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Who's dealt with C.T.S.? (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by 1SHOT1HIT, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Exactly what it says, who's had it?
    Who's had the surgery to correct it?
    Who's dealt with it w/o the surgery?

    What helped you to cope with it while playing bass? Tips/tricks/advice?????

    How long have you suffered through it?

    How has it effected you and or your playing?

    I'm not 100% sure this is my issue or not just yet, I am scheduled for an MRI next week and I guess I'll know then, but as this problem has progressed and comparing my symptoms with information online, I worry that it is indeed exactly what is going on.

    I started a thread some time ago thinking that maybe it was my strap cutting off circulation to my arm, but as its progressively become more noticeable I've been able to better describe it to my dr. And give her a much better idea of what is going on.

    As always thanks for any and all advice and information.
    I'm seriously scared this is not only going to ruin my bass playing but also guitar and many other things I do.

    I'm really hoping you guys can help put my fears to rest, I've heard mixed information so far, I figured who better to ask besides actual bassists.

  2. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    Get a second opinion, and a third, and exhaust all other options before you immobilize your wrist in any way or undergo surgery.

    I've dealt with symptoms like yours for a long while before I met a really good chiropractor who helped me immensely. Not only with the pain / symptoms, but also with getting to the bottom of what my aggravants were, how to modify my posture, how the bass hung on my body / position, and how I exert myself while playing and methods to greatly minimize said problems. I used to go about 35-40 minutes into a set before the onset of numbness feeling, and occasional lockup of my left hand.

    I switched off caffeine and alcohol during playing. Got a different strap to maintain the bass' angle for play.. Sat my bass a bit higher on the body. switched my thumb anchor point to re-align my wrist. Working on losing my gut to get the bass to not sit quite as far out front as it does. All good things to explore.

    A side benefit of the efforts is my CAD work has improved, my penmanship has also improved, and my neck pains have decreased dramatically.
    Wish you luck and relief.
  3. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    I have it, was diagnosed last year but It's very minor for now... Then again I'm only 19. My dad had his right hand fixed and it was a very good idea, the surgery was a success and he will get his left hand fixed to sometime.
  4. A keyboardist that I used to play with had it done, she wishes that she would have had it done sooner.

  5. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    Yeah, I'm no fan of surgery especially when the very thing supposed to help could ultimately destroy everything (hobby wise) permanently should something go wrong.
    I play guitar, I play bass, I've started playing keyboard, have a desire to start playing drums in the near future, and most important to me above all else I shoot and it is a HUGE part of who I am.
    I couldn't imagine loosing my left hand grip, although I am right handed and could manage some things, my left hand is important and having its full function is important to the things I love doing.

    I feel rather shallow even worrying as many soldiers and others have lost entire limbs and found ways to manage.
    But I honestly like my hands quite a bit and would be nuts to put their abilities to chance unnecessarily.

    So I'm not against surgery if that's what it comes to but it'll be a very last resort.
  6. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    I've heard and read multiple success stories, fingers crossed if it comes to that mine will be just another boring success.

    Not actually having been diagnosed yet with anything I'm still holding out hope this is something else, but the more I read the more it isn't looking so great.

    Literally every single symptom for CTS is happening to an exact.

    Numbness, pins & needles in just my thumb/index/middle fingers and occasionally slight numbness in my ring finger.

    Numbness extends up my arm to the elbow most times, it tends to be more bothersome at night and in the morning when I wake up.

    Even this tapping test where you tap at the base of your wrist around the median nerve at the carpal tunnel sends a slight pain up my hand.

    I'm pretty convinced its CTS but man I hope not.

    I wrecked my motorcycle about ten years ago and landed pretty hard on my left shoulder so that could very well have something to do with it, I hear the nerve system can be very tricky and deceptive with the symptoms you experience.
  7. Jakeahearts

    Jakeahearts Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    I've had both wrists done plus a "trigger finger" surgery. I can play better than before. I would do it all over again. The CTS was fairly easy to get over the surgery - I had them at separate times (I'm 62 btw). The trigger finger actually took much longer and required 2 surgeries....
    But, CTS was causing my hands to go to sleep to the point I didn't know where they were on the fretboard.
    I would find the best hand specialist in you vicinity and go for it!
  8. Mysterion


    Jan 10, 2012
    I've got all kinds of problems with my hands, including trigger finger, fasciaitis, carpal tunnel in one wrist, and cubital tunnel in the other--my joints have lived a pretty exciting life, and some surgeries have been involved. Orthopedic procedures work great when they work great, but I always keep cutting as a last resort. I won't lie and tell you my repaired joints are as good as new.

    That said, you really can't diagnose yourself. Hand and wrist issues are pretty complicated. Your problems may or may not be as bad as you think; you may be a candidate for surgery, you may just be a candidate for some PT/OT, some rest, and maybe some heat/cold therapy, maybe a cortisone injection. You should probably start with an orthopedic surgeon, who will probably want you to get nerve conduction studies, and may send you to a hand surgeon.
  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    This is something you need to discuss with your doctor specifically, especially if you are mostly experiencing numbness in the thumb/index/middle. Given the other numbness patterns you suggested, it is not necessarily CTS by any means.

    For what it's worth, though, if it is CTS, make sure they do the procedure endoscopically. Smaller incisions and better healing than the open CTS release. It's a really minor procedure, though, so don't be that worried.
  10. 1SHOT1HIT


    Feb 17, 2012
    All great advice, some very encouraging.

    I'm definitely working with my doctor and very aware that it could easily be a ton of different ailments leading to this.

    It's my impatience that lead me to seek advice here, not just that but I've never been great at explaining things to my Dr. So I was hoping to maybe hear some terms or ideas that I can toss around next visit.
    She has me set up for an MRI but I'm concerned that may not be exactly what is needed here.
    Reason being is when we set that up, I was still telling her it was more of a shoulder issue.
    As stated previously it's gotten worse and has allowed me to better pinpoint it further down.

    For a few days I was wrapping my wrist with an Ace bandage and it seemed to help but by the 2nd day it really seemed to be less helpful.

    Then I noticed that each time my hand would feel asleep I would also feel a empty tingly feeling on the underside of my arm, kinda up towards my left arm pit.
    Not sure why but I thought maybe I was pressing my arm in when playing and thought maybe if I wrap the Ace bandage around my chest with a piece of foam under my arm I could play and keep my arm and chest separated.

    Crazy thing is that it kinda works, uncomfortable as all hell but it helps A LOT.
    So who knows, I know one thing, there's no way I'm EVER going to figure it out on my own and every time I feel like I've sorted it out it starts effecting further up or lower portions of my arm.

    One things for sure, my hand is ALWAYS the part to loose feeling and it's ALWAYS those three fingers. Thumb/index/and my F-U finger.
    (((Yes I realize the thumb isn't a finger.)))

    Anyway thanks everyone for the help and advice.
    This really kinda sucks, I want nothing more than to play and I'm scared if I play through it, when I can anyway, I'll make it worse.
    I too loose feeling to the point I can't feel where I'm at on the fretboard.
    Not fun at all. Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhh boo hoo :-(

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