Health & Fitness: The Oh-So-Not-So-Prime Players

Special clinics for ailing performers draw rave reviews

In theaters across the country each night, audiences are captivated by scintillating music, soaring voices and dazzling footwork. When the show ends, spectators mark their appreciation with thunderous ovations and tossed bouquets. As often as not, the actors, singers and dancers taking their bows ( onstage are in turn quietly applauding those who keep them fit to earn accolades: the practitioners of a fast-growing field called performing-arts medicine. Within the past decade some dozen programs and clinics have sprung up in the U.S. devoted to diagnosing, treating and preventing the physical and emotional ills that can hamper artistic careers. Staffed by...

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