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Musician’s hand Dystonia, or focal hand dystonia in musicians, is a devastating movement disorder that occurs in musicians after expertise had been acquired. Musician’s hand dystonia can develop in anyone but typically occurs later in life, after a performing career has been firmly established, and is believed to be caused by the interaction of many different factors, including genetic and environmental factors. The disorder has devastating effects on performers and ends the careers of most performers in whom it develops. Although there are many promising strategies for improvement of symptoms, there is no definitive cure. Research studies that have successfully cured and improved musician’s dystonia are discussed, including the methodology of these treatment/therapies. The lack of knowledge surrounding the disorder in the medical community and musicians is extremely limited. Prevention strategies and the implementation of these strategies among performers and educators are outlined and specified. The purpose of this dissertation is to increase knowledge of musician’s dystonia among performers and educators of instrumental music. The emphasis of this document will be on prevention and treatment of focal hand dystonia in the hopes of preventing unnecessary confusion, misinformation, and distress among instrumentalists who are unfortunate enough to experience it.
blepharospasm, dystonia, focal dystonia, Musician's Dystonia, occupational dystonia, task specific
Date of Defense
July 8, 2020.
A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Clifford K. Madsen, Professor Directing Dissertation; Deborah Bish, University Representative; Patrick Dunnigan, Committee Member; William Fredrickson, Committee Member; Gregory Springer, Committee Member.
Florida State University
McGonigal, E. A. (2020). Focal Hand Dystonia in Musicians. Retrieved from https://purl.lib.fsu.edu/diginole/2020_Summer_Fall_McGonigal_fsu_0071E_16095