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Working on Playing Piano without Backrest

TromboneAlTTromboneAl Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Lower Back Pain
My back pain has improved enough that I can once again play piano sitting in a chair with a backrest. However, I want very much to be able to play on a standard bench without a backrest. It's a bother to bring a special chair with me when I perform in public.

For 1.5 weeks I've been religiously executing my back exercises (see below), and playing piano for 30 minutes at a time, being careful to try to have just the right posture. I follow this with icing. It doesn't hurt when I'm playing, but I have pain about an hour later.

My question is: am I doing more harm than good with this protocol? Should I just use a chair for now? What's the best way to accomplish my goal of playing without a backrest?



Back Exercises (import to MobiList)
Cat Stretch
Neck Raise with Strap
Knee Raise
Hip Raise
Hamstring Stretch (Strap)
Lumbar Rotation
Child's Pose
Paper Clip
Side Plank
Hamstring Stretch (Wall)
Pectoralis Doorway Stretch
Standing Leg Raise
Neck Stretch
Ingela Stretch



  • What you have listed for exercises are good for your back. Most are actually stretching exercises. They are not really core strength building exercises. Those will help with some strength but mostly help stop you from tightening up too much. Good set for lumbar spine.

    Now building your core requires actual strength not stretching exercises. That means building up your abs and lower back muscles. You need a different set of exercises. There are several approaches. Depends on what you have had done to your back and when. Don't know your limitations but you need to work around that . You'll need to do a lot more than 2 weeks of it to see real results.

    Sit up straight unsupported for 30 minutes is asking a lot if you have no core strength. I'll bet you are sore later. Ice will just reduce swelling, not address the issue.

    Until you do get your core built up to do this. Take one of those portable stadium seats that has a base with back that folds up. Very convenient and portable. It'll give you something to lean on. Still doesn't mean you can slouch though. You could also stick a lumbar roll on it to arch your back and help with fatigue.
  • jpayseurjpayseur Posts: 8
    edited 06/28/2012 - 10:29 AM
    Hi Al,

    I was browsing through the forums today and saw your post. It reminded me of the interview I did here on Spine-health last year with an Alexander Technique instructor, Judith Stern.

    Alexander Technique instructors commonly work with musicians to improve posture so they can play easier/better. Repetitive use pains are common for musicians. If you can find an instructor, you may want to consider taking a few lessons.

    Interview with Alexander Technique Expert

    The Alexander Technique for Back Pain
  • girl_torontoggirl_toronto Posts: 3
    edited 11/20/2015 - 8:25 PM
    its been a while since you posted but could you please update us

    This is a very old post, the original poster has not been online for more than 4 years
    For helpful information please click on link
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Liz -Spine-health Moderator
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