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Pain on right side of the throat when singing high notes

CsesztesCsesztes Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 102
Hy Guys,

I think i strained one of my chords.

I started to incorporate the breath control excersies of the stamina workouts since then I have this issue. Thing is I only feel a little pain when I sing high notes like in the upper range of my mix and head voice and only if I try to belt them. The location of the pain is on the right side at the basis of the tongue. I could also describe it as at the top of my throat.

I tried to rest it of and taken 3 days off but it is still there. Since then I work out with only head voice bridging and ditched the stamina workout altogether.

Do you think it is possible just to rest it off or should I go to a doctor for checking? Or maybe there is some medicine which can be useful.

I would appreciate all the feedbacks.



  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,015
    Ive had something similar but not for 3 days, I thought it was something to do with stretching my voice and keeping my throat as open as possible for those long high notes. @highmtn @doc_ramadani @bentk @jaclynser @Diego do you have any insight?
  • jaclynserjaclynser Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 262
    Hi @Csesztes,

    From what you've described, it doesn't sound like you've strained your vocal folds. They sit further down in the larynx. So if the pain is at the top of your throat, I can't imagine it would be your vocal folds.

    I personally don't think you need to see a doctor, especially with everything going on with Covid-19....you are safer at home. You may have just put some extra tension in your neck when doing the stamina workouts, especially if you were belting the stamina workouts. You don't need to belt to belt the stamina workouts as that uses too much air and you would have trouble getting through the long phrases.

    I personally would recommend rest and maybe some cold drinks/popsicles to get down any swelling you may have caused. But @doc_ramadani @Diego @highmtn @bentk If you have other recommendations I would love to know as well :smiley:
  • CsesztesCsesztes Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 102
    Thank you guys.

    I am putting some additional rest days in between workout days. Yesterday I did not feel it at all, today a little bit when practicing.

    It is really annoying cause i would like to sing some songs as well, but healing is more important. :)

  • jaclynserjaclynser Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 262
    Oh I hear ya! haha, yep listen to your body.
  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,649
    This is really difficult to answer for me. I have not heard you sing or perform the exercises. The first thing i think of is strain. Personally, i used to strain certain muscles that i did not have to. Not sure if this is the case for you.

    I agree that you should give it some time to heal. Some light exercises are usually OK. Try to monitor yourself very well the next time. The more unnecessary tension you can lose, the better your singing will become. But again, i don't know if this is the case for you.

    Let us know how it goes.

    All the best,

  • CsesztesCsesztes Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 102
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I am currently practicing, and I started to feel it only at the very beginning of VOL4. Between A5-F#5.From F5 i am okay. After today there will be 2 days off, then I am planning to either dith VOL4 altogether for a week or only join KEN around F5.

    I will keep you up to date.
  • CsesztesCsesztes Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 102
    Hey Guys,

    Pain is still there, sometimes I even feel it when I swallow, otherwise it is mostly the same.
    I do not know when I would be able to see a doctor until Covid situation settles a bit.

    During last week, I had pain on the other side of my neck as well, but it was kind of different and it healed after 3 days roughly.

    My workouts are quite chilled and low volumed and I only do them 4 times / week now.
  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,649
    @Csesztes Sorry to hear that you are still experiencing pain. I would indeed advise you to go see a doctor.

    Don't strain yourself, and keep it chill, like you said. You shouldn't have to sing or exercise with the feeling of pain.

    I hope this will resolve quickly for you
  • CsesztesCsesztes Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 102
    Hey Guys,

    Little update on my situation.

    So I went to my factory doctor roughly 2 weeks ago who did not find anything. I took 6 day rest of singing, but the pain was still there.
    So I went to a ear - nose - laraynx specialist on 29-05. She did a check everything from my vocal chords to my nose and even my ears. She said my throat and vocal chords are healthy.

    During the vocal chord checking tough she made me almost vomit a few times, which I think worsen my situation, since then I feel the pain is a little bit stronger. After the failed attempts she put some lydocain, so I no longer felt the urge to throw up.

    Anyway, my only idea at this point is to try to take some multivitamin supplementation, since my body is unable to rest it out on its own and continue with the chilled out singing workouts. Other than that I am pretty clueless what could I do.

    Any suggetion would be highly appreciated.
    I love to sing and I have already put some much effort into it during these 5 years, that I would hate to quit due to some stupid pain. :(
  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,015
    Very tough to advise what to do in your situation. Like I said ive experienced something similar to you but it never lasted long at all. Is it at a specific note value or vowel modification that causes the pain. Can you sing for an hour below that note value without pain? The only thing I can think of (this is not a medical opinion!) is you might have strained the muscles you use to shape your vocal tract up high, sort of like overdoing it in the gym. Other than that, im sorry that this has caused so much grief for you.
  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,649
    Do you have acid reflux? I also find it difficult to comment on this. Gonna tag a few people who might be able to give some useful advice: @doc_ramadani @highmtn

    If you have been over-singing, you'll probably not have pain for weeks on weeks. You usually go hoarse, and might feel some discomfort. Like after shouting at a concert, or a theme park all day. Keep being cautious, it is good that you are trying to get to the bottom of this.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,333
    edited June 2020
    You should not feel pain as a result of singing, unless you are overdoing something, and pain should be a sign to you to stop doing whatever you were doing just prior to noticing any feelings of discomfort. Since you mentioned that you began to feel it when you began volume 4, you could be straining your laryngeal muscles in order to attempt to hit notes that are not yet within your range. If some notes are uncomfortable for you, then you should back off trying so hard to reach them, and be more gentle with your approach.

    We are not doctors and we also aren't seeing or hearing what you are doing, so we can only put together the information you are giving us and give you our best thoughts. Volume 4 does involve some very high notes, and initially you will need to approach those notes gently and give your voice time to grow.

    If it hurts, back off.

    It is good that you have seen an ear, nose, and throat specialist. It sounds like they have determined that your cords are healthy. But if something is sore, you are overdoing something.

    Watch for and be sensitive to how you feel as you work out. If you feel any strain, ease off.

    You may want to do your exercises extra-gently for a while, to give your throat a chance to recuperate.

    Remember, you should be relying on your abdominal support to reach higher notes, not muscling-up in your throat.

    If you don't recover from this soon, you should see the ENT again.
  • CsesztesCsesztes Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 102
    edited June 2020
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the insight. @highmtn , @bentk
    I do not have reflux.

    Well I was already doing Vol4 for like a 1,5 years now and even Vol5 for like 5 months before problem started with no issue, not even hoarsness.

    You may check the video about my technique in the below link. It is pretty much in the upper register during the whole song. I felt zero pain during this and I was hitting A5 in some places.

    Problem only started when i started to incorporate the very last exercise of the stamina workout.
    I feel like the muscle which is responsible for holding the breath back on my right side hurts only when I am like F5 and above.

    Anyways thanks for the support. I will try to figure it out and let it heal.
    I will let you know when I have any update or hopefully fully healed. :)
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,333
    edited June 2020
    The thing I am seeing or hearing in your demo that is concerning is that on your very highest notes you are putting more air pressure into those highest notes than I think is necessary. You may feel that you need to push that hard, but notes in that range are naturally louder, and can be done with less air pressure and volume more safely and sustainably. Holding back the air with greater support would be the way to apply the brakes a bit as opposed to floorboarding the accelerator to get there.

    Much of the purpose of the Breath Control Stamina Workout is to learn to portion-out the breath and make a little bit of air go a lot further. So do try to manage the volume to the greatest extent possible. Although you are not going hoarse, it's important also that you do not feel pain. Comfort usually comes from employing a greater proportion of ease to your singing. Ease often equates to less sound pressure level, i.e. less volume, especially on higher notes.

    You have a very high range. You can protect that range and extend its longevity by careful management of volume through control of glottal compression. Only use the minimum amount of pressure needed for any given note. That does take time to figure out, but avoiding hoarseness and/or pain or scratchy feelings is how we learn by experience.

    We are each individually responsible for how we use our own voices. Sometimes the cues and clues to those thresholds of "how much is too much" are a matter of careful and cautious trial and error, and learning from our own mistakes. If we don't watch for the subtle clues, we can drift into things that require more attention. We must monitor ourselves to err on the side of caution.
  • CsesztesCsesztes Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 102
    Thank you for your kind reply @highmtn . I really appreciate it.

    Actually I am already singing my workouts relatively quiter than I used to. I used to not be able to do VOL3+VOL4+VOL5 after each other, because my voice got tired, but when I lowered the volume it become comfortable.

    I think you have a very good point about air pressure, because I realized that I tend to tense up on the high notes. I think the reason is it feels more powerful. Sometimes I "mess up" and accidentally sing those notes more "headvoice"-i . They feel way easier, but to me it sounds more theatrical or operatic and it loses its power.( Volume is the same.)
    Based on your feedback, I think I should probably go for that kind of feeling.

    I will update the post if any progression happens.

    Thanks for all the feedback.

  • sjonrokz4usjonrokz4u 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,286
    I’ve got a buddy herein St. Louis that inhaled some chemical by accident and he’s been seeing a speech pathologist that specializes in singers have you tried looking in to someone like that. I would strongly suggest that they specialize in singers. Good luck man
  • CsesztesCsesztes Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 102
    Thank you for the advice @sjonrokz4u.

    I did not. I will search for it in my region.
  • CsesztesCsesztes Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 102
    Dear All,

    Happy to inform you that pain has left a roughly a month after last post. ( I forgot to update. )
    Solution was a change in technique. I was needed to take it easy on the high notes. Now I sing them with much less effort, but the crazy thing is based on the feedback it sounds stronger.

    All in all it was a good thing, cause it forced me to use proper techinque. :)

    Happy singing to you all!

  • sambosambo 2.0 PRO Posts: 54
    Great for you! 👍
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