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Nerve damage or the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Yonni, May 13, 2018.

  1. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    I did something to my index finger on my plucking hand when tying shoelaces abou a week ago that made the nerve really sensitive. While I was pulling the lace it was against the middle knuckle in that finger and felt similar to the sensation you get when you hit your funny bone. Now it’s spread down to the finger tip so that it’s tingly even when I’m tapping a phone screen. In fact just walking around it tingles and feels sensitive. The reason I fear CTS is because my wrist also feels kind of tight. I keep getting the urge to spread my fingers out as if that will make it feel better (but it makes no difference). I play finger style but thinking maybe I should use a pick until this improves. Any ideas?
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Yep...seek the advice of a medical professional. I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but people on here, are not qualified to offer this kind of advice.

    Hope you get it sorted ASAP. :)
    equill, db59, Morrighan and 8 others like this.
  3. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    Fair point, you are of course right. But I live in the UK. While the National Health Service might be free, it still takes me 2 weeks to get to see a doctor who will then refer me to a specialist. I’ll have to wait between 6-12 weeks to see them. If I need surgery (and it’s actually approved) I’ll go on the waiting list for that. In the meantime I guess I’ll be using a pick. I was just hoping someone would come out and say “Oh yeah, I did that - it’ll sort itself out in a week or two.” Wishful thinking, eh?

    And before anyone criticises me for berating the NHS - I work for them. I understand perfectly the pressure it’s under.
  4. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    On the plus side I have a CTS wrist strap I bought a while ago as I’ve had a few instances of waking up with pins and needles. I’ll try that for a copule of days as it’s helped in the past. The other thing I should mention is that I cycle a lot and sometimes get numb fingers doing that. It usually happens on the road bike but not the mountain bike.
  5. Goatrope


    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Whilst you wait for your upcoming doctor appointment:

  6. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    most of the cats i know and play with (some but not all are around my age) have muscle, tendon, circulatory, yada yada issues, including CTS. we talk about our pains and issues as we may be want to do, but we've all kept playing. for some = it's just what you do.

    i would re-think my situation if i accidentally sawed off my left hand.

    hope your issues clear up soon! good luck! :thumbsup:
    RenoDave, Yonni and Modder like this.
  7. BMGecko


    Sep 5, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    As it's not life threatening go ahead and initiate the medical process. I knew a guy who messed up his finger pretty badly so the drummer and I who were jamming with the guy said, "Go to the doctor". The guy didn't and tried playing through it for another month until his sister (a massage therapist) said, "Go to a doctor". He didn't until it finally got to where he couldn't play. When he went to the doctor he found he'd messed it up and had to quit playing for about three months.

    Acts 10:34: Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

    Amen to not respecting anyone, at least until they grow some common sense!
  8. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    @Yonni I am dealing with exactly this right now. A treatment many doctors are using now is a months with the wrist in a brace all day and night, and vitamin B6 - 100mg 3x per day (reduces inflammation). A month ago I thought I was headed for surgery. Today, I am feeling 95% better (returning to the neurosurgeon in two weeks). The only time I take it off is to eat (keeps the brace clean) and when I play bass.

    It has a good rate of success. I would do that until you get to the doctor.
    DrThumpenstein, Yonni and BMGecko like this.
  9. Moody Tuner

    Moody Tuner

    Jun 30, 2017
    I can commiserate. I’m currently wearing braces on both of my wrists because I have carpal instability in both of them. I’m allowed to take them off to play bass but I wear a support brace on my picking hand. I have to wear them for a few more weeks.. after that I’m going to work on strengthening my wrists and hoping this resolves itself. I’m anticipating a long recovery process.

    Look into fascia release, while you wait for the doctor appoibrment: it can really help you.
    Yonni likes this.
  10. Turock


    Apr 30, 2000
    I've had carpal tunnel surgery, and my symptoms were not what you described.
    Yonni and Goatrope like this.
  11. Ditto above point. Sounds more like tendinitis to me. Mine was cured with surgery. I now keep my wrists as straight as possible.

    I had CT on my left wrist, wore the brace at night. As this was brought about by fretting the chords on rhythm guitar. I stop playing rhythm guitar -15 years of playing the same 40 songs was time enough. This stopped the problem. Don't have a problem on bass.

    Start the medical process and keep your wrist in a natural position. Yes this means a change in what you have been doing.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2018
  12. James Collins

    James Collins

    Mar 25, 2017
    Augusta, GA
    Tendonitis will not make your finger numb or tingly.

    Carpal tunnel syndrome will not be just one finger. Never heard of carpal tunnel presenting as a tight feeling wrist.

    Cycling is associated with ulnar nerve compression in guyon's canal.

    Wearing a brace doesn't hurt anything, but I don't think it will help what you have described. Generally speaking, completely resting an irritated tendon or nerve will improve or cure the symptoms especially if they are minor or early, but you need to do it for 4-8 weeks.

    Also, it helps to have a proper diagnosis.
    PillO and red_rhino like this.
  13. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    Thanks for the varied and useful suggestions. I wore a brace in the night but woke up in worse pain. I’ll book the doctor.
    fearceol likes this.
  14. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Nice video. When I overdo it with my right hand. I switch over to a pick
  15. Relsom


    Nov 23, 2013
    The Old Dominion
    Yes, at least get the medical process started. 14 years ago I fell asleep on a 6 hour train ride with my left arm curled up. When I woke up, my pinky was numb. I figured it would work itself out. It didn't. By the time I sought help it had been too long. I have ulna damage that is permanent. It doesn't bother me quite as much any more but it's still there and can be quite annoying at times.
  16. Until you can see a doctor, try using a pick. I have chronic tendonitis and locking trigger finger problems on both hands, especially the plucking hand. I switched over to a pick almost a year ago and the problems in my hand have cleared up. I will continue to use a pick as I don't want to aggravate the tendons in my hand. This may be the case for you. You might want to lay off the bicycle for a while and see if the problem clears up. If it does you an always cancel the doctor's appointment. Good Luck. :thumbsup:
  17. johnson79


    Jan 8, 2010
    Lancaster, PA
    I suffered with CTS for a while. Had surgery, but too much damage was done by that point. The pain is almost gone, but my hands just aren't the same. Also had some tendinitis issues from work.

    If the pain is really bad I'd suggest giving them a break until you can go to the doctor. You don't want to do more damage.
  18. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    Well according to the tests in that video and another that it links to, I don’t appear to have CTS. Ulnar neuropathy maybe the culprit but also possibly tendinitis. I’ll let the docs check me out. At least if it’s UN I can switch handlebars from drops to straight to help the issue. Most of my biking is commuting to work. Praying it’s not tendinitis.
  19. Shadowkast


    Aug 20, 2016
    The Dreadfort
    That's discouraging to hear. I have had CTS for years and can't put off the surgery any more. Was hoping I'd have the restoration of feeling and as a bonus, some kind of ape strength in the hands and fingers once rehabbed. Perhaps I was being a tad too optimistic.
  20. Christine

    Christine Guest

    Aug 3, 2016
    The good thing about living in the sticks (north Wales) is being able to see a doctor the same day. I had carpal tunnel surgery done about 18 years ago, my middle finger on my left hand stopped working, I could bend it but then had to straighten it manually afterwards with my right hand because the tendon would just jam up in the tunnel. I waited about a month to see the specialist in the doctor and about another month to be operated on. So unless you go private you're playing the waiting game so the sooner you see your doctor the better
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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