Wrist pain and conditions like carpal tunnel can affect many people who do repetitive movements using their hands and wrists. Musicians, in particular, are especially at risk for these injuries, as they use repetitive and sustained motions to play an instrument. This can cause tingling and numbness in the hands and wrists and pain in the neck and shoulders—all of which prevent a musician from performing their craft properly.
Although musicians are likely to get treatment for such injuries when they’ve already occurred, those who aren’t experiencing any pain yet can prevent these conditions from happening in the first place. This will save valuable time for playing, generating income, and carrying out their profession and passion.
Here are some ways that hand doctors can help musicians to prevent conditions that can lead to carpal tunnel treatment:
Promoting Body Awareness
People tend to ignore the needs of their bodies until they feel an unbearable amount of pain. Musicians can learn a thing or two about taking care of their bodies from the way they care for their own instrument. They are attuned to their instrument’s unique needs, take care of it, and ensure that it isn’t placed in any situation where it could be damaged. This level of care needs to extend to the musician’s very own body in order to prevent serious injuries from crippling them and rendering them incapable of playing their instrument.
Taking Care of the Body
There are several factors involved in the risk of injuries related to the hand and wrist. Paying attention to one’s overall health will help decrease the risk for sustaining such injuries, starting with good nutrition. Avoid food choices that are known to have inflammatory effects in the body, such as caffeine. For smokers, nicotine will also affect tendons, nerves, and soft tissues that can make them more susceptible to tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and others.
Aside from nutrition, getting adequate sleep is also essential for the body to repair itself. Managing stress is another essential component, as it can prevent high blood pressure and tension, contributing to the pain felt in the wrists and hands.
Having a good awareness of one’s body position during everyday tasks, such as computer work and device use, will also help prevent unnecessary pain and injury that may end up in a trip to the wrist doctor.
Instilling Healthy Practice and Play
There’s a difference between playing hard and playing smart—and musicians should strive to achieve the latter. As a musician, it’s your responsibility to exercise due diligence in maintaining the correct posture, practicing the right hand and arm movements, and paying attention to the correct use of any part of the body used to make music. Overexerting yourself should be avoided completely!
Musicians have many resources at their disposal to achieve proper playing posture. By strengthening muscles and tendons and improving flexibility, they can achieve the endurance needed for performance. Hand specialists can contribute by analyzing bad physical habits that are causing musicians to sustain injuries over time.
In addition to the right methods of bodywork, such as yoga and the Alexander Technique, mindfulness and breathing techniques can help promote the right kind of movement in practice. And just like athletes, musicians should always be sure to warm up properly to prepare the body for hours of playing.
Musicians go through just as much rigor as people of other physical professions go through. They go through tiring, repetitive movements that may strain the shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands to make the desired sound and give audiences a moving performance. By familiarizing themselves with the risks of injury present and employing the right techniques to prevent severe injuries from occurring, musicians can continue to move people with the beautiful music they play.
Depending on the severity of an injury in the wrist, consulting with an orthopedic hand specialist may be required. Here at North Florida Hand and Wrist Center, expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons in Jacksonville are committed to providing patients with the best care possible. To ease any pain and discomfort in your hands and wrists, make an appointment with us today!