The Impact of Musical Training on Hand Biomechanics in String Musicians

Stacey L. Gorniak, Evan D. Collins, Kimberly Goldie Staines, Forrest A. Brooks, Ricardo V. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The effects of musical training on the body in professional musicians remain an understudied area, particularly in reference to understanding and managing orthopedic/neuromuscular deviations and injuries in this population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate hand/finger fine motor function in musicians via physical examination as well as laboratory-based evaluations. Methods: Thirteen healthy noninjured young elite string musicians participated in this study. Performance of musicians was compared with healthy age-matched, sex-matched, and handedness-matched nonmusician controls. Results: Musicians exhibited decreased intrinsic muscle strength compared with controls; however, no change in extrinsic muscle strength was found between groups. No between-group differences in overall force control were found; however, Group × Hand (right vs left) interactions were found in force control. Conclusions: These data suggest that musicians are a unique population with respect to: (1) fine motor control of the hand; and (2) exhibit changes in differential hand use. This suggests cortical reorganization of string musicians, such that this population should be studied separately from typical healthy controls with respect to hand function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-829
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • biomechanics
  • fine motor control
  • handedness
  • musicians
  • stringed instruments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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