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Work. 2011;40(3):255-9. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2011-1227.

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

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Discipline of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW, Australia.



The flute is a highly popular instrument, yet little is known about the potential injury association with playing this instrument.


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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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