I was recently diagnosed with some nerve impingement in the neck that may or may not require surgery (arguments for and against abound, but conservative initial management is generally agreed upon). Symptoms included burning pain under right shoulder blade and radiating down right arm. Most annoying, however, is weakness in the pinky finger--but also critically, for any guitarist--in the thumb and first joint of the index finger.
This has resulted in weakness turning a key, using chopsticks, kitchen knives, etc. I can live and adapt to all that. The one I'm having trouble with is controlling the pick. Things have improved with some physical therapy and cervical traction, thankfully. Also, I should be grateful that it's not my left fretting hand.
I have been compensating by changing the grip on the pick and reverting, occasionally, back to the wider Wegen gypsy jazz pick. As a follower of Stochelo, I had worked my way into playing with his pick, the smaller Wegen Big City pick. Even before this problem arose, I had started attaching little silicone grip circles to my picks because my fingers just seem to be too slippery. This had proven a very successful strategy. (I have mentioned the product before: "Monster Grips," available from Amazon for about 9 bucks for a set of 16.)
I've grown to like the sound of the 2-2.5 mm Wegen picks, and I've recently ordered a pack of the Wegen 250's to try to them in the current mix. I also have some the thinner Wegen Gypsy full size picks to try.
Needless to say, I'm working hard to overcome this issue. Some who have heard me play this music after studying it for the last two years say I sound pretty damn good. But, I can tell where I'm having problems. It may be too much to ask to regain these extremely fine motor skills, but the music spurs me on. After all, Django played all that music with just 2 1/2 working fretting fingers . . . .
So, I'm checking in the community to ask whether any of you have struggled with this problem, or know someone who has. Comments and advice are appreciated.