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Common injuries among musicians
Sacramento Bee
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Published: 8/10/2009 12:04 AM

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Seven common injuries linked to music performance:

Carpal tunnel syndrome

This bane of the office worker also strikes musicians, due to intensity and the repetition of fingerings. It manifests itself as a tingling or numbness of the thumb, index or middle finger.

Focal dystonia

A neurological condition affecting one or more muscle groups. Usually causes muscular contraction. One of the most common forms is focal hand dystonia, where fingers curl into the palm. Pianist Leon Fleisher has suffered this for more than 40 years.

Tinnitus

Can be triggered by exposure to loud music over a long period. Symptoms are described as ringing noises in one or both ears. Can also take the form of a buzzing, hissing, whooshing or whistling sound.

Tendinitis

An inflamed tendon due to overuse or incorrect posture or playing position. In violinists, problems arise with unbalanced bowing technique. Can be degenerative when it strikes an older musician.

Bursitis

Inflammation or irritation of tendons, muscles or skin caused when a musician flexes an arm away or above the body. Often seen as a right-shoulder injury among violinists.

Quervain's tenosynovitis

Caused by repetitive hand and wrist motions and characterized by pain on the inside of the wrist and forearm. Common in string players and pianists.

Thoracic outlet syndrome

Causes pain spreading down the inner arm. Can be neurological or vascular. Causes swelling in arms and hands, and sometimes difficulty gripping objects. Musicians are susceptible because of long periods of contracting or extending muscles.

• Sources: Healthscout.com, musicians health.com, Performing Arts Medical Association and other Web sites.