More than two decades ago, there were only a handful of major orchestras that could produce spectacular performances. In America, you would find the Big 5, Cleveland Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony; and in Europe, London Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic were the best known. Nowadays, there are numerous orchestra bands and brilliant musicians to choose from. Everyone enjoys music, especially when it is performed live. This is because, apart from compositions created by musicians, their physical presence and passion for the art can be experienced firsthand. While watching such a performance, has anyone wondered about the effort, physical strength and mental stress that have to be invested to create masterpieces of melody?
A backstage insight into the lives of musicians reveals a lot about the number of physical ailments and medical conditions they develop by committing themselves. One of the major disabilities that they have had to deal with over the years has been what we know today as ‘repetitive stress injury’ and ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’. With the increased use of computers, these disabilities are now not limited only to musicians or sportspersons, but also to a number of professionals who use computer systems on a daily basis as well as to those who work in factories. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when there is an inflammation and swelling of ligaments and tendons in the wrist, due to repetitive movements. People who do monotonous, repetitive activities are most susceptible to this condition. If they consciously make an effort, this disability can easily be prevented. Discussed further are some of the ways to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Prevention Tips
- Undertaking regular stretching exercises of the wrist and hand, before beginning any job that is monotonous, will help in preventing ailments. It is important to take a few moments before working, to relax and flex your muscles.
- While at work, maintain good posture and know the vulnerable points of your body that you need to avoid putting pressure on. Keeping the wrist straight will help in reducing weight on pressure points.
- Ensure that you are working in an ergonomically right workspace. Adjustable desks and chairs help in customization to suit each individual and reduce pressure on wrists.
- Just as we consider giving our eyes some time to relax, we also need to take a break and give our wrists time to relax.
Musicians have been exposed to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for years and developed a technique called Alexander Technique. It includes a set of guidelines that have to be kept in mind while working. Guidelines include exercises that help attain body awareness and relieve excess tension and efficient movement techniques through thoughts rather than muscular movements. Alexander Technique has helped many famous musicians, such as James Galway, Yehudi Menuhin, Paul McCartney and Sting, as well.
Whether a musician or not, if people take regular care of their body and focus consciously on right and healthy practices, it is possible to prevent developing ailments such as ‘carpal tunnel syndrome’.