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Musician’s Injury Awareness Week

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Injury awareness, where does it start?

Yesterday I played a concert with the Nashville Reading Orchestra and I have to share some truth with you….

I was hurting.

Not the entire time, but mid-way through the concert I was physically reminded that I had not played an orchestra concert in 2 years.  Thankfully, I played a lot of piccolo, but while I’m waiting on my new flute, my current flute is HEAVY and NOT ergonomically friendly. 

2 years ago I developed shooting electrical pains down my right arm with numbness and tingling in my first two finger extending into my forearm.  

The problem was multifaceted but was caused by 

  1. cramming for a recital on alto flute (I know I know…*facepalm*)
  2. a sudden increase in my pushup regimen and
  3. an overnight trip which had me wearing a 50 lb backpack for HOURS. 
  4. previous whiplash injuries causing ligament damage and instability in my neck

This caused the nerves to be pinched in my neck, compressed the thoracic outlet and entrapped nerves in my tricep, and forearm.

The last two years has been a slow process of recovery and last night reminded me that I need to keep increasing my playing time gradually, or I’ll be right back where I started.

Why do I tell you this story?

Because there is a stigma in the musician world around talking about our playing related pain and by my talking about it I help break that stigma.

AND I have some friends in the UK who have made it their mission this week to bring just some of these stories to light.

Francesca is a dear friend of mine and a member of the NFA Performance Health Committee with me. Listening to her story today sounds so familiar – and while it’s sad this is a common story, it’s also comforting to hear and know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Athletes are not shamed for having an injury
Musicians should not be either!

More than that we deserve the same resources athletes get, but that’s another conversation for another time.

Stigma stops when we start talking, so please go give their podcast a listen and share this with a friend.

Let’s start the dialogue now.

Also, my story is Sunday! So if you haven’t heard it, it just might resonate with you. 🙂 And it’s why I started Music Strong.

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