Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

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

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by CallMeTim » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:38 pm

The Worst Injury to my hands came from stupidity and anger during my misspent youth... I punched a parking meter and quickly followed that by punching a rather big, old, and solid oak door. Needless to say my hand swelled up and was virtually useless for about a week and a half. What I did was spend the next week and a half thinking how stupid that was and waited for the swelling to go down.

Apparently I learned my lesson since I have not done that again and it has been close to 30


Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by macapaley » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:27 am

How long does it take to get a personal injury case in court? I was wondering about how long would it take to see a personal injury case in court? Some people have to wait like 3 years in very big cities. I live in a small town that has a population of 5300 people, the county all together have about 39000 people. ABout how long would a person have to wait living in my area?


Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by cmrl » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:01 pm

I've had arthritis for 33 years. The end joint of my left hand pinky no longer exists; the last digit wobbles around like it's made of rubber. The knuckle of the index finger on my left hand is fused. The second joint of my right hand ring finger is also fused. I have about 20% normal range of motion in both wrists. I gave up playing guitar when I was about 30, but about 5 years ago filled in on bass at a student concert, and found I could play simple parts. I can play some easy pieces on guitar as long as they don't have big stretches, and since I have very little strength in my left hand, I have to set the strings very low.

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Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by ronjazz » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:40 pm

I have a neurological injury called focal dystonia, which took away much of my right-hand technique in 2001. While I wan't exclusively a classical guitarist, as I like many other forms of guitaring, nevertheless, losing such pieces as Asturias, Cordoba and the Chaconne was depressing. Over the years, I have developed alternate techniques, and have been able to continue on as a full-time professional guitarist, but I do earn some of my keep by writing arrangements and producing recordings and concerts. Right now (literally) I am practicing the Villa-Lobos Etude #1 using only p-i, and have it to about 142 on the metronome, nearly as fast as Parkening's version. that is also the method I use for scales, in classical, flamenco and jazz music.
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Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by fazley » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:44 am

The stories make interesting reading. Great to see how people are able to adapt their techniques, when they have an injury, just to be able to carry on playing.


Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Jean-Paul » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:11 pm

I have some really bad hobbies for a classical guitarist, and my work doesn't really help much either. I have been an avid rock climber, played all sports, and today I do a lot of body work on my clients (strength coach/movement therapist).

The worst was my left pinky, which I had jammed and torn a ligament 3 years ago playing football with friends. This year both of my thumbs developed severe tendonitis from all the active release technique I apply to my clients, and I developed a strange but severe debilitating pain in the center of my left hand.

To make matters worse, I was working on Yamashita's transcription of "Pictures, which is very demanding on my left hand, and several of the chords I'm expected to do caused shooting pain through my whole hand.

Then, last April, I became licensed and certified in a new therapy modality for my athletes called ARPwave. It's an electrical modality that does many things, among which it accelerates healing and recovery. It did immediate wonders for my shoulders that had been in chronic pain for two decades, and it made a HUGE difference on my clients. For some reason it took me till this month to figure out that I could try it on my hands. Two treatments (called "search and destroy" sessions) and my hand felt completely recovered! I will probably follow up with a few more sessions.

Additionally, one of my clients is a non-guitarist who had total paralysis in his right ring and pinky finger for the last three years, and partial paralysis on the rest of the hand. He could not pick up a glass, couldn't shake hands, couldn't open a jar etc. I have done 4 treatments on him and his results have been nothing short of amazing. He actually shook my hand after the last session.

One of the things this happens during these treatments is that "electrical disconnects" in the body, which cause the compensation patterns that lead to the actual injury, are repaired. Also new information is fed to the brain in the various motor patterns that we already know how to do, but our muscles have "forgotten" how to turn on and turn off at the right time. Once those disconnects are repaired our guarding or compensating muscles are no longer required, so the area where connective tissue or torn muscles are given immediate relief from pain, and they are give space to heal.


Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Jose-Guitarra8a » Fri May 25, 2012 4:13 pm

It's been tough the last 6 weeks not able to play the guitar. I went on a four week long business trip working 16 hours days. Then on the very day flying back home with anticipation to play guitar I dislocated my right hand thumb. :(

The last two weeks the thumb is getting stronger but it is difficult stretching it.

Sean Eric Howard

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Sean Eric Howard » Wed May 30, 2012 8:04 pm

OUCH! How did you dislocate the thumb?


Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by SteveGangi » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:50 am

John O wrote:I grabbed a soldering iron that I thought I had unplugged! :shock: I ended up with several rows of burns and was out of commission for two weeks or so.
Been there, done that. I was so "into" what I was doing, I didn't even know it until I smelled something burning (me). THEN it hurt like blazes.

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Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Scot Tremblay » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:16 am

A few years back, while playing "stick" with my Border Collie, her most favorite game, my thumb got between the stick and her teeth when we both lunged for the stick at the same time. The only thing holding the end of my thumb on was the nail and about 5 mm of flesh under one side of it.

When it happened, I didn't utter a word....well maybe, "HOSPITAL PLEASE!"....

...seven stitches later, a few weeks cure time and we're all good...the end of my thumb is still a little numb but I hardly notice it. My beloved dog friend felt so bad she wouldn't come near me for a week...poor girl. Our daily game of stick has been modified...


Quickly leave this page if you are squimish! :shock: :desole:
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Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by kats45 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:22 pm

I'm dealing with a problem right now. I broke my arm, near the wrist, last year in a motorcycle accident. I don't know if it's related but I can't play because when I do the swelling in my hand makes my hand feel tight and painful. It's extremely frustrating and depressing. I have two guitars out now...at least they can keep me company :)


Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by JohnPierce » Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:11 am

ronjazz wrote:... I am practicing the Villa-Lobos Etude #1 using only p-i, and have it to about 142 on the metronome.... that is also the method I use for scales, in classical, flamenco and jazz music.
That's extremely interesting. As I expect you know, that was the technique used by a number of blues and other acoustic steel string players - perhaps most notably Rev. Gary Davis and Merle Travis. For them, it gave a "feel" to their music that is difficult to imitate using more fingers. I wondered if you have noticed any subtle differences in rhythm, or perhaps tone, in using only p-i as compared with using all fingers?

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Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by robin loops » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:27 am

As I sat down on a piano bench I reached down to pull it forward and my 1st finger on my left hand got caught under the bench lid. Because the hinge was toward the piano it worked like a fulcrum vice. It squashed most of the skin off the tip and splintered the tip of the bone... It was pretty bad but in the long run it improved my playing quite a bit because for several months I could only play using my 2nd though 4th fingers and this developed these fingers to be more like 1st-3rd. It was especially good for the pinky.

Note to self: always face the piano bench so that hinge is on the side away from the piano.

The second was I broke my Ulna of my right arm completely in two doing kung fu training.

And the latest (couple of summers back) and probably the worst, I spilt lighter fluid from a faulty lighter all over my right hand and the skin burned away and separated so bad it looked like I was wearing a tattered latex glove... Then still had to drive home!
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.


Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by djaninja » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:25 pm

Overplaying. Repetitive stress on fretting hand has caused a nodule in the thumb joint. Sometimes called trigger thumb.

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Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by brian » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:08 pm

tore the tendons and ligaments in my
left hand thumb playing hockey. fortunately,
the doc that put the cast on set my thumb with
classical guitar in mind.
tendonitis in left hand pinky from playing a guitar
with a ridiculously high action and bowed neck. I should
have known better.
the thumb has never been a problem but, the pinky
is never 100%. all this happened probably close to 20yrs ago.
if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
then quit.
there's no use being a damn fool about it.
-w.c. fields

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