Musicians’ Injuries

Our focus on the intricate nature of musculoskeletal injuries means that we are well suited to understanding and have a genuine interest in treating complex problems faced by musicians.

We regularly work with professional musicians from all genres, so regardless of whether you are a drummer in a rock band or harpistOrchestra with a philharmonic orchestra, you can be assured of the best in care to keep you making wonderful music.

Musicians often suffer in silence, frightened that their place can easily be taken by another but being a musician requires very similar discipline, training and stamina to that of an athlete and so it goes without saying that their bodies will suffer similar problems.

Sadly, promising careers are cut short by debilitating pain which can so easily be remedied if caught early.

Injuries affecting musicians

Tendon and soft tissue injuries – The hands, wrists, upper limbs and spine tend to be the worst affected. Long hours of rehearsal and performance can lead to sprains, strains and tendon conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and bursitis.

Arthritic conditions – Shoulders, elbows, hands and fingers are constantly on the move and this can result in premature wear of the joint structure.

Muscle tension – Tense muscles lead to poor posture and if you are uncomfortable, it will show in the quality of your music.

Many instruments require the musician to be seated in less than perfect positions and can demand the use and coordination of a number of parts of the body.

Performance anxiety can affect even the greatest virtuoso and this tension regularly builds up in the shoulders and upper body.

Nerve injury – Poor posture, muscular tension and repeated pressure can damage delicate nerves of the body. Nerve entrapment may initially just cause pain, but eventually the nerve damage will result in pins and needles, numbness and restricted use.
Other conditions such as Focal Dystonia are seen in performing musicians more than any other discipline.

Breathing problems – Breathing is an automatic response that people take for granted, but musicians who play wind instruments require intricate control of their breathing to make music.

Being seated for long hours can also compress the diaphragm, making breathing less than effective. Reduced breathing results in poor muscle oxygenation, which in turn will result in poor music quality or injury.

SaxophoneAt one with your instrument
Musicians often feel they take second place to their instrument and we have to face the fact that most instruments are not designed with ergonomics in mind. A 17th century Stradivarius will command a great deal of attention but regardless of it’s pedigree and value, it is just an extension of the musician who needs to be at their physical best to make it sound good.

How therapy can help
Your musical career can demand a great deal from you, so it is imperative that you get the right advice and treatment and there are a number of ways we can do this.

Addressing a problem from every aspect is vital to allow you to continue rehearsing and performing at your best.

For this reason, we will often request that you bring your instrument with you. Of course, where this is not practical, we can come to you.

Regular maintenance
Prevention is always better than cure, so just like any athlete, regular check ups, massage and soft tissue work to release tight muscles and joints can avoid more serious problems.

Treatment and rehabilitation
When problems do strike, we have a number of treatment modalities available to us to aid your rehabilitation and where possible, keep you making music during the process.

Musicians’ biomechanical analysis
Our understanding of human biomechanics allows us to provide feedback on posture and interaction with your instrument.
This is particularly useful for young musicians and beginners where a full musculoskeletal assessment and analysis can avoid little problems becoming a habit.

Exercise advice
Specific exercise advice can be given to help improve practice and performance or assist rehabilitation.

Performing arts workshops allow us to work on site with complete orchestras and bands.

We want you to remember that there is no shame in a musician being injured or in seeking preventative treatments. Your musical instrument cannot make a sound without you and regardless of what and where you play, being a musician is a manual occupation but you do not need to suffer for your art.