Chiropractic for Musicians

Dr. Shapiro wants to educate musicians on the importance chiropractic care.

Musicians, are you in tune?

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Just like any other job that requires physical activity, musicians sometimes need help getting on key with their health. According to a study done by the University of Utah that was published in the Journal Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, "Instrumental musicians are a special risk group for musculoskeletal injuries. A large percentage of them have problems related to playing their instruments using incorrect posture, nonergonomic technique, excessive force, overuse and insufficient rest, which may in turn result in musculoskeletal injury. These injuries can be devastating, leading to pain, which can be artistically and professionally limiting, or even career ending, with deleterious effects on the musician's physical, emotional and financial well-being." Just as a master of the fine art knows the importance of investing in their medium of choice, a musician must do the same, and not just in their instrument, but also in their bodies, for without them instruments are rendered useless.

According to the article, musicians often get injuries after changing their technique, learning a new instrument or "after prolonged playing with inadequate rest such as when preparing for a performance or perfecting a new, technically difficult piece." 

According to a study published by US National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of Health, on orchestral musician injuries, "84% had experienced pain or injuries that had interfered either with playing their instrument or participating in normal orchestral rehearsals and performances. Fifty percent reported having such pain or injury at the time of the survey, mostly with disorders perceived by the musicians to be work-related. Twenty-eight percent had taken at least 1 day off from work for such pain in the previous 18 months. The most common broad sites affected were the trunk (primarily the back), the right upper limb and neck, the left upper limb and neck, and the neck alone, but the relative proportions varied by instrument. Of those musicians who reported at least one episode of pain or injury in the past, less than 50% reported that they had completely recovered. The most commonly cited performance-related factors that had contributed to injury or pain all related to training and playing load (including practice and performance).

The Colorado Symphony produces around 80 performances per calendar year, again, it is not far fetched that these injuries occur all the time. And that's just the Colorado Symphony. What is surprising is the lack of education on chiropractic for musicians.

Here are some of the common injuries associated with playing an instrument:

• Bursitis
• Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
• Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
• Quervain's Tenosynovitis
• Tendinitis
• Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
• Vertebral Subluxatio n

Common signs and symptoms of these conditions include pain, tingling, numbness, reduced mobility and loss of motor control.

When there is a misalignment in a joint or in the spine, it puts stress on the fascia and muscle tissue surrounding the joint. If there is numbness or tingling, this is a sign of nerve interference. Chiropractic can help. As the official chiropractor for the Colorado Symphony, Dr. Shapiro specializes in extremity and spinal adjustments--through these techniques, he can effectively treatmany of the conditions listed above, but chiropractic care has even greater benefits as a preventative treatment. Just as a well-tended garden is easy to care for, so is the human body.

According to the study above, 8 out of 10 musicians could benefit from seeing a chiropractor. If you are a musician, come see us. If you know someone who is, send them our way. We can help.