Specialists in Physical Therapy & Treatment of Pain & Dysfunction

Performing Arts Physical Therapy – Pain Relief For The Performing Arts

Studies have shown that between 32% to 78% of professional musicians have disabling musculoskeletal problems. Young musicians often develop pain in their arms, necks, and shoulders after music summer camps or when practicing for a recital. For performing arts patients, Bethesda Physiocare® provides specialized pain management. 

About Our 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. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is also commonly affected, especially among wind instrument players, developing what is known as TMJ disorders, or TMD. Our performing arts physical therapy is designed to counteract those issues by addressing musculoskeletal imbalances and developing techniques to keep away troublesome pain. 

When possible, musicians are requested to bring their instruments to the clinic. By doing so, we can analyze posture and movement patterns. Bethesda Physiocare® features an upright piano to assist in the examination of keyboard players. 

Our physical therapy program allows musicians to return to their jobs or hobbies, and play their instruments without pain.

Do I Need Performing Arts Physical Therapy?

Performing arts physical therapy, like other forms of therapy, can be useful to a wide range of patients. Whether you are a beginner or full-time professional, performing arts physical therapy can be helpful in treating and preventing pain. 

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. 

Certain instruments have high incidents of certain injuries/issues:

  • Viola/violin: Arm/Shoulder pain
  • Cello/Bass/Harp: Lower back pain
  • Saxophone: Neck pain 
  • Flute: Jaw and Neck Pain

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 

As a former clarinetist and saxophonist, Dr. Jan Dommerholt has developed expertise in the management of performing artists. His expertise has been recognized by the international arts medicine community as he has published book chapters in most leading performing arts medical textbooks. Dr. Dommerholt has been interviewed by the Washington Post about his experiences with musicians and he has been a frequent guest lecturer at the George Mason University Center for the Arts and Wellness in Fairfax, VA. To read more about performing arts physical therapy, see the following article in the Washington Post Tuba Lips, Guitar Nipples and Other Musical Maladies.

In addition to Dr. Dommerholt’s expertise, all of our physical therapists have extensive experience and specialized training with performing arts physical therapy. Bethesda Physiocare® is the best option for musicians dealing with performance-related pain.

For more information about performing arts physical therapy, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

Performing Arts Physical Therapy including music therapy