Ouch

Daryl Jones

non-practicing pacifist
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
543
Location
Alberta Canada
For a while now, I've been avoiding reality to an extent. I know I'm not bulletproof anymore, and as I continue to age, more little niggles show up that haven't been much of a hinderance with anything I do. However, for a few months now, I've been waking in the middle of the night with numbness and pain in my left hand: 1st 2 fingers, thumb and general aches in my lower arm/wrist area. Most of you will recognize where this is going as it's a common complaint (so I gather) with playing guitar. My wife has had both her hands/wrists surgically repaired, but I'm struggling with (I guess) medium intensity carpal tunnel issues. It isn't as bad when I stick to my electric guitars, but over the holidays I spent a goodly amount of time on my acoustics and it suddenly got far worse and definitely more painful. In a word, it's "frustrating" to have to stop playing due to the level of discomfort. I'm going to try some neoprene wraps and braces to see if it will get me through the next few months, but eventually I reckon I'll be heading to the surgeon to get cut. My work schedule and business load is such that I can't afford the downtime for recovery from the procedure until fall when I retire. I'm just hoping I can get through the interim and still be able to play as much as possible without risking more serious damage. I don't want to become dependent on the brace as it will also have a detrimental effect (loss of wrist/hand strength) from relying on it too much.
Anybody else dealt with this? I would appreciate any thoughts you care to share, or suggestions to ease the pain and aggravation. .
 

LSchefman

Historical Entity
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
28,816
Location
Michigan
For a while now, I've been avoiding reality to an extent. I know I'm not bulletproof anymore, and as I continue to age, more little niggles show up that haven't been much of a hinderance with anything I do. However, for a few months now, I've been waking in the middle of the night with numbness and pain in my left hand: 1st 2 fingers, thumb and general aches in my lower arm/wrist area. Most of you will recognize where this is going as it's a common complaint (so I gather) with playing guitar. My wife has had both her hands/wrists surgically repaired, but I'm struggling with (I guess) medium intensity carpal tunnel issues. It isn't as bad when I stick to my electric guitars, but over the holidays I spent a goodly amount of time on my acoustics and it suddenly got far worse and definitely more painful. In a word, it's "frustrating" to have to stop playing due to the level of discomfort. I'm going to try some neoprene wraps and braces to see if it will get me through the next few months, but eventually I reckon I'll be heading to the surgeon to get cut. My work schedule and business load is such that I can't afford the downtime for recovery from the procedure until fall when I retire. I'm just hoping I can get through the interim and still be able to play as much as possible without risking more serious damage. I don't want to become dependent on the brace as it will also have a detrimental effect (loss of wrist/hand strength) from relying on it too much.
Anybody else dealt with this? I would appreciate any thoughts you care to share, or suggestions to ease the pain and aggravation. .

I had heart surgery a few years ago, and woke up with two fingers on my left hand numb, and after a month or two, they stopped working at all. Turns out the position I was in during a very long surgery must have aggravated a pinched ulnar nerve, at the elbow. I needed a surgery to correct it. The two fingers are still pretty numb, but they work again.

It wasn't all that bad, the main hassle was that I wore a cast for a few weeks. Totally worth it, though.

As one of my best pals says, "Getting old isn't for the faint of heart!" :p
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
28,865
Location
Suburban Chicago
I deal with some painful arthritis in my left thumb. Sometimes it hurts so bad I don't want to move it. I use some "arthritis" gloves from time to time. Also, sleeping with a thumb splint seemed to help. I really notice it if I have been reading a heavy book it flairs up due to the way I hold the book. Holding my iPad a certain way aggravates it as well. I have to make an effort to remember to hold things differently to keep the pain at bay.
 

Slowhands

New Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
130
Location
New Jersey
I had cubital tunnel syndrome (similar to carpal tunnel but where the nerves pass through elbow and effects ring / little finger instead). Doc and phys therapist theorized it was mostly because my shoulder is so badly messed up that I am using my elbow in unconventional ways to compensate and that's effecting my hand. Bad shoulder = numb fingers? Sure, why not. So most of the PT was focused on the elbow and shoulder, not the wrist/hand and it mostly worked. I'd have never tried shoulder exercises if I'd relied on youtube and self treatment. Bonus: my shoulder doesn't hurt (as much).
 
Last edited:

CandidPicker

Building with Fireproof Materials
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
4,686
Location
NW Connecticut, USA
Many years ago, I experienced what you have now. Numbness in the hands and wrist while sleeping. The reason was caused by my bending of the wrist at the wrist joint forwards (which we naturally do while sleeping).

It caused early-onset carpal tunnel.

My doctor prescribed wearing some Futuro wrist braces at night while sleeping, the standard black velcro type. This prevented me from waking up with residual numbness that lasted well into early afternoon.

Granted, it was necessary to use a pair of scissors on the braces to open up the thumb area a little to prevent chafing. But the braces solved the numbness.

YMMV slightly if you routinely use your computer a lot and have bad desk posture. Straightening up and not leaning to one side will go a long way towards correcting numbness in your hands as well. Find a quality computer chair that will allow you to sit upright instead of leaning to one side as you work.
 

veinbuster

Zombie Three, DFZ
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
13,429
Location
GTA or wandering aimlessly
The source of the problem could be anywhere from you spine to your fingers, so it is worth getting some help to pin that down.

The first time I had problems with my hands, it originated at the wrist. This was mid 90s and was largely corrected with wrist strengthening exercises. Since it helped, I never stopped doing those exercise.

The second time, the origin was in my elbow. A course of ultrasound treatments helped the connective tissue get sorted out. Since I don’t have an ultrasound machine in the house, I use contrast heat/cold periodically (moist heat, then ice, five minutes each, repeat, repeat).

Third occurrence was a few years ago and originated in the neck. A chiropractor got the upper spine reoriented (over a bunch of visits). I maintain it with daily neck exercises.
 

Daryl Jones

non-practicing pacifist
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
543
Location
Alberta Canada
I'll get a referral to get nerve conduction testing done. Just how long that will take is anyone's guess right now thanks to the overwhelmed healthcare system. It's almost impossible to get in to see my GP right now let alone a referral clinic date. If it comes to that, I at least have an avenue to get in to see the Dr my wife saw for her two procedures. I just don't have a month to be off work for healing. Come fall I have all the time in the world. It's just the meantime I wonder/worry about. I know for sure I won't be hitting anything with my left fist in the dojo for a while. :eek:
 

Daryl Jones

non-practicing pacifist
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
543
Location
Alberta Canada
Usually yes. But not always. I know that should be automatic at my age, but there again, too soon old, too late smart. Finger stretches should be the absolute minimum to do, but sometimes I just jump right in. Also depends on what I want to cover when I start, and what I've been doing prior.
 

DreamTheaterRules

Recovering jokester
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
11,033
Location
Cincinnati area
Finger stretches should be the absolute minimum to do,
NO, fingers, hands and wrists is THE MINIMUM. And, I do some, play a little, do some more, then stretch good once I'm a little warmed up.

Usually I start off with 25 reps with my extra firm grip hand exercisers. I use these (From Dick's Sporting Goods) They are padded, which you NEED. These are extra firms, but they ain't all that strong compared to some of the ones I've tried. Good enough to strengthen, and to loosen up with.
16FGEUFGHNDGRPSP1EAC
 

Daryl Jones

non-practicing pacifist
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
543
Location
Alberta Canada
I haven't used anything like those in ages. I have a couple squeeze balls (1 tennis, 1 raquet ball) with my gym apparatus in the basement. I do mobility exercises my physio tech taught me years ago to loosen my joints for flexibility (when I do them). Strength work I do when I work out on my apparatus, usually a couple times a week.
 

DreamTheaterRules

Recovering jokester
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
11,033
Location
Cincinnati area
I haven't used anything like those in ages. I have a couple squeeze balls (1 tennis, 1 raquet ball) with my gym apparatus in the basement. I do mobility exercises my physio tech taught me years ago to loosen my joints for flexibility (when I do them). Strength work I do when I work out on my apparatus, usually a couple times a week.

My doctor told me foam and rubber balls would be easier on my arthritis, but they don't give the range of motion of the grippers. But you definitely want them padded if you have hand or finger issues. I have another set that's hard plastic and it's much harder on my bad fingers. Only use in emergencies... (it's in my desk drawer at work).
 

Sybo

Jim
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
779
Location
Nashville Tn
The source of the problem could be anywhere from you spine to your fingers, so it is worth getting some help to pin that down.

The first time I had problems with my hands, it originated at the wrist. This was mid 90s and was largely corrected with wrist strengthening exercises. Since it helped, I never stopped doing those exercise.

The second time, the origin was in my elbow. A course of ultrasound treatments helped the connective tissue get sorted out. Since I don’t have an ultrasound machine in the house, I use contrast heat/cold periodically (moist heat, then ice, five minutes each, repeat, repeat).

Third occurrence was a few years ago and originated in the neck. A chiropractor got the upper spine reoriented (over a bunch of visits). I maintain it with daily neck exercises.
Three Spine surgeries later I am good, no more numbness. It’s a *****……..
 

GADonis

New Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
453
Location
Savannah, GA
I've had issues with pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder. My pinky and ring finger would go numb. I'm pretty sure it comes from years of slinging a guitar strap over my shoulder. It first cropped up when I was doing acoustic duo gigs. I played an Ovation double neck for those and man is she heavy. Therapist showed me some stretches which help. I also switched to a DARE strap which is a double strap that distributes the weight over both shoulders. It doesn't look very rock and roll, but it really helps. I can get away with a regular strap for maybe one set, but longer than that and my fingers start to tingle.

Oh what a drag it is getting old.
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
12,936
I've had issues with pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder. My pinky and ring finger would go numb. I'm pretty sure it comes from years of slinging a guitar strap over my shoulder.

Years ago, Bruce Kulick said he had a chiropractor on tour with Kiss because of shoulder issues related to having a guitar strapped on so much.
 

gush

She said "huge bag of dibs".
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
5,535
Location
washington iowa
I live with pain and discomfort 24/7.

I've always worked physical jobs and it has taken it's toll.

5 more years and we will both retire but I'm pretty sure my first two years of retirement will be surgeries and recovery.

Knees, hips and one shoulder.
 

DreamTheaterRules

Recovering jokester
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
11,033
Location
Cincinnati area
I live with pain and discomfort 24/7.

I've always worked physical jobs and it has taken it's toll.

5 more years and we will both retire but I'm pretty sure my first two years of retirement will be surgeries and recovery.

Knees, hips and one shoulder.
Sorry to hear that. :(:(
 

Daryl Jones

non-practicing pacifist
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
543
Location
Alberta Canada
After being a meat cutter for almost 30 years, I fully expected some aftermath from packing 1/4's of beef and having my hands continuously wet and cold. Sports injuries and m/c crashes didn't help either. I just never expected the discomfort and disruption in sleep that carpal causes, but the last 20 years on the computer and from my wife's experiences I should have learned I reckon. But, we'll see what the doc says and how long a wait I have to get the tests done. My whole body has become a pretty good barometer thanks to my arthritic joints (all self induced) from broken bones and torn ligaments. Again, youth is so badly wasted on the young (that would be me 50+ years ago). But I never intended on cruising to the end of the game in slow motion either so.
 
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