Over the past 20 years there has been increasing interest in the health problems related to the performing arts. It has been recognized that performing artists have at times been underserved and that their unique needs have often not been met in the past. The Medical Center for Performing Artists at The Cleveland Clinic was established in 1985 to help meet these needs.
This is a multidisciplinary effort, with dancers primarily seen in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, vocalists and other professional voice users seen in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Disorders, and most instrumental musicians seen in the Department of Neurology. A variety of neurological conditions and problems related to, or impacting on, the instrumentalist's ability to play are evaluated in the Center, including pain syndromes, nerve entrapments, and focal dystonias.
As would be true for any health problem, the patient undergoes a detailed history and examination geared toward the particular symptoms reported. The musician is asked to bring his/her instrument (a piano is available on site) and an integral part of the evaluation is observation of the instrumentalist while playing. The entire range of consultations, diagnostic tests, and therapeutic modalities is available at our disposal to provide a comprehensive assessment and treatment program designed to return the instrumentalist to full playing activity, if at all possible.
Over 1500 instrumental musicians have been evaluated and treated for neurological conditions in the Department of Neurology's Medical Center for Performing Artists since its inception.
Medical Center for Performing Artists Staff