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Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture

Silas 24 Aug 14 - 05:14 AM
Tootler 24 Aug 14 - 05:35 AM
Deckman 24 Aug 14 - 06:17 AM
Rumncoke 24 Aug 14 - 07:44 AM
GUEST 24 Aug 14 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 24 Aug 14 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 24 Aug 14 - 11:59 AM
Roger the Skiffler 24 Aug 14 - 12:10 PM
Don Firth 24 Aug 14 - 01:02 PM
Mark Ross 24 Aug 14 - 02:41 PM
Don Firth 24 Aug 14 - 08:41 PM
Silas 25 Aug 14 - 05:46 AM
Rob Naylor 25 Aug 14 - 06:45 AM
Mark Ross 25 Aug 14 - 09:18 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Aug 14 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Aug 14 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 25 Aug 14 - 10:22 AM
Don Firth 25 Aug 14 - 01:36 PM
Don Firth 25 Aug 14 - 01:50 PM
Silas 25 Aug 14 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Denis McKay 25 Aug 14 - 11:52 PM
Musket 26 Aug 14 - 03:20 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 26 Aug 14 - 04:26 AM
GUEST,Silas 26 Aug 14 - 05:23 AM
Rumncoke 26 Aug 14 - 07:02 AM
GUEST 28 Aug 14 - 05:16 AM
bubblyrat 28 Aug 14 - 05:18 AM
GUEST,Tony Rath aka Tonyteach 28 Aug 14 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 28 Aug 14 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Silas 28 Aug 14 - 08:11 AM
Charmion 28 Aug 14 - 10:19 AM
GUEST 29 Aug 14 - 05:18 AM
Silas 29 Aug 14 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Carol-Ann Ballard 30 Sep 15 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 01 Oct 15 - 09:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Oct 15 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Roger Knowles 04 Oct 15 - 02:47 PM
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Subject: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Silas
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 05:14 AM

I have recently been diagnised with the above problem in my left (fretting)hand, and, asking around, it seems not uncommon amongst long time guitar players, with a few aquaintances having had the same problem. Do other players experience this generally, or is it just a coincidence that me and a few fellow local players have it?


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 05:35 AM

Helps to have a definition

Dupuytrens Concracture


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Deckman
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 06:17 AM

I also have this condition and it is NOT pleasant. I inheritated this from my father who also suffered from it. I runs in our family because of our Finnish heritage. The Finnish diet, being in the northern climes, was high in grains, especially rye. Most doctors attribute this to being the primary cause. In additon to my heritage, my father and I were both carpenters in our working years. I've always felt that pounding nails for 50 years made this much worse on me.

In the Seattle area, USA) there are three medical treatments. Two different surgical procedures and one treatment using a new, and VERY expensive, medicine that is injected. I have friends who have had all three different prodecdures.

My hand surgeon recommends that I hold off until it gets so painfull that I can no longer play guitar. His advice has always been this: if I can place my hand(s) flat on the table an press down until all my palm in in touch with the table top, without too much pain, then do NOT do the suregy yet.

I have one musician friend who had to give up the guitar because of this condition. He recently had the injections and they seem to be working.

I wish you well and look forward to updates about your situation. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Rumncoke
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 07:44 AM

My father had this, and my brother is showing signs.

It does run in families and a Nordic ancestry seems to make it more likely.

The tendons stick to the sheath they run through and so immobilise themselves.

The injection softens the 'glue' and enables the join to be broken. If it doesn't work the first time there is no great damage - and I know one person who had the injection and it did not seem to work within the time, then he pushed the door shut when he got home and the join broke.

The surgery is far more damaging, which is why it is a last resort. I have known people who have lost fingers completely after several unsuccessful attempts at surgery.

My father was a mechanic in early life, my brother has always had a desk job.

I am 60 and have no signs of the problem, despite playing guitar for over 40 years, and using my hands a lot for all sorts of work - my sister, who does no music nor crafts, I do not eat grains and she does.

I suspect that the tendency is inherited rather than acquired.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 08:44 AM

I have it in both hands (Inherited I presume) and cannot play the flute without problems but can still play the whistle. I had the injection on one hand and surgery on the other.
Both procedures were fairly successful but it is still there and like a weed keeps on growing. The consultant said I can have surgery again which I will put off as long as possible. Luckily in the UK treatment can be got on the National Health.
I think there is plenty of research going on as it's a common problem so hopefully treatment will improve with time.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 10:56 AM

I recently had a "procedure" to get the ring fingure of my right hand back to normal. It was quite simple and involved a needle breaking up the nodules in my palm, thus allowing the finger to return to its usual position. But the contracture can return and so another "proceedure" will be needed. Just as a matter of interest, this condition seems to be prevalent in areas where the Vikings settled. As I am over 6' tall and used to have blonde hair (sadly now very white!)I can believe this. I didn't find that it stopped me playing clawhammer banjo, but it certainly got in the way when finger picking the guitar.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 11:59 AM

Something maybe worth mentioning ?
I don't know if this is still possible, as I did it back in the mid 90s
and I now can't remember the details...

One of my wrists developed problems to the extent that I was constantly wearing a neoprene wrist support.
It was probably strain from weight training in the gym.
If not the actual cause, it certainly exacerbated the problem.

So for some reason I got the idea to phone the UK Musicians Union.
I made it clear I wasn't a member.
But they still arranged a free apointment for me to see one of their specialist consultant Drs.

I was told to take my guitar along to the apt.
The Dr needed to see my playing position to begin to assess the condition.

Now from then onwards I can't remember the diagnosis, treatment,
or anything else regarding the matter.

The point is, is this kind of positive medical service still available to musicians ?
Is it still worth contacting tbe MU ?


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 12:10 PM

The late and not-lamented Mrs Thatcher (spit!) also had it. I don't know if she played guitar!

RtS


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 01:02 PM

A friend of mine during my fencing days studied fencing with the great Italian fencing master, Aldo Nadi. He used an Italian foil (as did I), which has a crossbar about an inch and a half behind the cup-guard. One grips the Italian foil by holding the "ricasso," the section between the crossbar and the guard, between the thumb and index finger, placing the middle finger on the crossbar to give strength to the grip, then curling the two remaining fingers around the grip between the crossbar and the pommel. (Too many "grips" and more than you want to know about holding an Italian foil correctly?unless you have an assignation at dawn in the nearby park....).

Anyway, my friend, Jack Nottingham (great name for a fencer!), developed this condition in the middle finger of his right hand. Gave him wall-eyed fits. I don't know what he ever did about it. Just lived with it as far as I know?.

(Gee, that's a great help, Don. Thanks a lot!)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Mark Ross
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 02:41 PM

Utah Phillips had it and had some surgery done, but it kept coming back. Combined with the focal dystonia in his right thumb it made guitar playing a little difficult.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 08:41 PM

I wonder if problems like this might not be brought on by using undue pressure on the strings, which is easy to get into the habit of doing early on?

Press the string down behind the fret only as hard as you need to to get a good, clear tone. No harder!

Two members of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Scott Tennant ("Pumping Nylon") and William Kanengiser ("Effortless Classical Guitar") have excellent instruction DVDs out in which, among many other things, they address the problem of pressing the strings harder than you need to. Well worth getting, no matter what style of guitar you play. Can't help but pick up some good ideas.

Here's a simple from "Pumping Nylon:"   CLICKY.

And check on the other videos on the right side of that page. Kanengiser is there, too.

Don Firth

P. S. Both of these guys are mind-boggling when they cut loose and play. This one by Kanengiser makes me want to go out and stomp on my fingers!!   CLICKY 2.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Silas
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 05:46 AM

Could be Don,I have to use 13s on one of my guitars and it does take some effort to fret.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 06:45 AM

Quite common amongst climbers, too. The British Mountaineering Council conducted a survey a few years ago and concluded that it was almost 3 times as common amongst mature rock climbers as it was amongst the same age group in the general population.

So whilst there's possibly some genetic component, it does seem likely that the condition is worsened by activities which move the fingers into unusual positions and put extra strain on them.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Mark Ross
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 09:18 AM

I talked to a doctor about it once and he said that there might be some causal connection with liver problems.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 09:56 AM

so that's they do with my subscriptions to the MU punkfolkrocker. still its better than these bloody silly scholarships they keep awarding to musicians who could bore for Central Asia.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 10:12 AM

There are two approaches (at least) to think about. One is to treat the contracture. The other is to make the guitar easier to play. Ideas on that:

Make sure the guitar is set up right, with strings not too high.

Try a narrower neck.

Are you holding it right?

Switch from high tension to medium tension strings. (or would it be the other way?)

Frets can be higher or wider than usual. Both mean that it's easier to play.

Here's the URL for a Gibson site that talks about frets. Interesting stuff!

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/10-things-you-should-know-about-frets-0705-1.aspx

Take a break between songs, and rest your hand.

Stop smoking. It says so on the page linked above.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 10:22 AM

leeneia - what a coincidence, only yesterday I was googling the pros & cons of 'Jumbo' Frets.
I'll take a look at that link, thanks.

Big Al - my memory has become shocking bad this last 5 years or so.
[and I've been sober most of the last 3 years...???]

I'm pretty sure I only phoned the MU in the hope they could advise and provide any relevant phone numbers,
to seek further info.
So it would have been a pleasant surprise that they so helpfully offered me, a non member, a free specialist Drs appt.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 01:36 PM

I have more difficulty on a narrow fingerboard than I do on a full width classic fingerboard. I don't wrap my thumb around the neck, as I find that badly inhibits the freedom of action of the other fingers. And I have to "squinch" my fingers tighter because of the closeness of the strings.

When you watch someone like William Kanengiser (link above) play, he has no problem at all with the full-width classical fingerboard, and as complex as "Rondo alla Turca" is to play, his left hand position and the width of the neck?and the fact that his left hand maintains a correct position throughout?make it much easier for him to play a very difficult piece and make it look like a walk through the park.

The position of his left hand is "correct," not because of someone's arbitrary notion, but because it works.

Finger the strings lightly, using only as much pressure as it takes to get a clear note. Don't strangle the guitar.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 01:50 PM

"But I NEED a narrower neck. I have small hands!"

Doesn't seem to bother this young lady....

CLICKY

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Silas
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 02:12 PM

Dosent bother helen here much either -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq1KLOQluSQ


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,Denis McKay
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 11:52 PM

I also suffer from the contracture. It is genetic (originally from Scandinavia and for me, through Scottish forebares). I have had an operation/surgery to fix the contracture in my right hand. My left hand (small and ring fingers) are now moderately affected.

Be happy, Dupuytrens can affect the plantar fascia of the hands and feet but worst of all, the penis. Small mercies, eh?

Most of my maternal family members have/had the contracture in various degrees.

You occupation/hobby etc. Have no bearing on the onset or progression of the complaint.

Denis


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Musket
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 03:20 AM

Interesting. I have a new guitar with a rather thick neck. I specified it to the man building the guitar for lots of reasons.

My left hand, especially the root of the thumb aches after playing it. Barre chords require my thumb to be hardly around the neck, which is anathema to me, a hang over from being classically trained on violin.

My hands are huge with big sausage fingers. (I used to tune up a viola to GDAE to get my fingers to play violin better) so it isn't that the neck is too thick.

All this talk of hand conditions can make a poor bloke worried! (As an ex miner, I have been tested for vibration white finger. They were initially worried about my left hand sensitivity to hot and cold till I showed them my guitarist finger ends!)


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 04:26 AM

As Dennis says: "You occupation/hobby etc. Have no bearing on the onset or progression of the complaint." But, I do feel that the arthritis I have in the base of my right thumb, which is larger than my left, probably comes from over-using the thumb while playing an awful lot of clawhammer banjo. Most doctors that I have spoken to regarding my own Dupuytrens Contacture agree that it is generic and nothing to do with occupation.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 05:23 AM

So, the upside is Viking ancestry eh?

I'm just out now to buy a horn drinking vessel and a double bladed axe.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Rumncoke
Date: 26 Aug 14 - 07:02 AM

I suspect that climbing mountains might also have a genetic component - as a child I climbed trees, as a teenager it took me into caves and even now at 63 I still find I casually ascend ladders or anything handy which causes consternation to observers.

I am also handy with a axe.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 05:16 AM

No Vikings in my genetic makeup as far as I know . However, just as painful and inconvenient is an injury to the scaphoid bone,especially in the fretting hand . I fell over in a dark alleyway in Stroud two years ago,and have had occasional but excruciating pains in my left palm ever since , usually when half way through something fairly tricky like Tommy Bhettys Waltz ,resulting in a sudden cessation of playing and a loud "Ouch ! " ( or sometimes "Oh Fuck !) ; it depends on the venue of course; I am off to Wallingford Bunkfest today,so the latter will do !


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: bubblyrat
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 05:18 AM

That was me !!


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,Tony Rath aka Tonyteach
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 05:50 AM

I am 69 with biggish hands ( can easily do 11ths on the piano) I have been a weight trainer for 18 years and play classical guitar - acoustic and piano for up to 6 - 7 hours a day as part of my job. No problems so far BUT

1 No barre chords on steel strings - I use drop 2 or 3 chords or 4 string chords
2 12 is the heaviest I go on acoustic
3 I do weights every day to work the hands
4 Correct hand position is vital - wrist for fretting should not be bent - ie guitar neck very high
5 No thumb over the top - even on a narrow neck

Just thanking whatever gods there are that I have escaped this one so far


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 07:12 AM

We have been doing some work with a guy from Chicago who has some alternative therapy's for this problem Sorry can't do the "Blue Clicky" Dr Theodore Herazy. His web site is well worth a look. Hope this might help someone


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 08:11 AM

Just had a look at the good 'Doctor' = soiunds a bit of a nutter to me :-)


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Aug 14 - 10:19 AM

Dupuytrens runs in my family, and I have arthritis in my hands, especially the left (fretting) hand. I go through a fair amount of ibuprofen, thanking my lucky stars it still does the business.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 05:18 AM

Silas, don't be such a bigoted luddite. He has had great results.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: Silas
Date: 29 Aug 14 - 05:28 AM

Yeah?

I think I would rather put my trust in science that my faith in healing.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,Carol-Ann Ballard
Date: 30 Sep 15 - 09:42 AM

Davey Graham was diagnosed with Dupuytren's Contracture in September 2008 - prior to this he had some treatment for his hands - in Europe.
Despite this - without the stresses of public performance - his playing was exceptionally haunting, beautiful, passionate, exacting...when his hands were able - he played. His loss of touch sensitivity was like playing with gloves on but he transcended these limitations and played with a spiritual impulse that was so moving to experience...He was composing again too.
Dupuytrens Contracture - Davey understood - he shared your frustrations. Hope this offers all you sufferers some comfort.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 01 Oct 15 - 09:21 AM

I am permanently in pain with both my hands. Years of carving and woodwork, plus coach lining and sign writing and guitar playing.
I found I had to re-learn the guitar.
Out went open tunings and I started re-shaping chords and inversions in regular tuning, and taking a better playing position.
Also I now have a large repertoire of unaccompanied songs if the pain kicks in. It's done wonders for my voice.
Well OK hooray for me! The point of this post is to try and play round your pain by finding what you can or can't do, and substituting the old way with a new way. It will take work but you may find you are doing things you never thought of doing before.
Keep playing!


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Oct 15 - 08:51 PM

Sometimes I find my left hand ring finger and little finger start wanting to creep across the palm of my hand, and I have a twinge of worry, but so far nothing serious.

But I wonder if there are any exercises that might help to keep it at bay.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists - Dupuytrens Contracture
From: GUEST,Roger Knowles
Date: 04 Oct 15 - 02:47 PM

Just been told by my doctor that she thinks the lump on my left palm is this problem.
Deep joy!


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