Does playing piano help with arthritis?
Playing piano can have so many different benefits. However, a lot of people who suffer from this painful condition are wondering “does playing piano help with arthritis?”
Sufferers are often desperate for things they can do to deal with this debilitating condition, and while piano doesn’t have an impact on the whole body, for the hands (and even the ankles if using pedals) it can have some effect.
Can Piano Harm Arthritic Joints?
Some people are wondering about the exact opposite. Instead of asking “does playing piano help with arthritis?” people want to know if arthritis can actually be made worse, or whether playing piano can cause arthritis. Let’s start by ruling that out for hobbyists. Piano will have no adverse impact on your joints if you are playing simply for a hobby, and not forcing yourself to play for long stretches. For most people, learning to play will not cause, or worsen arthritis at all.
Naturally, if playing for long spells, or learning to be a concert pianist, the repeated movement can hurt. This fascinating story is a cautionary tale of how it can hurt people with aspirations of becoming career pianists.
Most of us will not reach this level of playing. It’s safe to play the piano as moderate exercise, even if you have already been diagnosed with a form of arthritis.
If you have arthritis, it might be worth adapting. You can play more simple songs and those that beginners might be more able to play. Don’t play things too uptempo and don’t practice non-stop. Instead, look to practice little and often. Keep the knowledge fresh, but don’t put extra strain on your joints if you don’t have to.
Can Piano Actually Help?
There are a lot of different things that you can do to help with arthritis, from rubs and gels to exercises. Luckily, playing the piano can count as an exercise to help with hand joints. It is recommended that gentle and simple songs are played if you are trying to relieve the pain, but regular movements by playing the piano is a good way to keep your fingers active.
The style of playing might need to be adapted in order to play the piano effectively. Naturally, if it is causing a lot of pain then the benefits may not be worth it. Don’t try to play the piano through any sort of “pain barrier” if you suffer from arthritis.
Most advice on the condition will state you should not make rigid or jerky movements and you should avoid tension. Think about this when playing. Aggressive playing probably won’t be your friend.
Mellow and smooth playing can be the answer. Some studies have even linked it to slowing down the deterioration attached to this ailment.
So, does playing piano help with arthritis?
Every case is slightly different. The pain experienced by one person, and the things that trigger it can be different. However, there is no harm in trying to learn how to play the piano. You can certainly look to follow our course to pick up the basics.
For many people with the condition, playing the piano is a way to enjoy the exercise you are asked to do to help with arthritic hands. It is much more enjoyable than following YouTube videos for arthritic hand movements.
Piano can have plenty of mental benefits, too, and having a rewarding and enjoyable hobby can help people to deal with the challenges of arthritis. The pain may subside, and you may forget about it altogether as you enjoy playing piano.