Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

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Fretnot
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Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by Fretnot » Tue May 15, 2018 11:44 am

Hello! (Having read through other threads - I am not after medical advice but was wondering about other people’s experience)

I use a footstool to raise my left leg and support the guitar. I also tend to raise the heel of my left foot to raise the guitar higher. It doesn’t feel right sitting low. In the past week I have noticed numbness in the front of the foot and toes consistent with where pressure is applied when sat practising. Has anybody else had similar and what did you do to resolve this please?

I am going to find a lower seat and have also worn footware with a heel so the pressure distribution in the foot is different (the latter has not changed the numbness). I am of the philosophy that I should try to work out a few things before seeing a GP. I understand that numbness is a concern and the primary cause for this in feet is inappropriate pressure points.

Phew! Bit longer than I planned for! Thanks in anticipation

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tormodg
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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by tormodg » Tue May 15, 2018 11:55 am

I think you need to look at your sitting position. If you feel that your guitar does not get high enough, the solution is usually not to sit lower.

I'd recommend trying out different guitar supports in place of the footstool.

For example this (it's what I have):
https://www.sagework.org/models/original/index.html

It will help you adjust the guitar to just about any position you want without having to move your body around. Also you can keep both feet flat which is (assumedly) better for your lower back. I tend to move my right foot backwards and rest on my toes to get a bit more release in my lower back, which also keeps me leaned forward in a slightly more "alert" position.

Edit: I should add that I occasionally experience numbness or marching ants in my left leg, probably from the pressure of the guitar. I usually resolve this by taking a short break and walking around a little bit.
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Fretnot
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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by Fretnot » Tue May 15, 2018 12:15 pm

Thank you tormodg! I have been umming and ahhing about a different support. Maybe it is getting close to following up on that.

Using a lower seat - I find I don’t raise my left heel to lift the guitar up, and pressure is distributed over the foot. I had done myself some mischief a few decades back when I walked a lot and ended up with numbness. Rest was the prescription. Not ready to walk away from practice time so trying to figure out some alternatives.

Thanks again!

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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by simonm » Tue May 15, 2018 2:10 pm

Guitar support or strap. Classical guitar playing doesn't automatically imply that you must be an SM aficionado too. :-)

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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by zupfgeiger » Tue May 15, 2018 2:40 pm

Are you sure no other reason than sitting position involved?
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riemsesy
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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by riemsesy » Tue May 15, 2018 2:45 pm

I have it with some chairs when the edge of the chair is raised, mostly with cushoined chairs, and when sitting close to the edge, the edge cuts of the bloodflow.
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Fretnot
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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by Fretnot » Tue May 15, 2018 4:11 pm

simonm, I hear you and where the guitar is concerned, I do not subscribe to no pain, no gain. Pain is something which needs to be resolved. As does lack of sensation in this instance. It is not temporary pins and needles but more persistent reduced feeling, hence my concern and head scratching.

I am using the same seat I have been using for the last seven months but it's only in the last couple of months that I have started to lean onto the toe area of my left foot, raising the heel of my left foot and lifting the guitar into a position which has allowed me more comfort and better access to the fretboard when playing (I have been working on correct left hand as I was not completely happy with it. The change in posture has improved things there). I guess I prefer the guitar higher with the headstock about eye height; not raising the heel of my left leg and relying just on the footstool places the headstock at approximately shoulder height.

So in a sense, yes, it may be a sitting position problem. The question is then how do I get the guitar as I would like without having to raise my left foot further my raising the heel? And then seeing if this resolves within 5-7 days.

Thanks to all!

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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by ronjazz » Wed May 16, 2018 1:50 pm

If your footstool is "angled" when open, try reversing it so that the higher side is at the back of your foot. this may solve both problems.
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BugDog
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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by BugDog » Fri May 18, 2018 3:49 pm

What ronjazz said.

I was doing the same thing and cured it that way. For me, lifting the left foot heel was like my body trying to tell me it wanted the guitar higher, so you might also have to raise the height of the footstool too.
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Fretnot
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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by Fretnot » Tue May 22, 2018 2:25 pm

I had before tried turning the footstool around as recommended but stopped as I kept tipping it when leaning on the heel. I am persevering with it this time and correcting my heel lifting (it has become a habit).

I have also been resting my feet, kept strictly to certain shoes and will give it another week. If after that it is still numb, I will make an appointment to get it looked at.

Thanks again for the helpful suggestions and comments. All greatly appreciated 💐

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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by ronjazz » Fri May 25, 2018 2:38 am

As an additional idea, discussed on other threads, you might want to consider a strap type of rig. I use a footstool, but I also like to play standing in some situations, or sitting with both feet on the floor, to avoid back problems. I originally used stick-on plastic hooks to experiment so I wouldn't put unnecessary holes in my guitars, but once I discovered that adjusting the strap as I was using the footstool gave me pretty much exactly the same angles for both hands and arms, I installed strap buttons on several of my instruments. So now I have 4 different postures: footstool, for "classical" concerts, strap sitting, strap standing (great for jazz work or leading a group while playing), and the Pace de Lucia right leg over left for flamenco or Bossa-nova sitting down, or even a short classical recital. This variety seems to be very healthy, as I experience no back, shoulder or arm pain at all, even when practicing several hours.
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Fretnot
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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by Fretnot » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:54 am

(Embarrassed to admit this) It turns out that I had been neglecting my daily B12 supplement. I went back to a high dose and it is doing much better along with some other symptoms resolve my.

I have been enjoying the turned around footstool now that I have gotten the hang of it. Thanks!

Nick Cutroneo
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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:22 am

Fretnot wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:44 am
I use a footstool to raise my left leg and support the guitar. I also tend to raise the heel of my left foot to raise the guitar higher. It doesn’t feel right sitting low. In the past week I have noticed numbness in the front of the foot and toes consistent with where pressure is applied when sat practising. Has anybody else had similar and what did you do to resolve this please?
If you are feeling numbness in the front of the foot/toes where you have pressure, you are probably cutting off the blood supply to a point thus that part of the foot falling asleep. The very first thing that I'd look at is the whole "raising of your foot" thing. Use a higher footstool, lower chair or look into a guitar support.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

AndreiKrylov

Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by AndreiKrylov » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:39 am

Fretnot wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 11:44 am
Hello! (Having read through other threads - I am not after medical advice but was wondering about other people’s experience)

I use a footstool to raise my left leg and support the guitar. I also tend to raise the heel of my left foot to raise the guitar higher. It doesn’t feel right sitting low. In the past week I have noticed numbness in the front of the foot and toes consistent with where pressure is applied when sat practising. Has anybody else had similar and what did you do to resolve this please?

I am going to find a lower seat and have also worn footware with a heel so the pressure distribution in the foot is different (the latter has not changed the numbness). I am of the philosophy that I should try to work out a few things before seeing a GP. I understand that numbness is a concern and the primary cause for this in feet is inappropriate pressure points.

Phew! Bit longer than I planned for! Thanks in anticipation
sitting with guitar in "standard" position and footstool could potentially lead to many problems...because it is not natural and very demanding position...
Please try to play standing, using strap.
I do that for many years and it helps.
Good luck!

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fast eddie
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Re: Numbness in left foot; use of footstool

Post by fast eddie » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:15 am

I know you are not seeking medical advice, and I am not an MD or RN or anything medical. But I have lived with Diabetes for many years and numbness os a common complication. A simple blood glucose test should probably tell the story.

All the best.
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