Anyone who plays an instrument or sports like tennis or golf can develop hand injuries. The hundreds of hours that someone like Itzhak Perlman and Billy Joel have spent practicing and playing their musical instruments over the years have made their hands strong and sensitive. Musicians often insure their hands just in case they suffer injury and can’t play. Any musician, whether you play in a high school band or just for fun, should be concerned about these hand injuries.
Common Hand Injuries Musicians Should Be Wary About
1 – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Musicians who spend hours playing an instrument like the piano are at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a small space through which the median nerve passes. It is a very delicate area, and damage can cause severe issues. If the median nerve is pinched or compressed, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can begin to appear. The symptoms include a tingling sensation in the fingers, pain in the wrist and hand, and trouble using the hand.
2 – Tendonitis
Tendonitis is also common in musicians who play for long hours and practice often. Tendonitis is actually an inflammation of the tendons that run from the muscles in your hand to the bones in your hand. When these tendons become inflamed, they can make playing difficult and painful.
3 – Stress Fractures
A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone. It is caused by the stress put on the bone during long periods of time playing an instrument. When a stress fracture appears in a musician’s hand, it can be very painful. The most common time for a stress fracture to show up is in the fourth and fifth metacarpals. A stress fracture can heal on its own, but it may take a long time.
4 – Trigger Finger
Stress fractures are the most common time that a trigger finger can occur. This is when the tendons that cause the finger to bend become inflamed and get stuck or catch on the joint. It is a very painful condition.
5 – Wrist Sprains
Any musician who plays an instrument that is played with the wrist is at risk for a wrist sprain. This can happen if you play the violin or guitar.
6 – Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
This is another condition that tends to occur in people who play a string instrument. It is caused by the inability of the muscle to relax properly. It is a very painful condition that can cause you to feel numbness and tingling in the fingers.
7 – Compartment Syndrome
Compartment syndrome is a condition that occurs when there is an increase in pressure inside of a compartment enclosing the hand and wrist. As blood flow is cut off, pain and permanent damage can occur. It is usually caused by fractures and muscles swelling up but can also be caused by repetitive motions.
Fortunately, hand injuries are not common among musicians. The repetitive motions that develop over time can put stress on the hands over time. Musicians should make sure to use the proper form and posture to prevent any potential issues from showing up. Otherwise, seeing a specialist to help with the problem is the way to go.
If you are a musician looking for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment, come to North Florida Hand and Wrist. We are a state-of-the-art surgical facility staffed by a team of dedicated practitioners whose primary goal is to ease any hand or wrist discomfort you may experience.