Do musicians get injured? Most people associate musculoskeletal injuries with athletes and sports participation. Musicians seem less likely to sustain such injuries. Other than upper limb overuse injuries and nodules on vocal cords, what other injuries could musicians sustain?
Concerts and after parties provide the perfect unpredictable environment to sustain sporting type injuries. Take for example the band Guns and Roses, who started off their 2012 European tour in Moscow. After their second night, front man Axl Rose sustained a hamstring injury after falling off a table while dancing at a popular lounge club. He later tweeted “Can U say HemaToma?!” and posted a picture of his injury (see picture below).
If Axl or his supporting staff had a copy of the new edition of the Sports Medicine Textbook they could refer to the updated Chapter 4 titled ‘Sporting injuries: acute” which describes what a haematoma is and the preferred course of management. The development of myositis ossificans should be suspected if the bruising does not resolve in a normal timeframe and this is something that every sports clinician should be closely monitoring.
Steven Tyler, the lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith, fell off stage while performing in South Dakota in 2009. He was admitted to hospital with no major injuries but was later admitted to rehab for abuse of painkillers. In 2010 Tyler fell off stage again while performing in Toronto, Canada. Luckily this time Tyler landed on his feet and was helped back on stage by devoted fans and the show went on. Chapter 13, titled ‘Treatments used for musculoskeletal conditions’ includes an updated section on therapeutic drugs and their use. This is a must-read for clinicians working with athletes (or musicians).
Other than falling off stages and tumbling off tables, the dangers of malfunctioning stage equipment is ever present. Take for example pop singer Pink’s lucky escape in 2010 while performing in Nurnberg, Germany. After not being properly fastened to her harness, Pink was sent flying forwards into a barricade rather than up into the air over the audience. The singer was rushed to hospital and luckily suffered no major injuries, just a lot of bruising.
Then there was the recent incident of Lady Gaga sustaining an injury when a backup dancer accidently hit her in the head with a prop during a New Zealand performance. Gaga told the crowd she may have concussion but would continue her performance. She remained and performed another 16 songs. Later she tweeted “Emerging from hours of sleep… Still remiss if I should go outside, with this clonker I may be of questionable styling…. Thank you so much for all the thoughtful messages. I feel a bit woozy but a little better everyday….’ Acknowledging the signs and symptoms of concussion and the possible complications should have be the priority in this instance. You can read more about concussion in our April blog titled ‘Concussion: More than just a headache?’