Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
PhD-Michael
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:28 pm
Location: Canterbury, UK

Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by PhD-Michael » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:49 pm



Playing-related injuries are way more common than people realise (60% of professional classical guitarists and 80% of flamenco guitarists in Andalusia suffer from long-term pain from playing) and I feel things need to change. In this interview John Mills talks about the various injuries he's suffered during his long career.

I'm sure it's rude to ask that you leave any comments on the YouTube page instead of here, but maybe you could post them here AND there?

D.Cass
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:16 pm
Location: Tri-Cities WA

Re: Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by D.Cass » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:24 am

Good work. It is surprising that the number of musicians I have met over the years have suffered from some type of injury. Another friend and fellow teacher has been struck, a percussionist. The statics you give is absolutely staggering. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing where your research takes you. I will try to comment on your YouTube page.

Question. John Mills mentioned that his tendon separated in his thumb and he believes that it was caused by playing on the side or having the thumb between the index and middle finger. Do you think that the thumb should be placed elsewhere that is more ergonomically correct?

PhD-Michael
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:28 pm
Location: Canterbury, UK

Re: Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by PhD-Michael » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:44 pm

D.Cass wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:24 am
Good work. It is surprising that the number of musicians I have met over the years have suffered from some type of injury. Another friend and fellow teacher has been struck, a percussionist. The statics you give is absolutely staggering. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing where your research takes you. I will try to comment on your YouTube page.

Question. John Mills mentioned that his tendon separated in his thumb and he believes that it was caused by playing on the side or having the thumb between the index and middle finger. Do you think that the thumb should be placed elsewhere that is more ergonomically correct?
Bearing these statistics in mind, it's surprising that we don't meet more people with injuries!
I think John's main problem was that he was pressing with the side of his thumb, which is more likely if the thumb is too far over towards the fourth finger. When you press in a direction that a joint doesn't articulate there is little muscular support for the joint.

User avatar
guitarrista
Posts: 1832
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by guitarrista » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:26 pm

PhD-Michael wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:49 pm

(60% of professional classical guitarists and 80% of flamenco guitarists in Andalusia suffer from long-term pain from playing)
I was wondering, how would you know this? Methodologically, what is this claim based on? Just trying to figure out the uncertainties.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

PhD-Michael
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:28 pm
Location: Canterbury, UK

Re: Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by PhD-Michael » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:26 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:26 pm
PhD-Michael wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:49 pm
(60% of professional classical guitarists and 80% of flamenco guitarists in Andalusia suffer from long-term pain from playing)
I was wondering, how would you know this? Methodologically, what is this claim based on? Just trying to figure out the uncertainties.
It's a long time since I read the article, but here's the info to see if you can access it yourself:
Fishbein, M, Middlestadt, S.E., Ottati, V., Straus, S. and Ellis, A. (1988) Medical Problems Among ICSOM Musicians: Overview of a National Survey. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 3(1), 1-8.

User avatar
guitarrista
Posts: 1832
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by guitarrista » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:03 pm

PhD-Michael wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:26 pm
guitarrista wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:26 pm
PhD-Michael wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:49 pm
(60% of professional classical guitarists and 80% of flamenco guitarists in Andalusia suffer from long-term pain from playing)
I was wondering, how would you know this? Methodologically, what is this claim based on? Just trying to figure out the uncertainties.
It's a long time since I read the article, but here's the info to see if you can access it yourself:
Fishbein, M, Middlestadt, S.E., Ottati, V., Straus, S. and Ellis, A. (1988) Medical Problems Among ICSOM Musicians: Overview of a National Survey. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 3(1), 1-8.
Thanks for this (got it and perused it), but it does not cover guitarists (classical or flamenco).

Article can be viewed by clicking the button "View Full Text" on this page.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

James Stephens

Re: Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by James Stephens » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:19 pm

He must've accidentally posted the wrong study. I would guess it's from this one (which I've only skimmed).

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... e_syndrome

D.Cass
Posts: 217
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:16 pm
Location: Tri-Cities WA

Re: Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by D.Cass » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:50 am

PhD-Michael wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:44 pm
D.Cass wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:24 am
Good work. It is surprising that the number of musicians I have met over the years have suffered from some type of injury. Another friend and fellow teacher has been struck, a percussionist. The statics you give is absolutely staggering. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing where your research takes you. I will try to comment on your YouTube page.

Question. John Mills mentioned that his tendon separated in his thumb and he believes that it was caused by playing on the side or having the thumb between the index and middle finger. Do you think that the thumb should be placed elsewhere that is more ergonomically correct?
Bearing these statistics in mind, it's surprising that we don't meet more people with injuries!
I think John's main problem was that he was pressing with the side of his thumb, which is more likely if the thumb is too far over towards the fourth finger. When you press in a direction that a joint doesn't articulate there is little muscular support for the joint.
Thanks for the clarification. Now it makes more sense.

User avatar
guitarrista
Posts: 1832
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by guitarrista » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:22 am

James Stephens wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:19 pm
He must've accidentally posted the wrong study. I would guess it's from this one (which I've only skimmed).

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... e_syndrome
Thank you; yes, that might have been it. I read it and would just note that the explanations about flamenco technique are almost all completely wrong in substance and detail; basically multiple incorrect factual statements, and thus the explanation of the apparent difference in incidence of issues is bunk (though the fact of the difference in incidence may be correct). Amazing that they seemingly did not consult actual flamenco guitarists (or classical guitarist for the that matter) on the basics of guitar technique for left and right hand.

The other thing to note is that there could be a self-selection bias, in that the cohort they examined via self-survey was comprised of individuals taking a series of courses on the prevention of overuse.
Konstantin
--
1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

PhD-Michael
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:28 pm
Location: Canterbury, UK

Re: Interview: John Mills and Injuries

Post by PhD-Michael » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:17 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:22 am
James Stephens wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:19 pm
He must've accidentally posted the wrong study. I would guess it's from this one (which I've only skimmed).

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... e_syndrome
Thank you; yes, that might have been it. I read it and would just note that the explanations about flamenco technique are almost all completely wrong in substance and detail; basically multiple incorrect factual statements, and thus the explanation of the apparent difference in incidence of issues is bunk (though the fact of the difference in incidence may be correct). Amazing that they seemingly did not consult actual flamenco guitarists (or classical guitarist for the that matter) on the basics of guitar technique for left and right hand.

The other thing to note is that there could be a self-selection bias, in that the cohort they examined via self-survey was comprised of individuals taking a series of courses on the prevention of overuse.
Whoops, yes, I got the two sources muddled, what a fool.
I agree, the explanation of technique is way off, but the statistics are the main focus. As for the self selection bias due to the nature of the course they were on, Identification of Risk Factors for Musicians in Catalonia (Spain) by Roset-Llobet et al. show in table 5 that more than 80% of guitarists have neck pain with rather high figures for other body parts and this study got its subjects from schools and conservatoires etc.

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”