Take good care of your hands!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RAM, Jan 7, 2009.


  1. RAM

    RAM

    Joined:
    May 10, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I've recently (re-) developed a case of tendinitis in my right-hand. No biggie, right? Well, I'm required to wear this big-ol splint on my right hand that all but prevents me from playing for 6 weeks. The location is actually 2 places: at the base of my right thumb (also known as de Quervain's disease) and the first and second metacarpal tendons on my right hand (those extending from my plucking fingers). Due to the location of the latter, the pain actually extends up into my right forearm.

    If that didn't suck enough, my band has our biggest gig to date coming up on 1/23, which was booked back in October or November...rescheduling it is not a viable option.

    I took the splint off long enough to rehearse with the band last night and have been paying the price all day. ARGH!!! I can live without playing much for the next few weeks, but if it doesn't heal in time for the gig, which it's not expected to (according to the doctor and my previous experience), playing our gig could set me back another 6 weeks. And, of course, the gig itself would prove quite painful.

    It's nothing permanent, so given the fact we're not booking any more gigs until the Spring, I could live with wearing the splint for another 6 weeks if need be, but am a little miffed this issue sprang to life when it did.

    Just had to get this little rant off my chest...anybody else ever been hampered by physical ailments preventing you from playing?
  2. EagleMoon

    EagleMoon Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Location:
    Wexford, PA
    I feel your pain, literally. I've had tendinitis in my left thumb for some time. It comes and goes and it helps to stay off the computer since I tend to use the mouse with both hands. I've also had tendinitis in my right hand but in the little and ring finger and wrist. Both have kept me from playing or at least cause me pain when I play. I've found that caffeine really irritates it and makes it flare up, so I try to avoid it. Drinking a lot of water also seems to help. The main thing seems to be avoiding playing whenever it starts to hurt and try to give your wrists a good rest.
  3. armywalaby

    armywalaby

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Location:
    Wabash River Valley
    I get a pain in my hands in the space between my thumb and index finger, and in my left hand a little further back on my wrist. I figure that's carpal tunnel; My girlfriend massages my hands and feels the knot between my thumb and finger, but I don't know what it is. Anyone know?
  4. TRCat

    TRCat Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    +2 For feeling your pain. I too came down with DQS in early Nov, after what I believe was some too strenuous picking. Saw an OT who gave me the "lay off activity, anti-inflamatories, for 5-6 week" assessment. Well it's been more like 8 weeks and I'm nowhere near back to 100%. At this stage the possibility of a cortisone shot comes into play... Frustrated is an understatement!
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  6. tplyons

    tplyons

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, NJ
    CTS sufferer here. I've been benched for six weeks several times on doctor's orders.
  7. TRCat

    TRCat Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, UK
    I've been playing and I know I shouldn't! :scowl: However, one benie is that I'm playing much more relaxed. I play for a max of 2 hrs once a week- band rehearsal, and then a few days a week for about 30 - 1 hr. When not playing I "splint-up" + a lot of massaging I know I really shouldn't, but I alrady laid off for one 5 week period. The thought of yet another 6 weeks is just too much - the band is gearing up to start giggin in May.

    It's really SUCKs getting old! :bawl:

    Originally from South Orange, exit 15W!
  8. grayhawk1853

    grayhawk1853

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Leesburg, Florida
    Arthritis in thumb joint on left hand and in the knuckles on the right. Gets in the way sometimes but generally I just play through it.
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    I've fought tendinitis in my right heel for years - at times I could have had the nickname "Hopalong".

    If you gotta play the gig, all I can recommend is plenty of heat and some massage on the affected area beforehand to promote blood flow, a heavy dose of ibuprofen beforehand to reduce pain and hold down inflammation, and then lay off as soon as the gig is over.
  10. Rendog92

    Rendog92

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I live in Louisiana, the weather is very bad sometimes (that dry feel you know, when you are sorta hot but its so dry)
    Im finding lotion for my hands very useful.
  11. NickInMesa

    NickInMesa

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Mesa, Arizona
    Oh that's your excuse, Mr Metrosexual: "I play bass guitar".

    "Yeah, yeah, yeah... we've heard it!"

    :)
  12. RAM

    RAM

    Joined:
    May 10, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I'm limited in the drugs I can take as I had a spinal fusion in March, 2008 and the fusion is still in process. Thus, no ANSAIDs or Aspirin for a minimum of 12 months, quite possibly 24. Otherwise, my hand doc would've put me on Celebrex.
  13. Rattman

    Rattman

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    Tendinitis in BOTH elbows... started at the same time from working out incorrectly. Took a full 12 years to finally put it behind me. Not any easy condition to cure unfortunately.
  14. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Tendonitis in both elbows here as well, with my right being a lot worse than my left.

    I have done all of the modalities - rest, cortizone injections, ice massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, NSAID's, splints, you name it. I am scheduled for new MRI's in about 2 weeks, and unfortunately, will require surgery on my right elbow at the end of the month. Following surgery, I'll be out of commission for 3 to 5 weeks. Fortunately, I have a good sub (and no, I don't worry about him "stealing" my gig - we're all grown ups, and we're all pros).

    Bottom line is this - no matter how well you take care of yourself, time will take it's toll. For you young'ns out there, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Don't think that you can keep playing through pain hoping that it "will go away" without understanding that all actions have consequences. You will do damage. sometimes permanent. Use proper form. Keep your wrists straight, and don't hyperextend them. Be very aware of where you carry your tension and stress in your body, and take steps to learn the proper relaxation and breathing techniques that can help minimize that tension. Be certain that your bass is set up properly and balances well. Take steps to make sure that your posture is balanced as well.

    You have one body in this lifetime. It is the home that your soul lives in while you are on this earth. Take care of it!
    heynorm likes this.
  15. Vacume

    Vacume

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    not too hi-jack youre thread, but what can i do to prevent things like this happening to me?
  16. RAM

    RAM

    Joined:
    May 10, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Hi all...that incident back in January kind of sucked. I made it through the gig and eventually "healed". Of course, the pain started to come back again in the past month or so, this time I've even got it in the flat-underside of my wrist, where the wrist meets the palm. Is that CTS?

    I'm no longer in that band and practice about 30 minutes a week nowadays, just to let the hand settle. Of course, guess what aggravates the hand an equal amount - having to spend your life on your laptop / Blackberry...both of which I have to!

    I'm doing careful stretches every day, sometimes several times a day, and my neurosurgeon (the one who performed the spinal fusion in March, '08, mentioned above) released me for all activity and removed my "ban" on NSAIDs and Aspirin; thus, I'm taking 4 Advil every morning (the equivalent of prescription-strength Motrin).

    I know discussions of repetitive-stress injuries come up periodically here on TB, but IMO it can't be stressed enough! In fact, while there's already a sticky about hearing loss, perhaps the Mods can make a sticky about these types of injuries? It's pretty clear these injuries know no bounds, can affect anyone, at any age, but it only gets worse with age! I don't know how if these are completely preventable or not with proper care, but these certainly can be minimized and delayed, if nothing else.
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    You sound like a good candidate for voice recognition software and a PDA with no tiny keyboard.
  18. ByF

    ByF

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Stretch your fingers, arms and shoulders carefully before you start to play. Don't get injured on the job or at home, or anyplace else. Don't get old.:p

    Ed
  19. RAM

    RAM

    Joined:
    May 10, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    OT: Thanks to the mods for stickying this!:)
  20. BassAgent

    BassAgent

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Utrecht, The Netherlands
    I know the tendonitis thing. I was diagnosed with it last June, turned out I've had it for a year and a half but never paid any attention to it. I thought it was just "part of the deal", as I was playing a lot of double bass at the time. It's in my right middle finger, at the basis.

    The doctor said I should stop playing double bass and stop playing altogether for 2 months, and use my right hand as little as possible. I did that (it was during the summer holidays so no biggie) but it didn't help. I am now on Diclofenac for 3 weeks.
  21. tyreay1

    tyreay1

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I have Fybromyalgia and I can't even play until late afternoon. Each morning I wake with my arms and legs clenched. I'm on a butt load of meds but I find the best method of getting loose is to gently work the muscles combined with light extension. Not exactly the same thing but you might try this before your next practice to see if it helps. Good luck.

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