Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

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In general, people who perform repetitive motions are often vulnerable to repetitive strain injuries. Because musicians must execute the same motion over and over again while practicing and performing their music, they are an example of a group that often develops these repetitive strain injuries. More specifically, musicians are known for developing neuropathies in their upper limbs, with carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome being most common. However, because of varying playing postures, all musicians may not be at equal risk for developing these two neuropathies, so the purpose of this study was to identify which musician group has the highest risk of developing median and ulnar neuropathies. Results of this study show that the prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome is fairly low, and that tingling is one of the first signs of these diseases. Also, brass players may have the highest risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, as only this musician group had a significant p-value when its incidence rate of carpal tunnel syndrome was compared to the incidence rate found in the general population. Finally, the results suggest that there may be a negative correlation between performing a warm-up routine and experiencing tingling. Therefore, music schools should teach all students, and especially brass players, to be aware of tingling and to take appropriate preventative measure such as warming-up in order to keep the incidence rates of carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome as low as possible.

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International Journal of Biology

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