Musicians, especially we players of rock and metal, aren’t always trained to see our bodies as part of our instrument. We work hard to get our technique up to snuff and write good songs, on top of organizing gigs, editing videos, updating websites, designing merch, (among a lot of other things), …but sometimes we forget that all of this hinges on maintaining good physical health.
Maybe you just fell in love with sweep picking, but after hours you felt a painful snap. Or maybe your new guitar hobby, on top of your computer programming job and knitting circle, added up to a nasty repetitive strain injury. Often it takes these types of experiences to get us thinking about how we’re using our bodies. Fortunately there are professionals, like physiotherapists, to help us when we face the revelation that our bodies aren’t infallible.
But physiotherapists don’t just fix you when you’re broken – they can give you tons of advice for how to prevent minor injuries from becoming disabling, and from preventing injuries in the first place.
We interviewed Grace Cheung, physiotherapist at Go! Physiotherapy Sports + Wellness Centre in Vancouver, Canada, who is also a guitarist herself, about how guitarists can avoid injuries, what women players and metal players should look out for, and whether there is such a thing as a healthy headbanging stance.
Grace treats amateur and elite musicians, performance artists, and athletes as well as everyday injuries (such as video-game-related sudden paralysis — true story).
• common injuries & pain
• preventative measures.
• sitting postures
• standing postures
• Women’s anatomy and injury
• Heavy metal-specific injuries: Headbanging
• Headbanging technique demo
• Heavy metal-specific injuries continued
• Physio/guitar products discussion
• Final words of advice from Grace
We hope you learned something new from this interview, or maybe had some previously-known wisdom reinforced. Either way, we wish you happy and healthy riffing and shredding for years to come.
P.S. Check out Go! Physiotherapy’s website at: http://www.gophysiotherapy.ca/
Written by: MetalMarysia