Post by gildor64 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:01 am

Hello all, I am new here so as you can imagine I have lots of questions! But for now I'll keep it to the most pressing of my concerns. I am a mostly self-taught guitarist who has been playing classical for about a year and a half and lately its been killing my back. I have good posture (I studied cello before classical guitar) but I've heard that back pain is something that many classical guitarists have to deal with. Any advice or suggestions? Thanks!

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Re: Back Pains

Post by Michael » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:13 am

Hello gildor64, back pain is something that many classical guitarists suffer from and I suggest you look in the following section for many topics covering this ailment.


Often, footstools can cause problems, as they did for me. But iif you are self taught, it is a good idea to have sessions with a reputable guitar tutor to make sure you are, in fact, playing with a good posture. I guess you played cello with both feet flat on the floor and now you are using a footstool for the guitar.

For many people a footstool is fine and produces no problems, but for others, guitar supports are more beneficial. These enable you to play with both your feet flat on the floor.

Please visit the following link to introduce yourself as you are new here.


It might also help you to look here too, the new member's page.


Finally, I do suggest you see a specialist to check out your back problems.

I shall move this thread to the Aches and Pains forum.
All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff.
(Frank Zappa)

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Re: Back Pains

Post by Lorette » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:08 pm

Hi gildor,

After sitting straight, with a guitar stool for a while, I have lower back pain. I have found that using a regular foot stool with both feet on it opens/stretches my lower back and no more backache. You could also try different height chairs. I use a small office chair that can be raised and lowered. I experimented until I found just the right comfort height with the footstool. :D

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Re: Back Pains

Post by Leitmotiv » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:33 pm

Try for answers to backache.

"...the wonderful ease of masters" - Albert Camus


Re: Back Pains

Post by gildor64 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:39 am

Thanks for the replies, looks like I've got some reading to do on the subject. Now, this may sound like a dumb question, but what exactly is a guitar support? An office chair, that's a good idea.

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Re: Back Pains

Post by hesson11 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:15 am

gildor64 wrote:Thanks for the replies, looks like I've got some reading to do on the subject. Now, this may sound like a dumb question, but what exactly is a guitar support? An office chair, that's a good idea.

Search the forum for Dynarette, ErgoPlay, Gitane and A-Frame. Those are some popular guitar supports, and you'll find more reading than you probably want to do!

(With the forum search function being down, last I heard, use Google then type in "dynarette" substituting the various names for "dynarette.")


Brent Hutto

Re: Back Pains

Post by Brent Hutto » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:26 pm

Or maybe just search for the Dynarette and stop there. I really like my Dynarette :mrgreen:


Re: Back Pains

Post by cn90 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:08 pm

As mentioned above, this topic has been discussed many times. My opinions:

1. Search the forum for a discussion on what is considered correct posture (opinions vary but you will get an idea for yourself).

2. Take frequent breaks, every 15 min or so, get up, take a 5min break, walk around, drink some tea/coffee etc....:)

3. If problems worsen, see a local doctor.


Re: Back Pains

Post by Baroqenstein » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:37 pm

Hey I'm someone who suffers from chronic back problems (muscle spasms) and let me just say there's a lot of things at work that can cause your back to
suffer from playing cg. Depending on your posture and setup there are numerous variables. One thing many people do not realize is that back pain can stem from all over the body, not just back muscles. I just went to a physical therapist who gave me some personal insight to back pains. For one, my hamstrings, thighs and pelvis and a slough of other muscles are extremely tight. If your hamstring muscles are tight then they pull on your back. I would recommend doing a series of stretches, groin, hamstring, thigh, ext if you know of any massage therapists, it might be a good idea to talk to them as well. Also, I don't mean someone who will just give you a massage, but someone who is specialized in dealing with pain and healing it. Hope this helps.


Re: Back Pains

Post by EricW » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:59 pm

I have a problem, too! Whenever I play for an extended period of time without a break (+30 mins), I begin to get this awful soreness on the right side of my back, stretching from the kidneys to just below the shoulder blade. It is very strange and I think it might have something to do with my right hand/arm position (since it's the pain is on the right side of my back). Can anyone guess what might be causing this? Maybe someone has had similar experiences? I am quite relaxed and don't hold any tension that I know of. I will also start taking more breaks, but even with that I don't think it will correct whatever is causing this problem.

Edit: I think I am leaning to the left slighty (?)

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Re: Back Pains

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:31 pm

I'm no expert but I have more than my fair share of upper and lower back problems. If your pain is a direct result of Guitar playing then you almost certainly have tension/posture problems. The problem with playing an instrument is that it's awfully difficult to concentrate on every aspect simultaneously, usually it's the slight tension in a certain part of the body that gets overlooked. Indeed many players don't even realise they are tensing inappropriate muscles until it becomes a real problem.
Your 'lean to the left' may well be the cause. Impossible to say without seeing your posture in person. The best solution is to have a few lessons with a very good teacher who is aware of such issues. Failing that a full length mirror can help. You should also try to concentrate and see if you can 'feel' where the tension is. This is best done playing in your usual position. Play an extremely easy piece that you are very familiar with but change your focus to the parts of your body where you may have dysfunctional tension.


Re: Back Pains

Post by ande » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:32 am

I have some right shoulder blade pain.

I was advised by my teacher to stretch. Like shoulder shrugs, stretching neck by looking left and right etc etc

Some recent improvement from ... tasana.htm
even backbending this one a bit further.

This makes sense to me, because it is quite opposite of the playing position.

my 2c


Re: Back Pains

Post by Exit209 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:49 pm

There is a really nice stand/cushion for CG you can get which makes you rid the footstool and let you sit straight, try it

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