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What types of professionals do your kids see for injuries/aches and pains?

sbjdorlosbjdorlo 4896 replies388 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
My son is seeing a PT right now for tinnitus, but the PT has discovered that his neck is super tight from playing cello (of course), so she's going to be working on his jaw, neck, etc.

Recently, his shoulder and one wrist started hurting. He's been ramping up his practice time in anticipation of how much he'll be playing at school; plus, his new college cello teacher had him change up bow technique (which is why his wrist hurts, I'm sure).

I'm wondering if your kids see PTs, and if not, what types of professionals do they see in dealing with musician-related injuries or aches and pains?
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Replies to: What types of professionals do your kids see for injuries/aches and pains?

  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1399 replies13 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    As a swimmer, we know many many fellow swimmers who see PTs. It is actually very common (pretty sad). DS has luckily only had one episode of minor shoulder pains that required just a couple PT sessions. He is also a cellist and have had posture adjustments to loosen up his shoulders.
    He gets deep tissue massages a couple of times a month and uses rollers for stretching/trigger points relief. Epsom salts bath helps with relaxation. Lots of water (hydration) is always must.
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  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo 4896 replies388 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    A massage would probably be really helpful. I'll suggest that for my son. Our chiro's office offers massages.
    Thanks for the feedback!
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  • compmomcompmom 10686 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have neck issues and so does one of my kids. Ben Gay is our friend! My daughter gets massage.

    Alexander technique and Feldenkrais both help musicians. I get them mixed up!

    We haven't found PT to be terrible helpful though they do help some, and they include massage, heat, ice, ultrasound etc. It is really really helpful to get a PT who specializes in musicians.

    The thing that has helped me hugely is tai chi but I doubt your son has time!

    Interstingly, tinnitus can respond to changing neck posture so here's hoping that will go away when the neck improves.

    Apparently you can order neck traction thingys online :)


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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22666 replies15 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    He may also consider a conditioning program. Athletes don't just do their sports, they have conditioning, weight lifting, yoga, etc to build strength.

    Office workers do exercises to prevent carpal tunnel, back aches, . A friend was a reporter and they had a PT/OT come in to adjust the desks, computer screens, suggest foot rests, wrist pads, etc. She said it made a huge difference to everyone in the newsroom.
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1399 replies13 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @twoinanddone Yes! Yoga would be great. Just impossible to get my DS to do it with me. Lol. We actually hired a yoga teacher for a short period of time, gave it up.

    Also agree with the adjustment of cello chair height, which by itself corrected a bit of my DS’ posture.

    @compmom one of my neighbors actually teaches tai chi at my Y, one of these days!
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1399 replies13 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    We haven’t had experience with dry needling by PT, but lots of swimmers swear by it. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_needling, not all PTs are certified to do it.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33480 replies363 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 31
    You'd be surprised how much the neck affects shoulder down to wrist. This can be real anatomy and physiology and much more work than a massage. Eg, correcting the misalignment in neck and shoulder muscle strength over time, through exercises and awareness of what positions are better for the body. (Or at least how to counteract cello contortions, after playing.)

    I say this from similar experience, right now. I am a believer, lol. Mine doesn't use auxilliary things like heat, ice, and explained why traction or wrapping can be problematic for the shoulder.

    I totally agree to find a PT experienced with musicians. And make sure that, if this requires a doctor auth to have insurance cover PT, that it gets properly amended to include the neck issues. (Ime, just a note onthe referral, nothing complex.)

    Tai Chi is interesting. See, it's about body awareness, balanced muscle engagement, a new mindfulness.
    edited July 31
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  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo 4896 replies388 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Thanks for the great tips! PT is covered, thankfully. We get 50 sessions a year, so I'll encourage him to tell his PT about his shoulder and wrist since they might be all interconnected.

    I've not heard of needling but do know about cupping.

    Do some music programs/conservatories include classes on body care/injuries? My son's doesn't, so I feel like he's on his own as far as trouble-shooting.
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  • compmomcompmom 10686 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In m y experience, yoga is terrible for neck/shoulder/wrist issues. Downward dog especially. I fled to tai chi. Many young men are in my class. There is a martial side to Tai Chi that they enjoy. And at my age I enjoy looking a little ferocious! Anyway my neurologist cannot get over how much better my neck and shoulder are with Tai Chi. Breathing too.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 3856 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'd buy some mobility tools, such as a foam roller or various sized balls to roll out areas of the body. I roll out almost on a daily basis, not only for flexibility and mobility, but also to relieve knots and other sore spots.
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  • brantlybrantly 3921 replies69 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I have a college-age child who is an orchestral percussionist and had a terrible time last year with tendinitis/muscle strain from his wrists to his elbows in BOTH arms. He could barely move his arms/hands without pain for about three months. OT and time were extremely helpful.
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  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo 4896 replies388 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @brantly, could you share a bit about what the OT did? Thank you!

    My son says no to massage so we'll stick with PT for now. Doubt he'd do tai chi but it sounds great. I have 3 foam rollers at home, ha-ha (I'm an ex-dancer who's been in PT for years, so I have all the gear at home), so I can send him to college with one of mine.
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  • brantlybrantly 3921 replies69 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @sbjdorlo He went to a hand specialist, which is a sub-specialty of OT. First he evaluated my son's range of motion and strength. Then he guided him through a series of exercises. He also gave him exercises to do at home. I can't really do justice in describing the exercises. Here's a directory of certified OT hand specialists.
    https://www.asht.org/find-a-therapist
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  • StacJipStacJip 628 replies17 threadsRegistered User Member
    My son, a double bass player, has had many body issues including a trigger finger which developed when he was an undergrad. He saw a specialized OT who worked with many musicians in the Boston area, so she knew the issues and it helped but it was not quite enough. For years I pleaded with him to do Alexander technique. Especially because his conservatory had Free Alexander technique classes. Finally now that he is a working professional he started to see an Alexander Technique trained person. It helped that the person he saw was also a bass player so she gave him a combination lesson/therapy session. Now he sees a less expensive Alexander Technique person who actually works with many students at Juilliard. It has been wonderful.
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  • StacJipStacJip 628 replies17 threadsRegistered User Member
    Yoga gets a bad rapt because there are so many different types of yoga out there and also a wide range of teacher training programs which result in teachers who can walk students through poses but can't actually teach you how to do the poses properly. Downward Dog and other poses can actually be great poses for gaining upper arm strength but only if you are taught how to do it properly so your shoulders and arms are rotated into the right position. For anyone interested in doing Yoga I would seek out a yoga teacher who has Ivyengar training and years of experience using yoga therapeutically with people who have injuries.
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  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo 4896 replies388 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I just found this link at my son's school so maybe he can avail himself of Alexander Technique at school:
    https://www.fullerton.edu/arts/music/students/psc.php
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  • AsMotherAsMother 255 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited August 18
    Let's see...in addition to a year's worth of PT, so far my son has seen a neurologist (at the Performing Arts Clinic in Boston), two hand surgeons, and a hematologist. He's got an appointment with a rheumatologist as soon as he returns to Boston. He's gone gluten-free (hates it, but says it makes him feel better), and is on iron supplements because his ferritin levels keep dropping. And he STILL can only play guitar for a few minutes at a time, a year after the injury.
    The pain comes and goes (his wrists) and kind of moves around. It's weird because there's no real difference in the pain in his right or left hand, and obviously the guitar requires different movements in each hand.
    The last hand surgeon even suggested it might be psychological, which I highly doubt because he REALLY wants to play! But we've considered Cymbalta, just in case (that has "sexual side effects," so a 20-year-old man in college probably wouldn't put up with that for long!).
    It's so frustrating. I'd been assuming that the Performing Arts Clinic would explore fields other than neurology to diagnose and treat, and that they'd do more testing, but they didn't.
    So another year and he's going back to Berklee unable to play.
    Fortunately he's a composer and can sing, so he may do the latter for the private instruction requirement, if they let him. (By the way, he did Berklee's month-long String Quartet composition class in Greece, and LOVED it--highly recommended!)
    Sorry about the long response--I think I'm just blowing off steam... :)
    edited August 18
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