Are you experiencing pain or difficulty playing your instrument?
Are you spending hours practicing?
Are you not sure where to turn or what to do?
Do you want to do EVERYTHING you can do prevent an injury or recover from one?
Did you know that 9/10 musicians will experience some form of repetitive strain injury during their career? This is no surprise given the long and intense hours spent at your instrument/s, the discipline and concentration needed as well as the highly competitive nature of the business. Not to mention that no instrument is ergonomically correct for your body. There is not a “standard way” to match your body to your instrument. You must prepare your body physically for the hours you spend at your instrument so you can help prevent injury and continue pursuing your passion.
As a musician there is nothing more terrifying than suffering from an injury and not being able to pursue your passion. I have been there, and I had career altering injuries!
As you can tell from my website, I am an Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist. But before my life as a therapist I was a musician. Since the day I picked up that long metal tube in 5th grade I knew 100% that I was going to be a professional musician and it was the ONLY thing I had my sights set on. I went on to get a BFA in flute performance from SUNY Purchase (I won’t tell you what year I graduated). I was freelancing, playing 6-8 hours a day and doing what I loved until I had injuries that stopped me in my tracks. As a therapist now, I can look back and see all the things that led to my issues, many of which could have been avoided if I had known what I know now.
As a musician there are very few healthcare providers out there that truly understand what you are going through and with healthcare as it is today it’s extremely hard to navigate. Most providers will tell you to “rest” or offer you medications or injections to treat the symptoms. You MUST get to the root of the problem and address all the components that are contributing factors. It’s much more than putting a band-aid on the symptoms you are experiencing if you hope to eliminate those symptoms AND prevent issues in the future.
I am so excited to now own my own clinic after working in an orthopedic setting for years and years. The rat race of 18 patients a day did not allow me to focus on working with musicians to the extent I was passionate about. My passion and goal is to help musicians navigate through the crazy world of healthcare as it is today, to treat you holistically so you can avoid medications, injections, surgeries or having to “rest.” But, most importantly to help you avoid injuries in the first place.
Because of my background as a performer I have an intimate understanding of what a musician’s life is like, I understand the needs of the instruments and the stresses on the musician. I also understand what it’s like to have been through an injury that changed my course. Because of my education in Occupational Therapy and my advanced certification as a Certified Hand Therapist I have the knowledge of body mechanics, ergonomics, anatomy, kinesiology, and psychology. This combination allows me to have such an advantage in treating musicians.
My goal and focus is to look at every musician as a whole: how are you approaching your instrument from a biomechanical point, from a psychological point. What are the needs of your instrument as it compares to your individual body type? NO instrument is ergonomically correct, and every person approaches their instrument differently. Subtle habits, positions and changes can have a huge effect and what works for one may not work for another. What are the possible longterm effects of your position at your instrument? I look at what other types of activities may be contributing factors. And just as important as the physiological part is addressing the psychological part.
The hours and hours spent at your instrument put you in jeopardy of injuring your tissues, creating muscle imbalances that can last a lifetime. Make sure you take care of your body and are doing all the right things to continue doing what you love!!!