Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Trigger Point Treatment with Radial Shock Waves in Musicians with Nonspecific Shoulder-Neck Pain: Data from a Special Physio Outpatient Clinic for Musicians

Malika Damian, Christoff Zalpour
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 26 Number 4: Page 211 (December 2011)

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Abstract: Musicians often suffer from disorders of the musculoskeletal system that are related to their instrument playing. Among the most frequent symptoms are complaints in the shoulder-neck area. Radial shock wave therapy is increasingly used in trigger point treatment, but only few high-level studies have examined of shock wave therapy used together with physical therapy in the treatment of musicians. METHODS: This randomized blinded study in musicians (n = 26) with nonspecific shoulder-neck problems was done to examine the effect of shock wave therapy in addition to current physical therapy on the symptoms and quality of life of the musicians as well as their habits of playing musical instruments (intervention group shock wave vs reference group placebo). The effects were documented by a pain VAS and other instruments. A questionnaire designed specifically for musicians (with initial and final questions) recorded intensity and manifestation of pain and handicaps in daily life, especially when practicing and playing. The Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) and the Neck Pain Disability Index Questionnaire (NPDIQ) were also used. RESULTS: Both groups reported subjective improvement in pain, but significance was found only for the intervention group for the SPADI and NPDIQ. CONCLUSIONS: Trigger point treatment with radial shock wave used in combination with physical therapy makes the subjects feel temporarily relieved of neck and shoulder pains. The effects of radial shock wave without physical therapy will need to be examined in further studies.

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