NCBI ROFL: On the dangers of playing the flute.

By ncbi rofl | January 31, 2013 3:00 pm

Incidence of injury and attitudes to injury management in skilled flute players.

“OBJECTIVE:
The flute is a highly popular instrument, yet little is known about the potential injury association with playing this instrument.
PARTICIPANTS:
Twenty flautists from a major music training institution volunteered to participate in this project, and had played the flute for a minimum of ten years.
METHODS:
A specifically designed musicians’ health questionnaire was used to determine injury rates in a group of skilled collegiate flute players majoring in music to examine self-reported perceptions of performance-related musculoskeletal disorder causation and approaches to managing these conditions.
RESULTS:
All except one player reported suffering from a performance-related musculoskeletal disorder, with pain present for longer than 3 months in two thirds of this group. The most common approach by the flautists was to take Alexander lessons rather than seeking health professional advice. Most attributed their symptoms to long hours of practice, poor posture and the presence of performance anxiety.
CONCLUSIONS:
Flautists in this sample reported high rates of performance-related musculoskeletal disorders with the majority having been present for longer than 3 months. The approach to management often did not involve consultation with a health professional qualified to diagnose musculoskeletal conditions.”

Photo: flickr/Harald Groven

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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