BROTHER IN ARMS – AN UPDATE
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.