There was some advice for a beginner given here: Back hurts after playing piano, but I'm looking for something a little different:
I am now 52 and I have been playing since childhood (informally taught by my mother until I got formal lessons age 11-17). I never had back pain while playing before. I have recently started getting pain in the middle of my back (just below shoulder blades) after only a short time of casual playing. (Not necessarily focused practice.)
At first I thought it was related to presbyopia: Maybe I was just leaning back to focus on the sheet music and needed higher powered reading glasses, but I later noticed that it was occurring even when playing from memory or improvising.
- My piano is a German-made upright that I purchased new 17 years ago and have had regularly maintained (including major work about 10 years ago, but nothing since the pandemic shutdown in 2020).
- The seat is a padded bench with adjustable height using a scissor-jack style mechanism. I have not changed its height lately. It's set nearly at its maximum so that my hip joints are above my knee joints. This puts my elbows at about the height of the keybed and my elbows at right angles. (I'm 6'1"/185 cm)
- In the past, I had lower back pain frequently, but lost a fair amount of weight 4-5 years ago which improved the issue greatly.
When I had lessons long ago, I know my teacher addressed playing posture, hand and arm position, etc. as I was playing during lessons. Although I retained the lesson books and handwritten notes from those years, none of them related to this topic. I have checked against web-based references, but nothing seems to be obviously wrong.
What might I pay attention to while playing to avoid this issue?