This Year's Grammy Awards and Chiropractic, Your 24K Magic
By Sara Butler
The 60th Grammy Awards took place over weekend. With the exception of a few bands (I’m talking to you, Nickelback), I love music. There’s nothing quite like driving in the car with the volume up, singing loudly and completely out of tune to your favorite song.
When it comes to health, music may be a good way to help relieve stress, but creating music puts a lot of stress and strain on the body of the performer. It’s not something many people give a lot of thought to, but if you’re a musician, then repetitive stress injuries need to be on your radar. Here’s how playing all those sweet tunes can strain the body and what a chiropractor can do to help!
Why Musicians Are Prone to Injury
When you’re playing your instrument, posture is everything. If you have poor posture or incorrect techniques, if you play for long periods without breaks, if you stay in one position for too long, or if you carry heavy equipment the wrong way, then you could end up with a repetitive strain injury.
If these issues aren’t addressed, then the pain will only get worse. That’s why you should never ignore pain; it’s your body’s big red flag that something just isn’t right. Many musicians play through the pain because they think it’s temporary and will just go away. That’s not the case!
Tips to Avoid Repetitive Strain Injuries
You don’t have to be in the running for a Grammy to take care of yourself while playing your favorite instrument. In order to avoid repetitive stress injuries, you should:
- Increase your body awareness – Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Seek help at the first sign that something isn’t quite right. Your brain is ground control, your body is Major Tom. Communicate!
- Stretch frequently – Before you warm up on your instrument, warm up your body. Light exercises to stretch and loosen up are recommended.
- Take breaks – At least once an hour, if not more, you should take a break to stretch and move around. Massage any aching muscles too. If you’re a Grammy-winning artist, keep a massage therapist on staff. I bet Kanye has one.
- Think about your posture – You know the right way to hold your instrument and your body while playing it -- don’t forget! If you need help to boost your memory, ask your chiropractor.
- Avoid certain hobbies – If you have spare time to enjoy other pursuits, it’s probably best to stay away from other activities that have a high level of repetitive movements such as any sport with a racquet, sewing, or knitting. Sorry, you can’t be Serena Williams, Great Aunt Becky, and Beyoncé all at once.
- Use ice – If you’re feeling achy after a jam session, then ice it down. I bet T-Pain asks Ice Cube for help.
- Add in some strength training – Strength training serves a dual purpose for musicians, helping you to look good on the cover of a magazine and helping to keep your body healthy while playing. Weightlifting and upper body exercise can be good to build strength; just don’t do them if you’re going through a period where things are feeling inflamed.
- See a chiropractor – Many successful and famous musicians seek regular chiropractic care to stay healthy. Follow Katy Perry’s lead and you may one day follow her down the red carpet.
Even if playing an instrument is something you only do in your spare time, it’s still important to listen to your body and practice with good posture. You don’t want a repetitive strain injury to hold you back from greatness! You may never win a Grammy for Best Artist, maybe you can win a lifetime achievement award for having the best health.
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