Age takes its toll

hammeron

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Joined
Oct 28, 2013
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80
Ok, to start off with, I'm 66, and determined not to go out quietly. This Oct I found my perfect guitar: a splendidly faded blue jean CU22 with natural back (ebony board to boot). At least I thought it was the perfect guitar. A couple of months ago I started noticing the thumb side of my left wrist was really starting to hurt like hell...continually. Now I'm already locked in a losing battle with arthritis in my left hand, and I was really bummed at the thought that the battle-lines were expanding.

Then a few weeks ago, I was practicing (pushing through the pain) and I noticed that the discomfort throttled up considerably when I was up in the fret 12+ range. I play up there a lot, and the combined ergonomics of the fret-to-fret placement being closer to the guitar body on a 22 layout vs 24; along with how the Custom's longer top horn slides the guitar down to the right when it hangs off the shoulder (I always play standing up,) was placing my hand closer-in towards my body and forcing my hand to cock backwards in order to play in the upper range.

With this in mind, I laid off the CU22 and stuck with my Hagstrom Deuce (a symmetrical double cut) for a week. This placed my left hand much further to left when playing at the 12th fret, and kept my wrist good and straight. And sure enough, the pain was gone.

Now I dig the hell out of my Hag, but it ain't no PRS. So I needed a Made-in-Maryland solution to my problem. The answer: a PRS Santana. 24 frets and a symmetrical double cut.

So the Blue-jean CU22 is going on the blocks, which really breaks my heart. BUT...I just found a spectacular Charcoal Santana Retro with natural back hiding in Germany! It's stunning.It's on it's way. And I'm super psyched.

I'll post a NGD separately, but in the interest of science and medicine, I thought I'd share this with the aging among us.
 

Victek

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Mar 16, 2013
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With this in mind, I laid off the CU22 and stuck with my Hagstrom Deuce (a symmetrical double cut) for a week. This placed my left hand much further to left when playing at the 12th fret, and kept my wrist good and straight. And sure enough, the pain was gone.

I'm on the older side too, so I understand how critical guitar neck & body position is. One reason I've kept my PRS SE Custom 24 is it balances perfectly hanging from a strap. I've had a number of other electric guitars that turned out to be neck heavy, and the extra work playing them standing up wasn't worth it. So far the side to side positioning hasn't been an issue, but I appreciate learning that the Santana hangs differently. That may become important at some point.
 

xjbebop

Yippy ki yay...
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I have the same arthritis pain in the same place (left hand thumb joint). It hurts like hell sometimes and SUCKS HARD!
Anyway, I'm not as effected by neck position as much as you are. What makes the big difference for me is neck thickness.
I can play a fat, round neck without much, if any, pain. But the thinner the neck, the worse it gets. Needless to say, no more wizard / shredder necks for me.
 

AP515

Mostly Normal
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Apr 26, 2012
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At least we don't play bass ;)
Hey, I play bass! And yes, I admit it!

Arthritis can sometimes be a result of one's diet. I won't get on a soapbox here, but if you want to try to stop the progression and possibly reverse it, check into inflammation reducing diets. Mine has been wonderful but probably isn't for everyone. At least I can't convince everyone that it is.
 

Andrew Paul

The cat's meow
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May 25, 2017
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Hey, I play bass! And yes, I admit it!

Arthritis can sometimes be a result of one's diet. I won't get on a soapbox here, but if you want to try to stop the progression and possibly reverse it, check into inflammation reducing diets. Mine has been wonderful but probably isn't for everyone. At least I can't convince everyone that it is.
Sugar! Stay away from it! Makes my joints swell and hurt..... too bad I love chocolate but when I eat too much the pain begins.
 
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sergiodeblanc

Don’t you ever cry again for the rest of your life
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Apr 26, 2012
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I have the same arthritis pain in the same place (left hand thumb joint). It hurts like hell sometimes and SUCKS HARD!
Anyway, I'm not as effected by neck position as much as you are. What makes the big difference for me is neck thickness.
I can play a fat, round neck without much, if any, pain. But the thinner the neck, the worse it gets. Needless to say, no more wizard / shredder necks for me.

Yes! I struggle with long rehearsals and skinny necks now.
 

veinbuster

Zombie Three, DFZ
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Apr 26, 2012
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At least we don't play bass ;)
I started out as a bass player.
I can still comfortably play, but on bass I don’t often play more than two notes at a time....and I don’t currently have a double bass in the house - I think I’d rather have one of those than a 594, but don’t tell all the folks getting new ones.
 
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