The luxurious life of a musician can make people envious since they consider it an easy job to produce music. Most of us also think that musicians live risk-free lives since they have to deal with no dangerous situations or work with no tool that can be considered hazardous or harm them in any way.
However, musicians are also humans like most of us (unless you are an AI software reading this!). They can be sick, feel tired or fall victim to a road accident. In addition to this, several injuries are associated with musicians only for different reasons. Those reasons may include lifting heavy instruments, sitting upright during long performing hours, the wrong posture while they play an instrument for lengthy periods in live concerts, etc.
It is also important to mention that the injuries musicians may have are often not a result of a sudden blow or trauma. Instead, these injuries develop over time due to the reasons described above. The phenomenon is known as repetitive strain and usually results in muscles, tendons, or nerves related injuries.
5 Common Injuries Experienced By Musicians And Their Prevention
Therapy for musicians is important once the injury has occurred but so is the prevention of the injury. Therefore, in the article below we have compiled a list of injuries that are specifically related to musicians and along with it, have also mentioned some effective ways to prevent those injuries. Keep on reading and help yourself out by getting to know them!
You are a musician so this injury may sound unnecessary to even mention. Hearing and feeling music are important parts of your job. But since you are the nearest one to the instrument you play, the sound coming out of it will harm your ears the most. And if you don’t notice the problems related to hearing early on, it gets more and more devastating as time passes and can even lead to permanent loss of hearing.
Injuries Related To Hands And Wrists
Fairly common among instrumentalists such as pianists, guitar players, or drummers, these injuries are the result of repetitive movements during long hours of rehearsals and performances. According to the research, such kind of injuries is comparatively more common among musicians who are either in their 20s or 50s since in their 20s most of them are starting and need to practice more while in their 50s the age factor begins weakening the bones and muscles so we are more susceptible to getting injured.
As a musician, your voice is the most valued of all your assets since the instruments you play with, can be bought again but once your vocal cords are damaged beyond repair, they will be lost forever. So, if your voice has become raspy or hoarse or you find yourself unable to sing high notes or you feel pain when you swallow or even on touching the outsides of your throat, you immediately need to consult an ENT specialist.
Don’t try to self-diagnose yourself no matter how simple the problem appears. Vocal issues are not easily diagnosable so find yourself a specialist experienced in diagnosing the vocal issues of singers.
Back Pain And Related Issues
Relentless stress on your back due to your sitting posture while holding and playing an instrument is not the only thing that can result in back ache. Back problems can also occur due to the lifting of heavy instruments, continued exhaustion, and lack of sleep over a long period.
It may sound simple and the ache may go away after swallowing a few painkillers with a can of beer, but beware that without proper treatment and taking preventive measures for the next time, it will come back and this time, it will stay. So, to stop back pain from crippling you, take preventive measures such as hand therapy by a certified occupational therapist, such as Heather Mogielnicki, who is adept at treating musicians, as soon as you feel the first twinge in your back upon bending down.
Other Common Injuries
Common physical injuries instrumentalists come across are usually due to repetitive motions. These injuries, if not taken care of, can ultimately give rise to many physical problems in the long run. Apart from neck and back pain, instrumentalists are prone to injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) which is caused by repetitive pressure on a nerve in your wrist and can result in tingling and numbness in your hand followed by pain, tendonitis in shoulders, wrist or elbow, tennis elbow, myofascial pain syndrome, etc.
The injuries and physical problems that follow them can be scary. Yet they can be easily dealt with with little care and by taking small preventive measures. You can simply reduce the time of your long practice sessions when your pain gets hard to bear. And even if that is not possible, you can try changing your sitting posture or the way you carry your instrument so that it will cause less stress on your muscles.
To prevent injuries in musicians, action should be taken to educate them properly about them. They should also include different exercises in their routine to make sure the tissues that need healing and regeneration are receiving adequate blood flow. Changes should be made in the diet as well and the musicians should make sure they are taking all the vital components through nutrition. Proper hydration and rest should also be given priority especially once the injury has occurred.
Moreover, physical therapy for musicians is also of key importance since only professional and qualified physiotherapists can suggest targeted and specially tailored exercises for musicians to help the specific muscles heal better and faster.
To sum up, musicians must practice good body mechanisms. It is also essential that you listen to your body when any part of it cries in pain or shows any other alarming or even not-so-alarming symptom. Take proper rest and exercise but if the pain persists, it’s best to visit a medical professional.
It’s also a good idea to consult a professional occupational therapist as well and while looking for one, why not take our help and choose the absolute best? Heather Mogielnicki is a skilled OT at Healing Hand Therapy Center who will relieve you of your pain in a blink of an eye. Tap on the link and see your life-changing by booking a call with us today.