Hand Therapy and Rehabilitation for Musicians

Please call (314) 286-1669 Opt. #1 to schedule an appointment.

Therapist providing treatment:

Anita Uhlmann, PT, DPT

At the Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center, we recognize that a musician’s work is demanding both physically and artistically. Because of the physical stress inherent to playing an instrument at a high level, musicians are at risk for developing a Playing Related Musculoskeletal Problem, or PRMP. Unfortunately, PRMPs are all too common among professional and student musicians. They can have devastating effects on a musician’s physical and mental health, financial stability, and career. 

The therapists at Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center specialize in injuries and conditions of the upper extremity, including shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands. These occupational and physical therapists work with musicians to improve PRMP symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, stiffness, and weakness. The therapist creates an individualized rehabilitation program to address the musician’s specific needs so that the musician can continue making music at the level to which they are accustomed. 

Some injuries and conditions experienced by musicians that we treat at Milliken:

  • Pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, stiffness, and/or loss of motor control in the shoulder, shoulder blade, elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand.
  • Peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes:
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Cubital tunnel syndrome
    • Radial tunnel syndrome
    • Pronator syndrome
    • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Tendinitis of the upper limb
  • Medial epicondylitis or “Golfer’s Elbow”
  • Lateral epicondylitis or “Tennis Elbow”

What to expect from upper extremity therapy:

  • Detailed evaluation and examination:
    • History of symptoms
    • Playing schedule/demands
    • Clinical tests for strength, range of motion, and special tests to determine specific source(s) of symptoms. 
    • Thorough posture and movement analysis, including when playing your instrument(s).
  •  Treatment, which can include any of the following:
    • Modalities such as heat therapy for pain relief
    • Manual work such as trigger point release
    • Exercises to address specific concerns found in evaluation
    • Neuromuscular reeducation and postural training to decrease symptoms and improve ease of performance
    • Sleep positioning
    • Joint protection techniques
    • Taping for support and/or pain relief
    • Fabrication of custom orthosis (splint) for improved function and comfort, both while playing and for other daily activities
    • Individualized practice plan
    • Goal creation and planning

Upper extremity therapy can be beneficial for any musician who is experiencing symptoms that impede their ability to perform at the desired level. At Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center, we work with musicians of a range of ages and skill levels, from middle school students to professionals many years into their careers. If you are a musician who could benefit from therapy with an expert, speak to your provider about a referral to Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center. 

Schedule An Appointment:

Please call (314) 286-1669 to schedule an appointment.

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