Musicians can often struggle from aches and pains from playing and practising their instruments.
Dr. Trevor Clark and Dr. Jane Peterson from Connect Chiropractic explain how to recognize and treat these injuries.
“The biggest one that I’ve seen is at the cervical thoracic junction, so that’s at the base of the neck where it kind of meets your upper back,” says Dr. Clark, “Some people will even develop a little bit of a hump.”
Although injuries can come from many different instruments, Dr. Clark says that often violin and guitar players, as well as those playing an instrument with a neck strap, will often see some of the worst symptoms.
“Many times your kind of leaning forward, you adopt a bit of a hunched position” This is something to look for and correct whenever playing your instrument.
Dr. Peterson adds, “when that happens it can get really locked up in that area.”
The other sigh that your cervical thoracic junction is affected is that "you start getting subluxated [slightly dislocated], and you can start getting symptoms down the arm and the hand as well.”
Dr. Peterson suggested, “Getting those areas moving again to release that irritation of the nerve... bringing your ear to your shoulder, and then twisting and going nose to armpit.”
“Ideally your music stand height would be at eye-level,” to help avoid future pain as well as being conscious of how you sit or stand while practising."
Chiropractic care can help by focusing on these muscles and helping you identify the specific problem and stretches to fix it.
Dr. Clark says “Most musicians are using their flexors and their forearms a lot.”
Chiropractic care can help “stretch out those flexors and your forearms, as we want to strengthen the extensors.
“Many times we’ll have to align those little bones in the wrist and then give you specific stretching and strengthening exercises to do at home.”