Common Medical Problems of Instrumental Athletes

Schaefer, Paul T. MD, MM1; Speier, Jennine MD, MS2

doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e318272c8ae
Special Populations: Section Articles

The fields of sports medicine and performing arts medicine have begun recent initiatives to collaborate more closely and to share information pertinent to the treatment of athletes and performing artists. This article provides a review of the common musculoskeletal and neurological problems encountered among performing artists who play instruments. Approaches to history, examination, diagnosis, and treatment are offered, based on literature reviews, expert opinion, and the authors’ own experiences in a musician’s clinic. Treatments focus on conservative management within a multidisciplinary framework, and indications are given for appropriate surgical referral. Providers are encouraged to build an understanding of the unique issues affecting instrumental athletes.

1Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Fellow in Primary Care Sports Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; and 2Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Allina Health, Minneapolis, MN

Address for correspondence: Paul Schaefer, MD, MM, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Division of Sports Medicine, Fellow in Primary Care Sports Medicine, University of Minnesota, 2525 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414; E-mail: scha634@umn.edu.

© 2012 American College of Sports Medicine