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Stress and muscle tension had a cumulative influence on the probability of experiencing a PRMD (Table 4).
Qualitative validation of a PRMD definition added credibility to our findings (Bragge et al.
Because cross-sectional surveys establish associations between variables (Bongers, Kremer, & ter Laak, 2002) rather than causality, this study cannot make conclusions regarding the relationships between risk factors and PRMD status (Norell, 1992).
This is reinforced by the finding that 42% of participants had experienced PRMD symptoms for more than 30 days, representing chronic musculoskeletal symptoms (Thibeault, Merrill, Roy, Gray, & Smith, 2004).
Furthermore, respondents who reported being warned often about excessive levels of key compression force by their teachers had higher PRMD rates at the finger/hand (p = 0.
Therefore, although few piano-specific studies have definitively linked excessive muscle tension to PRMDs, research in related areas indicates that muscle tension may play a role in PRMD development.
Therefore, no conclusions regarding the pathophysiology of PRMD symptoms in the surveyed pianists can be drawn.
Slumped posture may also play a role in PRMD development.
1989) the potential role of posture in PRMD development (Shields & Dockrell, 2000) and the value of postural education have been described in piano-specific risk factor literature (Blackie, Stone, & Tiernan, 1999).
Conversely, a piano teacher may liaise with a pianist's health practitioner regarding stretching exercises appropriate for a pianist with a PRMD or a history of other physical problems.
Table 1--Observed frequencies and chi-square tests investigating the association between categorical variables and PRMD status Variable Categories n n (PRMD) (No PRMD) Gender Male 20 10 Female 39 18 Year level 1st yr 25 9 2nd yr 19 8 3rd yr 10 7 4th/5th yr 5 4 ([dagger]) Teacher ([double Yes 20 8 dagger]) No 39 20 Warm-up Yes 43 19 No 14 8 Breaks Yes 40 19 No 17 9 Muscle tension Yes 55 21 No 4 7 Seat height Forearms 44 20 level Forearms 14 8 not level ([dagger]) Posture Straight 41 26 Slumped 16 2 Repertoire Baroque 11 5 Classical 16 7 Romantic 15 5 20th century 6 5 Multi/other 11 6 ([dagger]) Variable Test Value Gender Fisher's n/a ([section]) Year level Pearson 1.
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