Head Pain/Dizziness

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dtcwatkins18, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. dtcwatkins18

    dtcwatkins18 New Friend

    Jan 14, 2014
    Hello all! I feel the need to post my situation because it is a little different from others that have posted here. I am a senior trumpet player at The University of Toledo. Earlier this year in the spring, I hit my head lightly on a desk. However, I kept having pain and dizziness, issues with the brightness of the sun etc. I proceeded to go to the hospital for a scan knowing that 4 years earlier I was in a car accident and obtained a server concussion. I got a call later that day to come on immediately because I had a small amount of blood on the brain. I spent a night in the ER where the next day I was cleared to go home because the bleeding had stopped. I had two more scans over the next month to double check and they also confirmed that I was medically "fine" and that was that. I did not play much over the rest of the spring, as playing trumpet with a concussion is not advised. Over summer break I did NOT touch my horn once.

    Fast forward to this fall. I once again having pain and dizziness, but especially when I play trumpet. Now this normally does not happen enless I play for a long time or put large amounts of hair through the horn (like when playing Royal Fireworks etc). Even playing long tones can cause me pain or dizziness. Both vary in how much I have day to day. I'm wondering if anybody has any ideas. The doctors have said im fine according to CT scans but I find this very unusual to be happening only since the spring. If the pain keeps up I'm not sure I want to continue playing Trumpet in large amounts.

  2. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    I wonder if the two are only marginally related (more of that in a minute)

    Firstly two words


    Medically that would seem to be the best advice however I am not a doctor and I hope the medicos on here will get in quickly. I have heard that briused bone can take a very very long tome to heal.

    Is there any chance you could have inadvertantly changed your technique and are pushig for high notes more than usual and choking yourself off due to the lay off getting the old I'm pushing too high and I'm seeing stars thing happening? it is easy to push to quickly after a layoff and give yourself technicla problems you never used to have.

    Even so I think you might need to make sure there is nothing else that could be causing this.
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    We trumpeters tend to push as we get tired. Bad technique may be creeping in and breath control goes south. On a medical note, I would see a doctor. This isn't a "no pain, no gain" situation.
  4. dtcwatkins18

    dtcwatkins18 New Friend

    Jan 14, 2014
    I don't seem to notice any difference in technique. This is even happening when I play mid register stuff as well too. I'm almost positive it is not from over forcing anything. Even if it is, it has to be connected to something medically because this has never occurred before. Also I'm marching band, jazz and wind ensemble so my chops are already about where they used to be so I'm not over compensating.
  5. dtcwatkins18

    dtcwatkins18 New Friend

    Jan 14, 2014
    Also as I stated this is NOT only happening when I play trumpet, but is magnified.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Then go see a doctor.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There are many reasons for dizziness. You will have to narrow them down to determine why.

    Can you climb stairs without pain? Can you swim without pain? Can you go for long walks without pain? If you have to sit on the toilet for a while, do you have pain?

    As far as the trumpet goes, we can play with compression, or with little more than an exhale. How would you describe your playing? Try playing after a 20 minute hot shower - pain?
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Sorry to hear about your problem. It sounds like you have a history of a traumatic brain injury with both a concussion and a subarachnoid hemorrhage. And it sounds like you continue to have symptoms, and that these symptoms are worse when you play the trumpet.

    You said that "the doctors have said im fine according to CT scans", but this can mean many things. I suspect that it means that the original hemorrhage has resolved. But it is not clear that it means little more than that.

    The advice given by the others is correct. Go back to your doctor and clarify the state of your traumatic brain injury and whether you should be playing the trumpet. In addition to clarifying things, you might want to ask your regular doctor about whether you should seek the advice of a neurosurgeon or a neurologist.

    EDIT: Your doctors may also be able to help you figure out the best way to approach the trumpet. A good teacher, with experience in this area, might also be able to help.

    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  9. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    I am no medico; but what know from my wife (who is an opera singer as well as a trained and certified orthobionomy therapist) traumatic injuries to the brain can also result in minute injuries to the spinal column in the neck area which can lead to symptoms like you describe. Problem: Most doctors trend to examine the head only if you complain about headaches. So my advice would be: See a doctor asap; but tell the medico to look at your neck and spine as well and get them to prescribe a CT and MRT as far down as your chest.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Welcome to TM, dctwatkins18! We are blessed to have some good medical types on board here, and I sincerely hope you can get some permanent relief soon!

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