Performing Arts Medicine : Addressing Ailments Common to Musicians and Performing Artists
In 1985, increasing medical concerns among performing artists led to the establishment of a medical specialization called Performing Arts Medicine (PAM). Introduced as a branch of occupational medicine, PAM practitioners formally address not only the medical issues confronting performers playing musical instruments, dancers and singers. It encompasses the overall management of health and prevention of injuries commonly experienced by performing artists.
As most musicians, dancers and singers practice for long hours in order to perfect their craft, overuse injuries leading to painful neuropathy emerged as a common health complaint.
Yet expert neurologists like Dr. Richard J. Lederman say there is no solid evidence that implies instrumental musicians are more likely to develop neuropathy than individuals engaged in other professions outside of music. Still, Dr. Lederman claims that around 20% of musician patients have been diagnosed as suffering from neuropathy or peripheral nerve injury.
What is Painful Neuropathy?
Painful neuropathy is usually a burning sensation caused by nerve damage or injury felt by an affected part of the body such as the skin or muscles. The nerves in those areas will transmit the message of pain to the brain and spinal cord. Some neuropathic pain occurs in combination with a medical condition such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, multiple myeloma; or in connection with the medical treatment of cancer, HIV (AIDS) infection, alcoholism or amputation.
Some other painful neuropathy are stand-alone cases, which in most cases are caused by poor blood circulation.
Poor Blood Circulation as Cause of Painful Neuropathy
Pianists, drummers and players of stringed musical instruments are the most likely to experience painful neuropathy as they tend to sit for long hours during practice and actual performance. However, sitting for long hours is a work condition also common among 9-to-5 office workers in a wide range of professions. That being the case, not a few health problems typically emerge as symptoms of poor blood circulation. Blood flow slows down when certain parts of the body such as the legs and feet remain immobile for hours, stalling or slowing down blood circulation to other parts of the body.
What Happens When There is Poor Blood Circulation?
Poor blood circulation as a result of regularly sitting for prolonged periods will ultimately prevent improper distribution of oxygen and nutrients to other parts of the body.and will be manifested by nerve pains because of pinched nerves, especially if sitting with a bad posture. In such cases and depending on one’s posture, painful neuropathy is felt in the neck, legs or wrists as a result of pinched nerves.
At worst, pinched nerves can result in muscle loss because of poor nutrient distribution. Muscle deterioration in turn will result in loss of muscle function.
Remedies for Painful Neuropathy if Sitting for Long Hours is Unavoidable
Inasmuch as it is unavoidable for most instrument musicians not to sit for long hours, PAM experts recommend for them to stand and do some stretching in between practice, at least every 10 to 15 minutes.
Additionally, eating food rich in nitric oxide such as leafy greens, citrus fruits, nuts, seeds and even dark chocolate can also help boost blood flow through a process called vasodilation. The compound can induce dilation or expansion of blood vessels to allow the unrestricted flow of blood supply and at the same lower blood pressure. As in most ailments, engaging in regular exercise is also helpful in allowing nutrients to flow freely throughout the body.
Still, as there are professional musicians who find it difficult to maintain a diet rich in nitric oxide, ar remedy recommended to those seeking relief from painful neuropathy not associated with an underlying medical condition is taking food supplement rich nitric oxide; an example of which can be viewed via this webpage: rocketmannaturals.com/pages/painful-neuropathy/.