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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jimmysquid, May 23, 2001.

  1. jimmysquid


    Jul 5, 2000

    I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with carpal tunnel syndrome. If so what happened and where are you at now with it? Also, once it starts, is it curable or are you finished with playing bass?

    I was out last night and I noticed that there was a lump at the base of my hand, right above the wrist of my fretting hand. It hadn't been there earlier in the day, it really freaked me out. Today while I'm typing I'm getting little blasts of numbness. I called my doc to get a referral to see someone about this and I'm getting my keyboard at work remounted under my desk because I heard that's ergonomically safer.

    Any thoughts?


  2. ASR


    Apr 2, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I have done several things that seem to help out. First, go to a drug store and get a brace. I don't remember what it is called exactly, but it says on there that it is specifically for c.t. Wear it all the time. Also, get a flexible brace that you can wear while you play. It won't keep you from bending your wrist like the other brace will, but it will provide some support. Then, although it doesn't look as "cool" as having your bass dragging the floor, bring your strap up a bit, and hold the neck in more of an upright position. That will help you to keep your wrist straight.

    Then of course all the little things. Stretch, warm up well, and then when the band quits playing, cool down with a slower version of your warm up and stretching.

    The keyboard ergonomics will help too. Maybe see if they have one of the split keyboards. That has helped me tremendously. If they don't, invest in one.

    As far as being cured, they have surgery for it. It sounds like yours isn't to that point yet. It will get worse if you don't make some changes.

    Good luck to you, and if you find out anything else that might help, please let me know. PM me, send me an email, whatever you have to do. I dont want to have to quit playing either.
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    My doctor told me to wear the brace even at night. This would be the inflexible brace I am referring to. He told me that it would keep the wrist in a neutral position (unbent) all night and that would give it much needed rest.

    Don't mess around with this. Some people suffer permanent nerve damage. See a doctor immediately.
  4. maybe you should try this herb- cumin (q-men... not cum-in). I saw it at the plant shop near me.
  5. If you're sure that it's playing the bass that's causing the problem, the best solution is to reassess your technique. I suffered for a long time with a ganglion on my wrist joint (similar to what you describe). It got so bad that even everyday things like turning a door handle were impossible without pain. I figured out that by playing within my natural (relaxed) hand span, the problem disappeared and hasn't recurred since. Admittedly, this means more shifts, but far from feeling compromised, playing is more controlled, surer and above all..easy!
    I'm not suggesting that this will work for you, but it's important to discover what the problem is and take steps to remedy it.
    Incidentally, many violinists and violists suffer from a wide range of complaints, even though they are schooled in a 'correct' technique. Many end up needing permanent treatment (supports, painkillers, cortisone injections) or having a shorter career than they would have liked. You'd be surprised how many musicians play through pain unnecessarily. I suppose we should listen to our own bodies.
  6. jimmysquid


    Jul 5, 2000

    Thanks a lot for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

    My doctor referred me to a specialist that I just called(and of course I got voice mail) and who hopefully I can see ASAP.

    I'm going to get one of those split keyboard ASR mentioned. A couple of people have told me that eliminated wrist problems for them.

    The first time I played after I noticed this lump on my wrist I didn't feel any pain. Initially I seemed to have a little loss of strength but then after for playing for a bit I felt fine. However when I was typing at work the next day, I did get tingling and slight numbness in the hand in question. Hopefully this means it's more the keyboard position than my bass playing but you know that both contributing.

    I've had lessons with a bunch of different teachers and none of them had problems with my technique but as Andy S pointed out that doesn't necessarily matter.

    I'm hoping for the best. Again thanks for all your feedback.


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