Writer's cramp isn't just for writers. Pianists and guitarists can suffer from this focal hand dystonia, just as De Quervain's disease affects trumpet and trombone players as well as tennis players. Add to the list violinists with cubital tunnel syndrome, flutists with posterior interosseous nerve entrapment and reed instrument musicians with thumb pain, and you've got a virtual orchestra of hand and wrist ailments that need to be addressed.
Thomas M. Due, M.D., and St. Elizabeth Healthcare's hand therapy team are doing just that. They have developed "a program to evaluate, treat and prevent upper extremity ailments of musicians of all ages and abilities," says Dr. Due. The goal is for performing artists "to start thinking of themselves as athletes," he says. As such, musicians engage in strenuous, repetitive motion that can put their bodies in awkward positions. (Just consider a tuba player in a marching band or a cellist in the symphony.) Pain hinders motion and thus performance and can be damaging if ignored.
Dr. Due is a board-certified hand and wrist surgeon, a member of the Performing Arts Medical Association and a Cincinnati Magazine "Top Doctor" for six years in a row. To learn more about Dr. Due, click HERE.