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carpal tunnel

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by magic8161, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. magic8161

    magic8161 Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2003
  2. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Sorry to read this, all I know is that you need to cut back on the repetitive movement. One of my doctors was a concert cellist until carpal tunnel made him change vocations.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008

    I use 1.5" nut.

    I keep my wrist straight with my thumb wrapped around neck.(like a guitar player).

    You have to completely change technique.
    TjMetalhead and magic8161 like this.
  4. magic8161

    magic8161 Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    would a short scale help as well?
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I also played a Hofner Beatle bass for a few years. I think it would help.
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Relaxed technique will help more than switching basses. If you don't correct the bad habits then you are just carrying the problem forward to the new instrument.

    Try to keep your left thumb totally relaxed and open. I like to imagine I am wearing a baseball glove and opening my hand to catch a ball. Whatever you do, don't make a "pinching" or "lobster claw" movement with your left thumb!

    If you want to experiment whether short scale is a good idea for you, here is an experiment: Tune your strings down a whole step to DGCF (D standard) tuning. Now put a capo at the 2nd fret. Taa daa, instant 30" short scale! Try that for a couple of weeks, and if your carpal tunnel feels better, then switching full time to short scale might be a good idea.

    But remember, players with good technique are capable of playing full 34" scale without injury, even if they have small hands. :)
  7. I had a period about 20 years ago were I had it. Had to get some treatments with physical therapy. That along with playing with my wrist straight as Stumbo mentioned, was the thing that helped me. Only bend your wrist when the music calls for it, is a good rule IMO. The notion that having the left wrist bent as the default position when playing bass is wrong. I was fooled all those years ago, because I was a young and dumb teenager, and read in a musician's magazine that I HAD TO play with the thumb in the center of the neck and a bent wrist, ALL THE TIME! Bad advise, and I took it. Anyway, after this injury and getting help, correct information and healing, I haven't had any problems. Hope things turn out the same for you! I still do some of the stuff I learned back then, like careful stretching when I need it, and stuff like that. I have zero experience with short scale basses.
    Ed Byrnes and Stumbo like this.
  8. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I played with a pick, but I found ditching that is better. I mainly had it in my right hand.
    Surgery helped somewhat, but it's still not 100%. I honestly found a wider/shallower neck profile to be more comfortable for my fretting hand. It's more ergonomic than a crowded 1.5". YMMV, good luck.
    graphics1988 likes this.
  9. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    I have big hands. Playing narrow necks or short scale is all what you get used to.
  10. graphics1988

    graphics1988 Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2014
    Ontario Canada
    I have CT and tendinitis. Suuuucks big time. Like @johnson79 said, I too found jazz widths the exact opposite to what I would have assumed. I love the 1.65" nut, ...almost the chunkier the better. (To a point)...
    ...I found I switched to Dingwalls and that made the biggest difference of all. I am not endorsed or sponsored in any way...I can tell ya, their super pj or any of the super series, play easier than anything else on the planet. I can play a normal long scale bass, for about 20 to 25 minutes before hands lose dexterity and go numb (sad, I know)....I can almost triple that time with my Dingwalls..even with the long scale series (ABz), I can do about 40.
    Fan frets LOOK scarier than they really are....I tell anyone who first tries it...to not even look at their fret hand...they play flawless in about 30 seconds....then they look at their hand and get all woozy, pass out on the floor etc etc, it gets ugly. Kiddin of course. ;)
    Good luck....ice is also your friend ...after a good play session. Cheers
    johnson79 likes this.
  11. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    You need to get tested to make sure that you actually have CP. Lots of folks have some symptoms and assume that's what it is, but it's usually not. If it's not CP, there are some different things that you can do to help with the pain. If it actually is CP, it won't be affected much by much of anything but surgery. I know this from suffering with it in both hands and doing the research and getting them both done. Amazing results and not nearly as much down time as I thought. Here is a simple thing to check without much effort. If your pain and tingling are up your arm, probably not. If your thumb, index finger, middle finger and the interior side of your ring finger tingle, a good sign of CP. If all of your ring finger and little finger tingle, again, probably not. In any event, if you end up doing the surgery, use a Neurosurgeon and not an Orthopedic. :)
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  12. graphics1988

    graphics1988 Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2014
    Ontario Canada
    Hey...thanks for the info. Yup had it tested a couple years ago....CT tendonitis and lucky me a form of arthritis ...all at the ripe old age of 47. Lol
    magic8161 likes this.
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Typing in all caps aggravates carpal tunnel. :p (or at least my eyes)

    Seriously, good luck, have issues too, learning to relax and keep proper wrist position is half the battle...
  14. twinfallsbass

    twinfallsbass Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2005
    Somewhere in AZ
    Do an internet search for carpel tunnel stretches and exercises, there are also wrist braces you can wear at night to help. After long shows or practices, it's good to ice your carpel area for 20min. My left wrist suffers from carpel tunnel and since doing all the things listed above my symptoms have improved greatly.
    magic8161 and graphics1988 like this.
  15. Have you been diagnosed with CTS by way of nerve conduction study (that is the way to make a definitive diagnosis)?

    If so, what treatment options were offered? Why are you not selecting amoungst those options?

    In short. If you do have CTS, changing basses is not going to fix anything. Get proper treatment.
    magic8161 likes this.
  16. Agreed with the above. I was sure I had CTS but it turned out to be ganglion cysts. Get a diagnosis so you don't waste years like I did.

    magic8161 likes this.
  17. jaymelewis


    Jan 6, 2010
    Fillmore, CA
    Which wrist, right or left?
  18. BassPlayinJas


    Dec 21, 2017
    South Texas
    Has anyone tried compression gloves while playing? If so, does it help or not do anything?
  19. Use good technique. It saves hands.
  20. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Unless it is impossible, the sooner you get it fixed the less you will have to come back from, if you can come back to 100% of your former dexterity.
    I put it off until my left pinky was against my palm before i had it tended to. I was cut a year ago last october and i’m still not back to full speed. My doctor told me that the longer you wait the harder it is to fully recover. She said often all surgery does is stop the degeneration, that lost motion is permanent and the longer you wait the more you increase the odds of a limited/no recovery.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
    magic8161 and PillO like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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