ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Dr. Azar holds a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Biomedical Engineering from Wayne State University, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Kinesiology from the University of Windsor.
Her research combines her roots in occupational biomechanics and neurophysiology with her love of music (especially rock music) to study drumming performance from the following perspectives:
- “Drummers as Athletes” – documenting drummers’ energy expenditure during live performances
- “Drummers as Workers” – documenting the prevalence and patterns of playing-related musculoskeletal disorders [PRMDs] in drummers and determining the playing-related and lifestyle characteristics that put drummers at risk for, or protect them from, PRMDs.
Dr. Azar’s overall goal is to do for drummers what sport science is doing for athletes – help them to achieve their peak performance while avoiding injuries. Her work has been featured nationally on CBC Radio, and internationally on Drum Talk TV and The Drumeo Beat
ABOUT THE RESEARCH LIGHTNING SESSION: Rates and Patterns of Playing-related Musculoskeletal Disorders in Drummers
This session will present the results of a large-scale, online survey of drummers’ experiences with playing-related musculoskeletal disorders (PRMDs, also called ‘overuse’ or ‘repetitive strain’ injuries). The survey, which included questions on demographics (e.g., age, years’ formal training), frequency and patterns of PRMDs (e.g., pain history and location), and potential drummer-specific risk and protective factors for reporting PRMDs (e.g., playing style, exercise habits), yielded responses from 865 drummers representing 49 countries and a broad spectrum of ages, career stages, experience levels, and musical genres. In this session, I will provide a brief overview of the study rationale and methods, highlight the main results, and discuss their implications. Additional study details are provided in the detailed session description (attached). The results of this study confirm that PRMDs are a significant health problem in drummers, and one that warrants further consideration.