23 September. 2020
Research on the prevention and management of work-related pain in performing musicians
Nicosia, Cyprus – September 2020. The Research centre on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies – RISE CoE is excited to announce the start of a new research project titled "TONE - Using musculo-postural biofeedback in virtual reality for pain management in musicians".
TONE was approved under the "2nd Opportunity" Call of the "RESTART 2016-2020" Program for Research, Technological Development and Innovation, funded with a total of 150,000 Euros for its completion by the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF).
“This grant will enable us to investigate and develop state-of-the-art technological solutions against work-related musculoskeletal pain disorders. Musicians, dancers, athletes, and many others work hard to optimize motor performances while at the same time minimizing the risk of developing body and mind burnout, overuse and unwilling pain-related conditions”. TONE project represents a step in that direction, focusing on the specific target group of musicians, and does so by relying on the interdisciplinary expertise of neuroscientists, psychologists, physicians, computer scientists, and musicians from RISE and abroad”,
Dr Christos Ioannou (Project coordinator).
TONE is expected to contribute new research findings on the manifestation and treatment of pain in work related musculoskeletal disorders in performing musicians. The project will develop a Virtual Reality and Gamification innovative tool to assist musicians in developing preventive and pain-management strategies against task-specific musculoskeletal pain. To achieve this, a virtual mirror biofeedback system will be developed in which muscular activities and postural parameters will be projected on a virtual character animated in real-time while musicians are playing their musical instruments. This system will be complemented by a VR game implementing attention distraction from pain during instrument playing.
TONE will contribute significantly a) to the understanding of the psycho-motor mechanisms behind the manifestation and treatment of occupational pain disorders, b) to the establishments of new technology-based tools and interventions able to prevent, diagnose and monitor musculoskeletal pain symptoms, and c) to the development of occupational-related conditions and preventive guidelines among musicians, athletes, dancers, etc. Under those circumstances, musicians, physicians, scientists, educators, (physio)therapists, psychologists, and many others will benefit from the current project and will lead to the establishment of further collaborations between national and international institutions, universities, health care centers, and occupational organizations.
Initially, the participation of both healthy and pain-affected musicians is essential to the successful completion of this 24-month long project.
TONE will be coordinated within RISE CoE by Dr. Christos Ioannou, Associate Researcher at the Cognitive and Clinical Applications Research Group (led by Prof. Marios Avraamides) and in collaboration with the research Group of Immersive Technologies for Intelligent and Creative Applications (led by Dr. Kleanthis Neokleous).
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