Doing regular neck and face stretching exercises improves musician health, leading to increased flexibility, dexterity, coordination and blood circulation.
The Types, Causes and Prevention of Music-Related Injuries: Musicians are prone to injury from repeating a motion countless times when practicing. A better understanding of music injuries is vital for musicians' health.
Yes, it’s true, even musicians are afflicted by injuries. Several classmates from university and I have suffered from repetitive strain injuries (RSI) off an on for over 10 years. Once you get RSI, it’s virtually impossible to cure completely. Sometimes, it's piano related. Other times, it's computer related.
The problems stem from poor technique, poor posture and repetitive motions. Chiropractors and physiotherapists told me that strengthening the muscles around the damaged tendons through exercise is the best way to combat the recurrence of RSI.
Calgary-based teacher, clinician, adjudicator and composer Dr. Peter Jancewicz has written several articles on the topic, having suffered from RSI. Practicing the Alexander Technique has done wonders for him.
At the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations (CFMTA-FCAPM) conference held in Calgary July 2005, there was a session on the Feldenkrais method, which also is helpful for musicians with RSI.
Other musicians use sports and/or martial arts to strengthen their muscles. Doctors often recommend swimming and strength training. Yoga and martial arts are good activities as they not only keep musicians physically fit, but help with calming the nerves, settling the mind and focusing. That was part of my motivation for studying Iaido.
Whatever method you choose, it is best to do research first and consult with your doctor before taking on a new physical activity.
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