Numb fingers

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Yonni, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    i sometimes wake up with a numb thumb and first 2 fingers in both hands. It seems to be when I wake up with bent wrists. Not sure why this is happening but it's a position I find I wake up in quite a lot. The feeling goes off after a few minutes but I still feel a tightness in my wrists for an hour or more afterwards. I don't play bass for hours, more like 30-40 mins every other night at the moment. I think it maybe more related to holding my mobile phone too much, reading it in bed before going to sleep etc. So thought I'd check if anyone else gets this and whether it has affected their playing? Like I say, I don't think the playing is the cause as it predates me picking up the bass. I think it's more sleeping position, mobile phone, computer keyboard/mouse or years of gripping a racing bike handlebar. The other thing that has come on recently though is an ache around the knuckles on my plucking hand. This affects first and second fingers and yes, I play finger style. Worried it may be arthritis as I've no recollection of banging it recently. I'm 51 next month and been playing around 15 months.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Have you considered consulting a physician?
    Two-Spirit likes this.
  3. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    Not yet. I've got other health issues that are more of a priority just now. I will though.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Maybe try a wrist brace.

    I used to get that too in my pinky. I had to make sure my arms were more stable while I slept. Wrong position, weird sensations in the morning.

    Also made sure I drank enough water during the day and increased my B12 and D3. No proof that they are all connected but just feeling better overall helps my sleep.

    Hope you feel better. :)
    shodan likes this.
  5. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    Thanks. I've just ordered a brace on Amazon so it should be waiting for me after the short road trip I'm on visiting friends and family. It's still bothering me today hours after I've got up which is unusual. Might go get a support bandage today. Going to a party tonight and I don't want my drinking hand to be out of action :whistle: I'll have to look into B12 and D3. I try to get my vitamins and minerals through diet but may be lacking in those two.
  6. Aberdumbie


    Jan 22, 2016
    South Carolina
    Sounds suspiciously like arthritis. I am intimately involved with it. Started eating me up in my forties and have several fusion surgeries because of it. My fingers have arthritis and I wake with numb fingers every day that turns to an ache that shortly fades as I become more active. Your best bet is a regular regimen of anti inflammatory meds like ibuprofen. But you need to consult your doc first. Arthritis is degenerative and early treatment may save you the fusion surgeries I had to go through.
    shodan likes this.
  7. I have the same symptoms and it's a mild case of carpal tunnel. I was told it was from years typing on a keyboard and from running a 20 pound hand grinder 4 hours a day.

    I sleep the same way and wake up with numb hands. When I worked production I had to take a hot shower in the morning just to get my hands working.

    Playing bass they will both go numb while practicing in a sitting position. If I stand they don't. I credit this to vent wrists sitting. As an additional safety, I rotate basses, so the feel is different and I'm not doing the same repetitive motions. Going from four to five string basses in 34 and 35 inch scales seems to help. I wish you the best. Just take care of yourself.

    On another note. I had some slight tingling in my left hand for years when it was in a certain position. I went to a chiropractor and over the course of three months got my neck aligned and the tingling went away. He said it was caused by a vertebra rubbing on a nerve. Well sounds like he had it right.

    So there are always other thoughts or options. You might consult a dr of some sorts.
    Lvjoebass and Giffro like this.
  8. Yonni


    Oct 31, 2016
    Thanks for the advice. I just had to go out and buy a Velcro wristband which is helping. My mother has arthritis in her hands which is what got me concerned about the knuckles as that's where hers is. I've had RSI in this wrist before from basketball as a kid but can't remember the symptoms. I think the wrist is more functional than degenerative but I guess I need yet another trip to the docs. Getting older sucks :mad:
  9. Giffro

    Giffro Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2017
    South Australia
    I would be tempted to agree with JGbassman that it could be Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the wrists. I had it years ago when playing gigs and it is very painful when the fingers numb up and makes it really hard to finger the bass if in the playuing hand and almost as bad holding a pick in the plucking hand. I had both wrists operated on to relieve the pressure on the nerves that run through the wrist..hence the name Carpal Tunnel (carpal for the bones and tendons etc in the wrist and the tunnel the median nerve runs through...simply put its where the nerves run through the wrist and the median nerve can be squeezed causing the symptoms. As said a few times check with a doctor for confirmation. When I had it i could barley hold a carton of milk at times and even dropped things that were mildly heavy. I was a postman here in Australia for 20 years and the repetitive use of the delivery motor bike and its throttle and vibrations through the handle bars partially caused the issue. Computer use also didnt help. Anything repetitive will cause it....hey i'm just unlucky to have arthritis also..although my hands have missed out on that so far and its a spinal thing with me. Ask your doc to check for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It can be fixed with a small day surgery operation...but get one hand done at a time cause it will be painful to bend the wrist for a month or so depending on your recoup time. Best of luck.
    JGbassman likes this.
  10. jjmuckluckjr


    Mar 24, 2015
    Pain, numbness, tingling, are all warning signs. There are a multitude of mitigating factors and potential causes. With all due respect for our fellow TB'ers, DO NOT take medical advice from a message board. Do yourself a favor and go get checked out by your doctor. It can be anything: poor technique, over use, to strap height. I'll forgo more serious options. Whatever it is, you want to catch it early, instead of aggravating your symptoms. Good luck.
  11. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Elitist Jazz Snob ********

    Dec 22, 2016
    could be a pinched nerve...this happened to me...they gave me a shot of something and it cleared up in a couple of months
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    It could range from something medically moderate up to serious.

    I had a similar problem some years back and it turned out to be repetitive motion issues. Caught it before it progressed to carpal tunnel.

    My sister recently had almost the exact same symptoms. Unfortunately for her it's been diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis and she is now in treatment for it.

    Don't screw around. Especially if you're over 40. Get it checked as soon as you can.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  13. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Sounds very much like when I had carpal tunnel. Could be other things though.
    Better get it checked out. You might need some minor surgery like I did.
  14. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Chiropractor, Doctor/PT

    I had all sorts of similar problems for years. Turned out most of it was related to serious dental problems that I had been ignoring. One extraction and 3 crowns later no more hand/neck issues.
  15. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    D3, yes, also Vit C and it's associated nutrients (rutin, bioflavanoids, hesperidian, basically the whole fruit) and not heard of often but so important, Vit K2, (not the same as K1) and maybe a calcium magnesium combo. K2 allows cells to take up and use calcium, which reduces blood calcium and gets it where it is needed for building structures. Essential for dental health. Very good for peripheral circulation and nerves is alpha lipoic acid. Of course eliminate all added sugar and processed foods. Back 60 year when food was grown locally and meat butchered with some connective tissue intact you'd be able to get these nutrients from the diet if you ate Lots of vegetables, berries (wine), fermented products, some whole grains (beer) with the small bit of meat. Positive ions and a.g.e. products (advanced glycation end products) are least caused by steaming, then boiling, then roasting and then frying (the worst and least life sustaining way to cook) Advanced Glycation End Products in Foods and a Practical Guide to Their Reduction in the Diet
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
  16. Without knowing if it is something that will or will not get worse over time, you may want to ge it checked sooner than later. Some things are easier to fix early on. Of the doctors you see for other health concerns, why don't you at least mention this to them? Without knowing your other concerns and just thinking in general, there may be a connection between one of your other health concerns and this.

    Do you see a regular family/general practice Doctor? That would be a good place to start.
    I have several health issues myself. My family doctor not only takes care of the usual things like flu shots and stuff, but he acts like a coordinator between my other specialists. That way there is someone who kind of sees the big picture of my overall health and keeps the other doctors from working at odds to what's best for me.
    Giffro likes this.
  17. I think anything we ever learn or pick up about our health pales in companion to the skill of a Dr.
    Aberdumbie likes this.
  18. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    The numbness you describe is pretty typical carpal tunnel syndrome nerve compression. The joint pain could be any number of things. Both should be addressed by a Doc before they become worse. CTS surgery is no fun and it doesn't always help.
  19. Among other things you can do, if you feel certain things are hurting you, those are the things you should dial back.
  20. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I'm going through this exact same thing, it was diagnosed as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I've been sleeping with wrist guards (keeps them straight) and it has helped tremendously. Doc wants me to try those for 6 months before I consider surgery.