performing arts medicine.
What I've learned from all I had to go through is that non-specialized doctors, particularly sports doctors, have no understanding of musicians and of what kind of physical stress practicing causes, and how to solve any of it. The only consistent advice I got from everyone was to drink water, and some doctors suggested I play less loud or I play less notes!
I tried pain killers, on-skin patches, chiropractic, not playing piano for months at a time, not using my hand for months at a time, Chinese medicines, application gels, acupuncture, apple cider tablets, Alexander technique, and even a cortisone shot (an interesting experience where the doctor ended up pocking himself with the needle he had just taken out of my arm!).
The recurring theme in the music world was that if I had an injury it was because I was doing something wrong when playing. Some teachers told me that I was playing too tense, but I learned recently that I have the opposite problem. I am hyper-flexible, so I need to "hold" my wrists when playing, because the range of motion is so big that is what actually creates inflammations.
A high percentage of musicians suffer from recurring pains in their wrists, arms, shoulders, backs, and vocal cords for the singers. The most at risk are violinists, harpists, drummers, cellists and pianists.
If a physical injury was caused by people not playing their instrument the "right" way, does it mean that violinists, harpists, drummers and pianists are less good musicians than people playing other instruments?
I don't think so.
I suffered a lot from the stigma that was put on my injury, and the association people made that I wasn't playing "right." I sure hope that as the field of performing arts medicine grows, more and more musicians will understand that as some professional athletes suffer injuries from over doing it, so do some musicians.