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Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Professional Symphony Orchestra Musicians in Greece: A Pilot Study Concerning Age, Gender, and Instrument-Specific Results

Dimosthenis G. Fotiadis, Eleni G. Fotiadou, Dimitrios G. Kokaridas, Argyrios C. Mylonas
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 28 Number 2: Page 91 (June 2013)

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Abstract: This study was designed to investigate the frequency of musculoskeletal disorders among musicians in a professional-level symphony orchestra in Greece. The sample consisted of 147 musicians (97 men, 50 women) of the Athens and Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra. The mean age of the musicians was 38.97 years (range 24 to 67, SD 9.68), while the years of experience in the orchestra ranged from 1 to 35 (mean 14.2, SD 8.47). The data were collected with the Standardized Nordic Questionnaire, which records the frequency of musculoskeletal disorders. Our results showed a very high percentage (81.6%) of the musicians had suffered at least once, during their professional career, some kind of musculoskeletal disorder that was associated with pain or discomfort and was directly related to their profession. More than two-thirds of the musicians had also suffered a problem in the hand and neck areas during the last 12 months. Musculoskeletal disorders appeared to be related to gender, age, kind of instrument played, and duration of rehearsing/performing, along with previous experience. In summary, there is a high frequency of injury among professional-level musicians in Greece reported in our study, highlighting the obvious need to develop prevention programs.

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