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Hand problems

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 Taso
(@taso)
Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2811
Topic starter  

Hey guys

My left pinky and left ring finger have been numb for about 3 or 4 days...Anyone experience this before/know anything about it? I'm getting a little worried that there might be some nerve damage going on.

Anyone with any knowledge on this, please let me know.

Next stop is the doctors, just not a big fan of doctor's offices, and an MRI is pretty damn expensive!

Taso

http://taso.dmusic.com/music/


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

your muscles have probably grown and tightened up over a nerve, but hopefully there's no damage. has it been numb constantly, or just occasionally goes numb?

i lose feeling if i play too much, especially if i'm playing chords all day. some ideas that help me when i get that tingly feeling is: massage your hand and forearm and stretch your forearm, wrist, hand and fingers out *gently, slowly, thoroughly, and frequently*. like 4 or 5 times a day. move your hand through its whole range of motion. don't do anything that's going to cause you pain or make it tingly too much. just focus on getting it loosened up. do all this a few times a day and you should notice an improvement.
the point is to keep blood flowing to the muscles, so that your body can rearrange and repair itself and clear out broken down tissue that might be pressing on the nerve.
also, stretch out your shoulder, neck, back, and chest, too. drink plently of water, too.

if it doesn't get better, you should see a doctor.


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Having temporarily no or little feeling isn't much of a problem, espescially if you play a lot. However, when you stop playing the feeling should get back, and pretty fast too. If you didn't and there's no other reason for it then it's probably not healthy. It would probably go away, but it might not. And if it doesn't and you go see your doctor next week he'll probably be able to fix it. There are really way too many possible causes for something like this that have absolutely nothing to do with guitar and noone can really help you online. I'm not sure how expansive visiting a doctor is but it's your call to judge whether it's wprth a gamble or not.

On a somewhat unrelated note: some time ago I was getting insane pains in my wrists, eventually I couldn't play more then fifteen minutes at a time. I was sent to a physio and she improved things 200%. They'll probably take it out of my no-claim return but in my case it was well worth it.


   
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(@margaret)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1675
 

It's a common problem among typists, crafters, etc. I occasionally get it myself but so far the flare-ups have only lasted a few days at a time.

I think it's an overuse injury resulting in an irritated nerve. I'm not a doctor, but ibuprofen and rest are what I'm guessing you'll hear. For some related problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, they may give you wrist splints to wear at least at night.

Better see your doctor if it keeps up.

Margaret

When my mind is free, you know a melody can move me
And when I'm feelin' blue, the guitar's comin' through to soothe me ~


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

Ibuprofen and ice should be your close friends for a few days.
you over used your digits.
rest, anti inflamtories are the ticket.
over worked muscles are like injuries. they swell and put pressure on nerves. that's the tingly you feel. once the swelling is down the feeling will come back.

take this healing time to understand how you came to get the injury. change your habits a bit.
this will probably reoccur. but then you will know what to do.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi Taso,

Sorry to hear you're having trouble. I'd agree with what the others have said. Giving them a break sounds like a good first step.

Sometimes pain or problems can be caused a little away from the site where you feel the pain too.

Some years back I did a shoulder in by overstressing it swimming and had trouble getting it to heal. I had more or less constant low level pain for 18 months. Treatments didn't work and I had resigned myself to having a permanent injury. Then I bought a new ergonomically adjustable computer chair and the pain completely disappeared in less than two weeks. Poor posture (which wasn't even all day, I don't usually work at a desk) had simply prevented the natural healing from happening. I kicked myself for not thinking of that earlier. :oops:

So check out your posture and habits - something may be not quite right (and it may not actually be with your playing, although that's a good place to start looking). I'd try giving the hand a few days rest first, and some anti-inflammatories. But I'd also look through your daily schedule and see if you can pick something that might be making it worse.

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@doc-gliss)
Eminent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 34
 

It could indeed be early Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but fear not, as doctors know a lot about it now. Moreover, if it is CTS, it's completely curable and you may be able to completely eliminate it by simply tweaking your hand posture.

The carpal tunnel is a fibrous sheath in your wrist through which tendons and nerves pass, much like the wire inside a bicycle's brake cable. If the brake cable gets kinked, the wire inside won't move through there very well. In the case of your wrist, that can cause inflammation, pain, and numbness. So just like the brake cable, try to keep your wrist straight relative to your forearm as much as possible. Let your arms hang to your side with your hands flopping around freely. That's gonna be how straight you want to keep your wrists, even if it means adjusting your guitar strap (or adjusting your chair if you type a lot.)

We fixed my wife's Phase 2 CTS completely by changing the way she waters her plants. It disappeared two years ago without drugs or surgery and hasn't returned.

Best wishes!

Doc

If the dude woke up this mornin', he's playin'.


   
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(@stengah)
Trusted Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 87
 

It can be in the elbow or even other places as well. But the most likely culprit is the wrist. Anti-inflammatories help, but just use them to give you relief when you're not playing. To synthetically reduce the swelling and continue playing is not a good idea.


   
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 Taso
(@taso)
Famed Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 2811
Topic starter  

Alright, thanks for all the suggestions guys. I think I'm going to be going to see a doctor maybe tomorrow or Friday. Unfortunetly, the numbness/tingling, which is constant by the way, turned into some major pain for about 15 minutes while I was on the bus/subway, could barely move my wrist.

Doctaaa, docta, give me the news.

http://taso.dmusic.com/music/


   
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(@ivankaramazov)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 181
 

Aleve worked for that bass player on the commercials.


   
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(@ivankaramazov)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 181
 

Dude, you can't have an avatar like that. I thought it was a computer virus and was forced to run a quickscan.


   
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