younger man playing upright piano

Arthritis and piano: how it can be good for you

Since I’ve seen this concern pop up now and again, I thought it would be best to address the issue through a quick blog post. 

As we age, arthritis becomes a real concern. According to the Center for Disease Control, almost 50% of adults over the age of 65 have arthritis. Among other options, yoga and massage have been offered as “pain relievers,” but… have you ever thought of playing piano to ease the pain?

Playing the piano will strengthen the joints and muscles in your hands. The dexterity involved in playing music on the piano keeps your hand muscles developed and avoids the weakening of small bones.

It is recommended to play gentle and simple songs if you are trying to relieve the pain, but regular movements achieved by playing the piano is a good way to keep your fingers active. As long as you’re not training to become a concert pianist and playing for hours upon hours each day, piano is a GREAT option to exercise your hand muscles and joints!

I’ve also had a couple of students say that their focus on playing the songs was a distraction from some of the pain. Studies show that music does have an effect on pain, as it provides distraction and relaxation . 

Has your time at the piano helped with your arthritis? Send us a comment below! 

  • Ryan
    Posted at 13:54h, 16 September

    This is great to know. Thanks!

    • Hannah Derleth
      Posted at 13:55h, 16 September

      Thanks for the compliment, Ryan!

  • Judy Corbutt
    Posted at 16:51h, 25 September

    Thanks for this information. Never knew that. In fact I was told the opposite. Great news!!

  • Jennifer Baldwin Morris
    Posted at 03:05h, 08 October

    I was aware that arthritis in my wrist and fingers might be a problem for me, but I but I wanted to try anyway. To my joy and amazement, this did not happen, so I used the fingers that were comfortable for me and No problems, better still I have noticed my fingers have become stronger,
    Thank you so much for your great lessons and this Blog is very encouraging
    Jennifer Baldwin morris

  • Hilde Schlosar
    Posted at 20:41h, 10 October

    At first I was worried as I had arthritis pain quite often. But I can tell that my fingers and hands are gettiing much stronger and the arthritis bothers me less often. I do take it easy with shorter sessions if I’m having pain, usually only when I’m trying new and more complex fingering.

  • Ray Holloway
    Posted at 15:17h, 29 November

    This is why I decided to take up the piano. However, since that, I have also developed lots of pain in my left leg Due, I am told, to nerves being crushed somewhere in my lower back. I am waiting for an MRI to confirm this, but playing the piano actually distracts me from feeling this pain at the time.