Playing piano can sometimes take a toll on your back and neck muscles. However, it is not the practice that is to be blamed, but our poor posture.
Poor posture is the name given to the alignment of our skeleton such that it is away from the normal position. It results from tightening or lengthening of the muscles, which in turn, is a direct result of the usage of the same muscles more than the rest of the muscles in the same group.
Our daily activities have a major role to play in all of this. The way we sit, walk and even sleep results in the conditioning of the muscles that are used.
The same goes for playing the piano. If you stoop a lot, your shoulders muscles would be compromised; if you bend your neck a lot, you’d result in contracting cervical pain; similarly, if your core muscles are weak and cannot support your postures, you’d run into lumbar or back pain.
However, not to worry, there are many ways/exercises in which you can mitigate your chances of running into these conditions. You can even follow these ways or do these exercises even if you’re already experiencing the above-said conditions.
The remedial ways
1. Strengthen your core muscles
This is the first and the foremost remedy for a lumbar pain, which is caused by the excessive use of the lumbar spine because of having a poor core or abdominal muscles.
Here is one of the most effective exercises that you can use to target them.
- Planks: Prop yourself face down with the help of your elbows extended shoulder-wide and hands joined. Extend your feet and lift yourself up by using your toes. Keep your butt, back, and shoulders aligned, and hold this position for at least 20 seconds. You’d feel a burn in your abdominal muscles. Every day, increment the time by 5 seconds.
2. Neck Exercises to relieve cervical pain
The simple exercises for neck pain are, in fact, the stretches.
- Every time you play the piano, every once in a while, sit straight, look at the ceiling. Stretch the front muscles of your neck by taking your head a little backward.
- To stretch the side muscles, dwindle your head to the right and then to the left by looking straight. Try to take your head as close to your shoulders as possible, but don’t strain too much.
- To stretch the cervical muscles, look down and then rotate your head towards the right and then left, each time extending the back muscles of your neck.
3. Other postural exercises
As we alluded to the fact above, a good posture means balanced and healthy muscles. That eventually means no pains in any part of your body.
While the above-mentioned exercises are for the back and the neck, to strengthen the muscles of your overall body, be sure to do the exercises stated daily. Those exercises can help you achieve (a) greater stability, (b) strength in the key muscles used while playing the piano, and (c) overall pain-free lifestyle.
As a pianist, you are supposed to keep your health in optimal condition if you don’t want to compromise your playing routine or playing in a reputable event. The above-mentioned exercises can help you in achieving just that. However, please do not stop here. Keep on educating yourself about the potential health risks associated with bad posture and the changes in your routine that could lead to a reduction in them.