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Pinky Rehab.....

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ZenG, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Played for ages with no problems.
    then...woke up a couple weeks back and my fretting pinky hurt like hell every time I used it.
    So did the ring finger for awhile but the ring finger is o.k. now.

    I've been:.

    Icing.....icing the pinky
    Deep tissue massage....of pinky and ring finger, hand, arm tendons, left side of neck.
    Not playing much if at all right now....
    Wrist exercises, stretching, counter-balance opposing-muscle exercises....
    Reconfiguring my fretting style for a much lighter touch.
    Taking vitamins for magnesium and possible B6 deficiency....although I don't think that is really much of an issue but I read it on an expert tendonitis site.

    So right now everything is much better...except for the pinky. It IS a lot better...but I get a warning twinge whenever I use it......although I can use it much more than I could a couple of weeks back.

    And I haven't played a longscale for months....just shorts.

    Just wondering if any of you have encountered this...and what you did to rehab yours......
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Sounds like it could be a carpal tunnel nerve pinch.
  3. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    It is un-likely to be carpal tunnel related as it is the Ulnar nerve involved not the Median nerve.
    You present the signs of Ulnar nerve entrapment, as it is your little and ring finger only that have issues so the Ulnar side of the hand is where we look for issues.
    Un-fortunately those issues are from your hand to you neck along the length of your arm.
    You feel it in your fingers because that is where the most concentration of nerve ending are.

    Check out the video and see if it is comparable, if you need more advice or questions only to happy to help if I can.
    You should see a medical professional and get a proper examination and diagnosis so you know the treatment is correct, but check out the video...it may just prod you to seek the correct medical treatment.

    bholder likes this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Whoops, yeah, should've known - symptoms match mine, other than being a different finger, pinky nerve runs outside.
  5. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    No probs, many player fail to recognise their hands have two sides, each one served with its own nerves and blood supplies, so the symptoms may be the same, but the causes totally different.
    Medical examinations are the way forward, nothing beats that one to one check up.
  6. hmmm...maybe those bass-slung-low players are onto something...

    When I play I have the thumb on the back of the neck, neck up higher. This position puts a lot of extended clamping pressure on the little finger because with the thumb on the back of the neck the pinky is more elongated across the frets.

    So I tried slinging a lot lower so my thumb could go over the neck. Now in this position , the pinky is in a tighter playing position, less elongated,more curved, which means it doesn't have to work so hard at an odd angle.

    It actually felt a lot easier to play that way. Just played for an hour and no pain.

    Whereas before , although the pinky was pretty well rehabbed, I'd still get a bit of pain in the muscle on the underside of the pinky where it connects to the hand.

    It's that one muscle that was giving me the most grief. ( I don't have tingling).

    I can't see the fret/notes as good playing down lower .......but it feels way better to play with the thumb over the neck instead of behind.
  7. In this pic you can see where the problem area is: the muscle in the finger.

  8. This is how I was playing before....I think with the thumb behind the neck it puts more pressure on the pinky, especially when doing any kind of span.

  9. So I changed to this...less pressure and it feels more comfortable. I play with a lighter touch than I did before right now though...

    maybe it's not the way they tell you in the books.....but I like it better.

    SpitfireCWII likes this.
  10. Hey whatever works! When I play fingerstyle I anchor my thumb, but when I use a pick my thumb will come over the top to mute the E and A strings! It just developed naturally without even thinking about it. Also go to Youtube and check out some therapy exercises for Ulnar tunnel release. I had carpal and ulnar tunnel release surgery around 2000. The ulnar nerve was giving me issues recently with pain and numbness and tingling etc... I found some exercises and did them for a few weeks, which included massaging the nerve where it runs near the inside of the elbow, and have had no issues since.

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