Left hand index finger problem

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Tom4103
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:27 pm
Location: Basel, Switzerland

Left hand index finger problem

Post by Tom4103 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:19 am

I have read several posts here about tendonitis, trigger finger etc but I am unclear whether this is what I am suffering from.
I am an amateur guitarist in my 70s, had a bit of arthitis in my left wrist, which could be controlled by Voltaren gel.
Suddenly I have another problem: after playing for about 15 minutes my left index finger goes completely taut and locks painfully in a straight position about 45 degrees forward and away from my other fingers, towards my palm. I have to gently push it back to a normal position, but as soon as I try to start playing, off it goes again and locks up straight and angled forward.
I would be grateful for any comments, diagnosis, ideas - in fact anything at all from anyone who might be able to help.
Many thanks in advance!

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segobreawill
Posts: 494
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:34 pm
Location: Mtl, Canada

Re: Left hand index finger problem

Post by segobreawill » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:30 pm

Sometimes taking a break for several days (or more!) to give the hands/fingers a rest isn't too bad an idea. We love our instrument and the practice that goes with it, but it's quite a hammering that our hands take depending on our technique of playing the guitar: Some are able to glide over the fretboard like a butterfly, while others aren't so refined.

Also, try to think back and see if you did some chore where you may have strained your hands/fingers and not have given it a second thought. It's only days later, when practicing and the pain appears, that you realize it. That happens to me more often that I want.

But, this may not be it at all. If it persists, you may have to go and have it checked out at the doctor.

msa3psu
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:19 pm
Location: State College, Pennsylvania

Re: Left hand index finger problem

Post by msa3psu » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:48 pm

After playing for many years, one of the first issues I began experiencing as an older player was for my LH 4th finger to lock straight at the middle joint. A pianist friend and long time Alexander Technique therapist told me to strengthen the extensor muscles. Intuitively it seems that the flexors would need work since they move the finger from straight to curving into the palm. However, I took his advice and began daily LH rasgueado work and it worked. You may want to talk to an orthopedic doctor but the rasgueado may be worth a try.

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