Given that one out of every five Americans suffers from some form of arthritis, it is no surprise that musicians are counted within that number. This means that there are some musicians out there playing the guitar through the pain barrier.
Perhaps the worst part is that most of these musicians attribute the early symptoms of arthritis to over-playing or exhaustion and do not get themselves looked at but until a condition is pretty advanced.
Arthritis and Music Playing
Typical initial symptoms of arthritis include an inability to even lift up your arms. The pain associated with it makes simple task we usually take for granted appear as difficult feats. So, imagine the pain in every stroke of the guitar string and thinking that you have to stop doing what you love most.
Lack of information probably has musicians on the verge of quitting their art. However, studies have actually shown that exercises associated with finger movement and music playing can actually help arthritis sufferers. As a matter of fact, musicians with arthritis have developed greater dexterity and muscle strength in muscles and arms.
You should know that there is no cure for arthritis but there are ways in which you can deal with it. There is obviously a lot of pain associated with it. So, you might be asking yourself you are you going to deal with a 2-hour concert of constant playing while your joints are slowly killing you in pain?
Among musicians, the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Types of Arthritis and How to Deal with Them
Making a survey of the most common types of arthritis and how to deal with them specifically can ensure a better quality of life. In all cases, you should visit your doctor and ask them what are better ways to cope. Take every prescription seriously and make sure you follow them religiously.
- Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and it makes your joint cartilage to break down. This means that bones rub against each other and eventually lose movement. When bones rub against each other you suffer pain and they wear out. Not being too active or excessive use of joints, such as long playing sessions, worsens the condition. Besides this, repetitive movements, excess weight, injury, genetic predisposition, joint overuse, and aging increase the chances of getting OA. Treatment includes occupational therapy, medications, and exercise.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis happens when the immunes system attacks the joints causing an inflammation of their lining. This leads to joint pain and loss of function. It can happen at any age but the most common age is 25 to 50 years old. Most of the damage of RA is done during the first five years, so it is important to get treatment soon. If you are feeling some pain and stiffness in your joints, it is important to get treatment soon. Treatment for this degenerative form includes exercise, medicine, and symptoms-management therapy.
- Fibromyalgia causes general muscle pain and high sensitive to pressure. This one is difficult to diagnose but it usually occurs in patients who suffer RA. Patients with fibromyalgia have widespread pain and deep muscle tenderness at several body sites. Treatment aims to deal with the pain as there is no cure.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome happens with constant pressure on the median nerve on your wrist. It is not really a form of arthritis and it can be treated effectively. When you suffer this condition, you experience numbness, pain, and tingling, making music playing more difficult. One effective treatment for this condition is the use of braces for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tips For Dealing with Arthritis
You do not really need to make a complete life change to deal with arthritis. But there are some changes that you can make that will actually make you have a fuller life.
- Eath a healthy diet and don’t stuff your face before going to a concert. Save the dinner for after the git.
- Stretch your muscles in your fingers, arms, and all major muscles you know you will be using during a performance.
- Don’t overwork your muscles. As much as exercise can actually help with the condition, overuse can actually make it worse.
- Use gloves for arthritis to help you cope with the pain and it is actually the least invasive method to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.