Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Practicing Safe Trad: Why Existing Approaches to Playing-related Musculoskeletal Disorders May Not Help the Irish Traditional Music Community

Liz Doherty, Iseult M. Wilson, Laura McKeown
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 28 Number 4: Page 181 (December 2013)

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Abstract: Playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs) as they affect the Irish traditional music community is a topic which, to date, has received scant attention. This paper draws on data generated through a series of four focus group interview studies conducted at the Universities of Ulster and Limerick and involving 22 musicians. Specifically, this paper looks at the wider issue of identity within the Irish traditional music community and at how the complexities inherent in this have, perhaps, affected musicians in recognizing, relating to, and dealing with PRMDs. Whether or not the injuries affecting Irish traditional musicians are similar to or different from what other musicians experience, what this study shows is that the sense of self and discrete identity among the Irish traditional music community is so very strong that merely a "one size fits all" approach to addressing these issues is not likely to yield positive results. Health professionals therefore need to be sensitive to such factors when considering their management of PRMDs and to develop approaches along with the traditional music community that are cognisant of their identity as well as their needs.

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