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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO



Making music is a complex and demanding activity, and requires the right combination of mental, expressive and physical attention. This is especially true when talking about professional musicians, who demand maximum performance on a daily basis. Although most musicians are well educated in learning to understand and interpret their chosen repertoire, the culture of the physique can often be limited to contact with the instrument. Musicians have to practice for many hours a day. In the field of Performing Arts Medicine (PAM) it has been found that when damage occurs, it is more likely to happen during long periods of practice.

Awareness of your body and its needs is essential to achieving peak performance.

If we look for a moment at the sports sector we easily notice how all sports professionals consult therapists for advice on how to avoid injuries, carefully consider and control their diet, and use increasingly better warm-up and cool-down regimes.

Why doesn't this happen for musicians?

Musicians work long hours in often precarious conditions without ever considering the long-term damage this can cause, even though, just like in sport, their bodies are an essential part of their professional activity.

Recent studies confirm that the number of injuries and situations of medical concern related to the instrument is high. Even more worrying, perhaps, is how young musicians are affected by problems from their earliest years of learning, sometimes undertaken in early childhood. Furthermore, there are many examples from conservatories and music schools that many students who play instruments then disappear from professional training without a trace after reporting performance-related problems. It is also known that a very high percentage of musicians go on to become teachers, often starting the practice at a young age, so the risk of recurrence of physical problems and long-term damage in their pupils is very high. The idea seems to be that if you have a problem, you probably haven't been good enough, so you often mistakenly think it's best to keep quiet about it. The famous phrase 'no pain no gain' is incorrect from this point of view.

Physical conditions and injuries have little or nothing to do with musical talent and the ability to make it in the music industry, if they are addressed in a timely manner and by turning to professionals. If they are not addressed, they will be an insurmountable obstacle to musical success.

Knowing the musician's body and how it works is essential information for all musicians. When problems arise, it is of the utmost importance to seek professional help immediately.

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