Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I think my uneven shoulders are caused by me playing Bari. It drives me crazy to have them like that. Anyone else experience this or know how to fix it?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member/, Official SOTW Sister
Joined
·
19,215 Posts
Nope. A visit to your primary care provider or chiropractor may be in order.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,943 Posts
I have a bit of scoliosis (curvature of the spine) that I attribute to marching with a bari sax in Mardi Gras parades and then playing then the tenor for with a neck strap. Scoliosis is usually a condition found in females. I'll be willing to bet that most tenor players who have played standing up for years has a bit od scoliosis. I found out about it when I began having back problems when I was in my twenties. If it is scoliosis, it probably not progress and you won't need a $3,000.00 scan to determine if that's your problem. It can be determined with a tape measure. If it's affecting just your shoulders, (depending upon the severity) your practitioner will probably just tell you to be aware of your posture. If you're in a pit orchestra and play only one instrument per performance, you might want to consider putting it on a stand.

Mojo plays bari. He'll probably chime in.

But do see a doctor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
I had uneven shoulders well before I started the sax. I use a chest harness with my bari, which through adjustment is capable of evenly distributing the hanging weight of the bari onto each shoulder. Though while playing, position changes including arms/hands can alter pressure at contact points with the harness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
I think my uneven shoulders are caused by me playing Bari. It drives me crazy to have them like that. Anyone else experience this or know how to fix it?
Thanks to handedness, and that many of our activities are unilateral (tennis anyone? golf?), or asymmetric (left hand upper keys, right lower), most of us are asymmetric AND have some degree of scoliosis. Scoliosis is a descriptive term for side curves of the spine (we have front to back curves normally). Where it is really of concern is in growing people where the curve can progress rapidly to the point of adversely affecting organs. For most of us, on it's own, it has little significance. For some, it is the result of bones being shaped differently side to side.
The best advice is to get a good analysis from a provider that you trust. Your concern that playing a heavy instrument might relate is a good one. The asymmetric hand position and tendency to wear the instrument to the side contributes to some muscles working more than others and getting tight. It could be as simple as that, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, stretching, heat and other exercise and/or therapies could resolve that.
It also could be more complex. Walking with one foot turned out can create adaptations up the body (look up kinetic chain) to create a postural high shoulder.
Talk to your providers and make sure that they take a good history to consider other issues that may contribute, but your logic is good regarding the bari. With some regret, I'm of the opinion that a good massage therapist will give more information about your muscles than many physicians (yes, chiropractors, osteopaths and medical doctors all included). The nature of their work is getting into those tissues. Their job isn't to diagnose but they can feel things that many doctors simply don't take the time to look for. Usually they'll tell you if you ask, and you can relay that information to your other providers. Some of them are well versed on exercise, and may give you tips on what they find and how to proceed.
Summary? Consult with your physician for your general health and how it may relate. Get a provider that you trust to spend time feeling the tissues around your neck/shoulders/spine and give you feedback. Tie all the information together and proceed accordingly.
Oh yeah, have them look at you playing and give postural tips! Of course you could do that with a video camera. You might be surprised at what you pick up.
Go to a cafe in a busy mall and watch people around you. Look at their feet walking, their shoulder height etc. You'll see what I mean about asymmetry being common, and yours hopefully won't seem out of the norm and scary, but something that you proceed and analyze and solve as much as possible. I hope that your providers give you great insight and that the process becomes one of learning and becoming aware of and more in charge of your posture!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top