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Injured middle finger on fretting hand - gig tonight.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bob Clayton, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Not sure exactly what I did, but I had a gradual onset of pain and swelling in my left middle finger starting Thursday night. Of course, I have a gig tonight. I can't come anywhere close to making a fist, and I don't know how effective I'll be at playing. I told the band that I need to keep things on the more simple side tonight.

    I'm wondering if adrenaline from being on stage will help out. Also wondering if I'd be better up loading up on painkillers or having enough booze to numb the pain without making me sloppy. I realize that neither of those solutions are ideal.
  2. Picton


    Aug 16, 2017
    Reading, MA
    Good luck.

    I suspect adrenaline might help, but then I’m not a doctor.

    Inspire yourself with Django Reinhardt, who had just three working fingers and one more string than you.
  3. T_Bone_TL


    Jan 10, 2013
    NW Mass/SW VT
    Over-the-counter arthritis pain rub would probably be wiser than tons of ethanol, but you do you.
  4. Skeptismo


    Sep 5, 2011
    Watch out on the painkillers, but definitely do your best to reduce inflammation or swelling. Maybe keep a cup of iced water on stand by at the gig. Good luck!
  5. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    The middle finger is a tough one. It will make those 1-3-4-5 Blues licks pretty rough.

    Good luck! :thumbsup:
  6. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    This happened to me once. The best thing that I did was to spend some time running through the main parts from the set list the day of the gig, doing the best I could to avoid using that finger when possible or at least to use it in a way that hurt less. I ended up tossing one song out of the set that was too difficult and was able to get through the rest decently enough with only some minor mistakes. The extra practice beforehand definitely helped.
  7. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    When I sliced open my left index finger a few hours before a gig, I taped it up and just went for it. Wrapping it up kept me from using that finger. Took a bit of effort but I made it though the night. Ended up having surgery the next day!

    Maybe you can tape yours up so you don’t forget NOT to use it?
  8. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Here’s a question, if you were to tape it.... would you tape it
    1) by itself to keep it from moving?
    2) buddy tape with index finger
    3) buddy tape with ring finger
  9. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    Same thing happened to me before a gig.
    I cut my fingertip on a cut nail. Hurt like hell. But not enough, I guess. Because 10 minutes later I smashed it with my hammer. That was a tough night, but made it through without much trouble.
    DirtDog likes this.
  10. keto


    Mar 3, 2016
    Most of the common painkillers are anti inflammatory and may reduce the swelling as well as giving pain relief. Just don’t drink with Tylenol (acetaminophen), very bad for the liver. For that reason, I personally use Aleve, though it and most of the others like Aspirin and ibuprofen can irritate the stomach, so again, watch out for that if you are sensitive.

    Only you can say what your pain tolerance is, hard to say what’s your best bet.
  11. StudioStuntz


    Jul 19, 2015
    What I always heard from our medics at work was when one gets a bump on heads or any other body parts, apply ice the first 24 hours to keep swelling down, and then heat after that for however long the pain lasts.

    Not only is it past 24 hours, I don't know if ice is the way to go for you now, as it would be more challenging for anyone playing with cold fingers without your limited finger mobility, add the cold into your mix....

    Try putting your hand in a tub of warm water and gently and slowly open and close it, trying to ease into more mobility like you would do for a physical therapist.

    I would avoid alcohol or weed as they don't remove pain, they just make one not care, which may make you put excess stress on it to quickly.

    Au natural is probably the best way to insure quicker healing at this point,...just grin and bear it.

    Wishing you the best.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018

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