Guy Dixon From Saturday's Globe and Mail
For many years, Liona Boyd had something distressing happening to her hand, specifically to her right middle finger, and it was only getting worse.
Famous for bringing classical guitar into the mainstream (and for an eight-year relationship with Pierre Trudeau), Boyd had always taken her plucking hand for granted. Like most right-handed players, she focused more on her left as she contorted her fingers across the fret board in concert and during long years of daily practice.
But a few years back, she began noticing that one finger had begun rising from the strings, throwing off her trademark rapid tremolos. For a casual player, that would have been a nuisance. For a concert guitarist, it was a disaster.
Her natural instinct was to practise more, but that only worsened the problem. Classical guitar, always the constant in her itinerant life, was failing her.
After several rounds of tests, she was diagnosed as having task-specific focal dystonia – incurable neurological damage due to overuse. It's a condition shared by American pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher, who found relief through injections of Botox. Read the complete article