Pain in left shoulder.

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

Pain in left shoulder.

Post by aprayinbear » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:06 pm

Suggestions Please.

When I play I often get pain in the left shoulder. It is more annoying then intense, but it never fails. Whenever I play for an hour or so, I end up with the pain. Stop playing and the pain goes away.

I am thinking about purchasing a rest so that my position will be more straight forward.

Are there others who suffer from this problem? I am frustrated, because this has taken much of the joy out of my playing.

Suggestions :?:


Re: Pain in left shoulder.

Post by hemiphractus » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:01 am

You didn't mention what posture you are using whilst playing, but my guess would be that your left shoulder is supporting your arm too much. The neck of the guitar needs to be such that, when you are seated squarely with back straight, raising your left hand, palm up, by bending only at the elbow (not at the shoulder joint), your hand will engage the guitar neck. Some shoulder joint movement will be required, but if you find your elbow moving far away from your torso, you will be using the shoulder too much. Each person is different, so try using different posture aids - foot stool, guitar supports etc. You can also shift the guitar away from the idealized "classical" position if that really doesn't work for you, but don't go too radical. Avoid anything that takes your back out of the square over the hips position.
Last edited by hemiphractus on Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.


Re: Pain in left shoulder.

Post by VeganPicker » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:35 pm

I had a problem say 5-6 years ago where I started getting tingling in my left ring and little fingers. Went to my family doctor who was an osteopath. He had me demonstrate how I played; standing, sitting, etc., and found little adjustments to be made to stop the stress I was unintentionally placing on my left arm from shoulder on down. It took a couple months of NO playing and wearing a wrist brace and doing some physical therapy and then began playing with the adjustments he recommended. Good new is no issues or pain remain today!

PS: He did remind me, gently, that as we age these pains from seemingly commonplace activities become more frequent. ... sigh .....


Re: Pain in left shoulder.

Post by -Z- » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:08 pm

So, recently I was "granted" with this strange pain on my left shoulder, it feels like everything is heavy if holding with my left arm, also a way less serious pain, more of a discomfort on my right wrist. Then I tried to change my posture so I could carry on... I noticed that if I rotate the guitar so the headstock comes close to my head (moving the the guitar few degrees towards a straight vertical angle ) makes it easier on the left shoulder, and by "sliding" the body few degrees upwards ( lifting it's angle so the top is slightly facing up instead of pointing straight forward) makes it easy on the right hand. Both pains considerably decreased but is this posture OK???

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Re: Pain in left shoulder.

Post by Michael.N. » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:09 pm

It may be perfectly fine. Keep trying it and see if it results in no pain. Don't forget that there are many ways to hold a guitar, from the traditional footstool right through to Galbraith's cello position.


Re: Pain in left shoulder.

Post by -Z- » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:37 am

This Galbraith guy sure is odd, after watching him playing I don't think my angle looks strange at all.
I just hope a doctor can be avoided.

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