Safe Return to Performance
Physical Health and Injury Prevention
BAPAM’s purpose is to improve health in the performing arts and support enhanced performance excellence through wellbeing and good practice.
As the largest provider of career-specific healthcare to performers in the UK, we are uniquely positioned to bring together expert clinicians, educators, researchers, artists and creators to deliver innovative training to empower the arts community to improve and maintain health throughout our creative work and learning spaces.
This introductory 2-hour session is designed for performing arts professionals and students and outlines risk factors and key strategies to maintain good physical health throughout a sustainable career.
The session focuses on evidence-based practical skills and draws from research findings, performance experience, and proven clinical pathways.
Participants will learn how to avoid injury, identify the signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal problems, what to do to promote good health, and where to go for help.
Tutor: Sarah Upjohn – MA MCSP – Specialist Physiotherapist at BAPAM and the Purcell School for Young Musicians
Sarah qualified as a physiotherapist from the Bristol School of Physiotherapy in 1983 and has gained extensive clinical and educational experience. She has worked with musicians, actors, dancers and other arts professionals at BAPAM, the Purcell School and in her own practice since 2008. In 2019 she completed an education doctorate at Cambridge University where her thesis was about increasing awareness of risk factors for playing-related injuries in elite young musicians. She is a keen double bass player and singer.
In 2008 she began working part time at The Purcell School for Young Musicians, treating playing related injuries. In 2011 she joined the first cohort of Doctorate of Education students at the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research involves developing an injury prevention, health promotion and performance wellness programme within the school.
She has been a BAPAM physiotherapy practitioner since 2008, and has extensive experience, and a particular interest in, treating instrumental musicians.
Research looking at health issues within the performing arts workforce consistently finds that 70-75% of our population report both mental and physical health problems, which is much higher than the national average. We are lucky to be working with a number of health and wellbeing experts who can offer training to performers across the UK, with the aim of reducing the levels of poor health and supporting performers to have a sustainable career. Working with our partners in Equity, Musicians’ Union, Help Musicians UK and Performing Arts Education Providers – who are very kindly giving us free use of training venues – we are expanding our national training programme supporting healthy performance in the UK.