Numb fingers

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Data
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Numb fingers

Post by Data » June 13th, 2009, 6:41 am

I got the schecter c1-fr and line 6 spyder3 amp a few months ago. Well my fingers are now completly callused over and hard as rocks from practicing 2 hours a day. I can play master of puppets and blitzcreig and a few other songs already. First song I learned was paranoid. Thats pretty easy to play. My question is about my fingers getting numb when playing. Any clue what causes this? I have border line diabetes. My fingers dont get numb till about 4 minuts of shredding.

Jay

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Scrybe
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Re: Numb fingers

Post by Scrybe » June 13th, 2009, 7:00 am

numb as in you can barely feel the strings, or numb as in the whole finger (or significant proportion of it) loses all feeling? my callouses mean I can touch hot things and not notice (I gotta be careful with that), but generally numbness which comes on during playing (or any physical exercise) would suggest a lack of blood flow to that region, which itself could be caused by one of many things.

I'd say go see your doc about it, but some general things you want to consider might include...

how is your posture and technique? If you are cramped up in any way, or holding the guitar awkwardly, you'll be exerting yourself more when playing, and thus will tire more quickly than if you play with good posture/technique. also, bad posture/technique can lead to long term problems like carpal tunnel syndrome.

do you smoke? if so, quitting may help reduce/stop this symptom. smoking can not only cause problems like lung cancer and emphysema, but also blood clots, and a small clot might not be that noticeable until you exert yourself in some manner.

how is your general health? I had some numbness caused by playing earlier this year. I'd been in hospital with a major kidney illness beforehand, and this really affected my fitness levels, so I couldn't play guitar as much as I'd have liked. I've been rather slack of late, but I generally feel I play my best when I'm also doing regular exercise. I just feel more on point. otoh, many guitarists do not look like olympic athletes by any stretch of the imagination, so ymmv.

do you get numbness in other body parts? e.g. do you regular get a dead foot? if so, that suggests more general blood flow issues, rather than a specific problem concentrated in your hands/fingers.

but, having said all this, the only person who will be able to diagnose the problem properly is your doc. so I'd be making that appt asap if I were you.

hope it all turns out well in the end tho.
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Ricochet
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Re: Numb fingers

Post by Ricochet » June 13th, 2009, 10:12 am

I'd mainly suspect a nerve compression problem such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and/or early diabetic peripheral neuropathy that's showing up when you put your hands in a position that cramps the nerves in your arms or wrists. Forget low-slung playing positions, they make you bend your fretting wrist way too much. Look at how the classical players hold their guitars and get as close to that position as possible. Tell your doctor about your finger numbness.
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Elecktrablue
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Re: Numb fingers

Post by Elecktrablue » June 13th, 2009, 11:10 am

Listen to Ricochet. He's a doctor.
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Blueline
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Re: Numb fingers

Post by Blueline » June 13th, 2009, 4:22 pm

Listen to Elecktrablue. She's not a doctor but she plays one on tv. :lol:
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Data
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Re: Numb fingers

Post by Data » June 14th, 2009, 3:43 am

Scrybe wrote:numb as in you can barely feel the strings, or numb as in the whole finger (or significant proportion of it) loses all feeling? my callouses mean I can touch hot things and not notice (I gotta be careful with that), but generally numbness which comes on during playing (or any physical exercise) would suggest a lack of blood flow to that region, which itself could be caused by one of many things.

I'd say go see your doc about it, but some general things you want to consider might include...

how is your posture and technique? If you are cramped up in any way, or holding the guitar awkwardly, you'll be exerting yourself more when playing, and thus will tire more quickly than if you play with good posture/technique. also, bad posture/technique can lead to long term problems like carpal tunnel syndrome.

do you smoke? if so, quitting may help reduce/stop this symptom. smoking can not only cause problems like lung cancer and emphysema, but also blood clots, and a small clot might not be that noticeable until you exert yourself in some manner.

how is your general health? I had some numbness caused by playing earlier this year. I'd been in hospital with a major kidney illness beforehand, and this really affected my fitness levels, so I couldn't play guitar as much as I'd have liked. I've been rather slack of late, but I generally feel I play my best when I'm also doing regular exercise. I just feel more on point. otoh, many guitarists do not look like olympic athletes by any stretch of the imagination, so ymmv.

do you get numbness in other body parts? e.g. do you regular get a dead foot? if so, that suggests more general blood flow issues, rather than a specific problem concentrated in your hands/fingers.

but, having said all this, the only person who will be able to diagnose the problem properly is your doc. so I'd be making that appt asap if I were you.

hope it all turns out well in the end tho.
Hey thanks everyone for the replys. Yep I smoke and yep Im not in the best health. My fingers are not numb till after about 5 minuts of playing. It seems to come on faster when I play faster. I dont have any other problems with numbness. I will have to tell my doctor about it.

Thanks

Jay

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TRGuitar
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Re: Numb fingers

Post by TRGuitar » June 14th, 2009, 7:19 am

Well, I'm a little late but let us know how you make out. Very detailed advice / explaination Scrybe! Yep, Ric is our resident doctor here and he is just as good with diagnosing and treating tube amps as he is with humans. :lol: I didn't know Electrablue played a doc on TV? :wink: My advice? Well, same as above but I'm leaning towards how you are holding the guitar. Master of Puppets, Blitzcreig ...... Schecter guitar ...... I don't picture it dangling under your chin. Thats the guitarist in me speaking, now the ICU nurse ....... Do yo have any other issues with diabetic neuropathy? If not seems odd the playing would bring it on but you never know. How long have you been diabetic? Are you type I or type II? On insulin or oral agents? Is your diabetes well controlled? Smoking huh? You know the lecture on that one. As everyone else said, see your doctor because a physical exam and face to face inter view with a detailed health history is the way to go. Best of luck with your playing. :D
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NeilYoungisGod
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Re: Numb fingers

Post by NeilYoungisGod » May 11th, 2014, 8:11 am

Getting numb/ tingly fingers, too. This used to happen now and then, briefly, after not having played for a while. Now it's more intense, but I have been practicing a lot lately; but this feels different. Not good, and lasts a few minutes. =( Hoping it's just due to poor posture and thankful for that advice here.

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