Dr. Alice Brandfonbrener needs no introduction to many orchestra musicians – she is arguably “the” pre-eminent physician in the field of music medicine. She is on the faculty of Northwestern University Medical School and is the founder of the Medical Program for Performing Artists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where she edits the journal, Medical Problems of Performing Artists.
Samantha George and I asked Dr. Alice to write an overview of some of the medical symptoms encountered by instrumental musicians, and how one goes about finding the good specialized care required by musicians. The good news is that a lot of our problems will go away by themselves, but Dr. Alice has a lot of excellent advice about self-diagnosing our problems.
She warns us about “diagnosis by stand partner” and the reliability (or lack thereof) of medical information you can find on the Internet, and discusses some alternative care approaches. In summary, she asserts that diagnosing musicians’ medical problems requires “a unique combination of medical skill and musical knowledge” and offers suggestions of where to find such care.
This is a must-read article for all instrumentalists!Read More