Clin Orthop Surg.  2013 Sep;5(3):155-160. 10.4055/cios.2013.5.3.155.

Musicians' Medicine: Musculoskeletal Problems in String Players

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jeonchoi@gmail.com

Abstract

There is increasing attention to medical problems of musicians. Many studies find a high prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders in musicians, ranging from 73.4% to 87.7%, and string players have the highest prevalence of musculoskeletal problems. This paper examines the various positions and movements of the upper extremities in string players: 1) basic postures for holding instruments, 2) movements of left upper extremity: fingering, forearm posture, high position and vibrato, 3) movements of right upper extremity: bowing, bow angles, pizzicato and other bowing techniques. These isotonic and isometric movements can lead to musculoskeletal problems in musicians. We reviewed orthopedic disorders that are specific to string players: overuse syndrome, muscle-tendon syndrome, focal dystonia, hypermobility syndrome, and compressive neuropathy. Symptoms, interrelationships with musical performances, diagnosis and treatment of these problems were then discussed.

Keyword

Upper extremities; String players; Musculoskeletal problems
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