Whether sounding out sublime piano concertos by Rachmaninoff, or riffing on an electric guitar Jimi Hendrix-style, the time and effort musicians put into perfecting their craft can make them especially susceptible to repetitive strain injuries of the fingers, hands, and wrists. Musician hand injuries can range in severity from mild pain, numbness, and discomfort while playing an instrument, to permanent nerve damage if the condition is left untreated.
For this reason it is very important for musicians at all ages and levels to understand the signs and symptoms of repetitive strain injury, and to seek immediate attention from a specialist in order to avoid permanent damage.
Signs and Symptoms of Musician Repetitive Strain Injury
Phoenix based orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice specializes in minimally invasive treatment for hand injuries. Dr. Fitzmaurice advises musicians to be aware of the warning signs that they may be suffering from a strain injury, and to take steps to help alleviate the symptoms of strain before they can progress and affect their ability to play.
The most common symptoms of strain in the hands and wrists include:
- Numbness and tingling
- Aching and throbbing pain
Preventing Musician Hand Injuries
While strain and hand injuries may sometimes be unavoidable for highly active musicians, taking a few sensible precautions can help to ease the onset and discomfort of repetitive motion related injuries.
Practice good form
Everything from posture to the positioning of the fingers and wrists in relation to the instrument can affect how well a musician plays, and how likely they will be to develop an injury.
It may seem obvious, but playing an instrument is no different than any other physical activity when it comes to the need to warm up in order to avoid straining the muscles and risking an injury.
Remember to breathe
Take regular rest and stretch breaks
Build up practice slowly and don’t do too much too soon
Consistent practice is essential to developing musical ability and mastering an instrument. However, spending too much time on the same activity can actually do more harm than good. Playing until the fingers bleed makes for great lyrics to a rock song, but in real life, playing just enough to develop skills over time without straining the hands is the key to success.
Treatment for Musician Hand Injuries in Phoenix
The Fitzmaurice Hand Institute in Phoenix offers minimally invasive, state of the art treatments for hand and nerve injuries and treats professional musicians from all over the country. These techniques allow the fastest recovery of any surgical treatment and allows playing the instruments within days. Contact Dr. Fitzmaurice today at (480) 526-5106 to schedule a consultation from anywhere in the world!
Next, read more about 5 Tips to Help Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome