Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Computerized Infrared Imaging as an Objective Tool in Evaluating a Clarinetist with Performance-enhanced Pain: A Case Report

Izumi N. Cabrera, Alex Moroz, Yeou-Cheng Ma, Mathew H. M. Lee
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 16 Number 4: Page 161 (December 2001)

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Abstract: Performance-induced pain in musicians can be a debilitating and career-threatening problem. However, solutions such as early intervention and prevention have been shown to be efficacious. In addition to clinical examinations, an objective measurement of pain while playing would be a valuable assessment tool in monitoring a performer's pain complaint, as subjective observations are often difficult to obtain and interpret. Computerized infrared imaging (CII) is an objective and noninvasive test that records cutaneous temperature. A close interrelationship between pain fibers and cutaneous temperature exists. To examine the use of CII in evaluating musicians with performance-induced pain, the authors report a case study of a professional clarinetist seen with complaints of right-sided performance-induced pain. Infrared images obtained before, during, and after playing indicated changes in asymmetry that correlated with his pain complaints. This case report introduces CII as an effective objective assessment tool for evaluating musicians with performance-induced pain.

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