Profiling the Location and Extent of Musicians' Pain Using Digital Pain Drawings.

Cruder, Cinzia and Falla, Deborah and Mangili, Francesca and Azzimonti, Laura and Araújo, Liliana S and Williamon, Aaron and Barbero, Marco (2018) Profiling the Location and Extent of Musicians' Pain Using Digital Pain Drawings. Pain Practice, 18 (1). pp. 53-66. ISSN 1533-2500

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BACKGROUND AND AIMS According to existing literature, musicians are at risk of experiencing a range of painful musculoskeletal conditions. Recently, a novel digital technology was developed to investigate pain location and pain extent. The aim of this study was to describe pain location and pain extent in musicians using a digital method for pain drawing (PD) analysis. Additionally, the association between PD variables and clinical features were explored in musicians with pain. METHODS One hundred and fifty-eight musicians (90 women and 68 men; aged 22.4 ± 3.6 years) were recruited from Swiss and U.K. conservatories. Participants were asked to complete a survey including both background musical information and clinical features, the QuickDASH (QD) questionnaire, and the digital PDs. RESULTS Of the 158 participants, 126 musicians (79.7%) reported having pain, with higher prevalence in the areas of the neck and shoulders, the lower back, and the right arm. The mean percentage of pain extent was 3.1% ± 6.5%. The mean QD score was higher for musicians with pain than for those without pain. Additionally, the results indicated a positive correlation between the QD score and pain extent, and there were significant correlations between age and pain intensity, as well as between pain extent and pain intensity. CONCLUSIONS The high prevalence of pain among musicians has been confirmed using a digital technique for PD acquisition and analysis. In addition, positive correlations between pain extent and upper limb disability have been demonstrated. Our findings highlight the need for effective prevention and treatment strategies for musicians.

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