Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

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

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by JoelJ » Mon May 11, 2009 3:09 pm

I was playing soccer with some friends, and was about to grab a shot and broke my right hand thumb. At that point I was only playing elctrical guitar, so it wasn't as bad as it should have been if I played classical guitar. You really need to be careful about your hands, a injury can really damaged your career

Mrs Segovia

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Mrs Segovia » Mon May 11, 2009 6:38 pm

I have carpel Tunnel syndrome in my right wrist ...very painful...hand gets numb every so often ..the treatments are expensive but they help .So far I do not need surgery but in these cases the more you postpone it the worse your damage would be since you have a compressed nerve blood and nutrients cannot get into the right areas in the hand so if you don't eventually release the pressure in your nerve you will cause your hand muscles to atrophy ...Mind you this doesn't happen right away ....and doctors don't normally need you to go in for surgery depending on your case .I get monitored every so often to make sure it hasn't progressed or caused any more damage but eventually down the line I might need the surgery to correct this issue just not right now, thank heavens .When I am not playing guitar I have my hand in a nice stylish black splint .lol


Tiff

GuitaristOrdinate

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by GuitaristOrdinate » Mon May 11, 2009 8:38 pm

Carpel Tunnel syndrome is one of the most common injuries among not just guitarists but musicians in general . One of our close friends , a professional pianist had carpel tunnel surgery about two years ago and it made all the difference in the world for her . She was on the point of having to give up her career altogether and she is now giving concerts and recitals like she did 20 years ago . The marvels of modern surgery . Good luck !

Mrs Segovia

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Mrs Segovia » Tue May 12, 2009 12:52 am

yes it is common ...but unfortunately depending on your case surgery might not help that is why I am trying to hold off on it as much as I possibly can .

canoe man

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by canoe man » Tue May 12, 2009 4:46 am

I have had the wrist problems. My bone cracker told me that so many people build up all their strength going into the palm, fingers and wrists. I need to remember to always do wrist extensions with resistance from the other hand and finger tip resistance, again, with the other hands finger tips. This keeps the problem away for me. The worst I have had? My hands have lived a hard life. I developed painful arthritis lumps on a number of my finger joints. To get rid of that I did three rounds of CMO, a homeopathic treatment, and took all the regular supplements. Also, I started taking care to never over strain when doing other things. Drugs don't heal arthritis they can only mask the pain and maybe reduce inflamation for a time. Now my hands are better than they have been for twenty years, actually, they don't have any problems at all.

Gminor7

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Gminor7 » Wed May 13, 2009 3:39 pm

A couple of years ago I got trigger finger in my L hand pinky. Had cortisone injections which did not help, and ultimately surgery, which definitely did. About a year later I broke my L shoulder badly and it had to be put back together with screws. I was afraid I'd never be able to play again, but after months of physical therapy everything's fine. After reading of the other bad experiences on this thread I feel very fortunate. I'm thankful you all have improved. It's surprising how well we can recover from serious injuries when we really want to.

Austeddy

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Austeddy » Thu May 14, 2009 9:12 am

Ouch, there's some pretty messed up stuff there. Worst I've done was end up with a bit of wood in the end of my LH pinky. Stayed in there months till it got infected and came out with the puss. Other than that I was helping remove a tree stump from the garden and got my hand hit with a 2x4, bent the nails on I and M back. M fell off about half way down the nail and I had this line under it. I needed a fake nail, but thankfully it grew back befor exams. Should have seen the look on the nail techs face when I told her how i wanted it shaped. :shock:

Eddy

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Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Jeremiah Lawson » Fri May 15, 2009 4:22 am

I spent two months in a warehouse working for a company and in that two months got tendonitis so bad I could barely hold silverware. I had spent the previous year tending a floor at a local thrift shop but it was the two months in the warehouse packing things that messed up my hands terribly. I went in for several months of physical therapy and coined a few subversive revisions of a hospital chain's mottos. Basically it was tendonitis bad enough that they treated it like carpal tunnel. I couldn't play the guitar for a few months and I just about cried a few times because I was beginning work on a few projects as a composer that were important to me. My brother had a little old Korg without weighted keys so I was still able to compose a little bit but it was a miserable time.

It might have been during that period that I started to realize that a person can compose music even though severely limited physically. We guitarists and musicians in general often don't realize how much composing is a discipline of the mind and heart and that you can accomplish more than you might think without using an instrument that requires your hands. You learn to appreciate your experiences in choral music that way. It's another reason it is valuable, even priceless, to immerse yourself in more than one kind of musical activity so that you can keep making music even after a serious injury.

dawhealer

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by dawhealer » Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:32 pm

On Groundhog's Day, 1978, I was involved in a serious motorcycle crash that resulted in severe multiple trauma. The worst part was what affected my guitar playing. Spinal compression trauma at the C-5-6-7 level, broken left elbow joint, 3/4 amputation of left ring finger at the joint nearest the nail, left ring finger nail torn off.

My finger was reattached, my arm casted, and I got some PT, but it was still almost a year before I could hold a guitar in position, let alone play. I was 26 at the time of the injury and I've been playing since age 8 (started reading guitar music then as well), so I was (a) extremely depressed at being away from guitar for so long, and (b) in a pretty good position to figure out how to make it work again.

My left ring finger was still to tender to try to use, my strength in both arms wasn't great from the spinal trauma and my motor skills were a little lacking as well. I splinted my left ring finger so that it was sticking up and out of the way and started doing basic left hand exercises, doing everything with my index, middle, and pinkie. It was slow going at first, but my strength returned and probably 97% of my coordination. After a few months I slo-o-o-o-o-o-wly started working in my ring finger. Oh, crap! It was like rubber. Again, though, my strength started to return, but I wasn't progressing as much as I'd hoped I would. By now it's early 1980.

At the time all I'd ever played was steel string guitars and had never really considered playing a classical. Towards the end of 1980, after pretty much reaching a plateau, and at my wife's suggestion (I was getting despondent), I went to a music store just up the street from our house and looked at some of the classicals they had. I found a '76 Yairi CY-130, played it, loved the way it sounded and bought it. Not so hard to play and, wonder of wonders, I started playing more. I ended up with Noad's Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic collections. I got a job teaching guitar at a local parochial school. Taking THAT leap was a little scary, but it got me over the hump. A few months later a friend was telling me about a restaurant manager who was looking for a classical guitarist to play two nights a week and suggested I audition. Another scary step, but I went and got the gig. All this in the first few months of 1981.

So, here I am 31 years later, still playing classical, able to play steel string again, loving it all. In a way it was a blessing in disguise. Had it not been for my accident I'd probably never have been interested in pursuing CG and I'd be the poorer for it. I now have two classical guitars, the Yairi that I bought then and a M. Sakurai (also a 1976) that I bought from a student in '84.

Sorry for the long post, but had to jump in. Bodies are amazingly resilient and with enough time and patience will sometimes come back pretty well. Some coordination problems related to nerve damage still linger and I have some slight difficulty with certain fast passages like the run in Tarrega's "Capricho Arabe" but I can usually work around them "interpretively." Overall, life is good.

jbtaylor892

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by jbtaylor892 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:04 am

Back in 2005, while we were back in Africa, I was electrocuted. We used transformers to convert 220 into 110 voltage but the transformers were a little weird. The chords had two prongs on either side of it. So what happened to me was the end that plugged into the transformer fell out and it was still plugged into the wall socket so when I went to plug it back in I accidently touched the metal prongs... a mistake I wont soon be forgetting. The thing basically blasted a whole into my palm and out my pinky finger right by the nail. That was in the left hand. I couldn't bend that hand for weeks after that. I didn't play the guitar at the time so I wasn't missing out on to much.

What was scary is that another man there had the same thing happen to him(his case was much worse then mine) and he had skin that had melted over and formed a mound. When he went to the hospital instead of surgically removing the skin they took a rag and rubbed it like sandpaper on a block of wood!!! There wasn't a chance in this world that I was going to the doctor LOL

JB

GuitaristOrdinate

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by GuitaristOrdinate » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:20 am

jbtaylor892 wrote:Back in 2005, while we were back in Africa, I was electrocuted. We used transformers to convert 220 into 110 voltage but the transformers were a little weird. The chords had two prongs on either side of it. So what happened to me was the end that plugged into the transformer fell out and it was still plugged into the wall socket so when I went to plug it back in I accidently touched the metal prongs... a mistake I wont soon be forgetting. The thing basically blasted a whole into my palm and out my pinky finger right by the nail. That was in the left hand. I couldn't bend that hand for weeks after that. I didn't play the guitar at the time so I wasn't missing out on to much......

JB
Maybe that's why your classical guitar playing is so electrifying now JB . ( I'm sorry I just couldn't resist . :D )

Ed

Olarte

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Olarte » Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:07 am

Wow some scary stories here. Now I'm really paranoid about hurting my hands :shock:

I just resumed guitar after 30 years and It's all I think about and do. I have been thinking what a horrible thing it would be to hurt my hands now. It would be ironic as the most I ever had was a fall with milk bottles that gave me some nasty cuts but nothing more.

So now I'm extra careful about using my hands mainly because I think most accidents happen when you least expect it.

Much how like the way nails break. They will be fine and you go open a box, undo a button or a zipper and next think you know the nail is chipped.

My wife just tore the ligament on her middle finger I think it's called mallet finger, and all she was doing was moving some stuff onto a rocking chair. Her finger jammed in a weird way and next thing you know she could not straighten it out. It's been about 6 week and is still not healed completely.

Luckily she does not play CG, that would kill me if something like this or worse happened to me now that I'm well along on the CG path!

Sean

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Sean » Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:20 am

In February, 1993, I somehow contracted a viral infection in the tip of my LH middle finger. After three doctors played around with it, a sports surgeon cut the tip of the finger and removed the colony - it looked just like the little sponge football from the old electric football games. I wasn't able to play for about a year after that. That was the end of my professional term as a guitarist. :(

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Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by pogmoor » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:48 pm

Not a bad injury but troublesome. About 15 years ago (on my birthday as it happens) I tripped over while I was out with the local running club and fell on my left hand. The main force was taken by my little finger which didn't actually fracture, but must have sprained badly because it was painful for several weeks and then very stiff and bent slightly forward. I then found that I couldn't finger notes with it because my brain thought the tip was about half a centimetre from where it actually was - a real illustration of a sense we often don't know we have, ie joint position sense. I ended up fashioning a splint out of a small shoe horn and some velcro which I wore at night to try and straighten it and using a soft ball to pummell the joint regularly through the day. It took several months to get back to anything like normal and about 5 years before my left hand fingering was really ok :!:
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Paul Fischer (1995) and Lester Backshall (2008)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014), Ramirez Guitarra del Tiempo (2017)

RacerXen

Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by RacerXen » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:03 pm

I somehow managed to tear 2 ligaments in my pinky (Left Hand) and at the base knuckle. I don't have a clue as to how I did, all I remember was grabbing my guitar case, walking outside (it was like -30F, for those of you from upstate NY, you understand when I say Syracuse or Potsdam) and I might have grabbed hard or something but as soon as I sat down and grabbed my fork all I felt was a sharp pain the shot from my pinky into my forearm. IT WAS SO PAINFUL!!!! I went to a small hospital and they told me it was a sprain (YEAH right). They told me I'd be fine in a week, my Teacher shoke her head and said, " Umm no", so I went to a specialist. This specialist told me I tore 3 ligaments, and that I'd be out of playing for a minimum of 2-3 months, not including therapy and recovery time. On top of that from my past history (I'm prone to injury in that finger), I'd have to have surgery to get the finger back to normal. Surgery was not an option since my awesome student insurance was NEVER going to cover that. I basically read up on my injury, talked to some physical therapists, one of which was a guitarist, and he was kind enough to give me advice on the phone every week, free!!! He warned me that if I played, I'd permanently damage the finger :shock: So I went from Oct 8, to Dec 2 not being able to play (mind you if I hadn't done gotten the advice from this nice therapist it would've taken a full 3 months plus whatever process to loosen the scar tissue). I did lots of right hand stuff, but my left hand was like non existent. Dec 2 marked the first day I could play with very little pain, but it was super stiff, towards Dec 12 I finally got to play without any pain, I stretched the scar tissue and loosened the finger up, and that was that. If any of you ever have problems like this contact me, I just helped a friend through something similar and got good results.
Gio

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