With over 15 years of professional experience under his belt Dr. James has made it his mission to provide quality chiropractic care for performing artists in Rochester. He is committed to providing artists with evidence based care that is specific to the performing artist’s needs while taking into account the unique nature of their art form.

Performing artists are an often misunderstood patient population by the vast majority of healthcare providers. This is due to the incredibly diverse and unique nature of the performing arts. Whether dancing, singing, tumbling or playing an instrument, performing artists have very particular needs in order to perform at their personal best. They therefore require a healthcare provider who understands their craft and the needs of that craft.

By incorporating soft tissue therapies, chiropractic care and rehabilitation exercises that target the biomechanical needs of performers, Dr. James works with his patients to help them achieve their best performance.


Dance is an incredibly diverse field of performing art featuring numerous different techniques and styles. Each of which comes with its own approach to movement mechanics and none of which are similar to “normal” mechanics. The way dancer’s move their bodies is, on a fundamental level, different from the way bodies are built to move. This is the first and most critical concept to understanding dance mechanics. It is also where most healthcare providers fail to successfully treat dancers. This is because we can’t use the same rehab exercises to treat dance injuries as you would any other athlete. Everything about treatment must be built around the very specific ways in which a dancer holds and moves their body. That all starts with turnout. This simple change in how the body is positioned changes everything about how dance injuries must be approached. 


Similar to dancers, gymnasts approach movement far differently than other athletes. The result, like with dancers, is that gymnasts experience injuries that look similar to common injuries, but they happen to affect the body differently. Combine this with the high impact nature of gymnastics, a need for a provider who understands and has experience working with gymnasts is obvious. The balance between flexibility and strength here is critical, as is an understanding of how gymnastic maneuvers are executed. 


Singers are an often overlooked population when it comes to performing artists and physical medicine. This may be because singing is not as obviously athletic as other art forms. The reality is that singing requires a lot of strength and flexibility in the chest, neck and jaw regions. Often singers who have trouble with relaxation while singing or struggle to hit notes on the upper or lower end of their range are experiencing muscular imbalances in one or multiple areas. Additionally, many singers experience jaw tension while singing. This happens most often during open vowel jaw postures and when belting. Tension along the vocal tract, due to tightness in the deep neck muscles along the front of the neck, can also make it difficult for vocal folds to relax while singing. 


Instruments come in all shapes and sizes and can affect musicians bodies in a variety of ways. Whether it’s woodwind, brass, keyboard or percussion, musicians have one thing in common when it comes to injuries: it’s all about the extremities! Mobility and dexterity of the hands and fingers are critical for musicians. But shoulder and elbow mobility is just as vital. Finding a provider who has a strong understanding of extremities and how musicians approach each instrument is key to quality care and support.

Meet Our Performing Artist Chiropractor

Conditions We Treat

Ankle Sprains
Plantar Fasciitis
Posterior Ankle Impingement
Os Trigonum Syndrome
Trigger Toe
Evaluation to Start Dancing En Pointe

Snapping Hip Syndrome
IT Band Restriction/Tension/Contracture
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
Femoroacetabular Impingement
Meralgia Paresthetica
TMD (singers)

Anterior Neck Pain/Tension
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (musicians/gymnasts)
Pesudo-C6 Syndrome
Wrist Pain
Tingling/Numbness (musicians/gymnasts)
Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow (gymnasts/musicians)

Frequently Asked Questions About Chiropractic Care for Performing Artists

This is one of the most common and harmful misconceptions in the performing arts world! In fact, there is a commonly repeated quote with regards to this mindset: “Pain is weakness leaving your body.” This mindset is 100% INACCURATE! As a performing artist or athlete of any kind, you spend hours and hours each day honing your craft and training your skills. While it is expected that you would feel fatigued and tired at the end of a workout, maybe even sore, it should not be expected that you feel pain. Pain is the body’s way of communicating to the brain that harm is being done to the body. Pain lets us know that something is wrong and needs to be treated and/or modified so as to prevent harm down the road. In that sense soreness and fatigue that gets lesser with each workout is weakness leaving your body. Pain is damage being done to the body. If you’re experiencing pain with your training and performing, this is your body telling you that you need to figure out what is going wrong and correct it. Luckily, with over 25 years of experience in the field I’m here to help performing artists get out of and stay out of pain.

The short answer is yes! The long answer is yes, if you want to have a long sustainable career that allows you to transition out of your art once you retire. When it comes to performing artists the core concept that we need to understand is that what we do as performers is not built around what is healthy. It’s built around what is aesthetically pleasing. This means that how we dance, sing and play our instruments is all a part of the artform. This often means that how we do things is not necessarily the healthiest way to do things. As a healthcare provider who spent most of his life in the performing arts I understand this better than most providers out there. My goal for your care is not to tell you to stop doing things, it’s to help you find the best, healthiest way to do what your art form requires you to do. As such, regular maintenance throughout the season is a great way to make sure that as you are taxing your body and training, you never allow your body to become so taxed that you suffer serious injury. My job is to keep you going at the highest level possible so that you can give your best performance!

This is where a lot of myths about Chiropractic care come into play. When people hear “maintenance care” a lot of people think of three appointments every week for the rest of their life. This is ABSOLUTELY not our approach to maintenance care. As a performing artist we tax our bodies just as much as any other athlete which means that we need to be supporting our bodies just as much as any other athlete supports thairs. Once we get you out of your acute pain and back to feeling normal again the goal becomes finding the amount of time between appointments that allow you to focus on your rehab exercises and home care before needing to come back in for supportive care. For some performers this may be once per month. For some it may be a few times per season and for others this may look like a bunch of appointments around a particularly difficult production and then nothing until the next production ramps up. Our goal is to work with our performing artists to find what works best for them to help them achieve their best performances!

Schedule a visit with a Rochester Chiropractor, Rochester Massage Therapist or Nutrition Specialist at our office in Rochester, NY!

Great process! Healed my sprained ankle in a couple weeks. Back to fully dancing and feeling better than pre- injury! 100% recommend going to see Dr. James Walters for any of your dance injuries or questions.