As a musician, there is no greater feeling than losing yourself in your instrument. However, playing any instrument frequently can lead to developing a repetitive strain injury. This can cause pain and make it difficult to play the music you love.
When faced with a repetitive strain injury, treating it quickly and efficiently is the best way to help you return to playing without pain. It is equally as important, though, to take the appropriate steps to prevent these injuries from occurring.
I myself am both a musician and an occupational therapist, so I understand what is required of you and your hands when you’re playing your instrument. I want to help give you the necessary tools to prevent the likelihood of developing repetitive strain injury.
Here are two simple tips that will make a huge difference once you put them in action.
Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury by Stretching
Stretching is essential for preventing soft tissue injury and joint dysfunction. As an example, wrist and finger stretches are essential to help prevent injury for guitarists and other string instrument players.
Before you begin playing your instrument, stretch the areas of the body that will be engaging in repetitive movement. This will not only help you loosen up before playing, but it will further aid you in avoiding a repetitive strain injury.
Don’t Neglect Proper Posture
Focusing on proper posture while playing any instrument can help prevent multiple injuries, as well as chronic pain, while playing. Rounded shoulders and hunched-over spines can result in nerve compression. This can affect the use of your arms, cause chronic tension and pain in your shoulders, and can result in difficulty sleeping or performing everyday tasks.
To help support proper posture while playing our instrument, try sitting on a firm, flat, yet comfortable surface. Avoid using a seat with a back rest. This will strengthen core and back muscles and keep the hips, spine, and shoulders in proper alignment while playing.
Take Action Today
If you already suffer from a repetitive strain injury, occupational therapy and physical therapy services can help identify potential injuries and treat them effectively. To learn more about seeing an occupational therapist, contact us anytime.
*Please note that for occupational therapy services, a physician prescription is required beyond the initial evaluation to continue treatment.*