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Treatment

  • Evaluation

    As a first step, an evaluation is performed by a physician who has expertise in the treatment of performing artists.  He or she will take into account any of these that the patient may be experiencing, including:

    • neurologic conditions
    • bone and joint conditions
    • overuse or repetitive movement injuries
    • posture and movement related problems.

    Performers will be examined with and without their instruments or artistic tools. Please bring these to all physician and therapy appointments, in addition to DVDs or videos of the artistic work in action.

    Services

    Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute physicians and occupational and physical therapists are experienced in the rehabilitation of performing artists.  Many therapists have specialized hand therapy certification. Respected community artists and musicians are available for consultation. 

    Specialized services include:

    • designing treatment plans
    • developing devices that modify, support and reposition instruments or tools (e.g., custom chin rests)
    • hand rehabilitation therapy (including custom splints)
    • therapies involving the task or instrument, such as computer ergonomics and alternative equipment with biofeedback and video analysis
    • diagnosis of underlying contributors to injury
    • analysis of force, ability to relax tension and speed of movement
    • exercise development and a plan for gradual return to activity
    • education to prevent re-injury
    • counseling psychology
    • pool therapy
    • social services
    • speech therapy
    • integrative medicine through Allina Health’s Penny George Institute for Health and Healing (e.g., massage, acupuncture,  nutritional counseling, Feldenkreis and Pilates).

    Proforma Vision in use.

    ProForma Vision

    ProForma Vision is a software program that utilizes real-time video and EMG (electrical activity of muscles) readings of musicians playing their instruments to help them optimize their performance, diagnose underlying causes of injury, and design treatment plans that will return the musicians to healthier playing.

    Simultaneous data from signals from a MIDI piano keyboard enable analysis of force, ability to relax tension, and velocity of movement of finger and forearm muscles.

    This facilitates diagnosis and treatment of specific finger and wrist overuse and/or weakness, as well as timing of muscle activation.

    Abnormalities of muscle activation can immediately be correlated with a visual image of limb position and posture.

    This therapy tool is particularly helpful in diagnosing and treating musicians with overuse, tendon irritation muscle strain and focal dystonia. It is also applicable to patients with weakness and coordination difficulties associated with neurologic injuries such as stroke.

  • Source: Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
    Reviewed by: Jennine Speier, MD, physiatrist, director of the Musicians' Clinic.
    First published: 03/22/2011
    Last reviewed: 03/01/2011