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Pain Management For Musicians

Americans are very interested in professional sports.  We love our Great American Pastime- Baseball, and NFL Football and of course, NHL Hockey. We generally like our college and high school sports as well.  An when an athlete is injured during play, it's natural to send them to a sports medicine practice for treatment.

We like our music as well.  And musicians are prone to injuries of many sorts, depending on which instrument is being played, and most uniquely, the human voice. I'm not a gambler but I'd bet most of us would not think about going to someone who specializes in injuries related to musical performance!  This is an emerging field; there are as of now only a few medical practices dedicated to this area. But there are many ways that musicians can prevent or manage chronic pain using devices or techniques particular to their specialty.

Here are some examples:

Guitar players...
My husband is a guitar player.  He learned of a device known as a "Neck Up" to help support the guitar in a more comfortable playing position during all the hours of play. If you are serious about your music, many hours of practice go into a performance.  A device like this can prevent a lot of stress and strain on the body!

Every person's voice is unique.  A good voice teacher will help to guide your vocal skills so as not to damage the vocal chords.  If allergies or other ear, nose or throat problems are an issue vocalists typically visit an otolaryngologist, but this may change as this new field of musical performance medicine evolves.

The Peabody Institute actually added a course to their curriculum back in 2005 that covers the issue of injury prevention.  It only makes sense when you think about it...a serious musician does not want to be told to stop doing something they really love, or worse yet, give up on a potential career! And just as in many other situations, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Sources: Peabody Magazine;; Wikimedia


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