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Fran
post Mar 22 2011, 11:17 AM
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QUOTE (Boson @ Mar 21 2011, 07:11 PM) *
This is a real worry, going to bite the bullet and see a doc.


Good call man. Let us know how it went.


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Boson
post Mar 22 2011, 10:28 PM
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QUOTE (Fran @ Mar 22 2011, 11:17 AM) *
Good call man. Let us know how it went.


Yup it is cubital tunnel syndrome.

This means no guitar for a while rest, anti inflamitries and need to try to keep my arm straight.


Basically it is a trapped or damaged nerve in the elbow that causes it.

Take care guys, from what I understand playing guitar in itself is not a cause but for those of you that use the computer a lot you need to think about your posture. I tend to lean with my left arm against the desk and I think this may have been a big factor.

Hopefully it willl clear up but if it doesnt it means an op.


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Jerry Arcidiacon...
post Mar 22 2011, 10:45 PM
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Wish you a quick recovery Boson!
I've found this website some time ago about the right posture to work many hours with a PC.
http://www.hp.com/ergo/


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SirJamsalot
post Mar 22 2011, 11:29 PM
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QUOTE (Boson @ Mar 22 2011, 02:28 PM) *
Yup it is cubital tunnel syndrome.

This means no guitar for a while rest, anti inflamitries and need to try to keep my arm straight.


Basically it is a trapped or damaged nerve in the elbow that causes it.

Take care guys, from what I understand playing guitar in itself is not a cause but for those of you that use the computer a lot you need to think about your posture. I tend to lean with my left arm against the desk and I think this may have been a big factor.

Hopefully it willl clear up but if it doesnt it means an op.


Wishing you a quick and thorough recovery!

Now, music is not limited to guitar! Take this time away from the instrument to do something else in music! Do you record? Practice putting together backing tracks with drums and keyboards using VST's in your DAW! Listen to a song and try to transcribe it using musical notation (not tab!) - Learning to read AND write music is a beautiful thing and will serve you in the future!

Doing is always better than just reading about it, so find a way to work on music that doesn't involve your instrument! Keep moving forward in your learning.

Cheers,
Christian A.


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Todd Simpson
post Mar 23 2011, 12:11 AM
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Very sorry to hear this sad.gif I went through this as well. This is why I am such a stickler about "Do your stretches!". Do everything your doctors says and hopefully you can get back to playing soon.


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fkalich
post Mar 23 2011, 03:03 AM
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That nerve goes under your elbow, on the inside.

http://www.assh.org/Public/HandConditions/...elSyndrome.aspx

If you feel there while constricting fingers on that extended arm, you find see that working the pinkie really constricts the muscle over that nerve, much more so than with the big fingers.

You said that you were really working on strengthening your pinkie. My educated guess would be that is how you irritated that nerve. I bet you will feel better with rest, and if it were me, and I was prone to this problem, I would play more with three fingers in the future, just use my pinkie when I needed it.

edit: I don't know where you got the impression that guitar is not the cause of this. We have a few guitarists even on this thread who have had this problem. Guitar may not be the cause of it for some guys, but most guys don't use the pinkie as much, and with as much force, as do people here on GMC. Anyone who tells you that guitar will not cause this, probably does not even conceive of people playing 4 fingered as we try to here.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Mar 23 2011, 03:40 AM
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Ben Higgins
post Mar 23 2011, 10:20 AM
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QUOTE (Boson @ Mar 22 2011, 09:28 PM) *
Hopefully it willl clear up but if it doesnt it means an op.


Don't worry, there's no reason at all why it won't clear up with the measures that you take smile.gif Ops are always last resort and it's usually because the person in question just hasn't taken the time to let it heal, or even bothered to implement good habits.

Im sure you've been given some tips on what/what not to do.. I'll just share with you what I did in case there's something else that might help. I totally left guitar alone for 2 weeks... this will vary for everyone, depending on how long symptoms have been present for.. yours has been quite heavy going by the sound of it, if your fingers had been numb for 3 weeks.. so you may need to lay off even longer (but as SirJamsalot says - make good use of your time off by doing something different relating to music )

Whilst I was laying off, I discovered that wearing wristbands (the normal soft ones that metal/emo bands wear) high on my forearm, about 2 inches below the elbow provided similar relief to the area that proper sports wraps so. By putting pressure on the forearm muscle below the elbow, it then releases some of the pressure on the elbow region.. much like fretting a guitar string. I did this every time I had to do something physical that demanded the use of my arms.. washing up, using the computer. If I couldn't get away from doing certain tasks then this made it easier and put less wear and tear on the arm whilst it was trying to heal. But along with that, I still tried to reduce everything I could.. tried to use my other hand for things like picking up cups etc. I also used ice on my arm after doing anything 'physical'.

I'm sure the doc said about making sure your arm is straight when going to sleep. That's an important one and very effective.. you'll notice the difference with just changing that action alone (if you did it anyway)

After 2 weeks, I started playing guitar just 5 mins every day for 1 week, then allowed my self to up the guitar time each day the second week for as long as it felt comfortable.. but never more than 15 mins. If anything, rather than frustrate me, it actually helped me clean up a few things in my technique by focusing on total relaxation. This is also encouraged me to practice stood up, letting the shoulders and arms lie in their natural postion.

Things that made the symptoms worse for me were: using the comp, reading books (holding the pages open really made it hurt) and doing anything that required me to put pressure through a bent elbow (for example, hands behind head if doing sit ups- not that I did, but you get the idea) So try and avoid those if you can.. if you can't.. then that's when the wrist band trick comes in useful smile.gif

I have to respectfully disagree with fkalich on his last point though.. in most cases guitar playing itself is not the cause of these problems. However they do continue to aggravate the symptoms and prevent it from getting better. Guitar playing demands the use of the very things that you're trying to rest so that's why laying off that activity is crucial to recovery.. but generally speaking it's something else that starts the problem, the bent arm while sleeping as we've already mentioned, resting elbows on surfaces for long periods of time ie, whilst driving (which is why truckers get it as I said before).. guitar playing just doesn't help, that's all. PS. I had this problem in my picking arm, not my fretting hand.





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Boson
post Mar 23 2011, 07:46 PM
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Cheers guys I really appreciate all the care and thought that you are all showing.

Sirjamsalot, excellent advice thank you, I am going to follow it I have never got into VSTs etc but now I can devote a bit of time to that.

Thanks also Ben great advice and support also.

I am determined to crack it and trying very hard to follow the medical advice so hopefully wont be too long before I will be playing again. Its hard not to when the strat in the corner is saying "play me"!!

Thanks to you all, GMC is a great place!


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Michael AC
post Mar 24 2011, 12:46 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Mar 18 2011, 06:17 AM) *
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



Thanks for this article! I will start breaking my practice times up a little.
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Charisma
post Apr 1 2011, 11:33 PM
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I have the same thing. I could almost guarantee you it's the ulnar nerve in your elbow. Do you lean on it a lot when you're sitting? Like putting it on your desk and laying your head on your hand? That's how I got mine. Been about 6 weeks now and no better. sad.gif I'm supposed to have a nerve conduction test to see where the source of the problem is, but if you look it up I think you'll see that the ulnar nerve causes loss of feeling in those two particular fingers. There's a possibility it could be your back, but 90% it's the ulnar.

Do what you can to get it fixed. It's not going to get better on its own. I'm really worried about mine. I'm still forcing myself to play guitar, to keep it moving and try to overcome it if it turns out to be permanent.

Also, keep your arm as straight as possible. Try not to sleep with your elbow bent. (I know, that's hard and it sucks)

Good luck
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fkalich
post Apr 2 2011, 12:26 AM
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QUOTE (Charisma @ Apr 1 2011, 04:33 PM) *
I have the same thing. I could almost guarantee you it's the ulnar nerve in your elbow. Do you lean on it a lot when you're sitting? Like putting it on your desk and laying your head on your hand? That's how I got mine. Been about 6 weeks now and no better. sad.gif I'm supposed to have a nerve conduction test to see where the source of the problem is, but if you look it up I think you'll see that the ulnar nerve causes loss of feeling in those two particular fingers. There's a possibility it could be your back, but 90% it's the ulnar.

Do what you can to get it fixed. It's not going to get better on its own. I'm really worried about mine. I'm still forcing myself to play guitar, to keep it moving and try to overcome it if it turns out to be permanent.

Also, keep your arm as straight as possible. Try not to sleep with your elbow bent. (I know, that's hard and it sucks)

Good luck


I don't know why you assume that you got the ailment from using a computer. I mean you play the guitar, I assume in an intensive manner. You are in a pretty limited category. Do you really think that there is a lot of information or any research on this as a cause of the ailment? Computer is a well known cause. If you go to a doctor, well they are not paid to know the cause. They are paid to diagnose and treat the ailment. In any profession, people tend to have the most expertise in the areas they are paid to deal with, not in the areas that make them no money. They will in all probability be aware of the "well known causes", but that may be as far as it goes. With computer use universal, there is a lot of information on that as a cause of these ailments. Don't expect your doctor to know the cause of an ailment when that cause is more obscure. Just expect them to diagnosis and treat. Regarding causes and life style changes to avoid such issues, you really have to do some of your own research, and think for yourself to an extent.

I think both of you hurt yourself playing guitar, and you had best just stop doing anything that hurts. You don't have to do everything some others do on this site, you don't have to play as fast, you don't have to do it all. Some of my favorite musicians don't do half of the things people try to do around here. If it hurts, stop it. You may have a genetic issue. Just do what does not hurt, at least until you get better. If you get better, you can try to do more.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Apr 2 2011, 12:28 AM
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Charisma
post Apr 2 2011, 12:51 AM
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QUOTE (fkalich @ Apr 1 2011, 11:26 PM) *
I don't know why you assume that you got the ailment from using a computer. I mean you play the guitar, I assume in an intensive manner. You are in a pretty limited category. Do you really think that there is a lot of information or any research on this as a cause of the ailment? Computer is a well known cause. If you go to a doctor, well they are not paid to know the cause. They are paid to diagnose and treat the ailment. In any profession, people tend to have the most expertise in the areas they are paid to deal with, not in the areas that make them no money. They will in all probability be aware of the "well known causes", but that may be as far as it goes. With computer use universal, there is a lot of information on that as a cause of these ailments. Don't expect your doctor to know the cause of an ailment when that cause is more obscure. Just expect them to diagnosis and treat. Regarding causes and life style changes to avoid such issues, you really have to do some of your own research, and think for yourself to an extent.

I think both of you hurt yourself playing guitar, and you had best just stop doing anything that hurts. You don't have to do everything some others do on this site, you don't have to play as fast, you don't have to do it all. Some of my favorite musicians don't do half of the things people try to do around here. If it hurts, stop it. You may have a genetic issue. Just do what does not hurt, at least until you get better. If you get better, you can try to do more.



Thanks for replying. I know I didn't hurt it playing the guitar because I haven't been playing much the past year. Well, I haven't played at all really. I've actually started playing again because of my arm, to try to keep it in shape. Nothing hurts at all, those two fingers are just numb. I can't feel them at all. I think it was the computer because I'm on the computer a lot, and I do lean on my elbows a lot, and I do sleep with my arm crooked under my chin, which doesn't help either. Also, now that I'm favoring the hurt arm, the other arm has shown signs of doing the same thing, so now I have to be doubly careful.

QUOTE (Boson @ Mar 22 2011, 09:28 PM) *
Yup it is cubital tunnel syndrome.

This means no guitar for a while rest, anti inflamitries and need to try to keep my arm straight.


Basically it is a trapped or damaged nerve in the elbow that causes it.

Take care guys, from what I understand playing guitar in itself is not a cause but for those of you that use the computer a lot you need to think about your posture. I tend to lean with my left arm against the desk and I think this may have been a big factor.

Hopefully it willl clear up but if it doesnt it means an op.



Did they tell you anything about the operation? How complicated it is? What the recovery time is? Chances of a full recovery?


Figures, I just join the web site today and the first forum post I read tells me not to play the guitar, heh.

This post has been edited by Charisma: Apr 2 2011, 12:55 AM
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