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Guitarists problems with hands

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GUEST,Nick Dow 10 Jul 18 - 10:09 AM
gillymor 10 Jul 18 - 10:31 AM
Will Fly 10 Jul 18 - 10:33 AM
leeneia 10 Jul 18 - 10:40 AM
gillymor 10 Jul 18 - 10:45 AM
gillymor 10 Jul 18 - 10:53 AM
gillymor 10 Jul 18 - 11:02 AM
Jack Campin 10 Jul 18 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 10 Jul 18 - 01:30 PM
gillymor 10 Jul 18 - 02:35 PM
John P 10 Jul 18 - 03:39 PM
Deckman 10 Jul 18 - 04:31 PM
Jeri 10 Jul 18 - 04:44 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jul 18 - 05:10 PM
Nick 11 Jul 18 - 08:19 AM
Nick 11 Jul 18 - 08:21 AM
Raedwulf 11 Jul 18 - 08:40 AM
Mark Ross 11 Jul 18 - 09:40 AM
JHW 11 Jul 18 - 03:07 PM
Mooh 11 Jul 18 - 05:30 PM
leeneia 11 Jul 18 - 09:32 PM
Mooh 12 Jul 18 - 06:33 AM
gillymor 12 Jul 18 - 07:46 AM
GUEST,akshayv 13 Jul 18 - 01:19 AM
GUEST,TimTurnip 13 Jul 18 - 09:22 AM
leeneia 13 Jul 18 - 01:47 PM
Jack Campin 13 Jul 18 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 13 Jul 18 - 06:48 PM
The Sandman 14 Jul 18 - 04:50 AM
Jack Campin 14 Jul 18 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 14 Jul 18 - 06:37 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 Jul 18 - 09:31 AM
The Sandman 14 Jul 18 - 09:59 AM
gillymor 14 Jul 18 - 10:43 AM
gillymor 14 Jul 18 - 10:47 AM
Jack Campin 14 Jul 18 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Orson Trap 14 Jul 18 - 02:01 PM
Tattie Bogle 15 Jul 18 - 05:07 AM
Bonzo3legs 15 Jul 18 - 07:20 AM
Deckman 15 Jul 18 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 15 Jul 18 - 12:12 PM
Bonzo3legs 15 Jul 18 - 12:50 PM
Bonzo3legs 15 Jul 18 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 15 Jul 18 - 02:07 PM
Raedwulf 15 Jul 18 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 15 Jul 18 - 03:21 PM
Raedwulf 15 Jul 18 - 04:14 PM
Tattie Bogle 15 Jul 18 - 05:06 PM
Raedwulf 15 Jul 18 - 05:21 PM
Bonzo3legs 16 Jul 18 - 03:02 AM
Tattie Bogle 16 Jul 18 - 04:27 AM
gillymor 16 Jul 18 - 04:36 AM
Raedwulf 16 Jul 18 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 16 Jul 18 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,Steve farrow 16 Jul 18 - 08:00 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 16 Jul 18 - 12:12 PM
Raggytash 16 Jul 18 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Steve farrow 16 Jul 18 - 02:58 PM
gillymor 16 Jul 18 - 03:39 PM
Tattie Bogle 16 Jul 18 - 04:06 PM
Donuel 18 Jul 18 - 03:55 PM
Bonzo3legs 18 Jul 18 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 20 Jul 18 - 04:33 PM
punkfolkrocker 21 Jul 18 - 12:07 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 21 Jul 18 - 02:46 AM
Raedwulf 21 Jul 18 - 05:28 AM
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Subject: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 10:09 AM

This morning I have been offered steroid injections in both my hands to relieve the (pretty bad) pain from 40 years of Guitar playing, (and other harder work over the years).
Does any kind soul have any advice or experience to share with me and others. Are there side effects? Does it help in your experience?


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 10:31 AM

I'm a player of stringed instruments and am not a doctor but I will share my expriences. About 15 years ago I suffered from a trigger finger in middle finger of my right hand probably brought on from excessive grasping (too much woodworking, golf and tennis) according to the Doc. He gave a steroid injection to the area which have me some relief and another about 6 months later, if I remember correctly, and that and going east for awhile cleared it up and it hasn't come back.
Not too long after that I had...


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 10:33 AM

I've had steroid injections in the past in my outer right elbow (tennis elbow), inner right elbow (golfer's elbow) and in my left shoulder - combinations of guitar work and computer work being the cause.

They worked - with no appreciable side effects - just had to rest a bit to allow the steroid to do its work. I have to say that the needle in the outer elbow was bloody painful - but it did the trick!


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: leeneia
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 10:40 AM

I have had steroid injections in my knees. They help, and I've noticed no side effects. The first one was painful, the others not so bad.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 10:45 AM

...arthritis in the joint of my left thumb and the same Dr. injected cortisone into that joint 3 times over the course of about 3 year which delayed the eventual arthroplasty that he warned me the thumb would require. Those injections were extremely painful when administered and depressingly painful until they kicked in 2-3 days later. Others may have side effects from the cortisone but for me the side effects were beneficial in that I got some relief in some other arthritic joints. No problems for me with the thumb...


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 10:53 AM

...or the trigger finger since. Just my experince, others may respond differently to the medication. Vet your doctor well and good luck.

In my first post it should be "go easy" not "go east" (I'm sending from a tablet which is doing a poor job of reading my mind).


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 11:02 AM

Apologies for the mispellings and typos. Should have read "decreasingly painful".


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 12:02 PM

When steroid shots go wrong they go REALLY wrong. A neighbour had them in her shoulder - the doctor missed and hit a nerve. She developed RSD (or CPRS? can't remember which is the UK term) and spent two years on humungous doses of the strongest painkillers anyone can prescribe (pethidine, gabapentin, amitryptiline and methadone all at once, I think). It's a miracle she didn't end up with an opiate addiction.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 01:30 PM

Well I asked! Thinking twice now.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 02:35 PM

You should give it a lot of thought, Nick, and perhaps get a second opinion but 3 posters here have related positive first-hand experiences and one has related a negative second-hand one. I'm just doing the math, not encouraging you in either direction.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: John P
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 03:39 PM

I've twice had injections in my right wrist for tendonitis. It helped, and I had no side effects. Having heard a couple of horror stories, I was leery, but the pain was making it impossible to play so I didn't think there was all that much to lose.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 04:31 PM

Bob(deckman)nelson here in the N.W. corner of the U.S. Perhaps my experiences with hand problems can help:

I've had trigger thumb in both thumbs. The shots helped, but only temporality. And yes, the shots were very painful … it's nothing you want to do for entertainment. Since then I've had surgery on both thumbs and that has been very successful.

I'm 181 years old and recently my arthritis in my hand and fingers has, at times, prevented me from playing guitar. BUT, the good news is that I recently got a prescription from an arthritis doctor for a new hand crème available by prescription only. It's not cheap, but the results are astounding.

The active ingredient is called "diclofenac sodium topical gel. 1%." It kills the pain in literally two minutes, My wife and I both use it, and we're finding that once a day is all we need.


At a recent jam session, another musician friend of mine tried it and he also couldn't believe how fast it works. He's in Ireland now, and he thought he might be able to locate it over there.

I hope this testimonial helps … CHEERS, bob nelson


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Jeri
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 04:44 PM

Deckman, congratulations on living 181 years. I wish you many more.

Had a shot in my knee. I was expecting it to be painful. It wasn't. And it worked, but it doesn't cure what's messed up, and pain will likely come back.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jul 18 - 05:10 PM

Diclofenac gel is an over-the-counter medication in the UK and not very expensive - one brand name is Voltarol but there may be cheaper generics. For mild joint pain I've found green-lipped mussel gel (Pernaton) is about as effective - my wife prefers it, she has fairly serious arthritis.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Nick
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 08:19 AM

I had a steroid injection in my heel (ho ho yes I play guitar with my feet - I've been told it) when I was in my teens and had an achilles tendon problem. Apart from it was sore and I fainted because I'm a bit of a wuss at things like that I think it did the trick.

Steroid injections do work - that's why doctors recommend them. Too many steroids aren't a great thing but a one off to help is positive I would have thought.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Nick
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 08:21 AM

I'm mid 60's (not 181) and have some arthritis coming in my left thumb and the odd finger but not enough to take any medication for currently. I probably should have played more :)


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Raedwulf
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 08:40 AM

Guitarists' hand problems or steroids? I did post something about the former some years back, but I don't think it relates directly to what you're asking, so I shan't go looking for it, unless you want me to.

Steroids - I've never had one, but... I have a mildly arthritic left hip (right as well, but less so). The result of being active & sporty. The doctor that informed me of this made various further comments after diagnosis. One possible option was a steroid injection, the result of which was a comment to the effect of "In 10 years time, you'll be having a hip replacement". I cannot remember now whether that was down to "Because you won't feel any pain, you'll be running around like an idiot again" or "the steroids will damage the lining of the joint". The fact that I have a memory of the latter suggests that something might have been said.

On the whole, I would say that steroids are a mask, not a cure, and that you will continue to suffer damage / degradation if you subsequently continue the same activities without any change!


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Mark Ross
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 09:40 AM

Utah Phillips developed focal dystonia in his right thumb. It would curl up to the palm, and as he was a finger picker it caused no end of problems, to the point where he gave up performing for a while. When Kate Wolfe was diagnosed with leukemia, and had to cancel all her gigs, she ordered Utah to take them. He hired me as his sideman because I knew all the songs (just about), and we worked together for a period of time until he figured out how to play the guitar without the use of his thumb, sort of frailing with the back of his fingers. The only cure was botox injections. When this was suggested to him his reply was that "I don't want to be an Italian policeman," (i.e. Guinea Pig). He also had Dupertyn's Contracture in the ring finger of his left hand. That required surgery to cut the tendon causing the problem.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: JHW
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 03:07 PM

Carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists was bad for guitar playing. Though Right hand was by far the worst I had op (they cut open the tube) done on Left wrist as hand was in danger of not lasting out longer songs.
Still have Right hand problem*. Steroid injection into the wrist would calm the problem for many months but the injection needle was very painful. Had several times.
* Never had R done as the op on the L resulted in hypersensitive nerves for maybe three months. Any touching with the finger tips then was very painful. OK now.
R I have to be careful not to overdo, mainly with other work, guitar ok the way I play.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Mooh
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 05:30 PM

Diet and exercise, especially stretches.

Massage has helped me immensely, especially since I found an RMT (registered massage therapist) who knew hands. To a lesser degree for me personally, physiotherapy, as it was focused on my shoulders.

Playing posture, classical with all fretted instruments, has helped with comfort, lessening muscle tension.

Practice regime, as in frequency being more important than duration. Several short periods of practice is better than one long period.

Technique with a light touch.

Gear that works for you not against you in scale length, string gauge, set-up, proportion and size.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Jul 18 - 09:32 PM

I got a book at the library written by an M.D. and it was about repetition stress injuries. The doctor was against playing with a flatpick. I can believe him, because holding a flatpick puts a lot of tension in the right hand.

If you have been using one, try doing without.

Another thing about corisone shots: my knee doctor told me that he has a patient who has come in for the shot every six months for ten years.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Mooh
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 06:33 AM

Holding a flatpick shouldn't put a lot of tension in the right hand. If it does, one is holding it way too tight. I've no objection to not using a flatpick (I fingerpick a lot) but the problem with hand tension isn't the implement, it's the technique and grip.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 12 Jul 18 - 07:46 AM

I've been primarily a finger picker for most of the time I've been playing but in recent years I've been playing more and more with a flat pick as I have pain in my right hand thumb joint (similar to what I had in the left before undergoing an arthroplasty) when I play fingerstyle for too long a period. I suppose it depends to some degree on where the difficulty is situated in your hand. Using a heavier pick (1.4 mm for me) helps as you don't need to stiffen it by applying more tension when you're digging in and to play with a lighter touch you actually just lighten your grip on it.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,akshayv
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 01:19 AM

I walked around the mall for hours and my feet didn't hurt, not heal pain or pain on the sides of my feet. Before I got these I got a pair of orthofeet which I also like and have had no problems with and they have seems to made my hip stop hurting. Too early to say if these will help my hip but second day wearing them and my feet felt great.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,TimTurnip
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 09:22 AM

maybe? worth trying a vegan diet.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 01:47 PM

I have my doubts about the story of the woman who suffered because a doctor hit a nerve with a neeedle. Nerves can get completely through in a bad accident, and surgeons sew them back together. If nerves can withstand trauma like that, I doubt if a mere injection....

DH needs computer...


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 02:14 PM

Bollocks. I know what I'm talking about so shut it with the patronizing crap.

Focal dystonia is totally different - it's chronic bad connections getting set up in the brain. Well known musicians with it: Leon Fleisher (piano), Reinhard Goebel (violin), Hamish Moore (bagpipes). It takes decades to go away, if it ever does, and no treatment helps.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 13 Jul 18 - 06:48 PM

Puzzled? Has a post been deleted?


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 04:50 AM

Nick, Jack is just being rude,whats new?not quite sure what he is on about or who its aimed at


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 05:11 AM

I was replying to leeneia's "doubts" (i.e. sneering crap based on total ignorance). This is someone who's lived directly across the street from me for 20 years and it's been horrible to watch what's happened to her. Look up Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, aka Complex Regional Pain Disorder, and try imagine what it would feel like.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 06:37 AM

OK. There are ways of replying that do not involve abuse. I am learning a fair bit here. I have got my referral this morning, and still in two minds. Is the joint usable within a few hours of treatment in anybody's experience?


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 09:31 AM

I think if you read again some of the earlier posts on this thread, they suggest that you could be a bit sore in the immediate aftermath of the injections, and will need to expect a few days of feeling worse before the improvement becomes apparent. "A few hours" is rather optimistic, but good luck, Nick!


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 09:59 AM

hope all goes well Nick


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 10:43 AM

"Is the joint usable within a few hours of treatment in anybody's experience?"

Is the joint usable now? When I had the shots for trigger finger it took 2 days before I started feeling no benefits and after 3 days it felt just fine and after the initial prick of the needle I felt no additional pain. The thumb joint was a completely different matter, the initial injection was very painful and after the lidocaine wore off, included as a painkiller,about an hour later there was pain from the medicine putting pressure on the joint which subsided as the day wore on and then things were good after 2-3 days. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 10:47 AM

"it took 2 days before I started feeling no benefits" should read "the benefits". Darn tablet.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 12:51 PM

Maybe leeneia should learn those "ways of responding that do not involve abuse". This gives some idea of what my neighbour has been going through:

https://www.blbchronicpain.co.uk/news/crps-chronic-pain-suicide/

IMAGINE FEELING LIKE THAT. And imagine being on the receiving end of the crashing brutal insensitivity of a response like leeneia's. It's utterly unacceptable.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Orson Trap
Date: 14 Jul 18 - 02:01 PM

A few years ago I developed a tremor in my right thumb, no pain but a bleeding nuisance. I have to steady my right hand when I try and write, if not it looks like the 'dead sea scrolls'. However, what really irritates is the fact that I cannot rely on it when finer-picking, as a result I do not finger-pick when playing in front of anybody.   I end up just strumming, but some songs I no longer do because of it. I have seen a number of consultants over the years who advise that it is 'focal dystonia' and they cannot cure it.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 05:07 AM

Leeneia, Accidental injection into nerves causes inflammatory neuritis, resulting in chronic pain, dysaesthesia (disordered sensation), muscle weakness, so Jack is right (if rather explosive in his reaction to what you said.) Your view is far too simplistic.
It is comparatively rare, but devastating for any victim. It is easy enough to find online various medical papers reporting such incidents.

Nick, how did you get on?


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 07:20 AM

Have you tried Biofreeze? It works wonders on my knees!


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Deckman
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 07:43 AM

I have to share a humorous story of what happened to me the first time that my hand doctor injected cortisone into my first trigger thumb episode . Believe me, this is a TRUE story, and I hope it gives some smiles to this serious thread.

My hand doctor, who shall remain nameless, did a very effective trick on me. He'd warned me that the shot would hurt like heck, but I said: " go ahead … I'm ready." His nurse, a very handsome lady, was standing beside me, just out of my vision. As he raised the needle to plunge it into my thumb. he told his nurse to help hold my hand and wrist tight to the table.

As he pushed the needle in, his nurse leaned her entire 'chest' into my face … true. I was so startled I didn't know which way to look and I barely felt the pain. In seconds, the needle was out, the nurse was cleaning up the table, and they both were laughing.

Then he said, and I quote: "It works every time!"


Postscript … a few years later, I had to have another injection into my other thumb. By this time that nurse had moved on. Without her assistance, this injection hurt like heck!   bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 12:12 PM

Got the referral but waiting on the appointment. Jack pack it in will you, or go elsewhere. I don't want this thread closed.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 12:50 PM

My wife has been prescribed Capsaicin for her extensive scoliosis and degenerative changes as a consequence in the facet joints. It produces a heating sensation, but also provides some measure of relief from severe pain.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 01:05 PM

I understand that there are cheap, general steroids as used by the NHS which disperse over a wide area in the body, and more expensive steroids as used by the private sector, which will provide far more effective concentration at the actual point of injection.

I know which route I would take.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 02:07 PM

Never thought of that! Thanks Bonzo. It's looking less likely that I will take the risk reading all of the posts. I think I might phone the clinic and put some of your suggestions to them. (And report back)


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Raedwulf
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 02:14 PM

Doesn't sound right to me, Bonzo. A steroid is a steroid; "cheap" has nothing to do with it - hydrocortisone is hydrocortisone; it doesn't matter how many pennies per dose. What will make a difference is whether it's a site specific or general injection.

This page says there are 4 basic types of injection, only one of which is definitely a 'general' (I'm less than certain what the purpose of the epidural is; the other two are site-specific).

And yes, Sand, I also thought Jack was unnecessarily rude, but this is t'internet & many of us jump from time to time. Do you never? My memory says Jack is not a particularly vigorous offender, though I may just have missed stuff! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 03:21 PM

The blood pressure side effect is a worry. My BP is horribly high at the best of times. I realise side effects are only possible and not even probable, but non steroidal anti inflammatory options are looking more and more attractive. I'll still ring the clinic tomorrow though.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Raedwulf
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 04:14 PM

Have a good natter with yer Doc, Nick. The problem & beauty of GP's is that they are General Practitioners - not specialists, but far more familiar with your medical history than anyone else, qualified or otherwise (e.g. us lot!). They don't know everything (they're not specialists), but nutrition aside (black art), they know far more than any of us 'ere, right? ;-) Write down a list of questions so you don't forget 'em. Ask freely & ask any other daft thing that occurs as a result. A good GP won't get impatient; if they get impatient... Etcetera! It's your body & it's your health. So long as you're not being a needy, attention-seeking pillock (& you certainly don't sound like that sort!), a good GP... Etcetera. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 05:06 PM

NSAIDs non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have the potential to raise blood pressure too, as do oral steroids, but you're not likely to get much of an effect on your BP from locally injected steroids.
As for NHS v private steroids (Bonzo) - it might be the difference between using generic versions and branded ones, but who's to say that the NHS always use generics, and the private sector always use branded drugs? The latter will charge more but they won't tell you which manufacturer's drug they are using: they might well still be using cheaper generics!
And within general practice there ARE specialists: in my practice each partner had a special interest and expertise in certain ailments. One partner did all the minor surgery and joint injections, another did all the ante-natals, another all the diabetic follow-up, another all the cardiovascular stuff, another the respiratory problems, etc, etc, so we could internally refer people within the practice to the most appropriate practitioner.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Raedwulf
Date: 15 Jul 18 - 05:21 PM

I take your point, Tattie, but do you take mine? I'm not knocking GPs for not being specialists, but in the scientific sense, they are not, nor are your examples. They are 'better practiced' or 'more knowledgeable'. They aren't ENT or gynaecologists or... etcetera. Are they?

I've no down on GPs; being a GP is an art & science in itself. But if I really want to know the nitty-gritty of what's wrong with my X, I'd rather talk to an expert in X! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 03:02 AM

Correct Raedwulf.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 04:27 AM

Not entirely, Raedwulf. While you say you are not knocking GPs, I think you do underestimate the vast range of skills and further training possessed by many GPs which allow them to carry out certain specialised procedures within their own surgeries, including, for those properly trained in the techniques, joint injections.
Some GPs have previously been in hospital specialities for a number of years before switching to general practice, and bring these skills to their practices. Surgeons, anaesthetists, ENT specialists, gynaecologists and others are all represented among GPs of my acquaintance. I was myself a specialist in "medical gynaecology" and family planning and responsible for training other GPs in this.
Hospital consultants will also expect GPs to have done all appropriate investigation BEFORE referring patients to them: history, examination, blood tests, X-Rays, scans, etc. And not everyone who is referred to hospital gets seen by a consultant: some have to see the registrar or SHO: some only get to see specialised nurse practitioners.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 04:36 AM

You should consult your doc concerning long term NSAID use. A friend wound up with heavy bleeding in his stomach and a stay in the hospital when he got too dependent on it to relieve the pain in an arthritic knee.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Raedwulf
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 05:28 AM

No, Tattie, I don't understestimate them at all, believe me. As you say, some are / have... and many aren't / don't. We can't but generalise about a General Pracitioner, can we? ;-) So you can't pick up an individual example & say "See..." really, can you? I'm not a medical man, I'm IT. Therefore, if I may draw a parallel...

There are helpdesks ("I'm just going to read down my checklist, partly because I'm under orders to do so, and partly because I know sod all, so I can't do owt else") and there are helpdesks (I've occasionally had to do helpdesk work; the best incident, oddly enough, was in the NHS - Sister A authorised Sister B's account request, whilst Sister B... and neither had the authority & hoped no-one would notice - some miserable pedant did & gently pointed this out to Sister A! ;-) ). The GP is just that - a (good!) helpdesk. Very simplistically, they field the first enquiry & work out what to do with it. They may have some extra knowledge that allows them to deal with particular cases, but they don't have to have that. What they do have to be able to do is 1) work out whether they can deal with it, and 2) work out who it needs to be passed onto if they can't (and that may be as simple as asking the next desk over, cos next desk over has some different extra knowledge).

That's a GP in a nutshell, isn't it? Well worth talking to properly, same as a good helpdesk. Tell them everything you can think of, ask them all the questions you want, and find another one if you think they've stopped listening (I never have). The only time I'll ignore a doctor is if they start talking nutrition or alcohol - the former, no-one knows enough about to lay down any laws, the latter are a fraudulent attempt at social engineering. Do not ask, cos there we drift into thread hijack territory! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 07:51 AM

I believe that just as there are sports experts in physio, so there are now some specialists in music-based injuries, though how many and which instrument I do not know. Maybe worth looking into? Maybe the Musician's Union has something on this.


In some cases 'topical' pain relief might help. My dentist suggested Bonjela (!, forget how the topic came up) for a probably guitar-related pain I had, and it worked in the short term. Then the problem went away (whew!).

If I want to look something up, healthwise, I generally start with the NHS web site, which is worth a look on the topic of steroid/corticosteroid injections, as well as RSI and other possible causes of instrument-related pain. I'm not at all convinced by the idea that by going 'privately' you can get 'better' steroids. The NHS is under a lot of financial pressure, but I don't think this is one of the outcomes. What the NHS will do is choose the cheaper out of a range of very similar medicines: ones with 'brands' are often more expensive than non-brand alternatives. I've had medicine changed on this basis and was more than happy with it. Same thing with chemist shops 'own brand' asprin and the hyped commercial branded products.

Nick: Good luck; I hope you can continue to play for a long time.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Steve farrow
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 08:00 AM

I have had an essential tremor since late childhood that has grown steadily worse to the point that I had to retire early. I have recently had brain surgery to insert electrodes and to connect them to a control box in my abdomen. My right hand is now steady but quite "stiff" . My left hand shakes considerably but adjusting the control box one way brings on choking fits and the other, uncontrollable shaking and slurred speech,
Can anyone help with a way forwards?
Steve


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 12:12 PM

And I'm worried about a bit of pain. That puts it in perspective.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 02:38 PM

Nick, On Church Street in Whitby there is a shop that sells all sorts of 'ethnic' stuff, However they do make a arthitis oil which I've used to some effect. It does reek a bit and contains Lavender which my good lady is allergic to but it did help.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Steve farrow
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 02:58 PM

Thanks Nick. Its a buXXer. I play finger style as best I can
Fortunately my local folk club (cottingham live, near hull) are supportive of me and I play regularly on singer's nights

Being greedy I also claim various pains
Leaving aside the non music pains, I have problems with my right shoulder following a fall down stairs
I find it to be difficult to get my guitar under my arm so I'm trying the mandolin as well. I'm due surgery when I get my blood sugars under control
Until then,can anyone suggest a good on line mandolin tutor to go with suggestions on playing instruments with shaking hands
Regards all,Steve


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: gillymor
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 03:39 PM

mandolessons.com is an excellent resource for learning mandolin. It's free but he accepts donations.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 16 Jul 18 - 04:06 PM

Ok, Raedwulf: no, you can't generalise about GPs as they are such a mixed bunch: I would actually agree with most of what you said in your second paragraph (the bits I could understand!): but I'll go back to what I called "internal referrals" within the practice: you turn up with X problem: "Oh, not my province - see Dr Y who knows much more about that - might save you a visit to hospital and you'll get it sorted much sooner - he/she has done hundreds of these procedures successfully. If we send you to hospital you'll be waiting 3 months at least and might only see the SHO who has only done this procedure twice".
And yes, Pseudonymous, there are specialists out there who are appointed to symphony orchestras and the like to advise on joint problems resulting from playing positions, ENT consultants who advise professional singers on voice problems, etc. There is always a physiotherapist or osteopath available at Edinburgh Harp Festival to advise/treat, musculo-skeletal problems in harpists: not sure whether that's due to the playing position or just effects of lugging those heavy beasts about!


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Donuel
Date: 18 Jul 18 - 03:55 PM

One stroke caused by NSAIDS can ruin your day.
When things go south they go down hill fast Gillymor
What happens when things go east?


I trust the experiences of Tattie and gilly.


Raedwulf, yur not chopped liver ;^/


I'm lucky to produce endorphines continually from an old severed noisey nerve but you wouldn't want this 'cure'


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 18 Jul 18 - 05:03 PM

"If we send you to hospital you'll be waiting 3 months at least and might only see the SHO who has only done this procedure twice".

Which is exactly why we have private medical insurance.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 20 Jul 18 - 04:33 PM

My appt. with the consultant is in September. I am going to put some if not all of the points you have kindly raised to him or her and revive this thread then. Thanks everybody.
Nick


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 12:07 AM

Back in my 30s in the mid 1990s, I experienced constant pain in one wrist, which I attributed to weight training in the gym.
I resorted to constantly wearing a neoprene wrist support.

Eventually I somehow had the idea to phone the UK Musician's Union for advice.
They immediately booked me in to see their specialist Dr in London for free,
even though I mentioned I wasn't a member.

I was told to go to the appt and take my guitar.

The Dr needed to see how I played, and if I had any bad habits causing my pain.

It's so long ago I can't remember which wrist, or his diagnosis and recommended treatment.
Vague memories it might have involved dunking my hand in either hot or cold water
and doing some stretching or tightening exercises whilst submerged...???
I can't remember for certain....

I once turned up for a band audition in Camden,
[a record label boss - friend of a friend - was forming a backing band for him and his wife]
Basically the guy was stoned, too stoned to concentrate on running through his songs,
and all he could do throughout the audition was talk about my wrist support and why I was wearing it...
was it a fashion statement...???

Funnily enough, I never heard back, and found out he never managed to get his band together, and passed away not long after.


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 02:46 AM

Thanks for that. (I think)


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Subject: RE: Guitarists problems with hands
From: Raedwulf
Date: 21 Jul 18 - 05:28 AM

I too have gone through the (left) wrist support thing, pfr. I actually have a pair - I used to wear them both if I had to do any goalkeeping in my footballing days - but the left (neck) wrist is definitely weaker (probably the wrong word, but you know what I mean) than the right. Even though I've not played in some time, I only have to press the heels of my hands together & I can feel it in the left wrist. If I do press-ups, right hand flat, left hand knuckles...

I've always put it down to guitar playing, and I know my technique is very good (when I went to a classical guitar teacher, who also happened to be a professor of music, he exclaimed "You've had lessons before!"; nope, & he never adjusted my technique at all). I don't think it's an uncommon problem, & even top players such as Andrew York suffer.


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