Credentials Display

Kathryn Halsted, OTD, MS, OTR/L, CPAM; Kristin Biggins OTD, OTR/L, CHT, CLT, PYT; Kimberly Davis OTD, MS, OTR/L


Musicians are a distinct population with a high rate of developing musculoskeletal and neurological disorders affecting their ability to participate in music-based occupations. These injuries negatively affect the musician’s health and well-being in physical, financial, psychosocial, and emotional dimensions. Given music’s complex and integrated role in the musicians’ life, treatment must be multi-dimensional, considering aspects of the person, the type of instrument, environment, context, and social obligations. Occupational therapy providers are uniquely qualified to treat musicians because of their focuse on holistic, occupation-based, and client-centered care. This manuscript describes the role of occupational therapy in this client population based on the best available evidence. It discusses the literature regarding the upper-extremity health challenges in musicians and the associated physical and psychosocial risk factors. Furthermore, the manuscript elucidates the foundational elements of occupational therapy in relation to musician-clients supporting this profession’s profound role in musician health care. In addition, the manuscript employs the Person-Environment-Occupation-Performance model and the Occupational Adaptation frame of reference to promote an occupation-based and client-centered approach to musician-client care. With this information, occupational therapy providers will recognize the importance of client-centered and evidence-based care in this population and their role in caring for musicians with hand and upper extremity disorders.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.