Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Bassoonists' Medical Problems--Current State of Knowledge

William J. Dawson
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 27 Number 2: Page 107 (June 2012)

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Abstract: Specific musical instruments can be a source of physical problems to their players. Based on reviews of the literature and personal experience, this paper summarizes current knowledge of problems affecting musicians who play instruments in the bassoon family (including the bassoon, contrabassoon, and several other instruments). Prevalence rates are higher in reports of surveys (ranging up to 86%), compared to clinical reports of patients seen and treated. Significant risk factors include young age, small body size, female gender, and use of large instruments. Problems unique to bassoonists are rare; most physical difficulties also are seen in general musculoskeletal clinical practices and in musicians playing all types of instruments. The left upper extremity is more commonly affected by overuse-related conditions in bassoonists. Non-playing-related problems are equally important for consideration (such as degenerative disorders and acute trauma), since they also affect practice and performance. Little experimental data exist to validate current and widely-held principles of treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention.

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