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repetitive motion injuries guitar related


Beth2

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I am looking for the place in here to talk about this and earlier found folks talking about various repetitive motion injuries from playing and how they deal with it...I have mild tendonitis in my left ring finger...and I'm wondering if anybody else has had this. I hate to have to stop playing or to stop typing and immobilize the darn finger for a long time. Help!
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Just a recap of the PM I sent you:

 

If your issue lies within your ring finger, it may be a problem known as "trigger finger". It could also be arthritis.

 

Either way, check for help here at the forum, but talk to your doctor, regardless of the out come.

 

Welcome to the forum and good luck!

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Originally posted by A String:

.....talk to your doctor......

And take everything your doctor says with a 3 ton grain of salt because MDs are notorious butchers without a clue when it comes to tendonitis. :mad:

Beware of cortisone shots, surgery, and other crazy crap!

 

In case you aren't seeing my rants in other related threads, accupuncture cured me from what would've been a seriously career hampering tendonitis of the right wrist.

 

I highly recommend accupuncture - it may enable you to say g'bye to that nutty finger pain.

Just a pinch between the geek and chum

 

 

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Beejeeber is spot on dont have cortisone injections, they relieve the pain short term but have a bad adverse effect on the tissues etc... round the troubled area, i have a bad shoulder which hasnt been helped by those shots!!!!!

Accupuncture may be worth a try

G

Love life, some twists and turns are more painful than others, but love life.....

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=592101

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Guys,

 

We need to be very careful about suggesting that people ignore the advice of their doctors. We are not doctors, we do not know the people in question and we have no idea the proper course of treatment for that particular person. Just because something didn't work for you and your problems does not mean that it doesn't work for anyone.

 

Better advice would be "If you don't think your doctor is helping, go to another doctor. Do not follow the medical advice of some guitar player in a guitar forum."

 

It's fine to relate your experiences, but I don't think it's a good idea to try to apply them to everyone. Improperly treating, or failing to treat a condition such as was described could possibly lead to permanent damage. If you aren't an MD, you aren't qualified to offer medical advice.

 

Just my 2 cents.... ;)

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Sas is right. Let's not deter someone who may in fact, need medical assistance, from getting it.

 

Personal experiences are a very valuable tool. Beth2 may want to try acupuncture because it worked for Bejeeber, but it doesn't mean that her situation is the same and it doesn't mean she should avoid doctors.

 

The guy who played guitar, in the video I posted a few days ago, had "Trigger Finger". He got it in all of his fingers and found that the pain was making it almost impossible for him to play.

 

After several failed home remedies, he went in to see a doctor. They told him he needed surgery.

 

He needed to have the surgery preformed a few times, to take care of each of the effected fingers, but his problem is now fixed.

 

Doctors are trained to take care of this kind of thing. It's ok to try acupuncture, but don't be afraid to see a doctor. If he wants to give you shots and you don't want them, see another doctor.

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Yea, the success of different treatments on different people simply varies. I've gone the accupuncture route and tried chiroprators for my lower back. Many many many wasted $ later I finally had surgery. A lot of people get help through alternative routes. A lot of people can't be helped by alternative routes.

I take cortisone shots regularly in my lower back. They offer temporary relieve to a lot of pain. The pain specialist I see tells me that he won't give me more than 6 shots per year due to the negative effect coritsone can have on your bone joints.

There is usually no easy answer to pain control. It sometimes takes a lot of perserverence and sometimes you even just have to put up with it as best you can.

I'd recomment visiting a good doctor first. Get his/her advice and then explore all your options.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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And just a word of common sense.... a lot of such injuries can be avoided by using proper technique. My favorite example has been Max Weinberg of Springsteens band, who played so damned hard that he was destroying his wrists. His doctors gave him two choices... either completely learn how to play the drums over again, properly; or stop playing altogether. Keyboard is the same way...classically trained concert performers bang on analog acoustic Bozendorfers, Steinways, and Yamahas well into their 80s filling 2800 seat concert halls with sound, while pop/rock keyboardists in their 20s with digital keyboards, amplifiers, and megawatt PA systems have wrist problems. I figure if Max can re-learn the drums, any one of us can get a handle on holding the damned guitar properly, and pressing down with the right amount of tension.

 

I have very bad arthritis in both hands. One of the things that helps to keep my hands flexible and mobile is playing guitar.

 

I do wake up some mornings with trigger finger. Depending, either a hot shower or cold treatment helps this to go away. (Cold treatment? I use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel for a few minutes. Juat lay my hands on it, or set it atop of my fingers.)

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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If you feel a mild tendonitis onset, rest is the first thing to do. DON'T force the issue and try to play through it. It might take a few days, but don't force the issue. And as stated by the other Bill, proper technique will prevent those types of injuries.

 

I've had hyperextension type strains from other work cause me some finger pain, and you just have to rest it. Ice first to minimize swelling, then heat to dilate the vessels and enhance circulation.

 

Another thing that's important (and I was thinking of pointing this out in a thread last night) is to properly warm up. You don't want to go from sitting around doing nothing to just pick up the guitar and start flying off the 32nd note triplets. Warm up your hands with slow, simple scales and chords to prevent undue tension in your forearm, wrist, hands, and fingers.

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Repetitive motion? You know what requires that?--Typing.

 

I think rest is important. Also you may want to try ibuprofen or acetaminophen (sp?) to deal w/ the inner swelling.

 

Best of luck, and welcome.

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

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Bbach, Sasq, and Billster give some prudent advice. See a doctor but don't just hand over any of your healthcare to someone unquestioned. You have to be in control of your care. You are doing a good thing by asking for input/advice. Alternative medicine may end up being best, or maybe not.

 

Bill brings up a very good point- technique. Proper technique can help you to avoid a lot of problems. In classical guitar method, posture is a central element for good reason- it can help you to have many more years of quality health as well as lead to better playing.

 

Alexander technique is something which you may want to look into. It isn't specific to guitar, but teaches you to train yourself to use posture and relaxation to maximise your efforts while decreasing the chance of harm to your body. It was created by a man trying to help classically trained vocalists and it comes down mainly to proper posture and not straining or over-excerting. Dancers, vocalists, musicians and others use it and it can be helpful.

 

I have had neck, lower back, and hand/wrist problems for years. No one thing made has solved my problems(hasn't been solved), but when I am in pain, I pull back, otherwise, I take a bunch of ibuprofen and try to relax. I haven't needed any surgery and am still playing.

 

Good luck,

 

dur

knowledge is power, but ignorance is bliss
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yes I have to agree with sas, Bbach and Billster, seek proper medical advice, i posted my own experience of this kind of thing and i know i wouldnt go down that road again.

But one mans medicine is another mans poison.

Hope it works out but my only proper advice is dont just leave it, if it hurts get it seen to before any further damage can be done.

Hope it works out fine.

G

Love life, some twists and turns are more painful than others, but love life.....

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=592101

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Aww. Don't blame only typing and guitar playing. Your whole life is repetative motions. Carrying things, elevator buttons, non automatic doors ect. As already stated, see your doctor. I didn't know I had trigger finger till my left index finger (fret hand) quit working. There's still a little nerve damage from waiting too long and trying the shot (DON'T do the shot, it's a waste of time). Not too bad but it's there. The sorest of the surgeries. I've also had Carpal surgery on both my hands in the last year and a half. I had severe Carpal Tunnel. I can play till my hands cramp again, as in hours. I wish I'd done it sooner.

I'm older, a Mechanic, play guitar, type, video game, ect. My Dad had both hands done at 60. It can be affected by your genetics too.

Play really loud and everything will be allright.
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Where do I begin........... :D

 

First off, as many of you know, I'm a physician. I actually trained initially in General and Trauma surgery, then specialized in eye surgery.

 

I'll not really respond to the "doctor bashing". It's understandable, but just too illogical and emotional to be dealt with eaisly. The human body may seem robust and invincible (especially if you are young and healthy), but in fact it is frail. It is not a machine that you can always fix. Sometimes it fixes itself. Sometimes, it can be fixed with the help of a good doctor. Sometimes, in spite of the best efforts of you and your doctor, it STILL won't get fixed. Bad stuff happens. And sometimes it can't be fixed. That's life. Doctors hate failure too!!! But, it's the way it is.

 

As for the $$$ issues, I can tell you that, even practicing here is the good old USA, I've rarely set a price for anything I do to help folks. The insurance companies, and Medicare do that for us!! Now, I DIDN'T ASK THEM TO DO THAT.... ;) The only thing I've ever set my own price for, is when I do Lasik surgery, because insurance and Medicare don't pay for that!! And, what they pay me for my most common surgeries has been slashed by over 75% in the 18 years I've been in private practice. I'm not bitchin...in fact I'm fairly happy doing what I do. This is just stuff many don't realize, or know about.

 

Anyhow, back on thread. :D

 

I had a serious bout with trigger finger in my left (freting) first (pointer) finger. I injured my finger picking rocks out of a big field that we had just cleared, preparing to plant christmas trees. I tried steroid injections twice. Neither had any effect I could notice. I had two Orthopedic surgeons tell me that they felt the next thing for me was surgery. Being a surgeon, I knew if I had surgery, I'd not be able to work for quite a while. So, I put my thinking cap on. I went to a local physical therapist I know, and she made me a splint like brace that I wore to bed each night for three months, to immobilize the finger.

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY, I STOPPED PLAYING GUITAR FOR THREE MONTHS.

 

It was perhaps the most difficult thing I've ever done. But, it was clear to me that playing in essence repeated the minor injury to the flexor tendon everytime I played, thus making it impossible for it to heal.

 

I also took a non steroidal anti-inflammatory (Aleve) daily.

 

After three months, I stopped the brace, and began playing. I played soft and easy at first. Within a month or so, I was back to playing normally. And, within several months my finger felt completely back to normal.

 

I was lucky. But, I also listened to my body, and to all my advisors (doctors, and physical therapists), and came up with a common sense way to promote healing.

 

Beth, you should see a qualified Orthopedic Surgeon, preferably a hand surgeon. If you can, get a recommendation from a nurse who works in your local hospital's operating room (a great way to find out who the best hand surgeon in your area is). You want to make sure that this is, in fact, tendonitis. Other more serious things can masquerade as tendonitis. You might try the steroid shots. Most surgeons will not repeat them more than about three times for a true triggerfinger. But, you should also consider simply STOPPING PLAYING AND TYPING FOR SEVERAL MONTHS.

 

Good Luck!! Let us know what you decide to do, and how things come out for you. Feel free to PM me, if you'd like any more specifics.

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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Beth,

 

Is your ring on that finger?? Is it too tight? I'd think of putting the ring on the other hand for a few months as well. It could be "teathering" the flexor tendon, and injuring it.

 

Also, WELCOME TO THE FORUM :wave:

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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I have an appointment tomorrow with a hand specialist. I have this thingie growing in my hand. It's on the palm side right where 3 (the ring finger) joins the hand...right in the knuckle joint. It's a sort of hard lump. I only really feel it when I'm playing something that involves a lot of wide stretches....but I don't want to take any chances. My GP didn't know what it was for sure (she thinks maybe it's a cyst growing on the tendon), so she referred me to a hand guy. This guy is really good...he screwed my 4th metacarpal back together about 4 years ago..I couldn't play at all for about 3 months and then it took me about a year and a half to get it back working normally again.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Sas....sounds like a good plan. Good luck tomorrow. Let us know how you do.

 

Does the "lump" move when you flex and extend the finger? Is it painful when you press on it with our other hand?

 

Now, that hair growing on your palm, well, that's another story ENTIRELY!

 

By the way, you don't have to answer any of those questions.....I couldn't help myself!!!! Sorry!

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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Don,

The lump does seem to move when I flex that finger, but it seems attached to something because I can't move it around with my other hand. It's not particularly painful...it is a little tender if you press sort of hard on it.

 

I was born with hair on my palms....but...I KNOW what you're alluding to... :D . The only thing that does to us Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) is make us go blind. I just did it until I need glasses.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Originally posted by mdrs:

Beth, you should see a qualified Orthopedic Surgeon, preferably a hand surgeon. If you can, get a recommendation from a nurse who works in your local hospital's operating room (a great way to find out who the best hand surgeon in your area is).

Well, the biggest guy in Boston is actually named Jesse Jupiter. Google it if you don't believe me.

 

Wouldn't you kill to have a name like that if you were a rock star?

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Don,

The lump does seem to move when I flex that finger, but it seems attached to something because I can't move it around with my other hand. It's not particularly painful...it is a little tender if you press sort of hard on it.

 

I was born with hair on my palms....but...I KNOW what you're alluding to... :D . The only thing that does to us Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) is make us go blind. I just did it until I need glasses.

Well, SAS....I'm afraid I can prepare you for the news.

 

It sounds like Dupuytren's disease (also called contracture), which is a genetic disease that causes a lump to form typically on the ring finger and ultimately causes "cords" that contract the finger toward the palm.

 

I know, because I have it. However, it generally is a slow progression that is treated w/ surgery once deemed appropriate by you and a surgeon.

 

I'm fairly young to have had it (was 33 when I noticed the lump, 39 now), so mine is considered aggressive. I'd be fibbing if I said it doesn't affect my playing at all, but you can adapt so it's probably only noticeable to you.

 

I hope I'm wrong, but I've been through this. Once I finished my day long "guitar is my life" pity party, I just went back to playing.

 

You can PM me if I can offer any advice--I'm very well-versed, and have sought out the top people in the country on the issue.

 

I'll be hoping I'm wrong.

Cass Anawaty, Chief Engineer

Sunbreak Music, LLC

High Resolution Stereo and Surround Mastering

www.sunbreakmusic.com

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Turns out is was nothing but a cyst on the tendon sheath. He stuck a big old needle in there (I think that's when I pissed myself a little bit), and drained it and now...lo and behold....it hurts like a bitch!

 

But, he said it should be fine in a day or so.....

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Turns out is was nothing but a cyst on the tendon sheath. He stuck a big old needle in there (I think that's when I pissed myself a little bit), and drained it and now...lo and behold....it hurts like a bitch!

 

But, he said it should be fine in a day or so.....

I'm relieved for you. Now get a second opinion.

Cass Anawaty, Chief Engineer

Sunbreak Music, LLC

High Resolution Stereo and Surround Mastering

www.sunbreakmusic.com

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Originally posted by Sunbreak Music:

Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Turns out is was nothing but a cyst on the tendon sheath. He stuck a big old needle in there (I think that's when I pissed myself a little bit), and drained it and now...lo and behold....it hurts like a bitch!

 

But, he said it should be fine in a day or so.....

I'm relieved for you. Now get a second opinion.
If it comes back I may do that. Right now...lump's gone, problem solved. It has already quit hurting and I played for about 45 minutes a while ago (don't want to push it too hard..). I know this hand surgeon very well. He is the one that fixed my broken 4th metacarpal a couple of years ago....he is very, very good.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

~Paris Hilton

 

BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Originally posted by Sunbreak Music:

Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Turns out is was nothing but a cyst on the tendon sheath. He stuck a big old needle in there (I think that's when I pissed myself a little bit), and drained it and now...lo and behold....it hurts like a bitch!

 

But, he said it should be fine in a day or so.....

I'm relieved for you. Now get a second opinion.
If it comes back I may do that. Right now...lump's gone, problem solved. It has already quit hurting and I played for about 45 minutes a while ago (don't want to push it too hard..). I know this hand surgeon very well. He is the one that fixed my broken 4th metacarpal a couple of years ago....he is very, very good.
If the lump's gone, that's a good sign. I'm sure you B okay.

Cass Anawaty, Chief Engineer

Sunbreak Music, LLC

High Resolution Stereo and Surround Mastering

www.sunbreakmusic.com

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Sas....

 

Sorry, I didn't have a chance to post earlier in the day. I felt that you had what is called a ganglion cyst. Basically, this is a collection of fluid in the sheath that surrounds the tendon. These are very common, often occuring in the tendons of the wrist, hand, or fingers. They can enlarge, or sometimes they simply disappear on their own. I had one on the back of my wrist when I was young, and it went away on it's own. In the old days, they'd often "cure" these by striking the cyst with a family bible!! I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS TREATMENT!! :eek::eek:

 

If it was bothering you, then needling is/was a good idea. It may come back. If it does, but doesn't bother you, you might just watch it for a bit to see if it goes away on it's own. I'd stick with your hand surgeon...sounds like he knows what he's doing. I am a big proponent of second opinions generally. But, I don't see that you really need one. He performed a standard treatment, with an immediate positive effect. He's treated you successfully before, and you seen to like him, and have confidence in him. Sounds good to me!! If it comes back, it's not the surgeon's fault. Any cyst can re-accumulate after being drained.

 

Here is a link describing Ganglion Cysts;

 

http://www.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/tw1608.asp

 

Here's a link about the treatment of Ganglion Cysts;

 

http://www.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/tw1652.asp

 

By the way, Dupuytren's Disease is NOT very common. Based on your description, I didn't think that you had Dupuytren's. Here's a link that describes Dupuytrens;

http://www.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/ue4603.asp

 

Good luck and keep us posted. :wave::wave:

 

Did he have to shave the hair off your palm to get the needle in??? ;):D:D

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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