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Boson
post Mar 17 2011, 12:17 AM
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Not sure if its because of guitar or something else but my little finger on my left (fretting) hand has gone completely numb. This make playing guitar impossible as I had worked hard to strengthen that finger.

Has this happened to anyone else and if so what did you do about it?


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Sollesnes
post Mar 17 2011, 12:44 AM
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How did it happen? If you carry bags it can happen by squeezing a nerve in the finger. Had a numb index finger for days because of that.
If it happent seemingly without reason, it can be a reason for concern. Could be carpal tunnel syndrome.

Take it easy, and see if it goes over within the next day or so. Numbness doesnt usually indicate anything dangerous. If you have no idea how it happened, you should take it easy, not sleep on your hand, and see if it improves. If it doesnt, ask a docter smile.gif
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SirJamsalot
post Mar 17 2011, 12:50 AM
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one finger or many fingers? do your other fingers tingle? It's possibly a pinched nerve in your back / neck. It can also be the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome as the nerve endings are becoming "entrapped". See a chiropractor if you can - make sure your posture is straight and upright.

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dark dude
post Mar 17 2011, 01:39 AM
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Yes, some more information would be good.

Perhaps you slept on it?

Seeing a doctor wouldn''t hurt.



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Fran
post Mar 17 2011, 09:09 AM
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That has never happened to me. Nothing serious probably, might dissapear in a couple dayts, but I'd see a doctor just in case. Better safe than sorry!


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Boson
post Mar 17 2011, 11:51 PM
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Think I might have to see a doc.

Had it for three weeks now

Palm of my hand feels swollen , little finger and 3 finger are numb and tingly to touch

No idea how or why it has happened but cannot feel the strings so cant play!


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dark dude
post Mar 18 2011, 12:54 AM
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3 weeks?! Definately go see a doctor!!


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Ben Higgins
post Mar 18 2011, 11:17 AM
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3 weeks is not good... I don't want to seem over dramatic but you definitely want to avoid stuff like carpal tunnel or this: http://www.musicianshealth.com/CubitalTunnel.htm

From the side of your hand that you're describing the numb sensation, it sounds more like Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. These things can develop either from repetitive activity or even because of another injury ie. damaging your elbow can lead to another complaint.

I really would go and see a doctor.. generally in my experience, normal doctors don't know enough about these conditions and they certainly don't understand the mechanics and demands of playing guitar. They might seem a little 'uni-interested' about your guitar needs.. either way, if they don't take it seriously enough and you feel unsatisfied, demand to get referred to a specialist. The doctor shouldn't complain.. it's their job to get you back to health.

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Mar 18 2011, 11:17 AM


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Fran
post Mar 18 2011, 12:45 PM
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Ouch 3 weeks? Go to the doctor mate!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 18 2011, 01:52 PM
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would advise that you make an appointment with the surgeon doctor, just to check you. Surgeon is a doctor with proper knowledge of your body and can give you better defined diagnose. Remember, this is only an exam. Surgeon exam is about twice the cost of a general practice doc, but that shouldn't be too much. If you have health insurance it's free.

However, state hospitals may put you on hold regarding this matter, and make an appointment in several days, depending when the surgeon is available. In this case, I recommend two things:

- Go to some private clinic for an exam (they are not that expensive and the doctor is available instantly for you)
- Go to state hospital, but emergency room, and state that you fingers are numb and you require immediate help.

These are two ways that you can get your diagnose fast, and I STRONGLY recommend that you use any of them as soon as you read this. Now.


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Giacinto
post Mar 18 2011, 04:04 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Mar 18 2011, 01:52 PM) *
would advise that you make an appointment with the surgeon doctor, just to check you. Surgeon is a doctor with proper knowledge of your body and can give you better defined diagnose. Remember, this is only an exam. Surgeon exam is about twice the cost of a general practice doc, but that shouldn't be too much. If you have health insurance it's free.

However, state hospitals may put you on hold regarding this matter, and make an appointment in several days, depending when the surgeon is available. In this case, I recommend two things:

- Go to some private clinic for an exam (they are not that expensive and the doctor is available instantly for you)
- Go to state hospital, but emergency room, and state that you fingers are numb and you require immediate help.

These are two ways that you can get your diagnose fast, and I STRONGLY recommend that you use any of them as soon as you read this. Now.


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fkalich
post Mar 18 2011, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE (Sollesnes @ Mar 16 2011, 05:44 PM) *
. Could be carpal tunnel syndrome.


not according to Mayo clinic

"Tingling or numbness in your fingers or hand, especially your thumb and index, middle or ring fingers, but not your little finger. This sensation often occurs while holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper or upon awakening. Many people "shake out" their hands to try to relieve their symptoms. As the disorder progresses, the numb feeling may become constant."

you can see a doctor, but I would expect the probability of a diagnosis to be near zero at this point, especially if you don't see a specialist. They will just tell you to cool it on the guitar for awhile. Don't panic, people around here tend to overreact, it is just a numb pinkie finger, probably will be fine if you just give it time, and give it some rest.


This post has been edited by fkalich: Mar 18 2011, 07:06 PM


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SirJamsalot
post Mar 18 2011, 08:05 PM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Mar 18 2011, 11:03 AM) *
Don't panic, people around here tend to overreact, it is just a numb pinkie finger, probably will be fine if you just give it time, and give it some rest.


Not according to Boson!

QUOTE
Had it for three weeks now
Palm of my hand feels swollen , little finger and 3 finger are numb and tingly to touch
No idea how or why it has happened but cannot feel the strings so cant play!


while I understand the desire to not overreact, I don't think seeing a doctor / specialist for this description is overreacting.

cheers


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dark dude
post Mar 18 2011, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Mar 18 2011, 06:03 PM) *
not according to Mayo clinic

"Tingling or numbness in your fingers or hand, especially your thumb and index, middle or ring fingers, but not your little finger. This sensation often occurs while holding a steering wheel, phone or newspaper or upon awakening. Many people "shake out" their hands to try to relieve their symptoms. As the disorder progresses, the numb feeling may become constant."

you can see a doctor, but I would expect the probability of a diagnosis to be near zero at this point, especially if you don't see a specialist. They will just tell you to cool it on the guitar for awhile. Don't panic, people around here tend to overreact, it is just a numb pinkie finger, probably will be fine if you just give it time, and give it some rest.

Firstly, we are not doctors.

Self-diagnosis of conditions like this is not advisable. His hand/portions of his hand has/have been numb for 3 weeks now, this is not normal. He should see somebody medically qualified.

There are quite a few people on this board who have suffered guitar-related injuries, I can imagine that they simply feel concerned, and are giving whatever advice they can. Hypothetically speaking (i.e. don't panic, but), if something more serious is wrong with Boson's hand, we shouldn't put it down to self-diagnosis by medically uneducated people.

Yes, there is a chance that it's over-worked, but it's better to be safe than sorry.


PS I realise my tone, however it isn't directed at anybody in particular, so don't take it personally. I just don't want to see something like this get swept under the carpet, so to speak.


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fkalich
post Mar 18 2011, 08:55 PM
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I don't think he has rested it. They won't spend time or money doing anything till he has. it is probably nothing serious. Especially when in all probability, you just stressed or inflamed something pushing strength building on the pinkie.

I ruled out carpal tunnel, that would be the biggie, but it is not associated with the pinkie.

I have great health insurance. I would rest it totally if it were me. I would just tell myself that it is not something that a week or two is going to matter on, it is not like this could be malignant cancer. And then if it went away (as it probably will), I would not push so hard with trying to strengthening the pinkie. You have little injuries and aches all your life, most are minor. I think that if you overreact to every one of them, this makes you a frightened person. And how are you going to take it when something really bad happens?

If he has totally rested it for a week or two, I say go to the doctor. But it won't hurt to rest it first if he has not, and then if it does not go away the doctor will know more and know better how to proceed. And it won't hurt a thing if he just rests it for awhile, quits the guitar for a week or two totally. It is not like the doctor will say (if it persists after that) "you should have come to me a week ago, now I need to take your arm off!".

QUOTE (dark dude @ Mar 18 2011, 01:26 PM) *
Firstly, we are not doctors.

Self-diagnosis of conditions like this is not advisable. His hand/portions of his hand has/have been numb for 3 weeks now, this is not normal. He should see somebody medically qualified.

There are quite a few people on this board who have suffered guitar-related injuries, I can imagine that they simply feel concerned, and are giving whatever advice they can. Hypothetically speaking (i.e. don't panic, but), if something more serious is wrong with Boson's hand, we shouldn't put it down to self-diagnosis by medically uneducated people.

Yes, there is a chance that it's over-worked, but it's better to be safe than sorry.


PS I realise my tone, however it isn't directed at anybody in particular, so don't take it personally. I just don't want to see something like this get swept under the carpet, so to speak.



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dark dude
post Mar 18 2011, 10:15 PM
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I understand where you're coming from, the worry that we'll turn into hyperchondriacs, but at the end of the day, we're working off second-hand information, and we're not medically qualified. We can take an informed guess, and that's about it.

I took a knock over a year ago while playing football at uni. Thinking that it was nothing, I didn't do anything about it, and rested it. It kept nagging, and I saw the campus doctor a week after the incident, asked me to rest it a bit more. More than a year on, and I'm still giving it ample rest, taking high strength supplements 3 times a day for it, wearing a knee brace for football, and it isn't much better. This is after people told me to ignore it. Now I'm considering seeing a specialist.

So, yes, I didn't need the leg amputated, and it wasn't quite cancer, but it's bothering me now.

Go see a doctor, if you're still having problems, see a specialist.



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Ben Higgins
post Mar 19 2011, 10:44 AM
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As Cosmin says 'Take care of your hands as if your life depended on them' ... we only get 1 set after all. Of course we don't believe in turning into hypochondriacs.. but I don't see that even being the case. This is a guitar forum, Boson is a guitar player and this concerns hands.. seems pretty understandable to me to worry about my hands if I'm a guitar player.. doesn't mean I'm going to start hiding in corners of my house thinking I've developed agorophobia. smile.gif

Something like cubital tunnel syndrome, which could be developed by merely sleeping with your arm bent up by your head.. or even by resting your elbow on your door whilst driving (truckers are prone to it for that very reason) could eventually lead to loss of motor functions of the hand if ignored completely.. so no one's saying we need to catch on fire with panic.. but it's also no laughing matter either. If there's one thing I think we're all allowed to be over cautious about, it's surely our health ?

Btw, not sure if anyone read the info on that link but the reason I brought up cubital (not carpal) tunnel in the first place is because it affects the little and ring finger side of the hand.. tingling, numbness etc. It doesn't mean Boson has necessarily brought it on because of bad habits, as it's quite a common thing to occur.. but it is worth avoiding. Rest and stretching will eventually improve and get rid of the condition.. but its still worth ruling anything else out in the process. If anything goes numb for 3 weeks it's not good ! wink.gif

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Mar 19 2011, 10:48 AM


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Mudbone
post Mar 20 2011, 05:37 PM
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Damn... I just read this the other day, and now it has happened to me sad.gif But I know exactly what has caused it: Bad posture while at the computer and the fact I haven't been to the gym regularly in three weeks. Its amazing how fast the body weakens from lack of exercise. Time to get off the computer and hit the gym biggrin.gif


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Boson
post Mar 21 2011, 07:11 PM
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Thanks for all the replies guys.

It definitely sounds like Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

Problem is I hate doctors (even though I have 2 in the family!)

I have tried ice and rest without much effect. Played guitar for an hour last nigh and it definitely got worse!

This is a real worry, going to bite the bullet and see a doc.



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Ben Higgins
post Mar 21 2011, 07:35 PM
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Balls. That's not good. sad.gif

But don't worry.. I had this for a little while and I managed to cure mine with rest and ice.. and eventual stretching. At the moment it's too early for you to be playing guitar at that level. You're going to hate me for saying this but you're going to have to rest for much longer without touching the guitar. I went about 2 weeks without playing, then I gradually reintroduced the guitar in about 5 minute increments until I could play for a good amount of time with no symptoms.

The resting is the key... also try to avoid keeping the elbow bent for long periods of time. Make sure it's led straight when you go to sleep too.. it will get better.. you've just got to allow the inflamed muscles to ease off and release the nerve. Stretching the inside forearm muscles is the important stretch to do. smile.gif

But it's still important to see the doc to rule anything else out.


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