Musicians are athletes, too

Recently, I read an article on the benefits of physical therapy for musicians. As a former music student, I found it interesting that I’d never thought about physical therapy to treat or prevent injury in relation to music performance.

Just like an athlete performs and may sustain injuries that require treatment from a physical therapist, so can a music performer sustain injuries. Musicians also have a drive to perform at their best, practice until perfection, and to play through the pain – even when aware they shouldn’t. They train. They have intense practice schedules. Music students and professionals put in hours straight of repetitive motion to perfect a single piece. The same phrases and finger movement again and again to perform it just 10 beats faster. Years of this routine may result in pain or injury.

National Physical Therapy Month offers an opportunity to seek new avenues to educate communities and promote services. Instead of reaching out only to the athletic departments at nearby high schools or colleges, look into music programs. Like me, local musicians may not be aware that physical therapy is an option for those hand, wrist, or neck pain problems. Offer wellness advice and educate about the benefits of physical therapy for managing or eliminating pain. Is there a music conservatory nearby? A university music program? City orchestra? Reach out and you may find yourself welcoming an entirely new type of patient.

How is your rehab department promoting physical therapy this October?


Michael Goldsmith

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