Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Chris McDowell

Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby Chris McDowell » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:27 am

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone has used one of these or similar items to strengthen their hand?

handmasterplus.com

I've ordered one as I get numb/tingley sensation in my left hand fingers from carpel tunnel syndrome. I'm hoping that by strengthening the extensor muscles in my hand I can minimise the effects of CTS.

I'm much more concious about warming up my hands these days before picking up the guitar, but I definately notice a difference between my right hand and left hand in terms of flexibility, sensitivity and range of motion.

Does anyone else notice a difference in capability between their left and right hand?

Kind Regards

Chris

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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby AndreiKrylov » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:02 pm

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Last edited by AndreiKrylov on Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby Cincy2 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:18 pm

I bought one and used if for exactly one week. At the end of that week I stumbled on a you tube video of a 9 year old girl playing a concert piece on a full size guitar with barres all over the place and doing it with no effort whatsoever. That was when I came to the conclusion it is technique not strength that triumphs.

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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby AndreiKrylov » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:25 pm

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Last edited by AndreiKrylov on Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby lagartija » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:52 pm

khris50 wrote:I've ordered one as I get numb/tingley sensation in my left hand fingers from carpel tunnel syndrome. I'm hoping that by strengthening the extensor muscles in my hand I can minimise the effects of CTS.


If you want to strengthen your hand against the effects of CTS, then I recommend you go to a physical therapist who specializes in this condition and get your exercises from them and NOT using something like the Handmaster.
You may really hurt yourself with such a thing by increasing inflammation.
Please see a medical professional. "Hoping" that a Handmaster will help is no replacement for knowledge. It is worth the investment to consult someone who actually knows what will help. :sage:
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Trondis23

Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby Trondis23 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:53 pm

I lost the strength in the left hand overnight around two weeks ago, and the ring and little fingers especially feels numb. So I can hardly play now, especially not barres. I wonder if this is the same as you have. My reaction also was to exercise my fingers. I have a ball and a spring hand exerciser, and I just ordered a Flanger Extend-o-grip.

I thought this was a too small problem to go to see the doctor, and that it will pass away after a couple of weeks. But perhaps I should visit my doctor after all. I would appreciate it if you posted any advise you would get from a medical doctor.

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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby AndreiKrylov » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:09 pm

I'm not a doctor, but I know that doctors will recommend a rest for you, not more exercises... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpal_tunnel_syndrome
"the main recommended treatments are local corticosteroid injection, splinting (immobilizing braces), oral corticosteroids and ultrasound treatment."

"Occupational therapy
Main article: Occupational therapy in carpal tunnel syndrome
OTs are involved in the assessment and intervention process with clients with CTS. Within the area of intervention, OTs provide education; symptom management techniques such as splinting; and modification of specific tasks, equipment and environment ."

More exercises of area with inflammation will bring more inflammation so if it will be me I would avoid all those " ball and a spring hand exerciser, and I just ordered a Flanger Extend-o-grip. " I totally agree on that with lagartija.
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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby lagartija » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:30 pm

Trondis23 wrote:I thought this was a too small problem to go to see the doctor, and that it will pass away after a couple of weeks. But perhaps I should visit my doctor after all. I would appreciate it if you posted any advise you would get from a medical doctor.


Yes you should see YOUR doctor. Whatever advice someone gets from their doctor is appropriate for their condition and not necessarily yours. If this happened overnight, with no warning, then if it were me, I would be calling my doctor for an appointment tomorrow morning. An overnight onset of weakness and numbness of fingers or hand can be caused by a variety of things, some of them quite serious.
Some of them aren't... such as sleeping on your hand all night and impinging on the nerve. But since this could signal something serious, it would be a good idea to visit your health practitioner and tell them when and under what conditions it started, what it felt like and how long it has lasted.
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Chris McDowell

Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby Chris McDowell » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:23 am

Thanks for the feedback,

I made a mistake in saying it was Carpal tunnel syndrome as it is my ring and little finger that feel numb. I should have said Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome rather than Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, so apologies for that!

I don't know whether that makes using an exercise ball which targets the extensor muscles of the hand counter productive or not for people with UTS?

At the moment I'm resting my left hand/arm and concentrating on right hand technique until the inflammation has gone down.

Kind Regards

Chris

Trondis23

Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby Trondis23 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:16 am

The description of Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome is exactly what I feel. So I should probably go see the doctor now.

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Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby ShaneSingleton » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:43 am

I tried something very similar to that years ago when I was much, much younger. It provided no benefit but it did manage to make me hurt more. I got worried about tendinitis and threw the thing away.
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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby Fastfingers » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:32 pm

Hi
Ulnar nerve entrapment or cubital tunnel syndrome is common and sometimes associated with golf elbow. Inner side elbow tendon inflammation or trauma to the elbow. Conservative treatment consists of elbow bandage at night preventing you from flektion and pain. Local antiinflammatory cream over the nerve path and treating a tendinitis with dynamic streching. You should avoid provoking the symptoms as much as possible. Go see a handsurgeon close to you so you can be sure of the diagnosis. In some countries its mandatory to measure the nerve conduction speed, but many patients have symtoms long before its possible to measure.
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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby ronjazz » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:58 am

A study of anatomy is helpful for avoiding these issues. Check our Jerald Harscher's website "The Poised Guitarist".
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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby robin loops » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:36 am

I always prefer general strengthening through exercise (for example, fly fishing is a good one for hand development). A hand master can be used to achieve this but use in moderation and certainly not when you have any pain in your hand (in that case REST). Also hand masters have a very static movement so not going to be as good for strengthening the exact muscle groups used when playing as actually playing or doing an activity using the hands. So also only use it when you can't play instead (like when watching tv). The part I would worry about using a handmaster, is that it requires a lot of repetitive movement, i.e. squeeze-release-squease-release. So it really depends on what is causing your pain. If it is really carpal tunnel (a repetitive stress injury) I would say be very careful. If is simply due to strength then go ahead.

Another thing that helped me a lot was paying very close attention to my body and the signals it sends me (rest at VERY FIRST sign of discomfort in hands because if not discomfort usually will be followed by a sharp pain and at that point it becomes an injury). Also we have an idea that a single perfect posture/position is the answer but I have found that varying my position (very little goes a long way here) periodically helps too. I had an accident that caused me some back issues and perhaps nerve damage in my arm and would get numbness and tingling in my pinky finger (so bad I couldn't play guitar at all for a couple of months). For over a year I could not sleep on my side at all or that arm would get numb all the way up to the elbow. So perhaps there are other issues going on that involve other parts of the body and not just the fingers (or even just the way you sleep) which is another good reason to go for a more 'whole'istic (tm) approach to muscle strengthening.
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Re: Has anyone used a Handmaster plus for strengthening

Postby SteveGangi » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:40 pm

This is my first post here. All I can say is, if you are hurting, something is wrong and "playing through the pain" may be the worst thing to do. Sometimes a short break (plus a check with the doctor) is the best cure. Pain is your body telling you something is wrong.


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