Incidence of musculoskeletal problems among instrumental music students

Gray, Owen (2003) Incidence of musculoskeletal problems among instrumental music students. Coursework Master thesis, Victoria University.


The incidence of musculoskeletal problems amongst instrumental music students in Australia is unknown. This study examined students who play musical instruments and are potentially at risk of developing problems, including pain and injury, related to their play activities. Full-time instrument major students (aged 18 and above, 57 male, 31 female) at the Victoria College of the Arts (VCA) completed the self-administered quantitative "Standardised Nordic Questionnaire for Analysis of Musculoskeletal Symptoms" to ascertain the incidence of musculoskeletal 'trouble' (ache, pain, or discomfort) across nine body regions. These reults were analysed in relation to gender and type of instrument played. 91% of participants (90% female and 91% of males) reported problems at one or more times in at least one region during the previous 12 months. The regions with the highest reports of trouble were the neck (56%), one or both wrists/hands (56%), low back (51%), and the shoulder (47%). The regions of the body with the highest reported levels of problems for males were low back (54%), neck (51%) and wrists/hands (49%). Females reprted problems in the wrists/hands (68%), neck (65%) and shoulders (61%). Certain problems were associated with particular instruments. 100% of double bassists reported low back trouble, while 90% of drummers and 80% of pianists reported wrist/hand problems. Musculoskeletal problems in instrumental music students are common, occurring at similar rates in both males and females. Low back problems in double bassists, and wrist/hand problems in drummers and pianists particularly, were very common. To better understand and manage instrumental music students, further study is necessary in understanding the factors that lead to these problems and factors (including exercise) that may prevent them. This minor thesis was written by a post-graduate student as part of the requirements of the Master of Health Science (Osteopathy) program.

Item type Thesis (Coursework Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Biomedical and Health Sciences
Keywords Osteopathy Masters Project, musculoskeletal problems, music students, Victorian College of the Arts
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