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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Suckbird, Sep 11, 2005.
Check it out. It is every musician's nightmare... just stretch before you play.
I got CTS years ago, but not by playing bass. I used to do job where I was holding a power tool all day. It's pretty unpleasant, because your fingers curl up during the night. In the morning you gotta straighten them out again.
When I left that job, the CTS went away after about 6 months.
Stretching is good.
My sister actually had severe CTS in both hands, and had the "tunnels" cut to free up her range of motion. I thought this was severe, but she is very happy with the operation, and seems not to suffer any limitations from it
After reading around on TB, I ran into something about tingling sensations being related to carpal tunnel. I started to notice tinging sensations when I was playing, usually when contacting the strings. This made me really nervous and I figured the worst had happened. Then one day, after having "tingling" sensations again, I bumped my guitarist with an elbow by accident and felt a slight shock. I waited until the end of our set and gave him a good ZAP once I figured out what was really going on.
If you catch it early, you can avoid surgery by stretching and getting regular massage work. The downside to the surgery is that it can heal improperly and the scar tissue inside ca cause more crowding within the carpal tunnel.
I had a broblem kinda like this when I was playing a concert. My hand cramped up and I was struggling to move my fingers during a song. It happned because I couldn't hear myself, so I played too strong on the strings for a long time.
CTS is a condition where the Medial nerve is impinged due to swelling from the myolin sheath that surrounds the nerve. It goes through a small boney canal in the wrist and when you flex your hand at the wrist. It impeads the nerve like you would do when you cut off circulation to any limb in your body. Thus it becomes impinged and creates a tingeling due to lack of blood flow.
being a instrument player this condition sometimes is un- avoidable. But alway's remember to keep your wrist in more of a straight angle if it is your fretting hand. Sleep with it straight. Pay attention to learning proper wrist alignment when you are just learning fundemental fretwork. In other words it's better to raise the neck up to improve the angle of your wrist rather than bringing the neck down closer to your hip and making that abrupt wrist flexion that would happen from doing so. Good wrist technique is a key factor when it comes to eliminating wrist pain. Surgery is a extreme option.They just cut the tendon that crosses over the arch where your medial nerve passes through.
If your just beginning, relax. pay attention to players that have been there already.
CTS can also be due to repetitve motion injuries where the tendons and muscles in and around the carpal tunnel swell up, putting pressure on the radial and/or ulnar nerve. It is a chronic condition. The myelin sheath is the exterior sheath surrounding the nerve and it acts like the insulation that surrounds a wire. Suffice to say that any pressure on the nerve at all will also put pressure on the myelin sheath. (FYI, Multiple Sclerosis is a de-myelinating disease, but you would undoubtedly know it if you had it.) If your problem lies in repetitive motion, you will have to correct it with your technique, strap adjustment, and bass balance. As previously noted, you also need to make a conscious effort to maintain proper wrist alignment in your everyday tasks, ie: typing. For pain you should ice it properly and possibly take OTC anti-inflammatory medication if you are healthy. Hope I could help you.