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Overuse Injuries in Non-Classical Recreational Instrumentalists

Taylor Buckley, Ralph Manchester
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 21 Number 2: Page 80 (June 2006)

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Abstract: Purpose: Performing arts medicine has traditionally focused on the medical problems of classical musicians. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of data regarding differential incidence or prevalence of injury in nonclassical musicians. The present study analyzed the baseline prevalence, new onset of injury following a substantial increase in playing time at a music camp, and any possible correlation with technical and postural deficits in a population of amateur folk instrumentalists. Methods: Preliminary and followup questionnaires were used to gather background and new incidence data, respectively. A subset of subjects was recorded on video, which was independently analyzed for technical deficits at a later time. Results: Lifetime prevalence is 54% for a previous injury attributed to playing a musical instrument and point prevalence is 19%. Following the camp, prevalence increased to 44% (p = 0.001), and incidence of new injury was 31%, including individuals with more than one active injury. A higher rate of injury correlated with a greater increase in absolute playing time, relative playing time above baseline, and absolute time above baseline during the camp, although these did not reach statistical significance. The limited technical analysis qualitatively correlated a technical deficit to an injury at the same anatomical location in 15 of 47 cases using only a single-view video for analysis. Conclusion: Lifetime and point prevalence is similar to that reported in several studies of classical musicians. Further inquiry into technical and postural analysis may help to identify the cause of, and potentially prevent, overuse injuries in folk and classical musicians.

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