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Sprained (?) Thumb


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My thumb on my left hand is in pretty bad pain today. I grabbed my son when he was running around outside yesterday, and I believe I hyperextended the thumb.

 

So, what's the problem? Well, it's kind of hard to play guitar without an opposable thumb, as many cats and dogs sadly know. You need to put pressure on the back of the neck with that thumb.

 

I have a practice on Friday and a gig on saturday. Other than ice and ibuprofen, any advice? Would limiting the mobility of the thumb (via a brace or something) help or hurt the situation?

 

Thanks in advance for any wise thoughts.

 

- Jeff

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Jeff, sorry to hear about your thumb.

 

I am not a medical doctor so I can not offer any worthwhile medical advice. If you play a job and do not use your thumb, I think it would be fair to only ask 90% of what you would normally receive. (You could always pick up an accordion and still ask 100%.)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by Dave Horne:

If you play a job and do not use your thumb, I think it would be fair to only ask 90% of what you would normally receive.

HA-ha-ah-ha! :)

 

To show how mentally slow I am on this Monday morning, it took me a few seconds to realize that I'd be using only 9/10th of my fingers on my instrument, and hence the pay reference.

 

Regardless, I can't even bend the thumb enough to use the buttons on a phone. I can barely button/unbutton my jeans. Ow. Ow. Ow. Whine. Snivel. Ow.

 

- Jeff

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Alternate heat and cold Jeff. While you can at about 20 minute intervals.

You might find some of those icy/hot bands that will fit too.

Depending on where it's hyper-extended, you can probably tape it too, particularly if it's the main joint. Just don't tape too tight. You should be good to go in a couple of days & just fine for Friday.

 

If you did a full dislocation it depends on how severe and how much damage is done and you should see a doctor.

 

Both my thumbs are easy to hyper-extend at the main joint from too many injuries, they'll pop at the drop of a hat.

 

Our Joint

 

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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There's no swelling or discoloration, Dak, so it's not dislocated. I think it's just the old ligament being stretched beyond its happy point.

 

Hurts like a bitch when I forget about it and try and do something like I usually would, though. I should probably tape that sucker for awhile.

 

- Jeff

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Take two Percoset an hour before the gig. You won't feel a thing from the thumb and will care even less about how it sounds.

 

If that's not possible, the hot/cold may help. I found a cold pack at Walgreen's for about six dollars that's like a flexible blue ice bag in a fabric pouch. It beats putting ice cubes in a zip lock then having it leak or burst on you. I used two of them for my recent shoulder misery, which left me unable to play guitar, bass, or trumpet for almost two months. If the pain wakes you up at night, try Aleve before bed. It seems to last through the night better.

 

I have a co-worker who has twice broken ribs roughhousing with his kids. They're dangerous little critters.

 

Hope things get better soon,

 

Henry

He not busy being born

Is busy dyin'.

 

...Bob Dylan

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Originally posted by Jeff Da Weasel:

There's no swelling or discoloration, Dak, so it's not dislocated. I think it's just the old ligament being stretched beyond its happy point.

 

Hurts like a bitch when I forget about it and try and do something like I usually would, though. I should probably tape that sucker for awhile.

 

- Jeff

Looks like you're right. Hey, it may sound weird too, but use one of the pain rubs too, like Ben-Gay, Flexall 454, or one of the others. I used to rub that shit in, tape up and play ball with bad thumbs all the time. Hell, I still have a big knot on my right thumb from some of it's escapades.

 

Our Joint

 

"When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it." The Duke...

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You know Jeff, this is a time for good ol human ingenuity. Find a temporary way to get some hold on the back of the neck. Us some kind of taped on appendage or you can even palm the back of the neck (although that will limit the speed of your movement). Or, you could just get s*** faced drunk just before the gig. Your thumb will hurt but you won't care.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Jeff, I'd recommend that you get to a hand specialist pretty quickly for an X-Ray. I had the tendons in my (fortunately) right thumb ripped a few years ago during a particularly aggressive volleyball game. I didn't think much about it at the time and thought that it was just dislocated. After a while I lost all strength in my right hand. When I finally went in, they ended up grafting tendon material out of my arm to rebuild my thumb. You should have seen me trying to gig with a cast on past my elbow and two fingers sticking out. The bottom line is, don't screw around with it. My right thumb is still arthritic because I waited too long.
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Interesting. I did the same thing to my left thumb a little over a week ago but the painwasn't

as severe. Its right at the top of the joint and towards the knuckle but the pain has pretty much faded out now.

 

steve

You shouldn't chase after the past or pin your hopes on the future.
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