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Medical problems of brass instrumentalists: prevalence rates for trumpet, trombone, French horn, and low brass

Kris Chesky, Karendra Devroop, James Ford III
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 17 Number 2: Page 93 (June 2002)

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Abstract: This study examined the medical problems of musicians who primarily perform on a brass instrument. Data for this study (N = 739) were extracted from the University of North Texas Musician Health Survey data set. Subjects were included if they indicated either trumpet, trombone, French horn, or low brass as their primary instrument. Prevalence rates for one or more musculoskeletal problems were determined for the whole group and by instrument. For those subjects who reported problems at specific sites, average severity levels were derived from responses to a five-point grading scale. Additional prevalence rates for non-musculoskeletal problems were established for the whole group and by instrument. About 60% of the brass musicians reported having one or more musculoskeletal problems. The trombone group reported the highest rate (70%), followed by French horn and low brass (62%), and then trumpet (53%). Results suggest unique physical performance requirements and risks across the four main brass instrument groups and that future studies should examine each brass instrument group individually.

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