Finger Injury

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
razz
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:01 am

Finger Injury

Post by razz » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:05 pm

So last week I was having fun practicing slurs (hammer ons and pull offs) using my 4th finger because this Bach suite that I am determine to learn contains many of them. The slurs sound pretty good but the finger has developed a hard lump on the knuckle closest to the finger tip, on the side away from the 3rd finger.

I have some discomfort (not quite pain) and I can't curl this finger closed as tightly as the one on my right hand. My playing has not suffered much but I have restricted pieces that require a lot of work for my fourth finger.

For the last 3 days, I have been treating the area with ice and then heat. The swelling has subsided some but not completely.

If you have any experience with this type of injury, what did you do? If my current treatment does not correct the problem, I will see my doctor. His answer will be "Don't play."

Thanks

Marshall Dixon
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Re: Finger Injury

Post by Marshall Dixon » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:27 pm

razz wrote:So last week I was having fun practicing slurs (hammer ons and pull offs) using my 4th finger because this Bach suite that I am determine to learn contains many of them. The slurs sound pretty good but the finger has developed a hard lump on the knuckle closest to the finger tip, on the side away from the 3rd finger.

I have some discomfort (not quite pain) and I can't curl this finger closed as tightly as the one on my right hand. My playing has not suffered much but I have restricted pieces that require a lot of work for my fourth finger.

For the last 3 days, I have been treating the area with ice and then heat. The swelling has subsided some but not completely.

If you have any experience with this type of injury, what did you do? If my current treatment does not correct the problem, I will see my doctor. His answer will be "Don't play."

Thanks
You could have a ganglion cyst. Your doctor may have a more optomistic answer. Since you are a guitarist, if this doesn't resolve shortly, your doctor should be consulted. If you don't get a better answer than "don't play," see a hand specialist.

razz
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Re: Finger Injury

Post by razz » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:02 pm

Thanks Marshal. I just watched a video of someone having a ganglion cyst removed. I'll call my doctor.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Finger Injury

Post by Michael.N. » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:21 pm

I had a cyst somewhere near the wrist, some 6 or 7 years ago. I'm pretty sure it was due to poor technique/wrist position, perhaps an overuse injury. I quit playing. A few weeks later it was gone. Haven't seen it since! Sometimes rest is the best way but see what the medics say.
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a human
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Re: Finger Injury

Post by a human » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:10 am

Many years ago I had a ganglion cyst in my wrist. I convinced a coworker to smash it with a large dictionary and it never returned. I think they often return after conventional medical therapies.
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bear
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Re: Finger Injury

Post by bear » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:52 pm

razz wrote:So last week I was having fun practicing slurs (hammer ons and pull offs) using my 4th finger because this Bach suite that I am determine to learn contains many of them. The slurs sound pretty good but the finger has developed a hard lump on the knuckle closest to the finger tip, on the side away from the 3rd finger.

I have some discomfort (not quite pain) and I can't curl this finger closed as tightly as the one on my right hand. My playing has not suffered much but I have restricted pieces that require a lot of work for my fourth finger.

For the last 3 days, I have been treating the area with ice and then heat. The swelling has subsided some but not completely.

If you have any experience with this type of injury, what did you do? If my current treatment does not correct the problem, I will see my doctor. His answer will be "Don't play."

Thanks
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razz
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Re: Finger Injury

Post by razz » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:21 pm

I see a doctor tomorrow. Now the the swelling has reduced more it appears that tendon opposite the knuckle is inflamed. The swollen tendon has distorted the shape of my finger and the knuckle appears enlarged. The knuckle now appears to be no larger than the one on the opposing hand. I suspect that by the time I get to the Dr.'s office tomorrow, I will have a story to tell and not much to show.

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jmardinly
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Re: Finger Injury

Post by jmardinly » Sun May 07, 2017 7:34 pm

a human wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:10 am
Many years ago I had a ganglion cyst in my wrist. I convinced a coworker to smash it with a large dictionary and it never returned. I think they often return after conventional medical therapies.
Three weeks ago, after a mild practice session, I put away my lute and prepared for bed. All was fine until I noticed a pea sized lump that had suddenly, mysteriously and painlessly appeared on the barring surface of my left hand first finger. The next day, after experiencing enough pain to seriously inhibit playing, I went my my doctor, who diagnosed it as a ganglion cyst. There is even a photo of one exactly like mine (except right hand) in the Wikipedia page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganglion_cyst

In two days, I have an appointment with a hand specialist. Cross fingers. This sucks.
1966 Manuel Velazquez guitar; 1970 David Rubio lute.

CathyCate
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Re: Finger Injury

Post by CathyCate » Mon May 08, 2017 11:02 am

If you want to keep playing classical guitar, get your doctor's referral for a hand specialist.
Take time to heal. Finally, search out a good guitar teacher, even if only for a brief time. This move may help you solidify basic technique and prevent further injury.
All the best!

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lagartija
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Re: Finger Injury

Post by lagartija » Mon May 08, 2017 1:26 pm

I agree with CathyCate. See a hand specialist and the consult a teacher to evaluate the technique you are using.

I sometimes get a swelling on one side of a tip joint on my index finger (or even on a toe!) after significant sideways force on the joint in some activity. The first time it happened, I went to a hand specialist. He diagnosed it as a leakage of synovial fluid from the joint and told me the swelling would decrease as my body re-absorbed the fluid. I have hypermobile joints so I suppose it isn't too surprising that this could happen. In any case, there are things other than ganglion cysts that form under joint stress and a good hand specialist will be able to advise you.
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