Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2022

Academic Department

Occupational Therapy

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Daniel Panchik


The art of instrumental music is an expression not solely composed of the creative study of acoustics and frequencies, but also includes the science of particular body mechanics which allow musicians to participate in this most sensational experience (Guptill, 2011). To be a musician requires a creative heart, a curious brain, and also very often calloused fingers and mightily strong fine motor muscles. Instrumental musicians have been coined as “fine motor athletes,” due to the intense impact this occupation has on the body (Roos et al., 2021). Musicians practice countless hours to perfect their craft, often taxing the delicate tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints which make playing an instrument possible. Many studies have explored the nature of such performance-related musculoskeletal disorders, including the types of injuries, types of rehabilitative interventions, and preventative strategies within the context of instrumental musicians (Kok et al., 2015). Understanding the specific biomechanics various instrument families require helps music performers, music educators, physicians, physical therapists, and occupational therapists to prevent damage to these important body structures and intervene upon injury (Chan et al., 2013a). This paper will analyze the current findings across multiple studies pertaining to musculoskeletal injuries in musicians and identify gaps in the literature in understanding the impact of such occupational injuries from a more holistic perspective.


Honors Senior Thesis; Honors in the Discipline