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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000934.txt from 1999/04

From: Cheryl <>
Subj: Re: [kl] TMJ treatment and playing
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 11:06:00 -0400

>On Wed, 21 Apr 1999, Cheryl wrote:
>> I have just been diagnosed with TMJ and have to have treatment (being
>> fitted with an appliance) over the summer due to the migraines that are
>> occuring. I will not be able to play for a couple of months as they are
>> "unlearning" the habits that my muscles have learned over the years and are
>> retraining them afterwards.
>I'm curious: with what "appliance" are you being fitted to
>treat your TMJ? What type of doctor are you seeing? I've
>had a couple of bouts with the problem, and went to a chiro-
>practor the first time to deal with it. After a number of
>adjustments and ultrasound treatments, the problem was great-
>ly reduced. I learned to relax my jaw during the day, and
>particularly to consciously rest my tongue flat on the
>bottom of my mouth. I don't know why this had an effect
>on the pain, but whenever the disorder set in, laying my
>tongue down on the bottom of my mouth helped a lot. It
>was something I stumbled upon and used to potent effect.

This "appliance" is made of hard plastic and sits over your upper teeth
while placeing/forcing your lower jaw into a resting position. it is also
used to help prevent people from clenching their jaws. It is worn 24 hours
a day for 4-6 weeks and then you are gradually weaned off it.

I had been seeing a neurologist to determine the causes of my migraines and
then was sent to the orthodontist. I have tried physio in the past and
also acupuncture and ultrasound but that only had very temporary relief.
My lower jaw is actually sitting unevenly so that one side closes before
the other does and this causes snapping and pain in movement. It could be
either something that has been learned or something that is hereditary as
there is a history of jaw trouble in the family and it may be a combination
of the above.

It does cause me some pain while playing for extended periods of time and
also when I am playing during times when it is already flared up and
sensitive. It is brought on by stress (who doesn't have any of that?) and
fatigue and frequently occurs when least expected.


Cheryl Morehouse
Coordinator UNB Music Camp

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