This year marked a lot of changes in both my personal and musical lives. It is the first year of my master’s degree in flute performance, which began with a far move away from home and the adjustment to a busier schedule and an increase in the hours of practice, rehearsal, and work I had been used to. While I have always suffered from performance-related injuries, I was sure to seek a new physical therapist immediately upon the start of my semester as a preventative measure to ensure that I was managing my injuries properly with my new lifestyle. Although I still do not live a completely pain-free life, seeking regular treatment has been extremely beneficial in ensuring that my injuries do not worsen. I have also recently been seeing a body tuning physical therapist specific to musicians, which has shed light on a new perspective of possibilities in healing and - for the first time in my life - moving forward from my injuries and having the privilege to perform in anything I want without the lingering fear that my body may physically prevent it.
It is so important to find which treatment method works best for you, because every body is different and has different needs. It has taken me years of trial and error to figure out the things that work best for my individual healing process, and starting now is essential to maintain the longevity of your career as a musician. If you are experiencing pain on a regular basis when you play your instrument and are worried about it, book an appointment with a musculoskeletal doctor in your area as soon as possible. Think of this as a step forward in self care, and do not be afraid of hearing your doctor’s diagnosis. The vast majority of performance-related injuries are 100% treatable, and if you consult with your physician and catch the warning signs early, in most cases the treatment process can be worked around maintaining a consistent practice schedule as long as you follow the instructions of your doctor and seek consistent treatment. Most insurances either mostly or completely cover the costs of therapy prescribed by your doctor depending on the company you are working with.
If you are currently seeking treatment for a performance-related injury, what types of treatment methods work best for you? What are some options you could recommend for your fellow peers or colleagues who may be struggling and are not sure where to begin in their healing process?
No matter what you are dealing with, you are not alone. Know that this website is always a resource to consult if you are feeling worried about the pain you are experiencing, as well as consulting with a trained professional, your private teacher, or a doctor.
-Francesca Leo, Founder