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Topic: Hand injuries  (Read 5259 times)

Offline AMR

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Hand injuries
on: July 22, 2003, 12:51:46 AM
It seems that there is always somebody saying that they have "tendonitis."  I don't want to discredit peoples' claims, but I don't believe that so many people have this.  Furthermore, I don't believe that they got it from overpractice.  
Tendonitis and Carpultunnel Syndrome are, quite often, generic terms that doctors slap on to any problem involving the hands, wrists, or arms.  What many musicians don't realize, is that most doctors know nothing about the anatomy of the hand--and even less of a musician's.  
It is almost guaranteed that any doctor you visit will tell you that you have one of these disorders.  They will also tell you that there is no cure, but you can "put ice on it" or some garbage like that.  
Visit a physical therapist who specializes in hands and arms.  There are some who are famous for working with musicains and it is well worth looking into this before resigning yourself to not practice.
You should watch what it really is that injurs you.  So often it will actually be typing at the computer, or some other repetitive movement.  Quite often practicing can be a remedy for a hand injury.  We are specialized creatures, pianists.  Our bodies don't react well to odd tasks.  
Of course some people really do injure themselves practicing.  But really evaluate what you've done recently, and don't let any stupid doctor tell you that you have tendonitis.  

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Hand injuries
Reply #1 on: July 22, 2003, 08:24:59 PM

I agree with most of what you said. Most physicians are quick to pass off any type of strain of repetitive stress disorder as tendonitis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Worst of all, they don't know how to treat it. The main reason for this is there needs to be more specialized medical practice for "music related" disorders - like Carpal Tunnel.

The analogy to typing is true. Many people are very careful about proper posture, relaxation, etc at the piano, but turn into slobs when they get in from of a computer.

On the other hand, musicians have been getting these injuries long before the computer keyboard. Some of the big names who have been debilitated by these injuries  - Gary Graffman, Leon Fleisher, Murray Perahia, etc. - I'll bet, were at the piano keyboard more hours per day than they were at computer keyboards or typewriter keyboards. So, their injuries are probably the result of overuse and the wrong kind of practicing.

I would say we all should be very careful about how we practice. Stop when it hurts, not have the "no pain no gain" mentality. Also, if you do think you are developing an injury, have your doctor refer you to a physician or physical therapist that specialized in musicians' overuse injuries.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

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