As with any hobby or as with any occupation, it is imperative that you take the necessary preventative measures to keep yourself from injuring yourself. And this is especially true when you are a musician. Believe it or not, you can injure yourself when playing with a musical instrument?

One of the most common forms of injury that musicians incur is a repetitive strain injury. This is due to making repetitive movements over and over again without employing the use of proper grip, proper posture, proper grip strength, and the aggressiveness with which you play your instrument. Carpal tunnel is another similar strain you can incur when it comes to playing musical instruments.

One easy way to prevent or reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury is to properly warm up before you get down to playing. As with any form of exercise, it is always important to do some warm ups first. This gets your body accustomed to the rigorous motions you are about to put it through.

Like we all know 'prevention is better than cure' and hence much thought has gone into the prevention of injury, in this case a repetitive one. Repetitive strain injury (RSI), in medical terms, is defined as a cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) arising from prolonged repetitive, forceful, or awkward hand movements. As a result the muscles, tendons, and nerves of the neck, shoulder, forearm, hand etc. tend to suffer damage which in turn can cause pain, weakness, numbness, or impairment of motor control, hypersensitivity to touch etc. Unless this cycle is interrupted it has a tendency to repeat itself over and over resulting in a long term chronic issue.

It is believed that you may be at risk for developing an RSI if you:

Have poor posture

Have poor technique
Use a computer more than two to four hours a day
Have a job that requires constant computer use, especially heavy input
Don't take frequent breaks
Don't exercise regularly
Work in a high-pressure environment
Have arthritis, diabetes, or another serious medical condition

Keep your fingernails long. Do you?
Have an unhealthy, stressful, or lethargic lifestyle
Suffer from obesity
Suffer from insomnia

Now, if you want to know what are the typical symptoms, the following checklist might help you to determine whether you suffer from RSI:

Think properly and ask yourself; do you experience:

Fatigue most of the time or lack of endurance?
Any kind of weakness in the hands or forearms?
Tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation?
Heaviness: Do your hands feel heavy?
Clumsiness: Do you keep dropping things?
Lack of control or coordination?
Almost always you have cold hands?

In addition to limiting your day-to-day functionality which might result in significant emotional burden, RSI can eventually limit your ability to perform at your work place.

Musicians contract RSI pretty frequently because more often than not, they play some tunes frequently on a repetitive fashion. `
However, there are some ways by means of which RSI can be prevented to a larger extent :

Check Your Fretting Hand

Your wrist and finger coordination have to be monitored because the placement of the thumb is too high and the wrist has to bend to play any kind of instrument.

Check Your Musical instrument's height

It is advisable that you avoid playing with a guitar which is too low. Apart from the fact that it doesn't look cool, the chances are it might induce you with an injury.


Try and relax as much as possible; sometimes tension is a result of muscle memory and needs to be wiped out through lots of practice. If need be unlearn and relearn what is there to be learn t. Go slow and persevere.

Warm Up Exercises

Guitar is a physical exercise too and something like putting your hand out as if you are high-fifing someone, straightening your arm and gently pulling back on all of your fingers with the other hand until you feel a stretch in your wrist is a good little warm up. Try it you are surely to feel better.

Building endurance and strength will also help you with your guitar-play in the long run. It is important to be in good shape physically in order to be a good guitar player. One of the aspects is finger and wrist strength.

Always remember that keeping your cool and maintaining a calm and composed outlook helps. Hence, during a performance or when you take the stage, it is vital to not strain yourself. If you feel uncomfortable, or if you feel pain in any part of your body, it is highly advisable that you stop immediately. Take a break, see how you feel after you a have rested and only then resume. Don't let your nerves take over you. Try and be at ease. Take deep breath and imagine serenity around you. This would result in not only you giving a great performance but entertaining the audience too who in turn will shower you with applauds and great reviews. You have to understand that safe and healthy guitar-playing practices are vital to your health. This not only will prolong your career as a musician, but also will ensure that your technique and general guitar-play remains at optimal levels and you will enjoy every bit of it. Don't take your young age for granted. You might think that you are young and hence don't need to think about injury, but unless you inculcate some good habits now it would be difficult for you to recuperate later, when your bones wont necessarily be as strong owing to old age.

It is known that Instrumental musicians run the risk of being extremely susceptible to RSI. Instrumental injuries often include the same conditions experienced from computer overuse : Carpal Tunnel Syndrome , Tendinitis, Bursitis , Tenosynovitis / DeQuervain's Syndrome , Tendinosis , Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, and Trigger Finger/Thumb are particularly common among keyboardists, fretboardists, flute, and string players. These are to name a few. And to meet the demands of various instruments an give rise to another severe condition called TemporoMandibular Joints Disorder or hearing loss.

However, while these problems are unfortunately quite common, these are not unavoidable part of being a musician. All you have to do is inculcate some basic healthy habits. And if you want to stay associated with the cut throat industry of music jobs, you have no other option than to be bring some discipline and order to your life. Get more organized and keep an eye on how your body is behaving, eat healthy and cut down on smoking and alcohol consumption to give your body a better chance of recuperating in case of any serious injury. Always remember 'Prevention is better than cure'. Every time!

Author's Bio: 

Myself Rock Jam I am Freelance Content Writer. I have Written many Article for various topics. Some of my favorite topics Like: Musician Wanted for band