Immediate effects of Tuina techniques on working related musculoskeletal disorders of professional orchestra musicians



Musicians are a prone group to suffer from working-related musculoskeletal disorder (WRMD). Conventional solutions to control musculoskeletal pain include pharmacological treatment and rehabilitation programs but their efficiency is sometimes disappointing.


The aim of this research is to study the immediate effects of Tuina techniques on WRMD of professional orchestra musicians from the north of Portugal.

Design, Setting, Participants and Interventions

We performed a prospective, controlled, single-blinded, randomized study. Professional orchestra musicians with a diagnosis of WRMD were randomly distributed into the experimental group (n=39) and the control group (n=30). During an individual interview, Chinese diagnosis took place and treatment points were chosen. Real acupoints were treated by Tuina techniques into the experimental group and non-specific skin points were treated into the control group. Pain was measured by verbal numerical scale before and immediately after intervention.


After one treatment session, pain was reduced in 91.8% of the cases for the experimental group and 7.9% for the control group.


Although results showed that Tuina techniques are effectively reducing WRMD in professional orchestra musicians of the north of Portugal, further investigations with stronger measurements, double-blinding designs and bigger simple sizes are needed.


Keywords: diagnosis (TCM), stress, Tuina, musicians, musculoskeletal disorders


Cláudia Maria Sousa (1), Luis Moreira (2,3), Daniela Coimbra (4), Jorge Machado (1), Henry J. Greten (1,5,6)

  1. University of Porto, Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, 4099-030 Porto, Portugal
  2. Jean Piaget Health Superior School, 4405-708 Gaia, Portugal
  3. Research in Education and Community Intervention – RECI, 3515-776 Viseu, Portugal
  4. Porto Polythechnic Institute, Superior School of Music and Performing Arts, i2ADS, 4000-035 Porto, Portugal
  5. German Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany
  6. Heidelberg School of Chinese Medicine, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany

Year 2015
Type Journal Article with peer review
Publication Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 13(4), July
Pages 257-261
Language English