Brusky, Paula (2010). “The High Prevalence of Injury Among Female Bassoonists.” Medical Problems of Performing Artists

Abstract:  Performance-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs) are a frequent reality for practicing musicians. Aspects of the bassoon, such as the weight of the instrument and asymmetrical body position, make bassoon players particularly susceptible to PRMDs. The International Bassoonist Questionnaire, which was distributed via the World Wide Web (n = 166, 58% male, 42% female), investigated PRMDs in bassoon players. Great differences between genders were documented in bassoon players; females (100%) reported PRMDs more frequently than males (78%). Female bassoonists were particularly susceptible to PRMDs in the hands, arms, and wrists.

Brusky, Paula (2010).  Bassoon players experience pain relief through Rolfing.  The Double Reed, 33(2): 93-96.

Abstract:  Structural Integration, or Rolfing, is a system of bodywork developed by Dr Ida Rolf (1896-1979).  The basic premise of Rolfing is that a body in vertical alignment will not have to fight gravity and will therefore have optimal function.  Three professional bassoon players report on their experience with Rolfing.  All three would recommend Rolfing to others.  A Rolfer from Sydney Australia, Tom Shand, answers common questions about Rolfing.

Brusky, Paula (2009).  High prevalence of performance-related musculoskeletal disorders in bassoonists.  Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 24(2), 81-87.

Abstract:  Performance related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs) are a frequent reality for practicing musicians.  Many aspects of the bassoon make bassoon players particularly susceptible to PRMDs, yet to date no study investigating PRMDs has been conducted solely on the bassoon community, most likely due to the small population of bassoonists.  The purpose of this study was to identify the PRMD symptoms experienced among bassoon players, ascertain the most affected areas, and identify treatments used.  The International Bassoonist Questionnaire was a web-distributed survey.  Eighty-six percent of participants (n = 166) reported PRMDs.  Pain was the most common PRMD symptom reported (78%).  Thirty-one percent of bassoon players reported a medically diagnosed condition; tendonitis was the most common diagnosis (54%).  Bassoonists experienced multiple PRMD symptoms and reported numerous locations.  PRMDs were most frequently reported in the arms and wrists (54%) and the left side had more PRMDs than the right side.

Many bassoon players try to treat their PRMDs.  Rest was the most common self-applied treatment (60%).  Despite the number of treatment options available, bassoon players are primarily using self-administered treatment, only 31% consulted with a medical doctor.  The high prevalence of PRMDs among bassoon players warrants further research into PRMD prevention in this population.