Guidelines in designing a warm up program for the prevention of playing related musculoskeletal disorder among instrumentalists
Ajidahun, Adedayo Tunde
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Playing related musculoskeletal disorder (PRMD) is common among instrumentalists, professionals, amateurs and music students with a prevalence ranging from 39-47% with an impact on playing and performance. This is synonymous to the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among other work population. Risk factors such as lack of warm ups, awkward posture, long playing hours and bad techniques has been consistently indicated as risk factors influencing the incidence of PRMDs among instrumentalists. The aim of this study is to design a warm up programme for instrumentalists. The study population and sample are instrumentalists at the Centre for Performing Arts, University of the Western Cape. A cross sectional study design with a quantitative approach was utilized in this study to determine the prevalence, severity, distribution of PRMDs and its association with quality of life. All the instrumentalists learning or playing a musical instrument of the Centre for Performing Arts was approached to participate in this study. In the first phase of the study, a self administered questionnaire was used to collect data regarding prevalence, distribution and the severity of PRMDs and health related quality of life. The instruments for this study are the standard NORDIC questionnaire for musculoskeletal disorders to determine pain distribution and prevalence, the visual analogue scale to determine the pain severity and the WHOQOL –BREF, a quality of life questionnaire and an adapted questionnaire to determine the knowledge of instrumentalists about injury prevention strategies. The second phase of the study, a systematic review of evidence was done on the pattern of warm up and practice habits of instrumentalists. The third phase of the study to design the content of the study was done using a Delphi study. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for descriptive and inferential statistics. Chi square was used to determine the association of prevalence, distribution and severity on quality of life. Alpha level was set at 0.05. Ethical clearance and permission to conduct study was sought, written informed consents from participants was sought clearly stating the right to participate and withdraw from study was respected and anonymity and confidentiality was be ensured. The results of the study show that 82.4 % lifetime prevalence and current prevalence of 23.5 % among instrumental musicians in a Centre for Performing Arts. The shoulder (41.2 %), neck (29.4 %) and the wrists and hands (29.4%) are the mostly affected region on the body. The most common symptoms are tightness and soreness. However, the results of the systematic review shows that there is a lack of operational term for warm up in the performing arts and this therefore could be responsible for the variations in the influence of warm up on the prevention of PRMDs. The content of the warm up programme was designed using a Delphi study and stretching and postural awareness were included with musical warm up as part of a regular warm up exercise, although, consensus was not reached on the duration of the warm up programme. Strengthening and conditioning were included to in a different exercise program done three times per week. Education on injury prevention strategies were also included in the programme and the mode of instruction agreed on was active learning and group instruction in classroom. The role of warm up exercise in the prevention of PRMDs using this model could reduce the incidence of PRMDs. However, it is important to note that the programme should be tested in order to determine the overall effect it has on PRMDs.