Seeking Treatment - It Is Not Worth the Wait!

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

Reducing Pain During Music Festivals

Hi everybody!  I hope you're all having a great summer break so far.  This month's post will be focused around ways to relieve and prevent pain and injury during intensive summer festivals.  My most recent instagram post (@playingwithoutpain) featured some TSA-friendly items you can pack in your suitcase on your way to summer festivals that are good tools to help reduce and relieve pain before and after long rehearsals, but I wanted to ask you all a bit about your experiences with pain during summer festivals as well.

Let me know in the comments below what types of summer festivals you typically attend or plan to attend (orchestral, instrument-specific workshops, masterclasses, instrument-specific intensives, etc.), whether your pain (if you experience any) tends to worsen or improve during these summer festivals, and any tips or tricks you would like to share to prevent and relieve pain that are manageable and simple enough to incorporate into your daily festival routine.  Summer festivals are a great way to maintain your "chops" in between periods of rest and meet/play with new people, but they can sometimes take a great toll on your body.  If you are currently treating an injury or hoping to prevent a future injury this summer, check out my latest posts on social media for some quick tips and tricks that have helped me a great deal.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences in the comments!



Francesca Leo

Types of Pain Experienced in Music Students

Hi everybody, welcome to our first discussion post!  These discussions will be initiated by me once a month.  I will ask a question about your experiences with pain, treatment and prevention methods that have worked for you in the past, and ask to tell us a little bit about yourself (what instrument you play, which school you attend, etc.). I look forward to meeting everybody, and I hope to cultivate a safe and comfortable environment where you can share your experience with injury and connect with others experiencing similar situations.  

To begin, my first question is: what type of pain do you most commonly experience in your practice sessions, and where is it primarily located?  While I know these answers will be dependent on instrument and voice types, do you mind sharing what you play and how long you have been playing? Please type your answers in the comments below.

Thank you, and please let me know if you have any questions/concerns.  I look forward to hearing from you!


Francesca Leo, Founder of Playing Without Pain