Playing-related musculoskeletal complaints among musicians: prevalence and risk factors

Playing-related musculoskeletal complaints are often found among musicians, taking a toll in more than 70% of professional musicians in orchestras. Professional musical performance requires a high level of differenciation and efficiency of psychological, mental and physical skills. Many risk factors can contribute to the development of musculoskeletal conditions in this special population, like the individual technique, physical fitness of the musician and the instrument itself. Many rheumatic, neurological, dermatological, and psychiatric problems are reported, as well as dysfunctions of the visual, auditive and oral system. The musculoskeletal complaints often manifest as pain, weakness or tension, and the most common diagnoses of the upper limb are tendinopathies, myalgia and overuse syndromes. It is necessary for the skilfull physician and physical therapist to have a thorough knowledge about potential problems of the performing artist, in order to provide adequate medical examination and treatment to this very special patient.

musicians; occupational diseases; soft tissue rheumatism; musculoskeletal pain

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