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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bill SAS 513, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Bill SAS 513

    Bill SAS 513 Just another old guy in a T-shirt

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    I saw mention of this topic in another thread, and wanted to ask all you'z guys/gals...
    It appears my left hand is starting to ache at the wrist (burning sensation), and on top of my hand.
    (just an aching pain behind my ring finger and pinky)
    Have any of you sought out treatment, or tried other ways to deal with it??

    (I know, I know, I should have "Asked Bodia??")
     
  2. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    Bill, it may not be arthritis, but early onset carpal tunnel.

    Reason for my saying is because my doc diagnosed me with EO carpal many years ago. She said to wear wrist braces (both hands) to bed at night just prior to turning in for the night. The braces straighten out your wrists so they won't naturally curl towards the arms when you sleep. (We all have the tendency for this and it's unavoidable). Over time the curl causes numbness or pain in the wrists. Wearing the wrist braces and shaking out your wrists after extended computer sessions will help mitigate the numbness and pain, and will treat if not solve your wrist pain problem.

    The way to know this is to see your doc and ask what is causing the pain. The doc can perform a test which will indicate EO carpal tunnel if it's that, or something else if it's arthritis...

    And yes, this is serious stuff, not an Ice Cream Sunday joke...;)
     
  3. Tony M.

    Tony M. New Member

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    I agree, carpal tunnel, and no, I'm not a doctor.

    but...

    I have had problems with the ring fingers of both hands,
    pain, stiffness, "locking up", etc.

    It was caused by a problem with the tendon and tunnel
    in the palm of the hand about an inch below the ring finger.
    I had it corrected surgically both times (The right hand about a month ago in fact).
    It was a small procedure that was performed in the doctors office and literally took
    less than 10 minutes with a local anesthetic. I was able to play that afternoon.

    It may not be carpal tunnel (again, I'm no doctor) but if it is, it can be an easy fix.
    I'm telling you all this so you don't have to worry about a whole huge operation in a
    hospital with a month of advance planning and everything that goes with all that.

    Of course surgery is always a last resort, but it was easy
    and it totally fixed the problem both times.
    In fact, the second time around I went right for the surgery instead
    of trying everything else in the world first to avoid it.

    I also had my right wrist "done" back in February 2020.
    Excellent results with that too.

    Surgery is not something to avoid at all costs.
    For the most part these people know what they're doing.
    They are mechanics and your body is basically a machine.

    Either way, good luck with it and I hope it's an easy fix.
     
    #3 Tony M., Oct 30, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
    Bill SAS 513 likes this.
  4. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    Have you tried anti-inflammatories or ice or anything like that?

    I'm actually on the verge of going back to the hand specialist myself - I've noticed that my left hand pinky isn't always doing just what I want it to do. I've noticed it doing scales that are part of my warm up. I'm fine at 8th notes, but 16th give me problems. I did bump up my tempo a bit, but even back at the slower tempo, it's difficult - it's almost like the hand fatigues much faster than it should.

    It sucks getting old, don't it?
     
  5. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    It could be lots of things. I would let a doctor label it. I’ve had ongoing problems with my hands for 25 years or so.

    The first time I had several doctors look at the problem, including a specialist who only deals with hands. I did not have carpel tunnel, but there were hints of the beginning of arthritis and some deterioration in connective tissue which resulted in what the specialist referred to as a piano key wrist. Basically a couple of bones could be played like piano keys, albeit with less range of motion. The remediation amounted to strengthening all the tiny muscles around the wrist. I do this by placing my forearm on a flat surface and rolling light weights up: Palm up, Palm down, palm horizontal left and right. 15-20 of each without pause. Pause and repeat so I do the whole thing 3 times - like any weight lifter would do. This made a huge difference to the stability in my wrist.

    For immediate pain relief, a cycle of cold and moist heat: 5 minutes each time 3. The easiest way to get the moist heat is to dampen a small towel and toss it in the microwave. Times vary, but about a minute prior to each heat cycle. This is by no means hand specific. It was part of the therapy for my neck when my car was smashed to bits and later when a Dodge minivan bashed my knee at 60-80 km/hr. In addition to the pain relief, there is reason to believe the contrast stimulates local healing.

    Finally, pain in the fingers may have nothing to do with your hand. It can result from spinal misalignment. It’s easy for neck posture to get sloppy, particularly if you spend a lot of time leaning into a computer monitor. I bumped into this about four years ago and now part of my morning is to make sure all those bits are where they should be.

    Sorry for the book.
     
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  6. CandidPicker

    CandidPicker Mostly An Educated Guess

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    I'd avoid stuff like cortisones, but recommend warm-ups before with stretching and stretching and ice after practice if you've spent more than 40 minutes practicing. Unless my hands are active each day (computer keyboard, handling kitchen tools, working at my job, guitar practice) they'll weaken from lack of use. The key is strengthening them. Yet, because strengthening is mostly a form of exercise, it's important to treat the exercise like you would to a visit to the gym. You don't begin cold. You warm up with either some targeted warm-up exercises for the areas of the body you plan on exercising.

    For hands and wrists, that typically involves some hand manipulation that gets the blood flowing to the hand area. YouTube has some videos you can choose from that outline what you'll need to do. Once the hands are warm, you can do some stretching exercises. Your doctor can provide you with some physical therapy printouts, or prescribe some PT specifically for this purpose. If perhaps you'd prefer to do this solo, be sure to be diligent regards the exercises, otherwise they won't solve your pain issue.

    Like @veinbuster, I used to have sloppy computer workstation posture. After several hours of using the mouse alone, I'd end up slumping to the right side of my computer chair misaligning my spine. What solved that was purchasing a decent office desk chair from a used office furniture outlet for about $40-60. My current ride had plenty of seat cushion, and I've made a conscious effort to stop slumping to the right. Not only did this help solve any hand issues, but it helped relieve right side shoulder and hip pain. (My right deltoid bothered me for quite a few years until the doctor and I reasoned that it was extended computer use and poor posture that was the culprit.)

    FTR, my doc suggested strengthening my hands after I had just become acquainted with using a home computer, but had not strengthened my hands enough to the point where pain wasn't an issue anymore. For the wrist pain/numbness associated with sleeping at night, the wrist braces solved that problem.

    Today, can usually practice for 45 minutes without feeling much after effects. I still cool down and stretch, though. Prevents any muscle/joint stiffness from occurring.
     
    #6 CandidPicker, Oct 30, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
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  7. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules There will never be another

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    Interesting. I didn't ask the type of pain you were having in our side discussion.

    One more tip from me though. If it is arthritis, you want heat on it. DO NOT ICE IT! I had to ice on my finger to get my wedding ring off due to swelling. I barely got it off, and my finger ached for a week. Every time my foot get's cold, it hurts.
     
  8. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    No - this is all good. I suspect my issue has something to do w/nerves because I've gone through periods where I wake up and the ring and pinkie finger on my left hand are kind of numb. Rotate the shoulder, flex the arm, everything is fine. I'm not having the numbness now , but that doesn't mean all is well.
     
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  9. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    You should have asked me. I have stage 2 arthritis and some bone spurs at the base of my left thumb, as diagnosed by an orthopedic dr last spring. Heat, no ice. I wear a thumb/wrist brace to bed at night. I’m not big on pills, so I rub it down with Blu-Emu, or some other topical aid when the need arises. Lots of good advice here already. See a doc to make sure it isn’t something else.
     
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  10. Bill SAS 513

    Bill SAS 513 Just another old guy in a T-shirt

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    Alan...and ALL, thanks for the replies. Will follow whatever dr suggests...glad you all are here. This place is Definitely a mood lifter!
     
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  11. RC Mike

    RC Mike New Member

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    Bill, out of curiosity are you wearing a watch with a tight strap? After about three years of wearing an Apple Watch, I started having pain similar to what you described. Went to the loosest strap hole about three months ago, and things are improving.
     
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  12. d4rkst4r

    d4rkst4r All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

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    I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on TV...I may not have a lot to run with compared to the majority of the folks I've read in these forums with regard to instrument knowledge or ability, but this is one thing I definitely can confidently chime in on. I consider myself mother nature's test dummy when it comes to muscular and skeletal beat downs.
    A regular good hot soak in an Epsom Salt bath has been my go-to whether it's a smaller container for ankle/wrist/hand, to full soaks for knees, hips, and lower back.
    This is for discomfort management and by no means a cure, you need a good professional evaluation....and yes, when there's no time for a soak, Blue Emu is the business with no odor. Sleep with a wrist brace as well. Good luck.
     
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  13. Tonart

    Tonart Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?

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    Everyone here who says they’re not a doctor is lying. They are. They just don’t want to reinforce that PRS reputation.
     
  14. d4rkst4r

    d4rkst4r All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

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    Well, I guess you could say that I'm a gynecologist of sorts....;)
     
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  15. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    Bill, Truck your carcass to Dr. Ray Wittstadt at the Chesapeake Hand Center in Lutherville. He’s a fantastic doctor even though he’s a bass player. After 4 surgeries, he’s the only reason that I’m still playing. In The DMV, he’s simply known as “the hand god.” And when you meet him, look him in the eye and say....”huh, you look like a bass player.” He’ll know I’m still instigating. Ray also runs the Musician’s clinic at Union Memorial Hospital, and taught at both Johns Hopkins and the Curtis National Hand Center. He also knows the best therapists in your neck of the woods if he thinks that’s the way to go.
     
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  16. alantig

    alantig Zombie Four, DFZ

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    I’ve been gearing up to call my hand doctor, but we also go for massages every three weeks. I mentioned to the masseuse that my hand was giving me grief. She did some focused work and manipulation, and I felt alright that night. The next, things felt like they had the past few weeks. Two days after the massage, I finally picked up a guitar to play. Did my usual stretches and started my warmup routine. Got to my pentatonic exercises and it occurred to me that my hand didn’t feel as tired as usual. Did my diagonal thing and - hey, my finger is working! It was good again today, even though I didn’t do the usual stuff. Weird - but I’m happy for now.
     
  17. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    That’s a result, keep up with the regime!
     
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  18. pac90

    pac90 Helix user

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    I'm pleased you got a Happy Ending Alan


    ;)
     
  19. DelcoSol

    DelcoSol New Member

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    I’m dealing with cubital tunnel myself. The nerve in my elbow, the one that hurts when you hit your funny bone, is impinged. It makes my pinky and ring finger along with my palm below them numb. It’s especially noticeable when my elbows are bent. Twenty years as a mechanic has just worn them out. Doctor wants to do surgery but not having disability through work has me holding off for now. Fear of other effects of surgery is not helping either. Anyone have experience with cubital tunnel?
     
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  20. Bill SAS 513

    Bill SAS 513 Just another old guy in a T-shirt

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    Alan, glad you can get some playing time...I throw a wrist brace on every once in a while, and definitely minimizes the pain...of course, I cant move my frickin' wrist, though.

    Nope, no watches...seeing the doctor this Wednesday...11/11.

    Good luck with your issues. Hope you can get it sorted out, so you can comfortably fret a guitar. No numbness here...yet.
     
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