Repetitive Stress and Strain Injuries: Preventive Exercises for the Musician

Division of Structural Biology Colleges of Osteopathic and Human Medicine, Michigan State University, A514D East Fee Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America (Impact Factor: 0.93). 12/2006; 17(4):827-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmr.2006.07.005
Source: PubMed


There are many articles that support stretching, strengthening, good nutrition, hydration, rest, and ergonomics along with many other concepts that may be helpful in preventing repetitive stress injuries. The most conclusive literature proposes early recognition of onset symptoms, and immediate reduction or cessation of the casual activity. This is not well accepted by the musician, because this means an interruption of practice and performance. Just like any worker or athlete at risk for RSI, however, the musician must learn to recognise early signs and take the steps to limit damage to muscular and neural tissues. More studies are needed to provide evidence for effective treatment and prevention of RSI.

Download full-text


Available from: Gail A Shafer-Crane, Sep 10, 2014
  • Source
    • "Participation in cardiovascular fitness and resistance training has been suggested to be an important element in maintaining a healthy and long career in the performing arts (Shafer-Crane, 2006). There are many physical and psychological benefits associated with appropriate levels of regular physical activity, such as significant increases in cardiovascular fitness, skeletal muscle endurance, reaction time, and decreased incidence of osteoarthritis , depression and anxiety (Booth et al., 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Playing a musical instrument at an elite level is a highly complex motor skill. The regular daily training loads resulting from practice, rehearsals and performances place great demands on the neuromusculoskeletal systems of the body. As a consequence, performance-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs) are globally recognized as common phenomena amongst professional orchestral musicians. These disorders create a significant financial burden to individuals and orchestras as well as lead to serious consequences to the musicians' performance and ultimately their career. Physical therapists are experts in treating musculoskeletal injuries and are ideally placed to apply their skills to manage PRMDs in this hyper-functioning population, but there is little available evidence to guide specific injury management approaches. An Australia-wide survey of professional orchestral musicians revealed that the musicians attributed excessively high or sudden increase in playing-load as major contributors to their PRMDs. Therefore, facilitating musicians to better manage these loads should be a cornerstone of physical therapy management. The Sound Practice orchestral musicians work health and safety project used formative and process evaluation approaches to develop evidence-informed and clinically applicable physical therapy interventions, ultimately resulting in favorable outcomes. After these methodologies were employed, the intervention studies were conducted with a national cohort of professional musicians including: health education, onsite injury management, cross-training exercise regimes, performance postural analysis, and music performance biomechanics feedback. The outcomes of all these interventions will be discussed alongside a focussed review on the existing literature of these management strategies. Finally, a framework for best-practice physical therapy management of PRMDs in musicians will be provided.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Frontiers in Psychology
  • Source
    • "It is regarded as the result of fatigue from accumulative physical stress imposed by the overuse of particular parts of the body. It is different from tendinitis in the way that there is only tenderness and functional decrease, but no organic problems.11,18) Indeed, overuse syndrome holds an important place in musicians' medicine because the prevalence of organic problems such as tenosynovitis is relatively low in professional musicians.16) "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is increasing attention to medical problems of musicians. Many studies find a high prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in musicians, ranging from 73.4% to 87.7%, and string players have the highest prevalence of musculoskeletal problems. This paper examines the various positions and movements of the upper extremities in string players: 1) basic postures for holding instruments, 2) movements of left upper extremity: fingering, forearm posture, high position and vibrato, 3) movements of right upper extremity: bowing, bow angles, pizzicato and other bowing techniques. These isotonic and isometric movements can lead to musculoskeletal problems in musicians. We reviewed orthopedic disorders that are specific to string players: overuse syndrome, muscle-tendon syndrome, focal dystonia, hypermobility syndrome, and compressive neuropathy. Symptoms, interrelationships with musical performances, diagnosis and treatment of these problems were then discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Clinics in orthopedic surgery
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sarah Bache and Frank Edenborough uncover scores of health problems associated with making music
    No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · BMJ (online)
Show more