Friday, August 19, 2011

Musician's Injuries and Self-Trigger Point Therapy

A New Zealand medical doctor, Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, has put together a free website full of helpful information for musicians with RSI (repetitive strain injuries) or other injuries from practicing.

I found the videos, free articles and expert interviews extremely interesting, and am gratified to find out how many free self-treatment options there are for musicians.

For Musicians - Tips for Preventing RSI (repetitive strain injuries)

part 1 - preventing musician's injuries
part 2 - preventing musician's injuries

What is a trigger point? (video showing muscles and nerves)

Detailed steps to tending to a trigger point video.

Video on testing a trigger point in your forearm (this really worked for me as a quick tutorial.)

Does trigger point therapy have to hurt?

Trigger Point Finder: interactive anatomical map of human body's trigger points. Very cool; hugely educational. click on Symptom checker (more forearm and hand/shoulder diagrams with referred pain and trigger points highlighted where they connect.)

How to stretch your neck easily and simply (especially flutist's neck short on one side, eeek! )video.

How to relax jaw and release jaw tension video.

Also of interest to musicians:

The difference between trigger point pain and tendonitis.

Everyone's need for supplemental vitamin D3: 2000-5000 IU per day for reduction/prevention of pains.

Sign up for free pdf manual with pictures and explanations about trigger points:

I'm so so SO happy when doctors care so much they create websites to help people get the information they need to seek treatment and/or provide their own at-home treatment (after seeing their own doctor, of course!)

Happy pain-free fluting,
Best, Jen

More articles on Flute Arm and Hand Pain and what to do about your posture, practicing, and ergonomics of your instrument.
Comments (12)
Anonymous Renee Gladieux Principe said...

Trigger Point Therapy isn't especially new but it is a relative secret in standard care here in the US. Too bad, since most pain is myofascial in nature and responds well to Trigger Point Therapy. The best thing about this modality is that there is a very strong self care component that is considered a cornerstone of the therapy. To see even more resources for self treating trigger points checkout the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists (NAMTPT) at
Thanks for posting this great and much needed info from

Monday, August 22, 2011 1:15:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Hi Renee,
Wow, thanks for your comment! I'll check out the link. Thanks. I'm so glad that the possibility for self-treatment is what's really being described here. Afterall we spend 100% of our time inside the very receptors that we can now find and treat, so we are our best sensors of trigger points. Plus, most musicians cannot afford constant massage treatments for RSI problems, so self-treatment is tremendously useful once you've exhausted all standard doctor visits and found no treatment that really lasts or even works.
Appreciate hearing corroborative comments. Best, Jen

Monday, August 22, 2011 1:52:00 PM

Blogger Michael Maxwell said...

A resource I've found helpful in dealing with chronic myofascial pain issues is Claire Davies' book "Trigger Point Therapy Workbook", which can be found here:

Monday, August 22, 2011 9:22:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Thanks for the book title, Michael!

Monday, August 22, 2011 10:54:00 PM

Blogger erinkristi said...

When i saw this entry in RSS, i thought, wow, this is timely. My own elbow issues flared up after some interesting events: I switched from c flute to alto flute in my flute choir, I spent three weeks going heavy clean out of my deceased grandmother's home, and extended travel hours knitting socks for the husband. This all pretty much happened at the same time so I can't pinpoint one and probably shouldn't. I. Any case, I had been pain-free for eight years.

As a trained massage therapist I shoulda remembered this. Duh. I have two tombs on trigger points and myofascial therapy but it was your blog that reminded me of that training fro twenty years ago. I don't practice massage therapy anymore, there just isn't enough money to pay the mortgage. But the books...I kept those. Out come the books, booked marked...guess where? just that section because of repeated issues with tennis elbow. So i've been doing some self therapy and was able to separate the actual tendonitis from the trigger point pain. What a (re)revelation! I still have to get a steroid shot but this time it will only take one, plus strengthening exercise.

I always come away from reading your blog with some new insight. I'm so grateful!

Friday, September 16, 2011 5:14:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Dear erinkristi,
Thanks so much for your tale. I'm the same. I had recovered from a 15 yr. left arm injury only to find it reappearing after heavy yark-work plus technique practice. The trigger point therapy made a HUGE difference and allowed me to work on my own self, rather than go to three or four $100 massage appointments. What a wonderful tool to know about. Thanks so much for commenting! Great to know how much alike we all are.
Best, Jen

Friday, September 16, 2011 10:23:00 AM

Blogger Melissa said...

Hi Jen 😁
I'm a licensed massage therapist in the USA for over 13 years. I see many musicians pain due to tight muscles from repetitions of playing guitars or instruments . I have brought many out of pain! People need to be educated in the benefits of massage therapy. I personally prefer a real massage therapist who knows what she is doing . It's not the same if you do self massage. There are many places you couldn't massage yourself . Your back , back of legs, butt area etc. There's NOTHING better than a massage from someone who knows what they are doing period! 😁

Sunday, March 03, 2019 8:55:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Thanks Melissa. Totally massively agree. I try to make a budget to afford massage, because it is absolutely necessary as a musician who practices, to have high quality massage.

Monday, March 04, 2019 11:07:00 AM

Blogger Ellie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, August 23, 2019 7:49:00 AM

Blogger sanssa stock said...

"The myofascial point massage is a type of massage that focuses on the release of muscle tension. The technique was developed by John Barnes, who was an osteopath and chiropractor in the early 1900s.
myofascial point massage
The myofascial point massage technique is used to reduce pain and tension in muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and nerves. It can be used as a treatment for many different conditions such as back pain, headaches, and chronic pain.
myofascial point massage
Myofascial point massage is a type of bodywork that focuses on the connective tissue. It is based on the belief that many types of chronic pain and tension are caused by adhesions in the fascia. myofascial release and trigger point therapy

The goal of myofascial point massage is to release these adhesions and restore normal movement to the area. This can be done through sustained pressure, friction, or vibration."

Sunday, March 06, 2022 11:24:00 PM

Blogger sanssa stock said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, March 06, 2022 11:26:00 PM

Blogger Jhon David said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, March 26, 2022 5:13:00 AM


Post a Comment