Sax on the Web Forum banner

I hurt my shoulder, and I'm looking at ways on how to prevent this in the future

2304 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jthole
Last week I developed a slight swelling in the neck and my right shoulder, which was followed by a stinging pain in my shoulder (so bad that I couldn't even sleep). It turns out that I developed tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon in the shoulder), according to the doctor.

I am on pain killers and an anti-inflammatory drug, and have to see the doctor again next Tuesday. Earlier this week everything was so sore that he could only do a crude diagnosis. He is probably going to suggest another round of Diclofenac and Paracetamol and/or physical therapy.

So far, so good, but I suspect that it was partly caused by my sax playing. I have been playing baritone sax with a sling for years, but I recently got a new one (to low A). With this sax, and the sling, I guess that I have to rotate my right shoulder slightly more backwards to reach the keys. That's probably not the only cause (dressing too cold while riding my motorbike to work might be a culprit too), but I want to prevent this from happening again.

How are your experiences with using a harness for baritone sax, instead of a sling? Is this putting more stress on the shoulders, or does it distribute the weight better? I already found out that a harness makes my sax hang more in front of me than to the side, which probably is better for the position of my shoulder. However, with the sling, all of the weight is on my left shoulder, while a harness will put stress on the right shoulder as well.

Any advice, apart from taking enough rest?

1 - 1 of 12 Posts
Tendonitis is a repetitive stress injury...Emphasis on repetitive. Unless you are moving in and out of the uncomfortable position over and over again (though shoulders rolled back IS the anatomically correct position...we are all just slouches), it is not likely that you have developed tendonitis from this change in horns/ shoulder position. It could be a "straw that broke the camel's back" situation ie: you are right handed for your computer mouse, maybe your work involves repeated stress at the shoulder, you do the bulk of your driving with the right hand on the wheel, etc.

Three things that could be caused solely by a new position, and would present with the same type of pain and inflammatory response:

Bursitis: Our bodies are filled with fluid-filled sacs that cushion where tendons and other soft structures glide. These can become inflamed with unusual pressures.

Rotator cuff impingement syndrome: A pinching of sorts involving structures in the shoulder joint.

Brachial plexus injury: A stretch or impingement of any one of the large cluster of nerves coming through the area of your shoulder (think odd shoulder position plus the weight of a bari on a shoulder harness).

All of these are easy to research through the interwebz, and typically involve the similar treatments in mild cases (rest, ice/ anti-inflammatory meds, CHANGE IN HABITS, physical therapy and time).

Dogster's advice of sitting is a good one.
See less See more
1 - 1 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.