Tips to Avoid Back Pain When Playing the Piano
Updated: Jun 1
Playing the piano is exciting, satisfying and relaxing; however, it can cause back, shoulder and neck pain if done excessively.
This article is for you if you're a piano player and want to learn tips on avoiding back pain.
1. Use a good piano chair or bench that supports your back and spine.
When choosing a piano chair or bench, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure you're getting the best possible support for your back and spine.
Select the chair or bench that is appropriate for your height. If it’s too low, you'll hunch over the keyboard, causing pain in your back and shoulders. Conversely, if the chair or bench is too high, you'll find it difficult to reach the pedals. The ideal height for a piano chair or bench allows you to sit up straight with your feet comfortably resting on the floor.
If using a chair, you must pay attention to the backrest. The backrest should be adjustable, allowing you to customize it. It's also essential to ensure that the backrest provides adequate support for your spine. If possible, try to find a chair with lumbar support; this can help reduce pain in the lower back.
Make sure the chair or bench seat is comfortable. When trying out different chairs and benches, take the time to sit in them for a few minutes to see how they feel. Pay attention to the padding, the seat's firmness, and any other features that make the seat comfortable for you.
Remember, comfort should be your top priority when looking for a piano chair.
2. Practice good posture by sitting up straight and relaxing your shoulders.
Good posture is vital for several reasons when playing the piano:
It helps prevent injuries by ensuring your body is aligned and not placing unnecessary strain on your muscles or joints.
Good posture allows you to breathe appropriately, improving blood and oxygen circulation in your body.
Good posture can help improve the quality of your performance by allowing you to move more freely and accurately.
3. Take breaks often to stretch your neck and shoulders.
One of the most important things you can do when playing the piano is to take frequent breaks to stretch your neck and shoulders. Taking breaks can help prevent pain and injuries around your neck and shoulders.
Here are some tips on how to do so:
Take breaks often and try not to play for more than an hour at a time.
Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation before and during your playing.
Stretch your body, wrists and fingers before and after you play the piano.
4. Use a music stand to help keep the sheet music at eye level.
There are a few reasons why using a music stand can be helpful.
It helps keep the sheet music at eye level, which can be essential for reading the piece and ensuring you're playing the right notes.
Having the music at eye level relieves stress on the neck from having to look up at the music.
It’s easier and quicker to turn pages and get your fingers back to the keyboard when the music is lower.
If you experience severe back pain, you must stop playing the piano and consult with your doctor. Playing the piano can aggravate your condition and worsen your pain.