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The Day My Hand Stopped Playing: Treating musician's dystonia: Aurélien's story"   Published on June 1, 2022

High level musician

"The Musician, high-level Athlete"

High level musician
High level musician

From warming up to dealing with stress before a competition, Coralie Cousin, physiotherapist for musicians and specialist in musicians'health issues such as pain and tendinitis, tells you everything in her book « The Musician a high-level Athlete ». Aimed at musicians experiencing pain due to extensive practice of their instrument, this book contains thorough advice with illustrations so that readers feel confident about putting the suggestions into practice.

Coralie Cousin

Coralie Cousin

A graduate in physiotherapy, Coralie Cousin has been a specialist in the retraining of musicians' hands for twenty years.
She has opened her own « Musicians Clinic » in the 13th district of Paris in France. She has treated over 6 000 musicians and is the official therapist for musicans at the renowned École Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot as well as for the National Orchestra d'Ile-de-France.
Through numerous articles, conferences and interviews on radio and television, she offers help to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. Thanks to her work, musicians find back the joy of playing without suffering

Online videos

Videoconference - MIL Lisbon - Is the European music industry in good shape?

Videoconsultations Presentation

Hello everyone I am Coralie Cousin, for 25 years I have been a physiotherapist for musicians.
Thanks to my professional experience in conservatories, music schools and orchestras, I have met more than 6000 instrumentalists from all styles of music: from classical, to jazz, to contemporary music.
I believe that the primary source of injury for the body is stress. But if the pain is too great, it is essential to consult your doctor.
At the start of this confinement when musicians asked me for online video consultations, I could no longer refuse. I admit I was pretty sceptical as to how effectively I could work without direct contact, without being able to use my hands. But, to my surprise, the day I offered these online consultations on my site, musicians from all over the world contacted me immediately.

I also got in touch with therapists who were looking for advice for their musicians.

It was also a real discovery for the musicians I worked with. Being able to play on your own instrument in front of a specialised physiotherapist enables you to receive even more precise advice.

In my video consultations, I offer you a physiotherapy assessment with your instrument and a follow-up.
Together, we will find a therapeutic strategy that takes into account your physical characteristics and your age.
Your physical characteristics: the therapeutic strategy will differ where you are highly strung, hyper toned or hyper loose and very flexible.
Your age: your needs will differ if you are a young prodigy, a student of a conservatory who competes in international competitions, a high-level concert artist, an amateur who spent all day in front of a screen.

- Learn to properly warm up with and without an instrument. Playing intensely, quickly and while cold is one of the major causes of musicians’tendonitis.
- Choose specific stretches taking into account the constraints of your instrument.
- Use your breath to fight against stress, soften your rib cage to better inspire and strengthen the good abdominal muscles in order to exhale with more power.
- Learn the self-massages of the upper body muscles by targeting the shoulders, forearms and hands. Get rid of muscle fatigue!
- Plan your return to your instrument after an operation or tendonitis. It is dangerous for the body to stop for 3 months and resume suddenly.
- Never forget to take regular breaks.

There is a huge amount of information on this topic on the internet, but how can you sort through this when you face the demands of four or even six hours practice a day? The most important thing is to feel good and to feel comfortable playing.
Thanks to the advice you will receive, you will feel a greater degree of relaxation with your instrument which will improve the dexterity of your hands and enhance your performance.
I have noticed that these video consultations reassure you because they give you an outside opinion on your posture, without interfering with the technique you have spent years building!
You will progress instead of worrying.
Feedback has been that you are very satisfied with the practical nature of the exercises. They give you a simple and effective guideline to follow.

Continue to play with pleasure and escape beyond the four walls of your accommodation.
Never forget that spectators expect nothing other than to share the emotion of music with you.


Thierry Bloas-Saintmarc, Student pianist in Sixth Performance at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris

I have known Coralie Cousin for five years through consultations at the Ecole Normale and the results have been remarkable.
With empathy and great professionalism, Ms. Cousin identifies the problems and how to solve them: the results are immediate; and the physical tensions and bad postures disappear, creating the best conditions to focus only on the works and the music. We recently reviewed a few exercises, and the videoconferencing system did not affect the quality of the consultation: the smallest detail is not lost on Ms. Cousin!
The work accomplished by Ms. Cousin was essential to me: I highly recommend any musician who is undecided to make an appointment without hesitation - and would like to see physiotherapy for musicians becoming widespread in institutions (conservatories, orchestras, etc. ) so that others may benefit as I have.

Clara, Student pianist at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris

As a student at the music school of Paris, the videoconference follow-up offered by Coralie Cousin helped me to establish a routine of muscle warm-up and mental preparation essential to the quality of my work. The implementation of specific exercises adapted to my instrument and my body – I had to incorporate different postures to those of my dance practice – has been very beneficial to my piano playing.

Laurent Baron, Drums teacher

Personally, I am very satisfied with the video consultations I have had.
I had a significant problem with one hand, I was able, thanks to the video consultations, to continue my physiotherapy during the COVID-19 confinement and to make significant progress.
Besides the confinement, saving time and energy on travel is important for me, thus being able to have consultations at home, and record them on video if needed, is a real plus.
Finally, the possibility of being able to show Coralie the gestures performed on the entire battery and thus to have very precise real-time advice in terms of the adjustment of gestures and postures, as well as exercises suit to the complete instrument, is particularly valuable and would impossible without video consultation.
In a word: conquered!

french musician based in Japan

The opening of consultations via Skype is finally a chance for those who live abroad! It's been three years that a recurrent wrist pain has prevented me from playing the guitar. Living in Japan, and not speaking the language at a sufficient level, I had resigned myself to possibly waiting several years before returning to France and begin any treatment.
Remote consultations have literally changed the game. I was impressed with Coralie's ability to trace the causes of pain from her observations. So many questions can be answered without physical manipulation!
I highly recommend to those who, like me, cannot find a music specialist in their immediate area, and to consult remotely. Beyond her professionalism, working with Coralie is both a pleasure on a human and an interpersonal level.