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Flamenco guitar as a risk factor for overuse syndrome

Djalma Nunes Marques, Jaume Rosset-Llobet, M.F. Fonseca Marques, I.G.D. Gurgel, L.G.S. Augusto
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 18 Number 1: Page 11 (March 2003)

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Abstract: The purpose of this study was to analyze the prevalence of overuse syndrome in classical and flamenco guitarists from Andalucia (Spain). Of the 64 professional guitarists who participated in the study, 75% showed symptoms of overuse syndrome. Considering the fact that classical and flamenco are two distinct styles of guitar playing, 62.5% of the classical guitarists who took part in the study were affected by some kind of overuse syndrome, versus 87.5% of the flamenco guitarists (p = 0.021). Among the guitarists affected by overuse syndrome, a total of 50% of the classical and 82.1% of the flamenco guitarists reported deterioration in their playing ability (p = 0.018). The specific symptom for which there was a difference in distribution in the two groups was tension in the upper extremities, reported more frequently by the flamenco guitarists. The higher incidence of problems and the greater perception of tension among the flamenco guitarists are attributed mainly to the plucking technique they use, which requires greater effort from the extensor muscles of the fingers, as well as the need to produce a higher volume of sound due to the nature of playing in groups

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