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Wake Forest Baptist Health opens Performing Arts Medicine Clinic

The program is the first of its kind in the Triad and just one of a few in the nation.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem is known as the City of Art and Innovation.

To meet the needs of the performing arts community, Wake Forest Baptist Health has opened a new clinic dedicated to Performing Arts Medicine.

The program is the first of its kind in the Triad and just one of a few in the nation.

When it comes to sports medicine, images of dancers, musicians and vocalists may not come to mind, but doctors at Wake Forest Baptist Health said the repetitive nature of these activities can result in injuries due to poor technique and posture.

“A dancer may have problems with his or her lower back, hips, knee etc.,” Dr. David Popoli said.

Dr. Popoli is the founder of the Performing Arts Medicine Program.

He is also an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Wake Forest Baptist.

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The clinic, which opened in early May, is in the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine-Stratford building.

Dr. Popoli said performers often feel left behind by the medical system.

“The demands of their jobs are similar to that of an elite level athlete,” Dr. Popoli said.

“Maybe just weren’t able to find the same level of care.”

Some of the common conditions treated include tendinitis, sprains, concussions and more.

Dr. Popoli said a typical clinic appointment runs about 60 minutes.

“So, if it’s a dancer we bring the dancer out to the dance floor that’s in our physical therapy clinic and actually getting a co-evaluation with me as well as a physical therapist while he or she is on the dance floor,” Dr. Popoli explained.

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Many of the health professional in the clinic are artists too.

“I was an actor,” Dr. Popoli said.

“One of our physical therapists has some background in dance. One of our surgeons that works part of the clinic was a professional drummer. We have another surgeon who was a professional dancer.”

The clinic is now taking appointment online as well as by phone at 336-716-3286.