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High Prevalence of Performance-related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Bassoon Players

Paula Brusky
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 24 Number 2: Page 81 (June 2009)

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Abstract: Performance-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs) are a frequent reality for practicing musicians. Many aspects of the bassoon make these players particularly susceptible to PRMDs, yet to date no study investigating PRMDs has been conducted solely in the bassoon community. The purpose of this study was to identify PRMD symptoms experienced among bassoon players, ascertain the most affected areas, and identify treatments used. Information was gathered using the International Bassoonist Questionnaire, a web-based survey designed by the author. Eighty-six percent of participants (n = 166) reported PRMDs. Pain was the most common PRMD symptom reported (78%). Thirty-one percent of bassoon players reported a medically diagnosed condition, with tendinitis being the most common diagnosis (54%). Bassoonists experienced multiple PRMD symptoms and reported numerous affected locations. PRMDs were most frequently reported in the arms and wrists (54%), and the left side had more PRMDs than the right side. Despite the number of treatment options available, bassoon players primarily used selfadministered treatment, with only 31% consulting a medical doctor. Rest was the most common self-applied treatment (60%).

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