A loss of function from an upper extremity injury can be devastating. In an instant, your life has changed and we understand the challenges ahead. As certified hand therapists we utilize a patient-centered and evidence-based treatment approach to guide you to a return to a lifestyle important to you.
A certified hand therapist (CHT) is a therapist who has passed a comprehensive exam that demonstrates advanced knowledge and skills in upper extremity rehabilitation. Many of our clinics have CHT’s on-site. Our therapists can evaluate and treat both surgical and non-surgical upper extremity diagnoses and conditions. As your treatment progresses, your therapist will also work directly with your referring physician and other medical professionals to optimize your recovery.
Musicians are like sports athletes who train for hours to hone their craft and aspire to reach their highest level of performance. Inadequate rest or pacing, or excessive force on the instrument can trigger tension/stress on muscles and joints, therefore creating inefficient body mechanics. This may produce pain of the upper extremity and worsen play technique, affect endurance levels, and potentially, sound quality. The goal of Hand Therapy is to help the musician return to play without restrictions while maintaining healthy techniques to ensure injury prevention.
Common upper extremity conditions that musicians face are tendonitis and nerve entrapment syndromes. These are due to the overuse of the muscles that are required to play the instrument, and thus can develop into repetitive stress injuries (RSI) of the upper extremity.
During an evaluation, body mechanics will be assessed and posture during play, muscle tension/stress of the upper body, arm/hand placement on the instrument, and further examine practice habits. A personalized treatment plan will then be developed to address the musician’s areas of need including how to maintain healthy habits during play to prevent future injuries. Some treatment plans may include:
Clinical Specialist in Occupational Therapy
Education: Utica College of Syracuse University, Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy
Special Training/Certification: Certified Hand Therapist, Certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner specializing in the Upper Extremity
Clinical Interests: Traumatic Hand injuries, Pain Neuroscience, Rehabilitation of Musician Related Injuries
Fluent in Spanish
Kamir Pabon Smith OTR/L, CHT is an Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist who specializes in treating musicians-related injuries. She is an active member of the Performance Arts Medicine Association and has 20+ years of experience working with orthopedic and neurological upper extremity conditions. The goal of therapy is to eliminate pain and avoid the recurrence of symptoms.
Education: D’Youville College, Buffalo, NY, Bachelor of Science; Master of Science
Special Training: Certified Hand Therapist since 2005
Clinical Interests: Custom splint fabrication, Hand and Upper Extremity Trauma, Orthopedic UE Conditions