Musicians spend a lot of time with their bodies in postures specific to playing their instrument. This can cause a number of physical problems such as stiffness, fatigue, cramping and chronic pain.
If a musician has a physical condition that exhibits similar symptoms the side effects of playing an instrument can exacerbate the symptoms making it much harder to comfortably play. This has been my situation for quite a few years.
I find it difficult to play the hammered dulcimer for an extended period of time; it aggravates some physical problems I must deal with.
Since I was determined to keep playing I have found a number of things that are very helpful.
I’d like to share some exercises that have made a world of difference for me. I have shared them with musicians and friends who have found them helpful as well.
I use these three exercises before I play and during breaks. It makes a world of difference!
This exercise helps keep my upper back and shoulders loose. It really helps with some of the aches from having my arms out in front of me when playing hammered dulcimer.
This exercise stretches my entire back. It especially takes some of the edge off of my hips and lower back
I do this exercise before and after a session of playing. It gives my entire body a bit of a work out and gives the muscles I don’t use when playing something to think about!
I found these and several more exercises on a page I highly recommend for anyone with back trouble. It can be found here.