Musician health and safety: Preventing playing-related musculoskeletal disorders

AAOHN J. 2006 Jul;54(7):309-16. doi: 10.1177/216507990605400703.


Musicians are exposed to high-risk musculoskeletal activities such as repetition, hours of exposure, and awkward postures when playing instruments. These activities may result in playing-related musculoskeletal disorders. Musicians often work part-time or seasonally or are self-employed. Thus, they may be uninsured or underinsured and may delay seeking care for these painful and potentially disabling conditions. Prevention of playing-related musculoskeletal disorders includes identification of both intrinsic (e.g., musician strength and flexibility) and extrinsic (e.g., musician posture while playing an instrument) factors involved in the interface between musicians and their instruments and the playing environment (e.g., rest breaks or hours of practice). Student occupational health nurse practitioners in this pilot project performed outreach and comprehensive screening and treatment for a small group of musicians diagnosed as having playing-related musculoskeletal disorders. Tendon and nerve gliding exercises were a key component of the treatment plan.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Ergonomics
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medically Uninsured
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Music*
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Health Nursing / organization & administration
  • Occupational Health*
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pilot Projects
  • Posture
  • Primary Prevention
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology