Extent of Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Problems in the Irish Traditional Music Community: A Survey

Mark Porter, Iseult M. Wilson, Liz Doherty, Justin Magee

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12 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The literature related to Playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs) primarily includes classical musicians and instrument-specific studies. Previous work by our team identified that PRMDs are an issue for Irish traditional fiddle players, however, the extent of the problem was not known. Objective: To identify the type and extent of PRMDs in the Irish traditional music population, specifically, fiddle players. Methods: A bespoke questionnaire was developed and administered to the faculty and students related to all the Irish traditional music courses in all the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on the island of Ireland. Results: Seven HEIs were included. There was a response rate of 77.5% (n = 79). A fifth of respondants never had a PRMD, 36.7% (n = 29) currently had a PRMD and 34.2% (n = 27) had a previous experience of a PRMD. The main symptoms were pain (62%, n = 49), stiffness (41.8%, n = 33) and tingling (35.4%, n = 28). There was a positive association between the development of PRMDs and increased hours of play (p = 0.017). Conclusions: PRMDs are a problem for Irish traditional fiddle players, especially during times of intense playing such as during festivals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Problems of Performing Artists
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Mar 2018


  • PRMDs
  • musculoskeletal injuries
  • musicians


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    Porter, M., Magee, J., Doherty, L. & Wilson, IM., 24 May 2018, IPC No. G10D 3/16 (2006.01), World Intellectual Property Organisation, Patent No. WO 2018/091399 A1, 13 Nov 2017, Priority date 15 Nov 2016, Priority No. 1619317.9

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