Deteriorating cheek muscle

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Sop_Or_Bass?, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. Sop_Or_Bass?

    Sop_Or_Bass? Member

    My wife is considering stopping playing as when she plays the facial muscles are weakening inside her cheeks and on one is now splitting and hurting. This has built up over years losing more and more control over time :-(

    Is this anything anyone else has dealt with and any sensible suggestions for sorting it, or is percussion calling for her?


  2. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    Sorry if this is a silly/nosey question, but has your wife asked a medical professional about this? I play with quite a few pretty elderly people in our band, and most of them have some of the 'grumbles and groans' you would expect with normal ageing, but aside from in some cases moving onto a smaller instrument that requires less 'puff' they are not suffering in the manner you describe. Hope it works out.
  3. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    I agree with hobgoblin re the need for some medical attention, no doubt there may be more medically qualified members here, (I am not) but to me it suggests this is a sign of a possibly underlying problem.
  4. Sop_Or_Bass?

    Sop_Or_Bass? Member

    Thanks Hobgoblin and Cornet Nev - will go for the medical professional and see what happens
  5. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    A rule I (now) tend to follow is: "if what you are doing hurts then stop doing it". I suggest that your wife stops practicing and playing completely until medical advice from your GP, and possibly then a Hospital's Specialist, has been gained and a way forward agreed. Ignoring an injury typically makes it worse and might make it a very long term or even permanent.....

    IMHO the action I suggest should be agreeable to any responsible MD and Band Manager, I believe a player's health should come before everything else and feel sure that their will be deps in your area if need be.

    Good luck, and I hope that she makes a full and lasting recovery.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  6. David Evans

    David Evans Active Member

    It's not a particularly common symptom. Firstly she should see her dentist who can see whether there is a local cause such as a tooth or gum problem affecting the cheek. They also assess the facial and chewing muscles as these are fundamental to occlusion and efficient mastication. A dentist is looking in mouths all day long for years on end, a GP might look in a mouth perhaps half a dozen times a year and is most unlikely to spot anything abnormal unless it has a big sign on it saying 'This is abnormal'.

    If necessary then see your GP as they are much better at looking for systemic diseases that might produce this symptom, that may include a blood test and/or Xray.
    Either can then refer you to a specialist if necessary, probably a facio-maxillary unit is best as they often have combined clinics with ENT and sometimes plastic surgeons. This depends on your local medical facilities.

    Unfortunately brass banders are not treated especially well in medicine, they tend to be an uncomplaining bunch and there are probably only a handful of specialists in the country with any knowledge of embouchure and brass players' lip/breathing/mouth/tongue problems.

    If you can, I would urge you to look at BAPAM which has specialists who have a particular interest in musicians and the like. I have been disappointed in the level of expertise by NHS specialists wrt musician's problems wheras BAPAM guys really seem to be on the ball and enjoy it. They usually do it voluntarily or at reduced fees, (Yes, it does happen), and they are invariably musicians themselves.

    I hope that helps, you could suggest to your wife initially that not speaking much for six months might help...

    If you need anything else send me a PM or ESP


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