MOVEMENT & PHYSICAL HEALTH

Performance-related problems

Pain is one of musicians’ most common complaints, especially pain in the shoulders, neck, back and hands. Musicians often have mobility issues, such as stiffness or increased muscle tension or the opposite, hypermobility. Neurological symptoms, such as loss of motor control or the feeling of pins and needles in the fingers, are also common. The literature suggests that the cause of these complaints is most often the asymmetrical posture required to play an instrument, which results in both overuse and under-use of specific structures. Exhaustion and playing with ineffective, inefficient movement patterns also play a role. For reference, imagine what would happen if a related group, professional sports people, did not strive for a high degree of accuracy and efficiency in their movement patterns!

 

Which performance-related playing complaints you experience is dependent on several factors. In the literature a few stand out: stringed instrument players and pianists have more playing related problems than wind instrument players, women have more playing-related pain complaints than men, and the bigger your instrument, the greater the likelihood that you will experience playing-related problems. Age also plays a role in playing-related problems. As you age the chance of injury increases and you are more likely to experience (chronic) pain.

 

It has also been repeatedly shown that professional musicians are prone to stress-related problems. This is not at all strange when one considers the distinguishing characteristics of a musician's work, which include pressure to perform at a high level, irregular work times, sleep deficiency, lack of job security and stage fright (up to 70% of musicians suffer from stage fright!).In addition, musicians resort to the use of alcohol and drugs more often than the general population, most likely in an attempt to cope with stress. Surprisingly, musicians die on average seven years earlier than the general population, probably as a direct or indirect result of stress!

 

Nearly all musicians, professionals and amateurs alike, experience performance-related complaints . . . almost all professional musicians have at least one pain complaint per year that both hampers performance and lasts several weeks or longer.

Schedule a Consultation

The first consultation lasts between an hour and an hour and a half. Please bring your instrument so that I can assess your difficulties with and without your instrument. Generally, I will do a movement analysis, conduct a few physical tests, and recommend a course of action.

Please reload

Testimonials

[Sarah’s] physical therapy was exceptional. And so encompassing that I was unable to react immediately. This morning [the day after] I played Verdi with an orchestra in Amsterdam, a piece with lots of forte’s and tremolo. It was fascinating: I had a completely new feeling in my bow arm. Through Sarah’s intervention I have become aware of the importance of connecting with my whole body!

from a professional violinist

As I was trying to take off the top of my calligraphy pen, a very simple movement, my thumb suddenly became enormously painful. Very scary! Sarah was able to quickly put my worries to rest. Using clear language, she explained what the problem was and gave me a couple of easy exercises that I could do at home.As I was trying to take off the top of my calligraphy pen, a very simple movement, my thumb suddenly became enormously painful. Very scary! Sarah was able to quickly put my worries to rest. Using clear language, she explained what the problem was and gave me a couple of easy exercises that I could do at home.

from a professional pianist

Schedule a Consultation

The first consultation lasts between an hour and an hour and a half. Please bring your instrument so that I can assess your difficulties with and without your instrument. Generally, I will do a movement analysis, conduct a few physical tests, and recommend a course of action.

Please reload

Phone:

Cell Europe: (0031) 06 5020 5003

Cell US: (1) 928 853-6874 

Studio Locations:

Arnhem, NL & Flagstaff, Arizona