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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000942.txt from 1999/04

From: Rachel Throckmorton <rthrockm@-----.edu>
Subj: Re: [kl] TMJ treatment and playing
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 14:11:40 -0400

Mr. Garrett will be so proud--he's been bugging me to post this for months,
so here goes....

I too, was recently diagnosed with TMJ, but not before numerous trips to
the ear/nose/throat specialist, audiologist, and dentist. What made the
disorder so decieving is that pain was secondary to a crackling,
static-like sound in my ears when I played the clarinet. As a music major,
this was somewhat problematic--I really can't continue in school if I can't
play.

The problem finally reached a point near Christmas that when I played, I
heard nothing in my left ear but static. It was frustrating, to say the
least. Music was only in the background of the extraneous noise, and my
jaw was getting more and more painful. Dozens of X-rays, impressions, and
tests later, the dentist fitted me with a bite splint, similar to the one
that Cheryl described, but rather than fitting over my upper teeth, it sits
on my bottom teeth, pushing my jaw forward back into the correct position.

The dentist warned me that I would not be able to play with the splint, but
Mr. Garrett encouraged me to try anyway, and with a few frustrating weeks
of squeaking and squawking, I adjusted. I've worn the splint for almost 2
months now, and it's to the point that it is difficult for me to speak or
eat without it. The pain that I was experiencing has decreased greatly,
and I no longer wake up with headaches every morning. The primary problem,
the static sound, is also decreasing. Some days are definitely better than
others. In fact, I made it through an entire masterclass last week with NO
static in my ears--that was the best feeling I've had in a long time. Like
someone said, the disorder is aggravated by stress, so I just try to relax
before playing, and it usually is easier.

The plan as of now is to wait until I have had several symptom-free months,
and then I'll be fitted with braces. Not exactly what I had planned for my
20th birthday, but I'll do whatever it takes. Anyway, I'm glad that the
problem is finally beginning to resolve itself. Juries are tomorrow, so
hopefully tomorrow will be a good day as far as the static is concerned.
Hope this information has been helpful.

Rachel

At 10:09 AM 4/21/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Hello everyone,
>
>I have been lurking for some time now and have enjoyed the discussions
>which have been going on.
>
>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.
>
>Has anyone else out there experienced this? If so, I am wondering what
>damage is incurred to embouchure etc and the rebuilding that will have to
>happen after this as I have a performance planned for the end of summer
>(about a month after treatment) and am worried about how this is going to
>affect it.
>
>Thanks in advance for any imput/comments
>Cheryl
>
>
>Cheryl Morehouse
>Coordinator UNB Music Camp
>
>http://www.unb.ca/FineArts/Music/camp.html
>
>
>
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