Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trickg, May 5, 2004.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Last night I was practicing and all of a sudden I got this unbelievably painful cramp under my jaw, just behind my chin. It happened while I was stretching my chops a bit after some long tones that I had been playing.

    Has anyone else ever experienced this? I have gotten minor cramps in the same place before, and even in my tongue, but never to this level. This was a full out charlie horse type of a cramp that brought tears to my eyes and it was a full 5 minutes or so before it loosened up to the point where I could continue practicing. It's still a bit sore today.

    Earlier in the evening I was eating salted-in-the-shell sunflower seeds at my daughter's baseball game and I wonder if that had anything to do with it.


    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I too get these on occasion:

    From WebMD
    Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body. Potassium is needed for proper nerve and muscle (including heart) function. It helps regulate the water balance (the amount of fluid inside and surrounding the cells) and electrolyte balance of the body

    Cramps CAN BE (not always) caused by an imbalance of electrolytes. The interesting thing about Potassium is that:

    Potassium levels in the blood usually vary with sodium levels. When sodium levels increase, potassium levels decrease, and vice versa.

    So therefore, chomping on sunflower seeds put a lot of sodium in you, may have lowered your potassium level and worked your jaw. This could have led to the cramp.

    When I start to get them I take Potassium tablets or Vitamins that have potassium. It always helps me. YMMV!

  3. mheffernen5

    mheffernen5 Pianissimo User

    I know things that have potassium like Gatorade (the sports drink) are recomended. Also some foods have it like bananas etc...
    Good luck :-)
  4. SteelyDan

    SteelyDan Pianissimo User

    Nov 19, 2003
    Phoenix, Az
    Hi Guys,
    I too have suffered from periodic cramps right behind my jaw. Interestingly, I have read and heard(I can't recall the sources at this time) that trumpet players are particularly susceptible to this ailment. It seems to me that the only musicians that I recall complaining of this were all trumpet players(at least in the groups I've played with.)

    Now, here's what I do to prevent cramping:
    1) Maintain a healthy potassium level as mentioned by other forum members.
    2) Routinely (about once a day) massage/rub down the "weak/affected" area to keep it limber.

    The jaw is, after all, composed of muscles that we trumpet players seem to use without knowing it. If we think about the other muscles in our body, we can observe that one cannot keep those limber and supple solely by staying relaxed; regimented stretching and proper diet are needed. I think that the same applies to any muscle group that is consistently cramping.

    Have a great Day,

Share This Page