Review Article
Volume 13 Issue 10 - 2021
Embouchure Dystonia: Review and Perspective from a Horn Player
Devin N Reddy1 and Laura J Wu2*
1School of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA
2Department of Neurology, 9.128 John Sealy Annex, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA
*Corresponding Author: Laura J Wu, Department of Neurology, 9.128 John Sealy Annex, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA.
Received: June 17, 2021;Published: September 14, 2021


Musician’s Dystonia is a type of Task-Specific Focal Dystonia that pertains to performing artists, impairing their interaction with their instrument and rendering them unable to perform effectively. Embouchure Dystonia is a sub-type of Musician’s Dystonia that specifically pertains to wind (e.g. oboe, flute, clarinet) and brass (e.g. horn, trumpet, trombone) instrumentalists, affecting the orofacial neuroanatomy.

The intensive and repetitive musical training that musicians undergo expands and refines (via surround inhibition) the physiologically relevant region of their sensorimotor cortex, improving their motor advantage and thus performance ability on their instrument. Maladaptive technique as it relates to their instrument and over-practicing can partially fuse regions of the sensorimotor cortex and defocus specific neuromuscular action which may lead to the development of dystonia. Treatment options for this disease may include monotherapy or combinations of motor retraining, ergonomic changes, botulinum toxin injections, sensory tricks, transcranial direct current stimulation and surgical intervention. It is unclear how effective these therapies are, how long their effects last, and their influence on performance ability in the musician (i.e. return to previous or greater playing ability or not). A healthy and balanced approach to practice and performing is essential to prevent the development of Musician’s Dystonia. This includes appropriate rest from practice, mental practice, increasing efficiency of practice and instrumental technique, a healthy approach towards music-making and maintenance of general physical health.

Keywords: Dystonia; Embouchure; Musician; Focal Dystonia; Musician Dystonia


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Citation: Devin N Reddy and Laura J Wu. “Embouchure Dystonia: Review and Perspective from a Horn Player”.EC Neurology 13.10 (2021): 33-38.

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