uptempo wrote:Thought I would update:
Doctor hasn't got a clue. She "thinks' this is related to something in the neck and has suggested seeing a physio. I do suffer a lot with neck tension so it would not surprise me; however, in years of playing I have never had this issue.
I notice it most if I do arpeggios. The feeling is one of tension/numbness and it is very hard to describe because now I think about it the middle finger seems to be the issue. I have been playing a bit more in recent weeks and so I wonder if I have introduced tension into the hand. About five weeks ago I could do very fast p i m a m i arpeggios and right now they are stalling and feel very tense.
It is very frustrating.
Without knowing what tests your doctor preformed, it's impossible to give much more medical advice. Regarding the advice to see a "physio", was that a physical therapist? If so, that is an EXCELLENT idea, as physical therapists are well trained (more than most of us physicians) in the assessment and management of carpal tunnel and other musculoskeletal conditions. Ditto for nerve injury from holding your neck in a position that can put strain on the nerves and nerve roots in the neck.
To prevent further injury in the meantime, it is imperative to lay off guitar, or at the very least make sure that you are holding your wrist in a "neutral position":
The wrist position used by many guitarists places the wrist in a significant degree of flexion, which compresses the carpal tunnel and ulnar/Guyon's tunnel as well:
Note the position of the median nerve and ulnar nerves:
Injury to the nerves involved can cause weakness to the muscles involved, and can result in PERMANENT and DISABLING injury if not appropriately diagnosed and treated. We used to refer to carpal tunnel and ulnar tunnel injuries as "repetitive stress" injuries, but they're really due in most cases to improper, non-ergonomic posture, since many individuals are able to type, play guitar, etc. without injury despite the repetitive nature of what they do.
So, while it's important to take a break from activities that cause pain, it's far more important to use posture and body mechanics that don't predispose to injury in the first place.
By the way, if you go to physical therapy or revisit your doc (or see a different doc), bring your guitar with you so that the doc/PT can see exactly what you are doing.
Best wishes for relief and avoiding further injury!
Michael Verive, MD
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