When people think of sports medicine, images of dancers, musicians, vocalists or artists may not immediately come to mind; however, the highly repetitive nature of these activities can result in injuries, especially due to poor technique or overuse.
To meet the needs of the performing arts community, Wake Forest Baptist Health has opened a clinic dedicated to performing arts medicine – the first of its kind in the region and one of just a few in the country.
The clinic is led by David Popoli, M.D., an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at Wake Forest Baptist, board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and sports medicine, and Denise Tickle, LPT, a physical therapist who specializes in performing arts medicine.
“I believe that a multidisciplinary team with diverse backgrounds and specialized training provides the best environment for helping prevent and treat injuries in this population,” said Popoli, who is also the consulting physician for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. “Our team understands the unique demands of these patients, so we want to do all we can to help get them back to dancing, playing, singing or painting.”
Some of the common conditions that are treated include tendinitis, stress fractures, bony stress injuries, sprains, concussions, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, osteochondritis dissecans lesion (a bone condition that develops in joints) and relative energy deficiency syndrome (a disorder caused by an imbalance between calorie intake and energy expenditure).
Performing Arts Medicine includes physicians, physical therapists, hand therapists and certified athletic trainers and provides a single location for diagnosis, X-rays, therapy and equipment needs.