BROTHER IN ARMS – AN UP­DATE

Guitar Techniques - - Contents -

What a pleas­ant sur­prise to find my query to you re­gard­ing post-in­jury mu­sic phys­io­ther­apy guid­ance printed in GT238. Thank you for this and your writ­ten re­sponse. Yes, maybe some gui­tar play­ing medics/ phys­io­ther­a­pists will re­spond to GT on this; any ap­pro­pri­ate feed­back would be ap­pre­ci­ated.

Since my email to you I’ve con­tin­ued to re­cover very well. It’s nearly three months since the ac­ci­dent; I’ve been dis­charged from the Orthopaedic Depart­ment at Black­burn Royal hos­pi­tal into the care of my lo­cal hos­pi­tal Phys­io­ther­apy Depart­ment. All the ex­er­cises pre­scribed by my phys­io­ther­a­pist, Ma­ree, at Clitheroe Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal, seem to be do­ing the trick for all my main ar­eas of in­jury. Her main con­cerns at this stage are very much to do with all the ma­jor mus­cle mo­tor ar­eas af­fected by the var­i­ous trauma I suf­fered.

So we are con­cen­trat­ing on hands, arm, shoul­der and core-mus­cles. A lot of it is, when you think about it, common sense but her spe­cific knowl­edge, skill and train­ing clearly en­able her to as­sess prob­lem ar­eas and sug­gest ap­pro­pri­ate ex­er­cises to more specif­i­cally tone and de­velop the high­lighted mus­cles. The whole ex­pe­ri­ence and process is re­ally quite in­ter­est­ing and up­lift­ing; and my pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment very en­cour­ag­ing per­son­ally. Of course I’m now well on in my more per­son­ally-driven fine mo­tor skills de­vel­op­ment with guitars and key­boards - not sur­pris­ingly I don’t yet have the stamina or the mus­cle tone to play for even mod­er­ate pe­ri­ods of time, but this will come with time and ap­pli­ca­tion; and so too with fret/key fin­ger dex­ter­ity. A ‘lit­tle and of­ten’ goes a long way and ‘rest be­fore the pain’ work very well for me.

Shortly after I wrote to you, I found a web­site on mu­si­cians’ health which had quite a few use­ful links to ar­ti­cles and or­gan­i­sa­tions spe­cial­is­ing in mu­si­cians’ in­jury. One link was to the Bri­tish As­so­ci­a­tion of Per­form­ing Arts (BAPA) whom I con­tacted and were quite help­ful. In par­tic­u­lar pro­vid­ing a list of BAPA Regis­tered phys­io­ther­a­pists. Clearly if, fur­ther on down the line, I have any fine mo­tor skill dif­fi­cul­ties in play­ing, I might pur­sue this line for more spe­cific in­stru­ment play­ing ad­vice and guid­ance from spe­cial­ist phys­io­ther­a­pists for mu­si­cians. Clearly th­ese peo­ple ex­ist and are not too far away... but not nec­es­sar­ily within the NHS. No com­plaints - the treat­ment and ex­pe­ri­ences over the last few months have been great and much ap­pre­ci­ated by me. My well pro­gress­ing and sur­pris­ingly quick re­cov­ery is as much a trib­ute to the skilled and pro­fes­sional peo­ple who have at­tended to me, as to my per­sonal ap­pli­ca­tion and ef­forts to get bet­ter through graded ex­er­cise and rest. Long live the NHS. Peter Mod­ern Again, it’s re­ally en­cour­ag­ing to hear how well you are get­ting on, Peter. And I’m sure that web­site will be of help to any other read­ers suf­fer­ing trauma to their hands, whether through in­jury, the above Dupuytren’s Con­trac­ture, arthri­tis or any other dis­abil­i­ties that in­hibit play­ing an in­stru­ment. What both your let­ters do so well is to state that, if one con­tin­ues with the ex­er­cises (with help from pro­fes­sion­als), it is pos­si­ble to re­gain some, if not all of one’s fa­cil­i­ties on the gui­tar.

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