USC Musician’s Neurology Clinic

Our mission is to help musicians with neurological conditions preserve and restore their ability to play music.

USC Musician’s Neurology Clinic

Our mission is to help musicians with neurological conditions preserve and restore their ability to play music.

Expert Care for Neurological Disorders in Musicians

Many disorders can disrupt a musician’s day-to-day mobility and their ability to play music. Our USC Musician’s Neurology Clinic specializes in the diagnoses and treatment of neurological disorders that affect professional, student and amateur musicians. We bring together a multidisciplinary team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, physical therapists and occupational therapists to manage all aspects of your care journey.

Our doctors use advanced diagnostic tools and comprehensive evaluations to understand your neurological condition. We are highly experienced in the treatment of neurological disorders that affect musicians of all ages, with a focus on musician’s dystonia, nerve injuries, nerve entrapment and pain management.

Whether you’re experiencing an unexplained decline in your technical skills, loss of control of tone or pitch, poor endurance or even specific symptoms such as uncontrolled movements, muscle spasms or pain, our goal is to establish a diagnosis and design a personalized treatment plan that helps you get back to playing music.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is dystonia?

Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that can cause symptoms such as muscle spasms, involuntary muscle contractions and pain. There are different types of dystonia, including forms that only affect one part of the body (focal dystonia), some that impact unrelated parts of the body (multifocal dystonia), as well as forms that occur throughout the body (generalized dystonia).

Dystonia symptoms and progression can vary from person to person but may include muscle spasms, tremors, other movement issues and pain. Dystonia can affect people of all ages and may occur on its own or develop due to another condition.

What is musician’s dystonia?

Musician’s dystonia is a type of focal dystonia, which means it generally impacts one region of the body. Musician’s dystonia is a task-specific dystonia, meaning that the symptoms occur only during specific tasks and can disrupt a musician’s ability to play an instrument or use their voice.

Musician’s dystonia can cause issues in the muscles of the hands for people who play string or keyboard instruments, issues in the mouth and lips for people who play wind instruments and voice issues for singers.

What are the treatment options for dystonia in musicians?

Our team at the USC Musician’s Neurology Clinic will carefully diagnose your condition and create a treatment plan personalized to your unique symptoms. Your treatment plan may include physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Some patients may benefit from botulinum toxin (the generic name for Botox) injections, which can help prevent and reduce muscle spasms and contractions.

Our providers will work closely with you to discuss additional treatment options, such as medication and surgery. Currently, there are no medications to cure dystonia, although specific medications may reduce the severity of symptoms.

What types of providers will manage my care at the USC Musician’s Neurology Clinic?

Your care team includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, physical therapists and occupational therapists, who are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating neurological disorders that affect musicians.

We also work in close collaboration with and can refer you to orthopedic specialists at the USC Performing Arts Medicine Center, as well as ear, nose and throat experts at the USC Sound Professional and Vocal Performer Center.

Where is the USC Musician’s Neurology Clinic located?

The USC Musician’s Neurology Clinic is located at Keck Medicine of USC’s Health Sciences Campus in Los Angeles. We are open the fourth Wednesday of every month, from noon to 5 p.m.

Our Address

USC Healthcare Center 2
Neurosurgery Clinic
1520 San Pablo St., Suite 3800
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Why Choose Us for Musician’s Dystonia Treatment

Our team is experienced in treating musician’s dystonia, a type of neurological disorder that can cause muscle spasms and other involuntary movement issues.

We work with other specialties as an integrated performance medicine program, including orthopedic surgery and ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors who treat vocalists, recording professionals, dancers and other performers.

We offer a full range of treatment options for neurological conditions that affect musicians, including EMG-targeted intramuscular botulinum toxin injections.

Our clinic is an affiliate site for the Dystonia Coalition, an organization dedicated to advancing research, improving treatment therapies and finding a cure for dystonia.

We spearhead collaboration with other musician’s neurology clinics in the United States, Germany and Australia, bringing together an international community of researchers developing clinical trials to treat neurological disorders in musicians.

Our team partners with and supports national and international musician’s dystonia advocacy groups, such as the Leon Fleisher Foundation for Musicians with Dystonia and the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.

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