Motion Stability's Blog

Musicians With Too Much Flexibility by BCollier
August 22, 2012, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Movement Dysfunction, Musicians, Upper Extremity

When first learning a musical instrument, it is often the flexibility of a person that gives them an advantage to playing with superior technique.  In the case of hand flexibility, the ability to easily span octaves or assume challenging fingerings make technically demanding pieces seem much more feasible.  However, in cases of extreme mobility, musicians will often revert to firm pressures  to better stabilize their instrument. When firm pressures are applied against a firm surface, often posistions of hyperextension are assumed. Such positions, especially frequently repeated or chronically maintained, put your joints at risk for injury. Contrastingly, many people with extreme joint flexibility will try to brace themselves by co-contracting multiple muscle groups to give a feel of stability. Often, in these cases, the muscles become more subject to injury as they approach a state of fatigue and overuse.  Potential solutions for musicians who suffer from too much joint flexibility include ring splints- as seen in the picture below.  Splints, such as those found at allow the musician functional use of their fingers, while adding an external support to the joints to prevent injury.

Fig 3

Proper fit and splint selection are essential for best outcomes with assistance in music performance.  Be sure to consult a PT or certified hand therapist to assist you with you decisions!


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