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Performing Arts Physical Therapy
Select Ivy Rehab Network clinics offer Performing Arts Physical Therapy, focusing on instrumentalists and dancers. Musculoskeletel injuries for musicians and dancers are common and can have a substantial impact on performance.
Instrumental musicians are at risk for upper extremity musculoskeletal injuries. The rate of occurrence of musculoskeletal injuries for musicians ranges from 39% to 87%, which is similar to work-related musculoskeletal injuries in the general population. Just under 10% of college-level instrumental performance majors sustain a performance injury each year. For musicians, even a minor musculoskeletal injury, which may not be disabling to the general population, may significantly affect their ability to perform.
Successful treatment of musculoskeletal problems in a musician and prevention of future problems consists of several components. First, the type of injury must be identified and how often it occurs. The mechanism of injury and potential risk factors must also be identified. Regional muscle pain syndromes and tendon damage accounts for the majority of diagnoses. The most common parts of the body affected are the arms, hands, shoulder blades, and upper back. Risk factors for injury can include characteristics of the performer and the environment and can be modifiable (e.g., strength or hours of practicing per day) or non-modifiable (e.g., gender). Data shows that women are injured more frequently than men and the frequency of injury varies with the instrument played. A likely risk factor for injury is a sudden increase in developing an effective prevention program would be to design an intervention based on the information mentioned above.
The musician is evaluated for the specific mechanism of injury and potential risk factors. Treatment addresses the area of pain and injury in addition to providing exercise and training for more efficient posture and movement patterns in all activities, including playing an instrument.
Addressing the special needs of the performing artist, we feature a dynamic approach for musculoskeletal injuries integrating manual therapy, patient education, and therapeutic exercise, often Pilates, to improve posture, function, strength, endurance and flexibility. We evaluate the artist for the specific mechanism of injury and potential risk factors. Treatment addresses the area of pain and injury in addition to providing exercise and training for more efficient posture and movement patterns in all activities, including performing dance movements.