Backstage Injuries

At Performance Medicine, we understand that the backstage crew is what keeps the show going on. Night after night doing repetitive and heavy tasks can take a toll on your body, from holding the spot in one direction to lifting heavy equipment to fixing wardrobe malfunction can lead to some chronic disorders. At Performance Medicine, we say that “exercise is medicine” and so doing strength and functional exercises is also a way to keep you fit for your job. You don’t need to be injured to see us. Your physiotherapist can help you with a strength program to keep you on the Floor. Your massage therapist and myotherapist can treat any build-up of tension so that you don’t become injured.
Some common backstage injuries are;

  • Wigs, make up and wardrobe
  • Crew & mechanists
  • Lighting technicians
  • Wigs, make up and wardrobe

Neck and Shoulder

Lifting costumes on hangers, carrying laundry baskets, attaching that awkward headpieces and blow drying and pinning wigs on every night gets tiring and can lead to some neck and shoulder fatigue. Using your neck and shoulders in a position for a long period of time can mean that these muscle may have less blood flow and oxygen and this can present itself with a tight and sore sensation. This tension can build up over the course of a working week but by doing regular postural exercises and seeing a massage or myotherapists can decrease this tension. The massage therapists at Performance Medicine are experts in the behind the scenes work and can keep you doing hair, make up and kitting out those performers

Finger pain – Wardrobe

For the wardrobe team, fiddling with zips, clasps and heavy costumes can cause tired fingers joints and hands. You may experience stiffness and pain in these joints and in your forearms that builds up over the course of a week. You may not feel injured, however, an ongoing niggle in your hands and fingers can progress if you haven’t had it assessed. So, if you are not “injured” what can you do? We recommend seeing a myotherapist or remedial massage therapist to give those arms, wrists and finger some much needed attention. By attending to the muscles and joints you are improving fluid flow and health of your tissues, and, decreasing your pain at work.

Lighting

Holding a follow spot, sitting in the lighting dome or at the lighting desk for a prolonged period of time, can increase the tension in your back and arms. It is not uncommon for those of you in the lighting department to experience both upper and lower back pain and stiffness. Over the course of a week, you may feel this tension increasing. Regular back mobility exercises can assist to improve your mobility and decrease tension and so can sessions of massage or myotherapy is a great way. Your myotherapist may may use cupping or dry needling to release tension in your body. Functional conditioning exercise programs are recommended to keep you strong and mobile so you can manage the often very static nature of lighting work.

Crew & Mechanists on the Floor

We understand that the crew and mechanists on the floor literally keep the show going. Moving set pieces, lifting props and ensuring all the performers are safe is a big job. We know that some crew members can experience back pain that may initially start as a niggle. Don’t ignore your niggle. As a crew person, you are also an elite performer and having regular release work of your muscles can decrease the build up of muscle tension. At Performance Medicine we say that “exercise is medicine” and so doing strength and functional exercises is also a way to keep you fit for your job. You don’t need to be injured to see us. Your physiotherapist can help you with a strength program to keep you on the Floor. Your massage therapist and myotherapist can treat any build up of tension so that you don’t become injured.

Practitioners

Stacey Kipouridis APAM

Physiotherapist

Sophie Christmas APAM

Physiotherapist

Maddie Hicks APAM

Physiotherapist

Haydee Ferguson APAM

Physiotherapist

Catherine Etty-Leal APAM

Titled Physiotherapist

Andrew Pilcher APAM

Senior Physiotherapist

Annie Strauch APAM

Titled Physiotherapist

Andy Haycroft

Remedial Massage Therapist

Courtney Stace

Senior Myotherapist