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Ask the Doctor - by Dr. Timothy Jameson
Q: I have been living and working in Cyprus, as a violin teacher for the last 15 years. I have a very good violin student aged about 11. He was doing very good progress as a violinist until last June, whne he begun to complain of a pain in his right forearm. the pain then went away during the summer although he continued violin lessons with me. But in September his problem worsened. He was also playing tennis, which he started last spring, so I persuaded
his parents to stop that for a while. However, he still complains of that pain, even when he writes at school, although the pain is not constant. He went to a doctor, who is not a specialist, but managed to locate the pain in the inside of his right elbow joint. They run all
kinds of tests on him but everything turned out to be ok, except the pain kept, and still is, reappearing. May I add that from the beggining he had the tendency to use a lot of bow when playing, something which gave him a good strong sound, although at times he exaggerated. I don`t know if that`s the reason, in fact, I don`t know what else to suggest. May I add that there are chiropractics in Cyprus, but I wouldn`t know if in his situation he eould be able to get any help. Problem is he`s got exams on the 17/11 and although he`s learned all his pieces etc. very well, lack of practice is starting to take its toll.


A: Are your school systems based on a September through June schedule like here in the States? If so, I would seriously look what is happening in this child's schooling - there may be some serious stressors (physical or emotional) there that are causing him to respond by being more prone to inflammation - a common reaction to emotional stress. I noticed you said he was better during the summer (not is school, I assume).

I'm working in my clinic with a cello player that goes through the same pattern. During this past summer, she felt great and was back to her regular practice schedule. But as soon as she went back to college, the arms became inflammed again and she could only practice 15 to 20 minutes at a time. We began addressing this issue and started her on mental relaxation exercises and stress reduction - it seems she was overextending herself and trying to do too much. Her body and mind simply couldn't handle it.

I really don't know if there are chiropractors in your area. You'll have to do a little searching on that one. I would recommend it though. You need to rule out nerve irritation as the cause of the pain - this is chiropractic's forte.

For more information on helpful hints to avoid injury, visit my Musician's health website. (www.musicianshealth.com). It may really help your music career!


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