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Musician Injuries: Help!

Barbara Shaw 18 May 98 - 07:47 PM
rich r 18 May 98 - 08:29 PM
Alice 18 May 98 - 08:40 PM
BK 19 May 98 - 12:31 AM
erica 19 May 98 - 12:24 PM
19 May 98 - 03:07 PM
Phil G. 19 May 98 - 11:47 PM
Dale Rose 20 May 98 - 07:46 AM
Barbara Shaw 20 May 98 - 12:42 PM
judy 22 May 98 - 01:26 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 23 May 98 - 05:17 PM
wolfz 23 May 98 - 10:13 PM
Frank in the swamps 24 May 98 - 06:01 AM
wolfz 25 May 98 - 01:37 AM
Bert 26 May 98 - 01:43 PM
jak220@aol.com 26 May 98 - 02:44 PM
judy 28 May 98 - 02:55 PM
Jon W. 23 Jun 99 - 06:40 PM
Barbara Shaw 16 Nov 08 - 07:51 PM
olddude 16 Nov 08 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 17 Nov 08 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Nov 08 - 12:13 PM
astro 17 Nov 08 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Nov 08 - 12:20 PM
wysiwyg 17 Nov 08 - 12:30 PM
Barbara Shaw 17 Nov 08 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Blackford John 18 Nov 08 - 12:31 PM
Anne Lister 18 Nov 08 - 03:37 PM
Barbara Shaw 18 Nov 08 - 03:59 PM
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Subject: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 18 May 98 - 07:47 PM

It's either the mouse or the guitar or the fiddle, but something is killing my right hand, especially the thumb, index and middle finger. I'm blaming the mouse, but not the time spent at Mudcat.

So far, the prescription and wrist brace haven't helped at all.

Any good folk cures? Advice?


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: rich r
Date: 18 May 98 - 08:29 PM

Use the mouse with your left hand especially if it is not one of those form fitting for the right hand only mouses (FFFTRHOM). You can go into your control panel and switch the mouse buttons if you wish, but I actually find it more comfortable to set the mouse at an angle to the right, put my thumb on the right side of the mouse and my index finger on the left mouse button. The last three fingers all rest on the mouse pad and for me is less strain than having both index and middle fingers on mouse buttons. The few times I actually need or use the right mouse button it's not hard to reach at all by moving over the index finger. I also have an "L-shped" computer desk so that my whole arm up to the elbow can rest on the desk. The left hand index finger should also have better callouses on it from the guitar & fiddle.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Alice
Date: 18 May 98 - 08:40 PM

I use both a Wacom tablet with pen, and a mouse, and when the carpal tunnel got bad on my right wrist, I used a wrist brace and avoided the mouse. Using the pen and tablet took the stress off my wrist, so it could heal.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: BK
Date: 19 May 98 - 12:31 AM

I'll bet it's the typing, but if you really use the mouse a lot, that'll hurt too. Also try a track-ball instead of a mouse. Also, in the hands of a skilled practitioner, the new style Carpal tunnel surgery is massivly less invasive - a couple of tiny incisions, back to work for some people in a day or so, pain-free. also: go to the health food store and get an ENTERIC-COATED version of SOD -Superoxide Dismutase; take 2 q 1-2 hrs for several days, more after meals - often helps.

Also: the topical stuff- esp new Absorbine arthritis liquid is wierd; burns at first, not much later, but is good. Also: the old time horse linamints help many folks - get some DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) and try rubbing that in, carefully.

cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: erica
Date: 19 May 98 - 12:24 PM

just gettin' goofy on y'all--but isn't ffffffTHROM! a fantastic sound effect?
my musical ouch is the back of my hands while playing piano...both hands get it, not always at the same time, but i never get it doing anything else really (of course, now that i'm thinkng about it, my hands are getting sore from playing last night, but i think that one's just maybe psychosomatic. is that the right word? i really should get off, i'm far too tired for this...YAWN)
i hope something here helps you out, barbara!


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From:
Date: 19 May 98 - 03:07 PM

Dear folks, (and I mean that),

EVERYTHING mentioned here I had diagnosed! One doc after another. May not have been ANY of 'em. May have been a mixture. Do not mean to scare anybody,(not life threatening here), but have the worst case scenarios checked out! Took more than a decade of trial & error (and major remedial tries) to, FINALLY, know why I can no longer play my instruments or walk more than 3 blocks. Just might save you some money and some TIME. Grief too.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Phil G.
Date: 19 May 98 - 11:47 PM

Crazy arthritis, maybe...it creeps in from the extremities sometimes. How old are you? Is it in your family? Also, I completely blew my hands and wrists out after a bout of heavy 3 lb. hammer construction work for a while. What kind of work, work , do you do? Just a few thoughts....


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Dale Rose
Date: 20 May 98 - 07:46 AM

Here is a page that deals pretty thoroughly with musician injuries.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 20 May 98 - 12:42 PM

Thanks, everyone for all the ideas, especially to Dale for the link. Looks like I have lots of reading to do.

My hand is getting somewhat better, thanks to wearing the wrist brace at night, using the arrow keys with my left hand instead of the mouse to scroll, stretching my hand often, etc. I also ordered a track ball and wrist pad for the right hand.

Good luck to anyone else with similar problems.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: judy
Date: 22 May 98 - 01:26 PM

I got relief from my burgeoning wrist problem by using a wrist rest from Comfort Lab Inc. They also have a pair to use for typists.

Their website is www.comfortpoint.com

enjoy! judy


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 23 May 98 - 05:17 PM

The bottom of my left arm goes numb all the time. It's just something one has to live with.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: wolfz
Date: 23 May 98 - 10:13 PM

TRY THIS:

PUT SOME GULDEN'S SPICY BROWN MUSTARD ON A GAUZE PAD WITH SOME REALLY HOT CAYENNE POWDER. APPLY TO WRISTS AND BACKS OF HANDS. THIS GIVES YOU A REALLY DEEP HEAT TO RELAX AND STRECH YOUR TENDONS AND LIGAMENTS WITHOUT DAMAGE. I FIND THAT THIS REALLY WORKS AFTER LONG BOUTS WITH MY BASS AND COMPUTER.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 24 May 98 - 06:01 AM

Wolfz might have something there, I read something not long ago about Capsiesin (Spell?) having medicinal effect as a topical application.

I once had a serious problem with my wrists after banging the bejesus out of 'em in a bad fall. They didn't recover until I gave them a couple of weeks rest, I mean COMPLETE do-nothing-for-yourself rest. The chiropractor I spoke to at the time told me that once I was better, to use either those spring thingies or a rubber ball to squeeze and exercise my hands regularly because they also build up the muscles around your wrists, helping to prevent problems.

Bye the way, Wolfz, I'm guessing that you're a bit new to the internet, I'm also guessing that you're not a very good typist. Don't worry, people on the internet are quite forgiving about typos, or in any case, those who aren't needn't be taken seriously, but using all capital letters is considered SHOUTING!!!!! SWITCH TO ALL SMALL CASE NOW! Nobody will criticise. Or in any case, those who do needn't be taken etc. etc.......

Frank the critic.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: wolfz
Date: 25 May 98 - 01:37 AM

frank

thanks for the info. i am new to the net and really enjoy mudcat. you are the first to tell me that so i won't shout anymore. okay?


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Bert
Date: 26 May 98 - 01:43 PM

Actually he was shouting because he had that spicy mustard and cayenne pepper all over him.

Back to the injury business...I occasionally get "mouse finger" and two things seem to help.
One, I lowered my chair so that my forearms can rest on the desk.
Two, when my finger starts to hurt I move it forward a little and press the button with the underside of the end joint.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: jak220@aol.com
Date: 26 May 98 - 02:44 PM

This may sound funny, but it actually happened to me. There are times when my middle finger, index finger and thumb get tingly and sometimes numb. It happens a lot when I sleep. I too thought it was a wrist problem, but the funny thing is that it happens on both hands. I went to the doctor and he said I needed a neck brace. I laughed - my fingers were numb! It seems that there is a nerve in the neck that is connected to those three fingers. Sometime the disks get compressed, slightly pinch the nerve and the result is the fingers feel 'numb'. After I wore a neck brace, one of the simple ones you get at the drug store, my hand felt better. Now everytime my fingers get 'numb' I stretch my neck. It really works. My guess is that if you sit at the computer a lot, especially if you wear bifocal glasses and have to bend your head/neck to see the screen, you are compressing those disks and causing the numb feeling. Try it out and let me know.

Jim K.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: judy
Date: 28 May 98 - 02:55 PM

more info than you might want at:

http://www.ergoweb.dcp.ucla.edu/ergowebv2.0/articles/rsitrepre.htm

enjoy! judy


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Jon W.
Date: 23 Jun 99 - 06:40 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 07:51 PM

Wow. I did a search of the forum for musician injuries because my left arm is in big trouble from either the fiddle or bass or guitar or something. What shows up but a thread I started 10 years ago about my right hand! This music making is not for sissies.

Going for a CAT scan tomorrow because of shoulder abnormalities in the bad arm. The better I get at fiddle the worse I get...


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: olddude
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 08:04 PM

If you have pain and numbness in the hand and it is running down your arm and shoulder my concern is your neck. I sure hope not but the MRI or CT scan can confirm. Please no lifting anything until you find out. If it is your neck there is life after it but it is serious


good luck, you are in my prayers


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 11:56 AM

I can certainly emphathize. In 1975, I was riding my 10-speed bike to work when an alcoholic, out-of-work house painter ran a stop sign and clobbered me in the intersection. The only major injury, despite my not wearing a helmet at the time, was to my left index finger - pretty well mangled. The ER doc's first thought was to amputate. Fortunately, they brought in a hand surgeon who performed three separate operations over several months to restore most of the use of the digit. It is still crooked and not quite at full strength, so bar chording on steel stringed instruments is difficult at times. The doctor told me that playing was the best therapy I could have, so I persist, on a classical guitar. The threat of arthritis in the joints has never materialized, thank heaven.

When my right hand starts to hurt from overuse of the computer mouse, I have some perspective about it. Changing to a more ergonomically correct mouse has helped.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:13 PM

'The better I get at fiddle the worse I get...'

I clearly remember an article I once read in Smithsonian Magazine. It was about a clinic which specializes in treating injuries to musicisans. One doctor said that the violin is an instrument 'designed to destroy the human right arm.'

Mouse: I read a book on repetition stress injuries, written by an MD. He was very critical of the mouse, saying it can injure the hand with only six hours' use a week.

On my computer (Windows XP Home) I can do many actions without the mouse. My right hand taps Alt f s, and it saves. Alt f p, and it prints. Alt f o opens. It saves time and gives the hands a little rest.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: astro
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:19 PM

I have hand problems occasionally, I use a wrist brace at night with my hand held out at about 45 degrees, usually is gone after a week of doing that.

astro


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:20 PM

I forget to mention that the doctor's book on stress injuries had another musical caution. Picking guitar, etc, with a flat pick is hard on the hands. He advised against constant use of the flat pick. Sure, you can use it, but switch to fingerpicking at times to give the hands a rest.

As for me, I find using a flat pick makes my hand tense and uncomfortable. I never use it.


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: wysiwyg
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 12:30 PM

We have a saying at our house:

"Music Ruins Lives."

;~)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 03:25 PM

Thanks for your kind words, olddude. Comforting to know someone cared enough to say that.

Well, the CT scan was cancelled and they are going to do an MRI instead, and include the shoulder (which doesn't hurt) and the upper arm, which does. The first radiologist looked at my shoulder xray and mentioned the possibility of Paget's disease of bone, which I've never heard of but learned to dread. The one today looked at the same xray and dismissed that possibility in my case but recommended an MRI to look at the part that hurts plus the shoulder. Good thinking, methinks.

What I think is that I need to find a physician who specializes in musician injuries. My left arm seriously hurts when I play the fiddle, which probably means I've overdone it and keep on stressing it with bad position or overuse or something. And then I probably further damage that weak left arm by playing closed notes on the upright bass. Then there's the guitar, which is what I play most of the time... And then there's the 50lb purse I usually carry on my left shoulder...

Here are a couple of interesting websites I found:
McGill Article about Musician Injuries
Musicians and Injuries


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: GUEST,Blackford John
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 12:31 PM

I have been suffering with a numb thumb off an on for three months. It was either flat picking a bouzouki and/or use of keyboard and mouse.

I have not gone to a doctor as they usually tell you to rest and do not address the root cause of the problem.

I've been to an osteopath who has worked with me on joint flexibility, shoulders, back, arms and wrist. I now have a set of exercises that I do every day. The numbness is gradually receding and I have sufficient feeling to allow me to flat-pick, strum and finger pick for a three hour gig.

I read the suggestion on use of peppery foods to relax muscles. These will work. However, if you have inflammation then you need to cool this. A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a cloth can provide welcome relief and reduce acute pain and any swelling.

Hope this helps, I wish you well.



John


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Anne Lister
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:37 PM

One of the benefits of being a member of the Musicians Union (that's here in the UK) is that they have medical contacts. I had a problem with the upper joints in my index fingers (both hands) which were affecting my guitar playing, and having consulted my own doctor was able through the MU to be referred to their consultant in Harley Street. Who knew all about playing instruments and all that stuff, and who eventually referred me on to my local hospital where I had some treatment using magnetic imaging (if I remember rightly) and some massage, and the problem has not recurred.
So I'd thoroughly recommend any UK 'Catters with joint problems that affect their music to take advantage of their membership of the MU (because of course you're sensible enough to be members ...aren't you?) and get some specialist help!

Anne


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Subject: RE: Musician Injuries: Help!
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:59 PM

I agree about getting a physician who specializes in or at least knows about music medicine. What I may try is to call or email the local university's music department and see if they can refer me to anyone. (Yale ought to know about such things, I would think).

Regarding the bag of frozen peas, I finally tried some ice on the bad arm and was astounded at how much it relieved the pain! At least briefly...


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