Designing a Thoracic Compression and Posture Correction Device for Brass Musicians with Pharyngoceles: A Teaching Opportunity
Brass musicians exert high pressures throughout their bodies when playing, and overtime they can establish pharyngoceles. These are balloon-like protrusions that project through the wall of the pharynx and can over-stimulate the Vagus nerve. When this nerve is stressed, the brass musician can develop extreme pain, nausea and psychological distress. This condition was explored as a studio topic, for a senior level Product Design class. Students were tasked to innovate products for practice, performance or recovery, in an attempt to reduce the symptoms caused by the pharyngoceles.