Fort Worth, Texas (UNT) - The American Osteopathic Association held its annual Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition (better known as OMED2015) from October 17-21, 2015. Texas Center for Performing Arts Health (TCPAH) Co-Director Sajid Surve, DO was the Program Chair for the American Academy of Osteopathy program at OMED, creating an exciting three-day curriculum entitled, “Osteopathic Contributions to Performing Arts Medicine.” Experts from around the country were gathered to share their expertise in the form of lectures and workshops, including TCPAH Co-Director Dr. Kris Chesky and TCPAH professor Dr. Stephen Austin.
After a presentation on the injuries of instrumentalists, Drs. Austin and Surve teamed up to present both musician and physician perspectives on vocal health. Beginning with an overview of the biomechanics of vocal production and laryngeal anatomy, Dr. Austin illustrated the issues frequently experienced by singers. He highlighted both organic and functional disorders, providing visual and auditory examples for the session attendees. Following up on Dr. Austin’s exploration of the singer’s need for treatment, Dr. Surve then provided a lecture and hands-on demonstration of osteopathic manipulative treatment specifically suited for vocalists. Attendees were then able to “try-out” the new techniques on each other, with guidance from Dr. Surve for proper placement, pressure, etc. Many attendees commented on how they had never before considered the muscles involved in singing, and how enlightening the combined presentations were in regards to treating this population of the workforce.
The next day, Dr. Kris Chesky presented a research update in performing arts medicine, providing attendees the historical background on performing arts research, and also making the case for all the work that is yet to be done. Dr. Chesky took the opportunity to highlight his research data on the tendentious topic of musician health earplugs and, more broadly, musician hearing health overall. The issue of how to protect musician’s hearing is so timely, given Dr. Chesky’s and Dr. Amlani’s recent research and the ongoing efforts to educate teachers, students, and professional performing artists about the dangers associated with the profession. Attendee feedback listed this presentation as one of the most beneficial sessions of the program.
On the final day Dr. Surve assisted his mentor, Dr. Rebecca Fishman in New York, to present a lecture and workshop on the osteopathic medical care of dancers. Attendees learned about the different styles of dance, the injuries and risks that are associated with them, and the best management for those injuries. A workshop on osteopathic manipulative treatment for dancer injures again allowed participants to hone their skills for this specific population.
The Texas Center for Performing Arts Health is committed to collaborating with professionals to study, treat, and prevent the various occupational health problems associated with learning and performing music and other performing arts. Through OMED, the TCPAH was able to showcase our national leadership and expertise in these areas to the medical community, and provide them with the information they need to better serve the performing arts population in their practices.