[Skip to Content]
Sign In
Individual Sign In
Create an Account
Institutional Sign In
OpenAthens Shibboleth
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
April 8, 1983

Hand Difficulties Among Musiciansn

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service (Dr Hochberg and Ms Merriman) and the Surgical Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Unit, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (Dr Leffert), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Dr Heller is in private practice in Lynnfield, Mass.

JAMA. 1983;249(14):1869-1872. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330380057027
Abstract

We describe our experience with 100 musicians in whom occupationrelated difficulties developed. The majority, pianists, experienced hand difficulties in midcareer (average age, 31 years). These were described as "pain, tightening, or weakness" of the right hand or arm or drooping of the fourth or fifth fingers. These difficulties led to loss of control (34%) or diminished facility (18%), endurance (18%), or speed (18%) while playing trills, arpeggios, or octaves requiring fast, forte finger movements. Most commonly found were inflammatory disorders of tendon or joint (45%) or disorders of motor control (24%). Less likely were entrapment of peripheral nerves and noninflammatory tendon or joint disorders.

(JAMA 1983;249:1869-1872)

References
1.
Crisp AH, Moldofsky H:  Therapy of writer's cramp . Curr Psychiatr Ther 1967;7:69-72.
2.
Lacapère J, Weissenbach R:  Crampe des écrivains due à une ténosynovite . Rev Rhum 1956;23:40.
3.
Poore GV: Nervous Affections of the Hand and Other Clinical Studies . London, Smith Elder & Co, 1897.
4.
Poore GV:  Clinical lecture on certain conditions of the hand and arm which interfere with the performance of professional acts, especially piano playing . Br Med J 1887;1:441-448.Article
5.
Collier J, Aide W:  Craft palsy , in Price FW (ed): Price's Textbook of Medicine . London, Oxford University Press, 1922.
6.
Smith M, Culpin M, Farmer E: A Study of Telegrapher's Cramp: Report to the Industrial Health Research Board. London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office No. 43, 1927.
7.
Critchley M, Henson RA: Music and the Brain . London, William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd, 1977.
8.
Nieman R, Ushiroda S:  Slot-machine tendinitis . N Engl J Med 1981;304:1368.
9.
Henson RA, Urich H:  Schumann's hand injury . Br Med J 1978;1:900-903.Article
10.
Childress HM:  Recurrent ulnar nerve dislocation at the elbow . J Bone Joint Surg Am 1956;38:978-984.
11.
Sunderland S:  Nerve lesion in the carpal tunnel syndrome . J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatr 1976;39:615.Article
12.
Sunderland S: Nerves and Nerve Injuries . Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone, 1978.
13.
Iltschevski S:  Humeral epicondylitis . MMW 1976;118:709-710.
14.
Henneman EE, Shahani BT, Young RR:  Voluntary control of human motor units , in Shahani BT, Shahani M (eds): The Motor System: Neurophysiology and Muscle Mechanisms . Amsterdam, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co, 1976, pp 73-78.
15.
Ortmann O: The Physiological Mechanics of Piano Technique . London, Kegan Paul Trench Trubner & Co Ltd, 1929 (paperback reprint, New York, EP Dutton & Co Inc, 1962)
16.
Gowers W: Manual of Diseases of the Nervous System . London, JNA Churchill, 1886, vol 2.
17.
Osier W: The Principles and Practice of Medicine . New York, D Appleton & Co, 1892.
18.
Duchenne G: De l'electrisation Localisee et son Application a la Pathologie et a la Therapeutique par Courants Galvaniques Interrompes et Continus , ed 3. Paris, Librairie JB Bailliere et Fils, 1872.
×