Muscular Disorders

Performers are at a higher risk for various musculoskeletal conditions that can affect bones, joints and soft tissues. Musicians are especially prone to such problems due to repetitive movement and to extreme bodily stress and strain.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Ergonomics is the science of fitting the workplace conditions and job demands to the worker.  This information is intended to provide musicians and supervisors with a minimum basic understanding of ergonomics and instrumental injuries.

Instrumental injuries often include the same conditions experienced from computer overuse. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendinitis, Bursitis, Tenosynovitis / DeQuervain’s Syndrome, Tendinosis, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, and Trigger Finger/Thumb are particularly common among keyboardists, fretboardists, flute, and string players.

Incorrect posture, non-ergonomic technique, excessive force, overuse, stress, and insufficient rest contribute to chronic injuries that can cause great pain, possible injury or disability, and the end of careers.’

Musculoskeletal Disorders Handout for Musicians (PDF)

Click here to reach UW Hospital Performing Arts Medicine.


UHS provides ergonomic services free-of-charge to UW-Madison personnel with the goal of promoting a healthier and safer workplace through decreased injury potential, Cumulative Trauma Disorders and Worker’s Compensation expenses, and increased productivity.

For more information or to schedule your assessment, please visit

Ergonomics for the Musician PPT