[Dixielandjazz] Jazz diseases/ Occupational marks

drjz drjz@bealenet.com
Wed, 25 Sep 2002 16:39:12 -0400

Clarinetists a la Dr. Ronchese in "Occupational Marks"- There is a "callus of
the right thumb...because the thumb carries the full weight of the instrument
plus the additional downward force exerted by the mouth". The drawing
accompanying this shows the locations you describe.

Your comment about posture is intriguing. Theoretically, if a young jazz player,
through high school, follows the usual  routine of school, other home
activities, and sleep, the time spent in playing the sax should not affect the
normal rib cage - if the spine, which mainly stabilizes the ribs, is perfectly
aligned. Later, once bone has become fully formed, it should remain stable under
normal circumstances. If there is any scoliosis (sideways spinal misalignment),
this could be exacerbated at any time by undue stress. Most mild cases don't
have any symptoms. I didn't know I had scoliosis until my back was Xrayed in my
50s. Now, in my muscular dotage, I have some discomfort - but perhaps this comes
from my youthful habit of being kicked every week playing rugby. However, I am
not an orthopedist, and one thing I have learned is that you should never say
"never" in medicine, as each of us is different and responds differently to the
same stimulus. How about other sax players (soprano to baritone) in this aspect
of "jazz health"?

The text of the tuba callus was what I quoted. I realise now that the instrument
being played in the picture is a sousaphone, not a tuba. I assume this makes a
difference. Cheers.

Charlie Hooks wrote:

> on 9/24/02 3:50 PM, Schnabbels@aol.com at Schnabbels@aol.com wrote:
> > As far as occupational marks are concerned, here is one that applies
> > exclusively to trombonists.
> Try clarinetists: anybody ever tells you he's a clarinet player, look at his
> right thumb.  If it doesn't have two BIG calluses--one on the inside edge
> and another over the (inner edge of the) joint, he's lyin'.  Or retired.
> In addition, I wonder whether saxophone players, developing young, might
> well have a dislocation of the ribcage to the left side--from long holding
> the instrument draped over the right side, twisted a bit, especially from
> long playing in a section...?  My right shoulder is considerably lower, and
> the lowest rib on my left side is well portruded from the twisted posture.
> Otherwise, I'm so perfect that...well...nevermind...
> Charlie
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