Ulnar Nerve Compression

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

Ulnar Nerve Compression

Post by strungup » Sat May 09, 2009 2:25 pm

I've had this a few times, and wonder whether other guitarist are suffering.

It's usually caused by sleeping in such a position that the upper arm is constricted; you tend to wake with a numb little finger on left hand. This is because the ulnar nerve feeds the little finger and the near side of the 3rd finger.This is also quite uncomfortable when playing, especially on stretching the little finger while holding a barre. It can go on for a few weeks but then goes away.

Not too good for typing either, do I'll stop.

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James Lister
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Re: Ulnar Nerve Compression

Post by James Lister » Mon May 11, 2009 8:18 am

I damaged my ulnar nerve some years ago (due to an argument with a cycle barrier in a dark alley - which I lost). For some time I had little feeling in my 3rd and 4th fingers of my left hand. I wasn't playing much at the time anyway, so it didn't really affect me much from that point of view, but I do remember it was extremely painful whenever I accidently knocked my "funny bone". In the end I was advised to have surgery to move the nerve - which I did. I still have a slight numbness on the left side of my little finger, but it doesn't affect my playing at all.

Surgery is probably a bit extreme for your case though - so I'm not sure what to suggest other than trying to avoid sleeping in positions that cause the problem - but I'd guess you do that anyway.

James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

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