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Prevalence and Associated Factors for Musculoskeletal Pain and Disability Among Spanish Music Conservatory Students

Beatriz Rodríguez-Romero, Coral Pérez-Valiño, Beatriz Ageitos-Alonso, Sonia Pértega-Díaz
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 31 Number 4: Page 193 (December 2016)

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Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of and factors associated with musculoskeletal pain (MSP) and neck and upper limb disability among music conservatory students. METHODS: An observational study in two Spanish conservatories, investigating a total of 206 students, administered the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire, visual analog scale for pain intensity, Neck Disability Index, DASH, and SF-36. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics and musical performance variables were recorded. Regression models were performed to identify variables associated with MSP for the four most affected anatomical regions and with neck and upper limb disability. RESULTS: The locations with the highest prevalence of MSP were the neck, upper back, shoulders, and lower back. Mild disability affected 47% of participants in the neck and 31% in the upper limbs. Mental health (SF-36) was below the average for the general population (45.5±10.2). Women were more likely to suffer neck pain (odds ratio [OR] 1.1-5.2), lower back pain (OR 1.7-8.7), and neck disability (B 0.6-7.8). The risk for shoulder pain was higher in those who played for more hours (OR 1.7-24.7) and lower among those who performed physical activity (OR 0.23-1.00). Disability in the neck (B -0.3) and upper limbs (B -0.4) was associated with poorer mental health (SF-36). CONCLUSION: MSP is highly prevalent in music students. Neck and upper limb disability were slight to moderate and both were associated with poorer mental health. The main factors associated with MSP were being female, hours spent practicing, and physical activity. Physical and psychological factors should be taken into account in the prevention of MSP in student-musicians.

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