Workplace Wellness
for Musicians

Assess, understand, and care for musicianship

We provide a unique and affordable online method of accurately assessing playing related injuries.

The creator of this unique online process has been treating musicians problems for over 40 years.

Career threatening conditions can result directly from playing and indirectly from other reasons including hypertonicity, over-use and RSI, trauma, inappropriate technique, bad posture, and occasionally, disease processes.


Muscles, especially the deep muscles often become 'muscle-bound'.

In this ultra-tense state the muscles will ache and tire very rapidly. They are being starved of Oxygen. The nervous system has two ways of dealing with tense muscles. If the muscle being irritated for whatever reason is a superficial muscle i.e. one which is in the outer layer of muscles, then weakening and loss of bulk will often occur. However, if the muscles in question are the deep, supportive and postural muscles, they will tighten and shorten in response to irritation.

The deep muscles usually become tight when their associated joints have been used repetitively and, or have an injured joint or joint displacement along the muscle's length. Every muscle in the body is in contact with at least one joint along its length. In the case of the hand and forearm many of the muscles must traverse multiple joints.

The main causative factors in musicians injuries are:

Intense practice
Long hours of practice without adequate breaks leads to exhausted muscles which then tighten and lose their ability to play even for short periods without pain. The muscles lose reflex speed, this in turn results in poor performances.
Intense rehearsals
Intense rehearsals will often trigger symptoms. Muscles get tired, stiff and painful. underlying injuries become aggravated. There are various' killer' composers out there. Long operas, Rachmaninov with wide stretches for octaves on the piano, Takemitsu with his chromatic and complex syncopatory patterns. Taverner with his long sustenatos for the violin. Session musicians having to repeat the same passage many times over.
Difficult repertoire
When a musician attempts to play a new piece of music they have to push beyond previous limits. Composers have their own ways of playing their particular instrument and, thus their compositions can require playing techniques which are alien to the student.
Poor quality instruments
Poor instrument quality and set-up will create difficulties. When we are learning an instrument we will soon get to the limits of a poor instrument. The student will often blame themselves rather than realise that their instrument is holding them back. Strain of muscles and joints can ensue whilst perfecting the performance.
Long, late night journeys
Exhaustion, illnesses, muscle fatigue are to be avoided so planning trips is essential to ensure comfort and rest.
Poor furnishings at home
Slumping into deep sofas is very detrimental to the spine. especially if the musician can play their instrument whilst seated e.g. guitar.
Cold weather
Muscles and joints do not like the cold. They tighten and stiffen and become more prone to strain and fatigue.
Falls and sprains
Such injuries can take a long time to repair themselves. Remnants of childhood sprains and fractures can persist into adulthood. They are very influential and constitute 'weak' areas.
We are almost all water, muscles especially. If we go without H20 for around 4 days we die! We are like a plant which needs watering daily or it droops. Our brain is the most needy of hydration, without it we become slow and dumb, energyless and dissolute.
Wrong exercises
Phyios' and trainers can often give damaging exercises. Their knowledge is only partial, their therapy too standardised. They interpret 'weakness' with proneness to injury and 'strength with' immunity from injury. Thus they go about strengthening 'weak 'areas and make the already tense muscles causing the symptom even tenser. The answer is to determine the tone of the muscles involved using experienced palpation, then softening and lengthening them.
Poor playing technique
When we first begin playing an instrument it is usually at a young age, anywhere from 3 years old to 18, peaking at around 8 years and 14 years of age. When we first start we are tense and confused. As we become more accustomed we free-up and relax our grip more. However some of those childhood tension patterns can persist as either habit and/or muscle tension patterns in the hands and forearms. Those persistent patterns will limit our performance abilities later on.
Poor eyesight and dyslexia
You need good eyesight and lighting to read music. In cases of dyslexia notes can become jumbled thus proving difficult to read and even more difficult to play and learn. Try larger print. A pink or light blue background will also help.
Most musicians are highly intelligent. Many programmers are musicians also. Such intellect can give birth to its own problems such as depression, alienation, sociopathies, drink and worse, it is wise to view ones' own intellect with caution. The apparent need for mental and sensory stimuli must often be reined in or the so afflicted can damage themselves irrevocably.
Heavy equipment
Lifting and carrying heavy equipment causes tendon and ligament strain. Guitar amplifiers are a good example of what to avoid carrying. Drum sets too. Get help from some nearby Hercules if possible. Don't be macho.


We provide you with a method and tool designed and created exclusively for Workplace Wellness by Paul Manley that gives every musician the opportunity to describe in detail their problem areas and to give anonymous health feedback to his or her institution.
It also allows each individual to understand how they are affected by their health and their relationships with colleagues.

Imagine you could get 'snapshots' of an musicians’ physical condition and work relationships and to be able to know whether your students are suffering from symptoms likely to hamper their productivity and cause distress.
We offer this unique service to enable you to help you in an informed manner.

We visually 'map' the pain syndromes of individuals and indicate their severity. We map the hand, forearms, elbows, shoulders, neck, upper spine, ribcage, lower spine and lower limbs. Areas of numbness and pins and needles can also be mapped. The reports also contain specific observations by your students with regard to tutorial style, pressure and the quality of personal interactions with colleagues and management.

How does it work?

The questions which make up this case history are based on years of clinical observation and treating musicians and their various syndromes.

The case history covers most occupations and hobbies, past traumas, medical problems, ergonomics, work related stress and a lot of other factors which may be involved.

It also covers colleague relationship stress.

On average the case history takes less than 15 minutes to complete. A report including informative and diagnostic observations is then generated and presented online.

The final report can be shared by the student with their tutor or anyone else e.g. their department head, GP or Specialist.

From the moment that you sign up you will get access to an Admin Dashboard with Metrics and Drilldown to monitor and quantify specific symptom patterns. You can even access any individual performers' report (anonymised, of course).

Your Admin page gives you access to a host of statistics:
Number of people taken part
Access to their individual reports
Number of severities of the following areas:
Forearm, Hand, Legs, Spine, Ribcage, Arm, Shoulder, Headaches, Neurological, Stress, Treatment outcomes

You can drilldown to each part of the anatomy and see the numbers of people suffering pain for example in their left quadriceps or right sided migraines

By improving your students health and professional relationships, you will increase productivity, reduce exam deferrals, failures and absenteeism thereby reinforcing the structure and reputation of your institution.

Did you know that common conditions such as Repetitive Strain Injury can be spotted early on and preventative measures can be taken.
The case history can show up a wide range of conditions ranging from tendinitis, neurological problems to migraine patterns.

"Workplace Wellness provides a very comprehensive and valuable resource"

Trevor Neal, Chairman of the RSI Association UK

"If one student has a problem, the issues relating to that individual may well also apply to other students"

When you sign up for an account you will get a Dashboard with statistics and a Drilldown to measure specific problem areas in great detail.
See the 'example' Drilldown in action.


£ 250mo.
For colleges with up to
100 students.


£ 850mo.
For colleges with up to
1000 students