Dr. Corey Hillman, DPT
Performing Arts Healthcare-
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
Pain Relief and Performance Enhancement for Musicians, Dancers and other Artistic Athletes
Research has shown that musicians, dancers and other artistic athletes have higher levels of injury (as reported by 70-80% of all musicians, between hobbyists and professionals) than other occupations and hobbies. In addition to that, and unlike in the fitness world where athletes (and weekend warriors) will actively seek out care, musicians and dancers typically do not. The reason appears to be due to the lack of specialization (and general knowledge of care available) in the rehab world.
Gate City Physio’s Performing Arts Physical Therapy Services
Many of the issues that professional musicians face come from being static in one position for extended periods of time, while dancers often suffer from repetitive injuries due to their craft. . In musicians, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is commonly affected, especially among wind instrument players and singers developing what is known as TMJ disorders, or TMD. Other examples include low back pain and ankle pain in dancers, shoulder pain in gymnasts and wrist pain/carpal tunnel in yogis Our performing arts physical therapy is designed to counteract those issues by addressing musculoskeletal imbalances, soft tissue irritations and lifestyle factors.
When possible, musicians and dancers are requested to bring their instrument or perform in the clinic as we may further analyze movement and long standing postures. .Our performing arts program allows performing artists to return to their jobs or hobbies, and play their instruments, sing, dance or enjoy their craft without pain.
Do I Need Performing Arts Physical Therapy?
Does nagging pain or injury keep you from performing your craft like you’d like? Whether you are a beginner or full-time professional, the performing arts care offered at Gate City Physio can be helpful in treating and preventing pain and improving your craft.
While the impulse is to reserve treatment for older musicians, younger musicians often suffer from overuse injuries, as well. In fact, children as young as twelve have been treated for injuries derived from playing or practicing music.
Depending on the type of musician, corrective movements can address and prevent injuries that can disrupt a career or lead to costly surgery.
Our Experience In Performing Arts Physical Therapy-
Before opening Gate City Physio, I played professionally as a singer/guitarist in the Triad, often performing for hours at a time, and sometimes for days in a row. As a result, my wrist would be in repeated flexed positions and my neck and shoulders sore from constantly holding the guitar. At times, my jaw would even become sore from singing. It was during this time I became interested in learning more about the role of musculoskeletal pain and injuries in musicians and other performing artists. Today we are grateful to have treated performers ranging from professional opera singers, students at UNC School of the Arts to hobbyists who just enjoy playing their guitar in their free time.
If you are a musician, dancer or performing artist in pain, reach out to schedule a free phone consultation with Dr. Hillman!
Dr. Corey Hillman is a Physical Therapist and owner of Gate City Physio – a boutique physical therapy clinic in Downtown Greensboro. He specializes in working with professional and amatuer musicians, dancers and performing artists seeking to perform at their best. He is a member of the Performing Arts Medicine Association.