David's Corner was originally created to feature the articles that David wrote for Bass Player Magazine. However, we expanded it to include a series of articles written especially for our newsletter on topics of interest to bass and cello players. Use the links on the right to explore.
In this first article on Injury Prevention and Recovery, I would like to stress ‘prevention’. It is so much easier to prevent injuries than take the long road back, as in many cases, to an incomplete ‘recovery’. The more understanding one has about the healing process, the more control one will have in making intelligent decisions in remaining injury free and healthy.
Repetitive movement and overuse are the musician’s dilemma. One must realize that sometimes there will be a certain amount of damage. The goal is to minimize the damage and manage issues properly when they occur. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, diet and exercise being the two most important. For example, Carpal tunnel syndrome is very common among musicians and persons working long periods of time at computers. One way of treating it through self-care is to eliminate packaged foods that usually carry the dye tartrazine (FD&C Yellow#5) which interferes with vitamin B6 in the body. Eating foods rich in vitamin B6 such as brewer’s yeast, sunflower seeds, soybeans, walnuts, legumes, brown rice and bananas or taking vitamin B6 supplements have shown to decrease the symptoms of carpal tunnel through clinical testing. Fresh pineapple juice and ginger are suggested for flare-ups. Exercises are numerous depending on the individual’s history and symptoms, but a simple rotating of the shoulder for a minute or so every day may help free up the median nerve and give relief. Future articles will be covering these types of injuries with a more detailed and comprehensive approach to the prevention and recovery of them.
A third helpful way to prevent or treat injuries, would be to receive bodywork with someone who understands the stress you have put on your arms, shoulders, neck, hands, legs , back, etc. This will help you recover faster and become more aware of imbalances that should be attended to immediately. A good practitioner should also be able to guide one through a set of exercises and self-care techniques, and discuss ergonomic awareness, so that one will have more control over his or her recovery. Whether it’s Swedish massage, shiatsu, acupuncture or Thai yoga massage is not important. The type of bodywork that one prefers is a personal choice and sometimes an acquired taste. Appreciating a variety of different bodywork techniques definitely has its advantages in promoting a wider range of benefits.
Listed below are a number of books that are very informative on diet, exercise, stretching and self-care. These books express an east/west perspective and are extremely accessible to the layman and invaluable as aids in preventing injuries or helping with their recovery.