Small-muscle athletes. In the medical field, that’s the term for musicians. Musicians are prone to a range of injuries. It’s a pitfall of the profession. But unlike their large-muscle counterparts, musicians don’t get much pro-active attention when it comes to pain. As Dr. Raymond Wittstadt, attending hand surgeon at the Curtis National Hand Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital puts it, “I mean even at the high school level, most sports teams will have a trainer on the sidelines. There’s nobody in the wings of the BSO saying we practiced too long today, or we repeated that passage too many times.”
Wittstadt has held a monthly musicians’ clinic at the center for more than 15 years. He joins us along with Dr. Scott Brown, chief of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and LifeBridge Health. For the past decade he has taught a class at the Peabody Institute on injury prevention for musicians.