Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
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Dragonbones
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Re: Worst injury to hands - What did you do.

Post by Dragonbones » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:09 am

When I was changing a tire and really struggling with the tire iron, it slipped and I jammed my hand against the wheel well, which, unfortunately, had a protruding spike of metal that went through my palm and out the back of my hand. I hate it when that happens.
Pleasure is spread through the earth In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find. —William Wordsworth

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

Post by Fabbri » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:40 pm

Surely somebody must know how Django Reinhardt managed with only two and a half fingers? This is not a rhetorical question: It could be really useful to any of us who finish up with a permanent injury to the left hand. (Mine has healed, so this enquiry is entirely altruistic. Until the next time, that is, when the pruning shears make another attempt at guitaricide.)

mpferreira

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

Post by mpferreira » Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:53 am

I was playing basketball and had an injury to my right hand. And then I continued to play. The injury got worse, obviously. Couldn't play ball or guitar for some time.

GuitarVlog

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

Post by GuitarVlog » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:32 pm

My backpack slipped and, rather than catching the strap in my whole hand, I caught it with just my left-hand middle finger. I think I pulled a joint out. At the very least, it's been badly sprained. The first joint is black and blue.

The finger is in a splint right now. Any attempt to use it produces a good amount of pain. No guitar or lute playing for at least a week ... maybe more. :(

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

Post by pogmoor » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:43 pm

Ouch...you may need to do a bit of physio to get the joint working again! I sprained my left hand pinky by falling on it about 15 years ago and it was a long time before I could finger accurately with it again.
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)

GuitarVlog

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

Post by GuitarVlog » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:06 pm

pogmoor wrote:Ouch...you may need to do a bit of physio to get the joint working again!
Oh .. noes. I certainly hope not. It's already dampened my mood that I can't play and will be disabled for 1-2 weeks. I certainly wouldn't want it to go any longer.

Playing my guitars, even practicing what some might call dull sight-reading exercises, is emotionally uplifting for me. I've realized that now that my ability has been briefly (hopefully) taken from me. :(

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

Post by Fabbri » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:12 am

If the problem in the little finger of my left hand turns out to be permanent (and this could happen to other contributors to this thread by the sound of some of the reported injuries) what are the options?

1 Give up CG and all instruments requiring fingers (ie nearly all instruments). Take up the trombone, dijeridoo, drums, tambourine, musical saw, comb-and-paper. Or just sing, or whistle. Good grief, what a prospect!

2 Go through scores re-arranging the fingering and if necessary dropping a few notes where they are unplayable with only three fingers. Not a perfect solution but better than nothing.

3 Re-string the guitar and learn to play left-handed. The thought of doing this brings me out in a cold sweat. The finger muscles would probably be no problem, but my brain would probably explode with all that re-jigging of neurons. Has anyone actually done this successfully?

Jim McCutcheon

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

Post by Jim McCutcheon » Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:57 am

29 years ago, when I was 30, I was practicing 6 hours a day to get ready for a recital in London and record my first LP (!). That wasn't too bad, but when I started building a fence to corral my then 2 year old in the front yard, the post-hole digging gave me a tendon nodule (trigger finger) on the right hand 'a' finger. Funny, post-hole digging never bothered me in my 20's!

I tried resting the finger for a year by refingering all my classical guitar repertoire for p,i and m, and when that didn't work I tried total rest for four months and then played pianissimo for two years. Happy to say mi 'a' finger has been fine ever since.

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

Post by Fabbri » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am

Gee, thanks, Jim. Two quiet years to look forward to... Roll on 2013, when fortissimo music will again ring out over the Cornish moors.

GuitarVlog

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

Post by GuitarVlog » Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:16 am

It's the start of week five that I've had to wear a splint.

The idea that I should "learn slide guitar" started out as a joke among some of my twitter guitarist friends. I finally decided that I'd go ahead and do it. A full recovery is probably three weeks away.

So classical guitar is completely out. My steel dreadnought will be getting all the attention. No Sor. I'll be working on good ol' bluesy licks! :lol:

blurx

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

Post by blurx » Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:39 pm

Hmm mine was when when i got into a stupid fight and after the fight i discovered my left hand pinky was purple all over, when to see a doctor, but played that same very day and hurt like mad.

Stupid of me to think that i just wanna practice because i was afraid that they might put a cast and only after 6 months did the pain went away.

However when i did go for an X ray after to see if anything is wrong, they said i have a bone spur in the DIP joint and that it might develop into arthritis.

Anyone who might have what they call a Heberden node? Or for that matter arthritis in the fingers?

Dr. J

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

Post by Dr. J » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:40 pm

A Heberden's node is a calcified spur of the joint cartilage and is a sign of osteoarthritis. Named for the English physician William Heberden (1710-1801)

osteoarthritis is really a degeneration of cartilage of the joint

Causes of osteoarthritis in guitar playing fingers include:

* Aging - Most important "cause" of OA
* Genetics - Recently, abnormal type II collagen gene recognized as a cause of OA in certain families
* Trauma - This is recognized as a cause of OA in usual and unusual joint areas
* Metabolic Abnormalities - Chondrocalcinosis may be a marker for diseases such as hemochromatosis, hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, hypomagnesemia

Natural history

* Nonlinear Progression - Progression difficult to predict
* Radiographic vs Clinical Disease - Many people may have evidence of degenerative changes on X-ray but will not have any pain or disability from such

Risk factors For progression

* Joint Trauma - This will further injure damaged cartilage

Bottom line for guitar players is to avoid trauma. Obvious trauma is the easiest to avoid: re don't hit your finger with a hammer or a volleyball or football or soccer ball. The effects of repetitive trauma from playing can be minimized by gently stretching and massaging the connective tissues of the hands. The type of trauma that will really end up hurting you is the over use type trauma. For example I was at Paris Disneyland and had to carry heavy bags of groceries back to the hotel. By the time I had walked all the way back to the hotel carrying the heavy bags hanging on with my fingers, I had strained the connective tissues of my left little finger, and afterwards, had pain and tenderness for one year. Please look up a few helpful posts on Delcamp "Healthy Hand Care for Classical Guitarists."

blurx

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

Post by blurx » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:18 pm

Wow Thanks Dr J

Ya my X ray shows a bone spur however i do not really feel pain when i play the guitar.

I'm taking glucosamine 500mg twice a day and hoping that it"ll be ok.

I researched and found out that people usually not do any surgeries or anything because it would not affect their playing, however when you said re trauma, totally agree, now i'm ultra skeptical about my fingers.

But do you know of anyone with this and still be able to play normally?

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

Post by Non Tabius » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:56 pm

It seems that CG players should not take DIY home repaires too seriously .I have been looking for an excuse not to fix a particular table .I think Ill little quotes from this thread, but I dont think the wife will buy it.

Dr. J

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

Post by Dr. J » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:23 pm

You are welcome Blurx. I am a dermatologist, so, I do not do surgery on the bones or joints. However, I do skin cancer and skin surgeries of the hands. I have worked on guitarists with skin cancers or warts so severe that they cannot play. Most patients do well after time and careful follow up care. The ones who have the biggest problem will be the melanoma patients. We often have to amputate the finger. Guitarists should be very careful with any pigmented lesions on the fingers or under the nails.

For a bone spur, you should not have a problem if you have it removed by a qualified hand surgeon. Be sure he or she is a a qualified hand surgeon. A qualified hand surgeon is an orthopedic surgeon or a plastic surgeon who has done a surgical fellowship specifically on hand surgery. Some will say they are hand surgeons, but few are qualified hand surgeons.

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