Nerve pain in palm of hand

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

Nerve pain in palm of hand

Post by Sean W » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:12 pm

Recently (the last week or two) I've had a couple of instances where I get a sharp nerve pain in my inner palm. I have been playing for many years and I understand about trying to play with the least amount of tension/force necessary...I have backed off of practicing today and yesterday entirely. Thinking back on my practice, I believe this started when I was learning a tune with a hellacious stretch. I honestly shouldn't have tried it, because it just "felt wrong" and I'm old enough to know better and trust my instincts.

Anyway, I'm just wondering from those of you that may have had this type of thing:

what are some things I can do to prevent?
how long before it goes away?
what are some "treatments" ie...cold compress or hot etc.

Ken-pa
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Re: Nerve pain in palm of hand

Post by Ken-pa » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:25 pm

I've had seemingly similar issues that were corrected by wearing an immobilizing brace at night. Best advice I can give though is to have it checked out by your physician so you know exactly what you're dealing with. That's what I did.

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robin loops
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Re: Nerve pain in palm of hand

Post by robin loops » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:44 pm

Is the pain concentrated on the group of muscles that connect to the thumb? And if you tap on it (along the 'seam' between the thumb group of muscles and the inner palm area) does it feel numb (or tingly)? If so it could be a lot like the problem I had. I was chronic tendonitis and if not checked could have easily turned into full blown carpel tunnel. I thought this was due to past injuries and general physiology of my hands and therefore would always be a limitation.

HOWEVER: none of that was correct at all. My problem was the result of improper technique (although I had worked very hard at developing what I 'thought' was good technique). Imperfect posture, bad barre tehcnique and too much pressure in general. I still have minor issues from time to time but was able to nearly completely correct the problems through addressing technical issues.

I highly recommend finding a teacher that can help you work on refining your technique. Not all teachers have the ability to refine this as much as you may need. Speak with your teacher about ergonomics and stress injuries/pain issues and see if he/she feels comfortable addressing this with you. If I were the teacher I personally would refer the student to another as I have only sorted this one out with my own playing in the last year or two.
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80guitarguy
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Re: Nerve pain in palm of hand

Post by 80guitarguy » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:30 pm

Hey,

I'm currently dealing with some nerve issues in my right hand as well. I find that using a cold compress immediately when I notice pain really helps. Definitely try to avoid re-aggravating the injury by playing in an incorrect posture and/or playing the pieces that may have caused it in the first place. Seeing a doctor or physiotherapist would also be a good idea if you have the time. Taking time off or playing in short, selected periods of time is also wise.

Good Luck! :)
80guitarguy
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Sean W

Re: Nerve pain in palm of hand

Post by Sean W » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:56 am

robin loops wrote:Is the pain concentrated on the group of muscles that connect to the thumb? And if you tap on it (along the 'seam' between the thumb group of muscles and the inner palm area) does it feel numb (or tingly)? If so it could be a lot like the problem I had. I was chronic tendonitis and if not checked could have easily turned into full blown carpel tunnel. I thought this was due to past injuries and general physiology of my hands and therefore would always be a limitation.
It hasn't got that painful yet...it seems to only happen when playing guitar and when I have to "grip" certain chords. And it's more of a quick sharp pain in the middle of my palm. I am going to lay out one more day from playing and then take it really easy starting back. I took Ken-pa's advice last night and wore a brace to immobilize it. It may very well be a technique issue, though in all my years of playing I've not had this type of thing. I guess I'm getting older...lol.

I've had a couple of "close scrapes" as it were with injuries that could have taken me out of playing guitar...so I'm very skittish about pain esp. nerve type pain. I'm going to continue to take it easy...then ease back into practice. If it continues though I will go see a doc. Thanks.

Les Montanjees

Re: Nerve pain in palm of hand

Post by Les Montanjees » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:08 pm

I'd take Ken-Pa's advice and go see a physio or doctor. Sharp pain is a sharp warning. If you try to work through it without knowing what's causing it you could do more damage. Nerves, tendons and ligaments don't take kindly to being over-stretched suddenly and can take a long time to heal because they have little blood supply. Best to get it checked out and get the proper treatment.

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bear
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Re: Nerve pain in palm of hand

Post by bear » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:43 pm

My father-in-law was a trucker and your symptoms sound similar to his complaints. There is a condition, that is sometimes called truck driver hands. It is the result of pain and/or numbness caused by injury to the ulnar and median nerves. I would see a physician that specializes in hand injuries.
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LVR
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Re: Nerve pain in palm of hand

Post by LVR » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:31 pm

Why do you think this is nerve pain? Could there be another etiology - for example a small soft tissue tear from overextending? I would suggest modified rest (continue non-painful hand and finger movement), elevation, and avoidance of the stretch that seems to have started this. If it doesn't heal, that would indicate a need for professional advice. You will need someone rather expert, by the way, and not your local FP, or you will just get a repeat of the advice I've given in the 2nd sentence.
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