Focal Dystonia and Retraining the Hand

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Dofpic
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Re: Focal Dystonia and Retraining the Hand

Post by Dofpic » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:35 pm

I tried to play piano and my right hand was not working and the same fingers that gave me issues happened with my piano playing. It has also affected my typing quite severely. I now use a stylus with my right hand and this has helped tremendously.

I am heading to Baltimore today for 3 days of lessons and will report back.
Spruce,2011Fritz Ober(maple), 2015 Eric Sahlin, 2006 Greg Byers(fan not lattice)2009 Eric Monrad(maple/Brazilian/spruce)
2012 Martin Blackwell(for sale), 2001 Dominique Field(for sale)
Cedar, 2014 Joshua DeJonge( for sale)

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Michael.N.
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Re: Focal Dystonia and Retraining the Hand

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:52 pm

Thanks for the reply Dofpic. I suspected that might be the case. I don't suffer from FD but I've had more than my fair share of shoulder/tension issues. What an awful condition FD is.
Historicalguitars.

guit-box
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Re: Focal Dystonia and Retraining the Hand

Post by guit-box » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:28 am

Michael.N. wrote:
Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:49 am
Just a question in respect of FD. If you suffer from FD on one instrument (let's say guitar) what happens when you try to play another type of musical instrument? Does the condition automatically spill over?
Doctors refer to FD as being "task specific", so you don't necessarily have no use of your finger for other things like holding a pen or buttoning your shirt, etc. But I don't think that means it doesn't occur in other places. When mine was at its worst, I had trouble guitar playing, typing and mousing with the trouble fingers; but I could use them for other tasks like gripping anything or scratching, etc. So, I assume task specific means that you can use the fingers without dystonic movements for some other tasks but the dystonia may spill over into *some* similar tasks.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Dofpic
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Re: Focal Dystonia and Retraining the Hand

Post by Dofpic » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:31 pm

For me it was typing, writing, piano. Also had tremors in my one finger.

Just came back from another intense 3 days or 2 hours a day of lessons with Serap Gray. interestingly while I have not worked on this my handwriting is better and the tremors are also better. I continue to use a stylus for typing. My IM alternation continues to improve in baby steps on both the same string and adjacent strings. She worked a lot on the "micro-release of tension in playing and more work on my hand position. Started the first 3 Giuliani RH exercises and breaking down into simple movements and the MR of tension. Also talks a lot about the sensation of putting my fingers on the string with no intension to play like a butterfly sitting on the strings as my hand wants to grip the strings and pull in.

We then looked at a Carcassi Rondo and discussed how to approach it from both fingering as well as where to release tension, phrasing etc. She said she does not suggest etudes that have a continual pattern at this point but prefers music with both arpeggios , scales, chords all in one are better as we can turn them into mini exercises yet have a great piece of music to play in the end which is what it is all about. Again not laboring long on certain patterns for long periods

More discussion on short practices, mixing things up etc. Also did burst of 3-5 notes with a focus on again the MR of tension afterwards. Said sprinters often rest 3 seconds for every 1 second of exercise when working their technique and since we are athletes of the small muscles we should do the same.

Very happy with the progress in under 4 weeks.
Spruce,2011Fritz Ober(maple), 2015 Eric Sahlin, 2006 Greg Byers(fan not lattice)2009 Eric Monrad(maple/Brazilian/spruce)
2012 Martin Blackwell(for sale), 2001 Dominique Field(for sale)
Cedar, 2014 Joshua DeJonge( for sale)

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lagartija
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Re: Focal Dystonia and Retraining the Hand

Post by lagartija » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:51 pm

I am so happy to hear you feel as if you are making progress! Best wishes for your continued progress and return to playing something musical with ease and without tension. :-D
When the sun shines, bask.
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Classical Guitar forever!

guit-box
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Re: Focal Dystonia and Retraining the Hand

Post by guit-box » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:59 pm

I've been having great success with thinking of the plant/pressure as simply straightening the finger. Of course the actual movement is for the MCP to flexion while the PIP simultaneously extends, but thinking of the plant/pressure simply as lengthening the finger or pushing the string instead of pulling is important. I think a guitarist with FD who is used to plucking by following through from the large knuckle joint (like many of us where incorrectly taught) would benefit from this change in movement.

We've been talking about it at this thread viewtopic.php?f=6&t=80875&start=1245

Then, the actual pluck (or release as some call it) is just the opposite movement. Not a follow through from the large knuckle, but the opposite, a release from the large knuckle and a follow through from the middle joint only.
An eyewitness will often only see what he already believes to be true.

Dofpic
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Re: Focal Dystonia and Retraining the Hand

Post by Dofpic » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:50 pm

Heading back To Baltimore for two days of lessons. Very happy with the progress so far. My IM alternation in scales and on adjacent strings continues to improve and hand as a whole feels much better and more easy moving in block chords or playing P then IMA as a group. Long way to go as somethings feel very awkward such as arpeggios(have not really started there yet). But her practice regiment makes so much sense to me as a way to not over practice things etc. How the brain absorbs new skills etc. Also her use of metaphors in how to practice or what sensations to thoughts to have when playing a certain pattern is extremely helpful. Also watching her hand in person helps as well. I will report back afterwards.
Spruce,2011Fritz Ober(maple), 2015 Eric Sahlin, 2006 Greg Byers(fan not lattice)2009 Eric Monrad(maple/Brazilian/spruce)
2012 Martin Blackwell(for sale), 2001 Dominique Field(for sale)
Cedar, 2014 Joshua DeJonge( for sale)

Philosopherguy
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Re: Focal Dystonia and Retraining the Hand

Post by Philosopherguy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:54 pm

Dofpic wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:50 pm
Heading back To Baltimore for two days of lessons. Very happy with the progress so far. My IM alternation in scales and on adjacent strings continues to improve and hand as a whole feels much better and more easy moving in block chords or playing P then IMA as a group. Long way to go as somethings feel very awkward such as arpeggios(have not really started there yet). But her practice regiment makes so much sense to me as a way to not over practice things etc. How the brain absorbs new skills etc. Also her use of metaphors in how to practice or what sensations to thoughts to have when playing a certain pattern is extremely helpful. Also watching her hand in person helps as well. I will report back afterwards.
Congratulations on the progress! I'm glad to hear that you haven't given up. From your previous posts, I know it has been a long road. It must be nice to get your hands on those beautiful guitars again!

Martin
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