A Study of Musculoskeletal Discomforts and Associated Risks among Indian Percussion (Tabla) Players

  • W Mishra
  • A De
  • S Gangopadhyay
  • AM Chandra
Keywords: India, lower back, Tabla players


Musculoskeletal disorders at work are widespread, incurring substantial cost and affecting quality of life. They are prevalent in all occupations including musicians. Among the musicians, percussionists are prone to playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs). The most popularly used percussion instruments in Indian classical music are Tabla. Therefore, the present study was conducted to find the most affected areas of discomfort and to identify the major risk factors contributing to playing related musculoskeletal discomforts among Indian Tabla players. Eighty-four professional Tabla players voluntarily participated in the study. The Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire (NMQ) was administered to identify the susceptible/affected anatomical areas. A questionnaire consisting of eight items on a 10 point likert scale based was administered to identify the risk factors contributing to PRMDs. Results of the NMQ showed that the most commonly affected areas were the lower back (74.15%), right shoulder (67.06%) and neck (67.06%). The internal consistency of the questionnaire was determined by Cronbach’s alpha which was found to be acceptable. From the factor analysis results, two factors emerged. Factor one was identified as posture related risk factors while factor two was identified as occupation related risk factors. The risk factors identified in the study were similar when compared to other instrumentalists.

Keywords: India, lower back, Tabla players


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 1010-2728