I read back in February an interesting article by the Musicians’ Health Collective stating that
As a singer and guitarist for the past 20 years I have faced many forms of chronic pain over the years, as have many musician I know and call friends.
Look at the body positioning of these musicians
This pianist is going to create himself a chronic forward head issue and cause all sorts of back issues, neck issues, potential nerve impingement and potentially develop kyphosis.
As beginners on stringed instruments we often would bend our neck around to look at the keys or the fingerboard of our instrument. Again, causing rounding of the shoulders, forward neck potentially causing many skeletal problems.
Look at the violinist and the muscles they are using whilst playing. So many potential problems can come from this if the musician does not look after themselves.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Our muscles set in abnormal positions from repetitive use. As they begin to tighten and shorten in said position, they will start putting strain on our skeleton, pulling on bones causing a variety of skeletal pain and potentially causing the decentering of joints – a potential cause of osteoarthritis.
HOW DO YOU THEN KEEP YOUR BODY WELL AS A MUSICIAN?
The obvious answer is to learn correct posture. But what else can you do? Stretch and get regular Remedial Massage. Some of the best stretching you can do regardless of instrument are:
- Chest stretch through a door frame
- Straighten arm and flex and extended the wrists,
- Neck rotations, lateral flexion, extensions to stretch the front of the neck
- Lay on the floor with a rolled towel under neck to assist correct curvature.
However, the best thing you can do for yourself is to also receive regular Soft Tissue Treatment. Seeing a Soft Tissue Therapist for regular Remedial Massage can help stretch the tight muscles, advise on long term care and assist with posture.
So, professional, semi pro, amateur or wannabe rock star, you need to keep your body working well. Don’t let pain prevent your performance. Get in touch.
And, if you do not have pain, still get in touch – keep it that way. Prevention is better than rehabilitation.