Doctors specializing in musician injuries

Edited: September 10, 2023, 2:40 PM · Greetings, someone wrote to me, looking for a doctor who specializes in musician injuries, does anyone know of any resources to find such a doctor? Her particular problem is tendonitis in the left pinkie, and she is in California. But I'd love to have a list of performance injury doctors all over the U.S. and beyond...

Thanks for any help with this!

P.S. I did find this: Referral Directory for the Performing Arts Medical Association, but I couldn't actually find a way to see or search the directory....?

Replies (15)

Edited: September 10, 2023, 4:24 PM · At the recommendation of Susanna Klein, Professor of Violin at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond (and active member), my daughter (a cellist) got some physical therapy a couple of years ago from Brenda Jackson, a physical therapist at VCU Health. The diagnosis and treatment were successful. Patients can call 804-628-0183 for appointments. Everything was done by telemedicine. We did not have to travel to Richmond at all. Note that our insurance -- and as public college professors we have excellent health insurance -- did not pay for these visits, of which there were two or three, so it was moderately expensive but still worth it.

We had previously taken our daughter to an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine here in Blacksburg but his diagnosis and treatment were not successful. However they were covered by insurance. Sometimes it's not the degree one has, or the fees one pays, but the patience and the experience of the individual with particular kinds of issues. Jackson was recommended to us because she has helped other musicians with their hands.

September 10, 2023, 5:56 PM · In Chicago, Shirley Ryan (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) has a Performing Arts Clinic:

We also have a PT/OT practice that specializes in performing arts:

Edited: September 10, 2023, 10:14 PM · In California there is

She may want to be evaluated by an MD first. However, working with a physical therapist is something that is typically tried before more invasive treatments such as surgery.

September 10, 2023, 9:00 PM · My dear friend and musical collaborator, Dr. Lewis Eastlick, is an accomplished pianist and a great hand surgeon in South Florida.
September 11, 2023, 4:08 AM · I did not think this existed until recently.
September 11, 2023, 6:28 AM · BAPAM in the UK.
Edited: September 11, 2023, 4:24 PM · Some years ago, after a few classes my former teacher (unfortunately he passed) suggested that I should check with a physiotherapist he did know of, specialized on high performance athletes and musicians as well (!!!). I think these specialists are becoming more common nowadays. His secretary asked me to bring along the violin for the examination of my movements. I was happy to come out with no concerns but he also gave me a series of body exercises to do.

Edit: Matt Powell is in Vancouver, BC. (Thanks Tom!)

September 11, 2023, 1:12 PM · @A C - you did not put the location of the person you are recommending. Apparently, he is in Vancouver, BC.
September 11, 2023, 2:06 PM · Not a doctor but I've heard Howard Nelson (married to Pamela Frank) has basically made it possible for her to play again and he comes highly recommended for these sorts of issues by members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet.

(Laurie, I think you actually wrote a blog about them!

September 11, 2023, 2:15 PM · @Katie - where does Nelson practice?

To all those responding to the OP; please inform us of the location and contact information (if available) of the person you are recommending. Otherwise, the recommendations are not very useful. Thanks.

September 11, 2023, 3:16 PM · Howard Nelson visited my kids' precollege program a couple of times, with Pamela Frank as well. Very helpful! I'm pretty sure he practices in NYC, but he does guest lectures all over the country.
September 11, 2023, 5:10 PM · The "Fit as a Fiddle" website suggests NYC but I've heard from a friend that they are more recently based in California (I think SoCal). Laurie would probable know.
September 12, 2023, 2:51 AM · Dr Robert E Markison in San Francisco, CA specializes in hands. He has treated numerous musicians and is a musician himself.
September 13, 2023, 10:52 PM · I believe PAMA requires a (free?) login.

Johns Hopkins Medicine works with JHU's Peabody conservatory to treat performing artists:

September 20, 2023, 7:52 AM · Arts Medicine Minnesota (Minneapolis) is another possible addition to your list. Johnathan Reynolds is the owner/practitioner, the first to come up with the idea that my bilateral lateral epicondylitis was just the tip of the iceberg in a sea of musculoskeletal dysfunction.

Although I could not commute for further treatment at the time, I was able to find a chiropractic orthopedist in Milwaukee whose philosophy was compatible with Johnathan's. After six months I was able to play much more freely, and in a neutral position.

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