People erroneously believe that only activities can suffer from injuries from their chosen activities, but being a musician requires strength, force, precision and repetitive movements.
Larry Mullen from U2 states, “I’m a street drummer and I’ve physically abused-neglected may be a better word- my body for a long time, through bad posture, questionable technique, throwing myself around a stage, not eating or hydrating as I should have, and sitting too much. Almost all the things I do as part of my job are bad for my body. It’s not just the physical act of hitting things. Rock and roll is about freedom and escapism, it’s like running away to the circus. That’s okay for about ten years, then bits start to fall off. I was not trained as an athlete, but I have to perform like one.”
A drummer sits and uses both form and precision to hit the drums, his/her body absorbing the impact onto the drums. A guitarist needs to press down on the strings pretty hard while the other performs repetitive movements to strum. Each instrument has a different demand on the body, putting the musicians at risk of various injuries.
Poor posture, incorrect technique, sheer overuse and dehydration can cause injuries such as;
You may look at all those possible injuries and be surprised at how lengthy it is, but you need to consider how many instruments there are and the needs of each instrument. Each instrument needs a specific posture and specific movement. A drummer sits and has to usespeed, precision, and force to hit the various drums. A guitarist will have a guitar hanging from one shoulder, use one hand to forcibly push on the strings while the other arm strums repetitively. A piano player is seated, hunched over the piano, while fine motor movements of his fingers are needed to create music. Some instruments, like a saxophone, need to be held and manipulated and can be quite heavy.
The best form of rehabilitation is prevention. Prevention is quite important and can save many people thousands of dollars a year.
The first and most important form of prevention for a musician is the hiring of a teacher or specialist to teach proper posture and technique for that particular instrument. Many musicians can make beautiful music without proper posture, but that doesn’t mean that the body doesn’t take a toll.
Regular physical exercise is another key aspect of injury prevention. Having strong, flexible muscles, a strong core and endurance will help to condition the body to prevent injuries. A proper stretching program will also help to ensure a healthy range of motion in the body.
Receiving regular preventative, therapeutic and sports massages will also help to keep the muscles supple and healthy in order to prevent injuries.
Like with any injury, rest is an important part of the rehabilitative process. The tissues need time to recuperate and heal before continuing with the regular activity. Athletic therapy and sports massage therapy sessions are also an important part of the rehabilitative process. The athletic therapist will help to restore healthy function and mobility of the muscles through manual therapy, exercises, and stretches. The sports massage therapist will help the rehabilitative process by keeping the muscle tissues healthy and supple. The massage therapist will release muscle tensions, calm muscle spasms and increase the range of motion. Together, the massage therapist and athletic therapist will help to rehabilitate and prevent injuries.