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Trigeminal Neuralgia in Wind Musicians



  • William P. Cheshire MD

Address all correspondence to Dr. William Cheshire, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32224.


The author reports 3 patients with trigeminal neuralgia whose pain was triggered by musical performance. Use of the muscles of embouchure activated the trigger zone when playing the clarinet, saxophone, flute, piccolo, trombone, or whistling. In each case, the location of the trigger zone was perioral, regardless of which division of the trigeminal nerve emanated pain. Trigeminal neuralgia is a particularly disabling affliction when it occurs in wind musicians.