5 Injuries and Conditions Musicians Are Susceptible To | Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine

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5 Injuries and Conditions Musicians Are Susceptible To

5 Injuries and Conditions Musicians Are Susceptible To

Musicians are passionate, creative, and dedicated. While these personality traits lend to artistic perfection, they also contribute to performance-related repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) — particularly in the upper body. Below are five ailments most commonly found in musicians.  

Back and Neck Strain

Slouching over a drum set, in front of a music stand, or behind a piano, can cause any kind of musician to develop a back or neck strain. Poor posture is a leading cause of this type of RSI, which can cause symptoms such as: 

  • Pain

  • Stiffness

  • Muscle spasms

Elbow and Wrist Bursitis 

Repetitive use of and pressure on a particular joint can cause bursa sac irritation. Although bursa sacs are found throughout the body, those located near the joints are additionally vulnerable to inflammation. In musicians — particularly in bowed-string instrumentalists and percussionists — the elbows and wrists are two of the most commonly affected areas. Symptoms of bursitis in either the elbow or wrist include localized:  

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Stiffness 

  • Pain with movement 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

Poor posture and repetitive wrist and hand movement create pressure on the median nerve, which runs from the forearm through the wrist. Stress to this nerve may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a troublesome but common condition for musicians. The following symptoms in the hands, wrists, or forearms are typical signs of CTS: 

  • Progressive numbness

  • Tingling

  • Loss of strength 

  • Poor motor function 

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) occurs in the thoracic outlet area, or the area just below the collarbone. A result of poor posture that results in repetitive pressure to the thoracic outlet, this compressive syndrome is a culmination of multiple disorders that bowed-string instrument players are especially susceptible to. Symptoms of TOS that may occur in the shoulders, arms, or hands are: 

  • Numbness 

  • Swelling 

  • Discoloration 

  • Tingling 

  • Weakness 

  • Pain 

De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis  

From fretboards and keyboards to valves and tubes, there are countless mediums for musicians to master. Such mastery, however, requires diligent practice and repetition, which can irritate the tendons of the thumb — a primary cause of conditions such as de Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis is often found in guitarists, cellists, and pianists. Symptoms of this condition generally occur in the base of the thumb, and they include: 

  • Swelling

  • Pain

  • Poor motor function 

Orthopaedic Care for Overuse Injuries in St. Augustine

If you experience any warning signs of a performance-related injury, visit the orthopaedic specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. With a vast range of orthopaedic specialties, our board-certified surgeons, orthopaedists, and physical therapists can help you safely return to the stage and prevent reinjury. Schedule an appointment by completing our online request form or contacting the office at 904-825-0540.

 

Alexander Lampley, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

 

 

Dr. Haycook - Expert on the neck and spineBrian Haycook, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Haycook has specific expertise in the latest treatment of spine related injuries.

 

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