Musicians with RSI

Question: I play all kinds of different instruments – mainly flute, violin & bass. I have RSI & was also told by my physio that my wrists are hyper mobile. Could there really be a connection between whiplash and RSI??

Answer 1: I have chronic RSI: chronic tennis and golfers elbows in both elbows, shoulder tendonitis, torn rotator cuff tendons, possible nerve impingement, and I have had neck and back problems since I was 13. I find that the neck poblems (I have spondylosis) make the RSI much worse, and I too have had 2 whiplash injuries in the last 6 years, which have really aggravated my RSI symptoms.I was off work for 8 weeks after the last whiplash. But I am much more prone to RSI, as I have recently found out, due to me having hyper mobility Syndrome (HMS). HMS means that the ligaments don’t support the joints properly, so the joints move beyond their normal range all the time As I have HMS particularly in my elbows, neck and back, (as well as shoulders and knees), in doing repetitive movements as a violinist, my elbows and shoulders have borne the brunt of the hyper-extension and I now have permanent damage in those areas. But I have also discovered that HMS makes whiplash much worse too, because with the forward-backwards/flexion-extension that happens in whiplash, my weak ligaments allow the neck to move too freely, and so it goes further forward and backward than it should. I understand now why any knock to the head or sudden movements from side to side or back to front can really exaggerate my pain and my RSI.It is very common for people with HMS to develop RSI, and I would be very interested to know of any of you with HMS.It might be worth getting yourself assessed, if you have a good physio or rheumatologist, because I believe that certain benefits are available to HMS sufferers…and it has helped me understand my RSI much better, and why I am continually making the pain worse by doing my job! However, I am stubborn, and would rather be at work with pain than sitting at home feeling sorry for myself with pain, as the pain would be there even if I wasn’t working!!!

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