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Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries for Musicians

Musicians know that hours and hours of practice will pay off, but that this time can also take a toll on their hands, arms, shoulders, and more. Rapid, repetitive movements and awkward positions can cause pain after extended periods of time, and many musicians experience pain or injuries due to their playing. Learn about ways you can prevent repetitive motion injuries in your practice and performances.

Risk Factors for Musicians

There are a number of factors that can increase the strain a musician’s body is experiencing while playing an instrument. These factors can easily lead to injury, which can be devastating for many musicians. The risk of injury may be increased by:

  • Cold temperatures
  • Incorrect instrument position
  • Poor posture
  • Excessive force
  • Inadequate rest

Many musicians experience soft tissue injuries, including ligament, muscle, and tendon damage. Symptoms of these injuries can vary in severity and may be mistaken for signs of other injuries. Repetitive motion injury symptoms include:

  • Decreased range of motion
  • Loss of musculature control
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Cramping
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue

Preventing Repetitive Motion Injuries

It is important for musicians to take steps to prevent injuries and protect their careers in music. Many musicians report that they have needed to take time off of their careers to recover from injuries. You can prevent injuries by taking a few steps to protect your body.

  • Stretch and perform warm-up exercises before playing.
  • Break up long practice sessions with gentle stretch periods and range of motion exercises. Get up and walk around during these breaks to increase blood flow to your extremities as well.
  • Use proper form while playing. Ask another person who is familiar with proper form to check your form, or examine your form in a mirror.
  • Look into ergonomic adjustments or an instrument that is a better fit for your body.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after practicing your instrument.

If you are experiencing pain as a musician, we may be able to help. Our Houstoninjury rehab center can help you find the right treatment for your injuries, as well as preventative measured to keep you playing music, pain-free. Contact QualCare Rehabilitation to learn more today.

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