Trumpet Playing May Be Dangerous to Your Health.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Majestic1, Dec 12, 2007.

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  1. adonis74

    adonis74 Pianissimo User

    Feb 11, 2007
    Palm Springs, CA
    The first post said that playing the trumpet could cause a drop in blood pressure.

    If one has high blood pressure, it would seem that playing the trumpet could help lower it.

    Play the trumpet and keep your blood pressure low. The deep breathing helps lower blood pressure, too.:lol:

    If nothing else, the wonderful melodious sounds that are emitted should also help keep the blood pressure low.
  2. Majestic1

    Majestic1 New Friend

    Dec 12, 2007
    Adonis, I appreciate your comment about the making melodious sounds to lower the blood pressure but we are (or at least I am) talking about a forced lowering of blood pressure through VM.

    The intercranial (inside your head) pressure acts conversely (in opposite) to the body blood pressure. When the body blood pressure drops via VM, the cranial pressure rises; thus, firstly affecting one of the weakest organs in that area which are the eyes. This is why Mr Wright said glaucoma had also been linked to trumpet playing…. The rise in intercranial pressur is why at the University of Munster, in Germany, they identified five cases where people had suffered damage to blood vessels to the brain by playing the trumpet. This damage then led to the people having a stroke.

    What do you say, shall we just keep the blood pressure down only through playing “wonderful melodious sounds†and not via VM?

    Now for some good news.

    Annie, I quoted your post to my doctor and he said that he did not understand how anybody could throw their heart beat off by playing the trumpet. He also said that your condition has nothing to do with VM. He said that what you need to do, what I need to do and what anyone who is medically concerned with playing their trumpet needs to do is to visit a special doctor who works with occupational hazards. Take your horn with you and go in for some tests.

    My doctor also said that my heart murmur is not significant enough to prevent me from playing the trumpet. He advised me not to play the trumpet for very long periods of time nor to play frequent wall to wall sounds.

    Again, my doctor advised me to visit an occupational hazards doctor, to obtain a stress test and do an ultrasound heart test (echo).
  3. iainmcl

    iainmcl Pianissimo User

    Nov 4, 2006
    New Zealand
  4. adonis74

    adonis74 Pianissimo User

    Feb 11, 2007
    Palm Springs, CA

    Majestic1 wrote: "Again, my doctor advised me to visit an occupational hazards doctor, to obtain a stress test and do an ultrasound heart test." ​

    I'm sure if you were persistent in insisting that something must be wrong, the doc was only happy to make you feel better by agreeing with you that you might benefit from additional help.

    I have a friend, a hypochondriac, who visits a different specialist every time he hiccups or has a little gas. The specialists normally tell him that what is wrong is what he went to them concerning (their specialty). If he feels it's his heart, they're more than happy to perform a heart bypass or whatever their specialty happens to be.

    Go to your "occupational hazards" doctor and he may give you something to make you feel as though you're doing the right thing. He'll agree with you and collect a fat fee.

    It sounds as though you are looking for an excuse to give up the trumpet. If it's an income-producing occupation, you should then be able to collect disability payments. Is that a goal?

    Personally, if doing something like hitting oneself on the head with a hammer hurts, I would advise stopping. I don't see the need to go to several specialists to figure out why.

    Henny Youngman used to tell the joke about the guy who goes to the doctor and says, "Doc, when I do this it hurts." The doctor says, "Don't do that."

    If playing the trumpet causes problems, improve your technique or give it up.:lol:
    Schwab likes this.
  5. Majestic1

    Majestic1 New Friend

    Dec 12, 2007

    I am yours next time I am in your area.

    Thank you very much for the offer.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Great, but what are the options?
    Splinter in your lip from Clarinet
    Carpal tunnel from Piano
    Nail infections from Guitar
    Hearing loss from Bagpipes
    Inferiority complex from Violin

    heck, even playing the harmonica can kill you when you suck in. They are partly soldered together and that causes lead poisoning!

    I guess the only reasonably safe solution is to play the radio (at moderate volumes of course)!
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Not in the bathtub, though!:cool:
  8. Majestic1

    Majestic1 New Friend

    Dec 12, 2007
    I would conjecture to say firstly, one must learn/know how to play the trumpet correctly; secondly, to see how this adversely affects YOUR medical profile, there could be hundreds or thousands of different profiles; thirdly, learn how to bring this under control so that no harm (hazard) will come from playing the trumpet.

    If this sounds reasonable, I can see a line of trumpet players stretching from Jeanne’s house all the way to the City Hall Plaza. Oops, Jeanne, do you live in the City Hall Plaza?:D:-o
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I've watched, and been drawn into, this ongoing post - although I've tried to respond positively, I seem not to be able to penetrate the negative shell around you. I'm am getting quite tired of the rampant negativity of your whole premise. It seems, Majestic1 old son, that you don't actually want to play trumpet all that much.

    There is a risk in everything we do, and ultimately something is going to do us all in. The challenge is to fill your life with so many fun, fulfilling, fantastic experiences and people, that whatever the risk of VM we blast that risk into insignificance by comparison. Seize the day, if you are going to "pop your clogs", then worrying about it will never help - no matter how much VM might hurt or disable you. If you sneek up on it in the assumption that it is inevitable, then you will have wasted your life. Go, get on with it, enjoy, make good friends, experience your VM, if you have to, but leave plenty of cash for a great wake - and let those friends mourn the passing of a great mate. You only die once - so play horn 'cause you only live once.

    And on a final note "dislexic Trumpeters untie".
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  10. BflatMD

    BflatMD New Friend

    May 1, 2008
    Cowbridge, Wales, UK
    I couldn't resist contributing as I am a trumpet player and also a doctor (rather better doc than player, I'm afraid)

    The Valsalva Manoeuvre occurs every time you breathe out against pressure, so you're right it must happen when you're playing the trumpet (or any other wind instrument), whether it be correctly or otherwise, and whether you play high, middle or low. The higher the note the higher the pressure and therefore the more likely you are to experience a drop in blood flowing to the brain. So you could say that the chance of blood flow falling to the point where you faint is greater the longer you play high.

    But most of the time your body takes this sort of thing in its stride. It's designed for fluctuating blood pressures and, within reason, these really don't usually do much harm in the long term (I've never heard, for example, of it reducing your IQ). Straining to pass stool is likely to have a much greater effect on your cerebral blood flow.

    The risk of aneurysms bursting because of raised pressure inside the head is real, but again pretty small unless you already know you have one. Circular breathing leads to a build-up of carbon dioxide - now that really is bad for you, but again, only if you do it a lot.

    I have to say I would never advise a patient to give up a wind instrument, or even playing high, loud and long, just because of worries about cerebral blood flow. But I might if this was combined with several actual episodes of faints or dizziness. And I certainly would if someone knew they had an aneurysm.

    The real risks to health from being a trumpet player ? Smoking, or being around smokers, and drinking too much. Oh, and being attacked by unsympathetic listeners.
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