Research shows that between 79 and 97% of musicians suffer from pains.
Playing hours and hours everyday for years is a major cause.
But a musicians’ lifestyle with so many travels as well.
From the 14th of February to the 21st of March 2012
We conducted 2 epidemiological studies.
A classic paper version in Polish and a web version in both French and Polish.
Hypothesis number 1: The more travelling the more pain in musicians.
Hypothesis number 2: Approprate Physical Preparation diminishes pain in musicians
This was the 1st time these subjects were researched.
Starting out, our goals were:
-Have a better understanding of musicians’ problems and their relation to travels.
-Propose possible solutions
-Talk about this with the music world.
From 3 Superior Conservatoires in Poland
We had 235 students fill in the questionnaire.
After checking for errors we ended up with 209.
After entering our questionnaire into Google Docs
We spread it through our different social media channels.
Digital word of mouth got us 186 filled-in surveys.
From Professionals, non-professionals and students
When we analyzed our data
The general results were similar in both our studies and comparable to previous research.
91% of all musicians complained of pain in the past 12 months.
The areas they complained the most about:
Neck, Upper back, Lower back, Shoulder and Hand
These regions are related to a musicians’ posture and the use of his arms and hands.
The 3 areas that make a musician diminish or stop playing his instrument are
1st Wrist and Hand
These regions are very worrisome for a musician
The specific results were more surprising!
We only found 1 relationship between pain and traveling.
The more a musician does long tours, the more time he has to stop playing.
The more successful a musician the more he tours.
So if touring a lot can cause them to stop playing.
It’s important they learn to prevent these problems.
Practicing a sport is good.
We discovered a tendency that it diminishes pain and the number of musicians having to stop playing.
Musicians that practice racket sports and surprisingly swimming and bike ridding have more pains.
The ones that practice ball games and weight lifting less pain!
Philippe Chamagne suggested that the HOW you practice a sport is more important than WHAT sport you practice.
One of our most important results:
Appropriate physical preparation helps musicians avoid pain.
All these results are important for Performing Arts Medicine.
Which is a growing field, so the more research we have, the better we can help musicians get rid of their pains and prevent them!
As a musician it’s important to understand the basics of how the body works.
Our line of gravity should go through our ears, shoulders, pelvis, knees and feet.
And our head, shoulders and pelvis should be parallel to the ground.
This good posture will correctly position our shoulders.
That lifts our arm, who frees our fore-arm to position our hand and fingers.
So our movements are precise, rapid and more endurent.
The nerves going to our head and arms leave the spine in the neck.
A bad posture will cause stress and tension there.
So the nerves won’t control the muscles as well
Our movements will be less precise, slower and less endurent.
To avoid this we need to understand 2 key aspects.
1st our support, standing on our feet, sitting on our feet and pelvis.
2nd, our head moves independently from our body.
These are the basic principles for an appropriate physical preparation
1 piece of our Health Pie.
The other ones?
Rest, Hygiene, Balanced Biomechanics and a good diet
These 5 aspects are important to keep our bodies functioning at their best.
And we need to fit them into a musicians nomadic lifestyle.
So they fully nurture their best body-mind relationship to express their creative soul.
That’s what we do!
In our office in Warsaw and on tour.
Isia as a musicians’ physical and mental preparator
and me as a chiropractor specialized for musicians.
We love talking about this.
So send us an email.
firstname.lastname@example.org for Isia Smieszchalska
and email@example.com for me, Mathieu Spencer
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