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Soft tissue management for the performing artist

This webinar focused on how innovative technologies & techniques can contribute to the management of common soft tissue injuries for performing artists…

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Our recent webinar focused on how innovative technologies and techniques can contribute to the management of common soft tissue injuries within performing arts. We invited Andrea Lasner, a clinical specialist in performing arts and a former professional ballet dancer to speak about this unique patient population.

The main objectives of this webinar were to discuss common types of soft tissue injuries predominately within musicians and dancers, explain the rehabilitation considerations, and explore the physiological mechanisms of treating soft tissue with technologies that would enhance treatment outcomes.

Andrea explains how performing artists are at an increased risk of musculoskeletal problems due to high physical and psychological demands. They are highly skilled artist-athletes who endure repetitive, intense, and extreme training regimes and certain exposures to intrinsic and extrinsic factors can commonly cause injury.

Risk factors specific to dancers can depend on gender, age, and weight, especially in certain ballet and contemporary styles of dance. Intense conditioning regimes, rehearsals, and performances vs rest time increase stress on the body and limits recovery. Dancers are also at risk of acute traumatic injuries caused by certain choreography demands, dance surfaces, and costumes.

Instrumentalists are exposed to repetitive movement patterns. Common repetitive strain injuries can be influenced by the type of instrument played and intense fine motor skills that are required. Musicians have a high workload due to the amount of skill needed to benefit performances.

It is important to consider the psychological pressures that can occur within the performing arts industry due to certain cultures and traditions. We need to recognise the stigmas surrounding injury and encourage performers to be honest and receive treatments at the earliest stage possible.

Every individual within performing arts will require a different pathway of management but it is important to consider each stage carefully to enable the right treatment path to ensure full return to training and performance.

Andrea explains the performing arts rehabilitation pathway.


Before we manage soft tissues, we need to know soft tissues.

As any clinician it is important to understand the physiological processes of injury & tissue healing. Andrea highlights how much soft tissue structures support artistic expression and what impact this has. Each performing individual uses their body differently and the demands on soft tissue structure vary.

  • How much ligament laxity is required for extreme movements?
  • How much stability and control are needed to lift a partner?
  • How much motor control is stimulating whilst playing for a long period of time?

Andrea has been using a range of therapeutic interventions for treating performing artists for years and has focused on supplementing and enhancing techniques with tools. Using innovative technologies increases clinical outcomes at a faster rate, allows less stress on the therapist, and enables more treatment times.

Andrea speaks highly of three innovative technologies to accentuate techniques for the performing artists.


Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation (IASTM)



IASTM can provide force to a broad area or act as a focus force to small specific areas. Tools can be used as an efficient force transmission with decreased fatigue and stress on the therapist. Benefits of IASTM include:

– Muscle deactivation/activation​

– Fibroblast proliferation​

– Breaking up of fiber crosslinks​

– Improve fluid circulation​

– Pain relief​



Myofascial Decompression Therapy



LymphaTouch is a mechanical negative pressure device. It targets the mobilisation of tissues in a standardised way. The variety of applications and easy approach makes LymphaTouch a solid solution to implement into clinic. LymphaTouch targets:

– Lymphatic decongestion​

– Fluid mobility

– Reduce pain

– Soft tissue mobilisation​



Focused Shockwave Therapy



PiezoWave2 can be used as a non-invasive treatment for acute and chronic pain. PiezoWave2 is a focused shockwave that targets specifically into a point of pain and can address deeper into structures. It can be used to treat many common indications, the benefits include:

  • Pain relief​
  • Bone healing​
  • Deep fascial mobilisation​
  • Tissue regeneration

The soft tissue management of performing artists can be enhanced with three innovative technologies to accentuate techniques for best care and ultimately the return to performance. Every artist is unique, and rehabilitation is dependent on the mechanism of action to assist with artist specific movement.  Encouragement is key for performers that can be non-verbal communicators. Take care in the management process to fulfill patient satisfaction and job security in a world that is dependent on optimal physical state.

Watch the full webinar below:

  • 04:0205:01 – Intrinsic and extrinsic causes of performance related musculoskeletal disorders
  • 05:026:08 – Biopsychosocial model – considerations
  • 06:0907:35 – Common clinical problems
  • 08:3411:50 – Performing arts rehabilitation pathway
  • 17:2723:27 – Using IASTM within treatments
  • 23:2828:08 – Treating with LymphaTouch
  • 28:0933:25 – Piezowave2 treatments
  • 33:2634:24 – Backstage management


  • 37:4839:08 – How useful is it to have a range of interventions available to use?
  • 41:2243:17 – Using different technologies to benefit each other together
  • 43:2244:32 – What is the best way to tackle Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
  • 48:2249:41 – What is the difference between cupping and LymphaTouch?
  • 53:1055:38 – Techniques for increasing flexibility

If you would like to find out more information about the technologies mentioned in this webinar then get in touch at .


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