Microsoft word - performancehandout.docx

Performance-Related Injuries
How to Stay Healthy and Playing!
Sandra Cox, D.M.A, FNP
[email protected]
[email protected]
OVERUSE SYNDROMES, or performance-related injuries, are caused by repetitive motion occurring over long periods of time. This causes a joint, ligament, or tendon to be pushed past its normal capacity to work. This leads to swelling and pain in the area. If the repetitive motion continues, micro-tears will develop, thickening of the tendons and ligaments can occur, which will progress to adhesions and scarring in the area. If left untreated, permanent damage will develop. TIPS TO STAYING HEALTHY
Work to have good posture
Keep instrument in good working order
Pay attention to the environmental factors such as the
correct chair height and flat-bottomed seat
Practise where there is good lighting
Eat healthy foods
Get enough sleep
Take frequent breaks (practise 50 minutes and rest 10 minutes
or practise 25 minutes and rest 5 minutes)
If you do develop a performance-related injury, this is how to grade the progression of the injury. The most common indicator is PAIN and/or DISCOMFORT. Overuse syndromes can be graded into five categories: 1. Pain in ONE site only, and only while playing. 2. Pain in MULTIPLE sites. 3. Pain that persists well beyond the time the musician stops playing, along with 4. All of the above, in addition, many Activities of Daily Living start to cause 5. All of the above, but Daily Activities that engage the affected body part Most Common Reasons Overuse Injuries Develop and Progress
Hypermobility of Joints
Poor Posture
Lack of exercise
Lack of conditioning and warm-up
Sudden increase in practise/performance time
Errors in practise time
Errors in Technique
Instrument is not the correct size for hands
Quality of the instrument is poor
Gender (females more prone to development of injuries)
Environmental factors (stand height not right, chair not the correct
height, placement of stand/chair, overcrowding in rows while seated
in band/orchestra)
Anatomical variation
Stressful nonmusical activities (ex. Gardening, working on the
computer, washing dishes, playing video games, cleaning/scrubbing)
Not seeking help when a problem develops
If you do develop a problem, things to do before you can see a
healthcare provider.

REST the affected area. Many do not advocate complete rest, as
this tends to cause more problems in the long run. But resting and not
playing 10+ hours a day is going to be the first thing you hear.

Try a NSAID. They are over the counter. EX. Advil, Aleve,
Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, Tylenol
ICE. At least three (3) times a day.
Use a splint at night, if an extremity is what has the problem.
Physical Therapy
Stop other activities that might be causing stress in the same area
Ex. Gardening, computer use, video games, etc.
Try Alternative Treatments, ex. Massage Therapy, Alexander
Technique, Herbs, Acupuncture, etc.


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