Looking after your most precious tools

Meet Musical Orbit's Hand Therapy expert Katherine Butler of London Hand Therapy.

Katherine is one of the world experts on Hand injuries and Rehabilitation and will be sharing with us many of her discoveries in the treatment of hand injuries and conditions. A serious problem for many musicians, an injury to, or condition of the hand can end careers in music and give chronic pain to the sufferer. Katherine has been leading the fight against many conditions including Focal Dystonia, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Repetitive Strain Injury.

Follow this link to read this week's article about Katherine's work helping double jointed musicians

Katherine Butler graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) in 1995 from the University of South Australia and an Associate Music Diploma in Flute Performance in 1997. As a recipient of the highly prestigious Queen’s Trust Award Australia in 1998 she came to London to study and work in the area of performing arts medicine. Katherine enjoys combining her love for music and knowledge of the hand and upper limb. She has become a leader in the field of therapy for hand and upper limb injuries in musicians.

Katherine gained the Accredited Hand Therapist Award (BAHT) in 2003 and her knowledge in the field of Performing Arts Medicine and particularly focal hand dystonia has been recognised widely. She has appointments as an Honorary Lecturer at University College London and as an Honorary Associate Professor at Plymouth University.

Katherine has worked in hand therapy in the NHS and private practice. In 2006 she established her own clinic, London Hand Therapy. Throughout this time she has actively pursued her own professional development, participating in a variety of courses and attending a number of conferences.

Katherine’s main areas of interest are musician’s injuries and focal dystonia. She is responsible for more than 20 publications, both journal articles and book chapters, including co-authoring the chapter ‘Assessment and Treatment for the Upper Extremity in Instrumental Musicians’ in the 2011 edition of ‘Rehabilitation of Hand and Upper Extremity.’ Her articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Hand Therapy, Journal of Hand Therapy, Brain, Neurology and The Journal of Neuroscience.

Katherine has consistently contributed to the knowledge of therapists, surgeons, general practitioners, musicians and students in the field of assessing and treating upper limb conditions in musicians. She has taught locally, at therapy units in London and at the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine and has also lectured nationally at conferences held by the British Association of Hand Therapy and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Katherine has been an invited speaker at conferences throughout Europe and also further afield, including the 2012 International Conference of Performing Arts in Ireland, lecturer on the Lund University (Sweden) Rehabilitation after Hand Surgery course in 2008 and 2011 and invited speaker in 2007 at the International Federation of the Societies for Hand Therapy Congress in Sydney.

Katherine achieved the Natalie Barr Award in 2013 recognising her achievements in hand therapy. She is the seventh person to ever receive this award. 

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