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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a tenor more than a year ago. Quickly moved from entry Brilhart to 5* Meyer. And again to a 100 Ponzol and 105 PPT. I've been switching back and forth between the two of them for 8 months, using soft reeds.

One night a month ago the muscles beneath each ear got crazy sore. I massaged them, used Ben Gay and backed off the horn a couple of days. Then I tried limited playing time. The full set of jaw muscles both sides lit up. And stayed that way. I saw my GP (who prescribed a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory) and my dentist. They found nothing out of the ordinary initiating any of this.

After finally calming down weeks later, I played using the Meyer for about 10 minutes. Those muscles started to get sore again pretty fast.

So now what? I'm no spring chicken. My instinct is to give it up for a couple of months and then start up again gradually. But it's not like I ever played hours on end before, nor did I ever have an inkling of discomfort for the year I played before this trouble.

Any advice would be most appreciated.
 

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I think you might need to describe your embouchure, jaw position and all those things in detail before anyone can say anything. Did you tell your GP and dentist that you play the sax???
 

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I did, Jazz House. I take it that my experience is not at all common. I reviewed my muscle symptoms on the internet on health sites, and think they sound similar to possible side-effects to statin medication, which I've taken a low dose of for several years. I believe I may try a statin-free vacation for a week or so and then report back to my doctor. Thanks.

Meanwhile, I think I'll stick to alto flute for a while.
 

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Before you metnioned the statin thing, I was going to suggest that it might be unrelated to sax. I was thinking maybe grinding your teeth at night, which happens to some people - not sure if it's brought on by stress or what - but it can cause great strain on jaw joint and also tooth problems - extreme pressures can be produced.
Just my 2 cents; I'm not a Dr. or dentist, so keep talking to them.
 

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Before you metnioned the statin thing, I was going to suggest that it might be unrelated to sax. I was thinking maybe grinding your teeth at night, which happens to some people - not sure if it's brought on by stress or what - but it can cause great strain on jaw joint and also tooth problems - extreme pressures can be produced.
Just my 2 cents; I'm not a Dr. or dentist, so keep talking to them.
You might be right. I used to grind my teeth at night frequently (I'm told). I'm sure I take out a lot of stress by clenching. But what's weird is that throughout this current situation, the muscles are fine when I first wake up, but get worse as the day progresses.

Anyway, after laying off the meds and the horn for a while, my jaw calmed down. I've picked up the horn again for modest stretches and then apply ice. No immediate problems, then some soreness at the end of the day, but nothing to make me want to stop. I'm laying off statins for the time being, but the cholesterol is borderline and I'm now going the supplement route. A work in progress for sure.
 
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