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LH tendonitis, thumb/hand joint. Remedies?

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  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 107

    Take care. At this point, it's all about diagnosis and treatment. The guitar can wait. Once I sprained a ligament and a hand doctor told me I can't play guitar at all for five months. (I basically complied for the most part.)

    Passacaglia
  • Posts: 2,808

    Yes what @pdg wrote, don't be Django, Paul.

    Passacaglia
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,889

    Yes, you better lay off for a while Paul. Speedy recovery buddy!

    Passacaglia
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,421

    Yeah, Paul. Sorry to hear this.

    While your hand is healing, maybe you could take up harmonica...?

    Will

    Passacaglia
    My religion is, I worship Lang the Father, Django the Son, and Oscar the Holy Ghost...

    While converts are always welcome, I get to be the Pope because I thought of this religion before you did...
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,406

    Everybody, thank you. Christophe, those exercises are fantastic. Yes, you're right - the stretches I gave are merely stretches we employ in Aikido training. Enjoyed your link. There's another one, "yoga for guitarists," can't remember if it was someone here who recommended it or not, also great. Will never forget I'm of a certain age again....

    Weird thing - broke my arm badly as a teen, doing an extremely dumb thing. Almost lost the arm at the shoulder, almost torn off and I did bust every bone. A few years of PT and swimming later and I was back in business. Apparently, however, my ulna is a bit longer relative to the humerus than it should be, and there's some small spurring at the distal end, at the wrist. Seems I'd done some "microtears" of one or more ligaments, which explains the swelling and pain. Ice, XR tylenol, splint, rest, and helluva lot better. Have to resist the temptation to go back in heavy, seriously....!

    If a teen can drop a rope between the bed and cab of a 1 ton pickup truck, wanting to watch it dance off the driveshaft as we drive down the highway, a middle-aged dude can be just as stupid, and want to play through obvious warning signals.🙄

    Oh, while on the subject of LH tendonitis, which is a better guitar, Favino or Busato? 🤔🤗

    BucobillyshakesChristopheCaringtonmac63000
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    edited July 1 Posts: 1,406

    Guys, this is probably so elementary as to be a bit embarrassing, but I'm wondering if something I've been doing all along has come home to roost - I got away with it when a bit younger, and a bit more strength gained gradually in the left hand, but now....no.

    My tendency, I think, yes, is to crush the chords, way too much force, so going back from muted to lightest needed to get clean sound. To effect that kind of force, in any chord that has a bit of a stretch or the use of the pinky, I notice, I want to lay my palm flat against the back of the neck, instead of depending on fingers to just "get their place." In other words, my wrist is bent unnaturally - right?

    Am6, with my palm flatter against the neck and my wrist bent some:


    And my wrist straight, fingers "doing the work," lighter but exact same sound.


    Does this seem a reasonable observation? Do you guys hold in the second position, more or less?


    (hard not to play, dammit....splint comes back on, but wanted to make sure I'm not being a dumbass going forward....as I've probably been for years now).


    (btw, my friend, luthier, pulled the bridge back for intonation and the net result is the action dropped beautifully, dry as a bone, awesome tone, breeze to play. V027's on board. So happy.)

    Buco
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Posts: 2,808

    Hey Paul, I don't think my palm is ever in full contact with the back of the neck.

    That could very well have something to do with your problems, if you're choking the life out of it. When I mentioned possibly seeking an acupuncturist it was because it was possible that I did a similar damage to my hand back then. But not by playing guitar, it was from using the side cutters to cut wire and cable that side cutters weren't really made to do. At least not for as long as I did it (I used to do audio video installs for a living) and I had to apply a lot of force to cut through this stuff. It was my right hand and I was left with almost constant sharp pain right between the thumb and index finger. This lasted for several months without any signs of it healing on its own. Acupuncture took care of it, never had a problem after that. This was my first experience with it and while I wasn't a sceptic prior to it, I definitely didn't expect it to help quite as much as it did.

    I could record a video or take pictures tomorrow but thinking about it now I don't think I ever feel any kind of pressure in my left hand when grabbing chords. My left hand did get fatigued if I'm playing extremely fast uptempo which Dennis made an observation once that it's maybe because I let go of a chord too far between the pumps. By the way I usually pump on both 1/3 and 2/4 groups, but with 2/4 being barely voiced. I don't play like I see sometimes with 2/4.being more of muted strum. He was correct because shortening the hand travel immediately helped. But throughout all of this there was never much of a hand squeeze with my left hand. The kind of force I'd have apply like when cutting cable and now thinking that it might be possibly similar to what you're applying when grabbing chords.

    When voicing the chord I think it's the same thing like finding out how much pressure is needed when playing a single note: push to make a note that sounds clear, then slowly let go until the note starts to get muted, then slowly add just enough pressure to hear the note clearly again. I think same can be applied to the chord, grab a chord and play one note at the time using the above.

    Glad to hear guitar sounds good, at least one good thing came out of it. Maybe practice your rest stroke in the meantime. You could tune the guitar to open Em6 or something to make it sound nice with the open strings and just play rest stroke: top to bottom, bottom to top, every other string, triplets etc...

    Good luck man.

    Passacaglia
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • MatteoMatteo Sweden✭✭✭✭ JWC Modele Jazz, Lottonen "Selmer-Maccaferri"
    edited July 2 Posts: 364

    I'm self taught so I don't know anything about proper technique. And I have had numerous problems with joints, muscles and tendons through the years. And I still have (I currently feel a strange soreness around my right collarbone and in my upper right arm from playing). Because of this I have become more and more occupied with striving for playing in a relaxed manner. I simply can't see a way forward without achieving that. The results so far also indicate that I might get a better sound being more relaxed when I play. So the motivation is strong, but I often fall back into old habits. It's a slow process. And I don't always know if I'm going in the right direction. There might be some things I'm unaware about now that I will have to deal with later on. Also, we all have differences in our anatomy and I suspect that what works well for someone might not be the best way to do it for someone else. So, with that said, here's my Am6 (apparently a lot of room between my palm and the back of the guitar neck). I should add that this is a detail I haven't given any thought of, it's just the way it is.

    One last thing: I believe very much in building strength slowly. I've had too many incidents after times I have been practicing unusually much. I need to be patient. (A sample of my small collection of trumpet mutes can be seen in the picture too: solo tone, harmon and Japanese practice mute.)

    BucoPassacaglia
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited July 2 Posts: 2,889

    Hey Paul, +1 for what Buco said, yeah be sure you aren't gripping very hard. What with the whole left hand damping thing in this style you can use a very light, relaxed touch with the left hand. In fact, I like that tone better anyway.

    But the repetitive grip/release/grip/release motion with each beat is surely not a good thing for repetitive stress injuries. All the more reason to use a light relaxed touch. It doesn't take much pressure to sound the tones actually. Way less than I originally thought. Plus that way you get that nice dry tone with less ringing and a faster damping response which helps to delineate each separate pulse.

    Conversely, if you don't damp that way the pulse gets muddier/not as crisp, unless of course you are going for more of that tone.

    BucoPassacaglia
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 107

    It may be that because of your physical issues you should try not using your thumb to fret notes. Life's too short to worry about playing 100% according to some musical orthodoxy, if it is harmful to you.

    I strongly urge you to read David Leisner's book, Playing With Ease. You can find it on Amazon:

    https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Ease-Healthy-Approach-Technique/dp/0190693312

    BucoPassacaglia
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