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Maggie Burton

Dealing with Repetitive Strain Injury

November 14, 2010 at 3:19 AM

Is it just me, or is injury related to repetitive strain in the wrists of musicians becoming an epidemic? At my music school, in my community, at summer camps this summer- everyone I've run into lately that is part of my generation of music students seems to have had some experience with RSI. I would like to keep a blog as I try to get through the rest of this academic year as a violin student in second-year undergrad without chucking my violin out the window to solve my problems (I kid.) I've been trying a whole lot of different things to manage flare-ups and prevent further damage and I would like to share my successes and frustrations with the violinist.com community.

Ten things I'm currently doing to treat a flare-up:

1) Seeing a physiotherapist regularly (twice a week)

2) Massage therapy (once a week during flare-ups, once a month otherwise)

2) Getting acupuncture on my neck/forearms/hands (once a week)

3) Heating with a heating pad/Icing with a cold compress (30 minutes once a day+in between 20 minute practice intervals)

4) Using an ergonomic keyboard (end-of-term essays are upon me)

5) Stretching and breathing exercises (regular intervals throughout the day)

6) Resting

7) Taking ant-inflammatory medication 4 times daily

8) Taking regular lessons with Alexander Technique teacher extraordinaire Jennifer Johnson (http://www.giamusic.com/search_details.cfm?title_id=9449)

9) Practicing good balance and breathing through upper body tension

10) Hydrotherapy: cold water then hot water etc. (twice a day)

 

This is my third flare-up this term and it is completely debilitating! I've moved in with a friend to help me do my day-to-day things and I'm resting as much as I can. Nothing seems to be doing much to help though.

 

This website is useful:

http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~cscott/rsi.html##stretch

 

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