Trigger finger? !!!

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by fos1, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. fos1

    fos1 Member

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    On my trip out west last month I did a lot of admin work at a poorly designed work station. I have had mild carpal tunnel off and on over the years that has always responded to rest and time away from the computer.

    I also had more time than usual to play my guitar.

    My hands are a mess. Carpal tunnel, numbness and pain in both hands!

    The bad part is something called "trigger finger" on my left middle finger. It pops like a trigger on bending and locks up. The pain isn't too bad but using it makes it worse.

    I have been away from my guitars for days. I had to put them in a closet to avoid temptation. I am seeing a specialist next week for best treatment options....

    Does anyone here have experience with this stuff. Not being able to play my guitars (and banjo) is very depressing.

    fos1
     
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  2. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    I had one on my right ring finger fixed, a couple years ago, after a short recovery it’s better than ever.
     
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  3. fos1

    fos1 Member

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    Angel, that is good news. I have this fear that my guitar playing days could be over. :(

    Thank you!
     
  4. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Left index ten years ago, still fine.
     
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  5. fos1

    fos1 Member

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    Whew! More good news. Thank you!
     
  6. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    My wife had it, total numbness on 3 fingers. Had it operated on, cured the problem.

    The thing is that the envelope nerves go through in your wrist, gets inflamamed. The surgery opens up that envelope and frees the nerve from any pressure.
     
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  7. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    Surgery should be viewed as a last option. Show me a surgeon that doesnt want to use the knife ha ha.

    Massage and stretching and building strength are first areas to explore to me.

    Best luck!
     
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  8. fos1

    fos1 Member

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    Good advice on the surgery. I may consider injections but nothing more invasive than that!
     
  9. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    There is no doubt that for certain people and cases surgery may be necessary ...

    Its just a bridge you want to cross only when other paths are not viable.
     
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  10. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    Don't bother with injections, surgery takes the same amount of time and doesn't need to be repeated.

    You can't stretch, massage, or ********** your way to an easy fix.
     
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  11. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    I'm experiencing tendonitis in my left hand (thumb and first finger) for the first time in my life; it's been going for four days now. I'm not playing (though I'll give it ten minutes today to see what's what), because the last thing I want to do is make a temprorary injury permanent. It's definitely improving, and yes, it's frustrating.
     
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  12. fos1

    fos1 Member

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    I visited the doc today. She could feel the the tendon sleeve right at the base of the left middle finger that is inflamed. I have already been on antibiotic for a week along with anti-inflammatory. I let her do a cortizone injection. My hand and finger have been numb most of the day. She said I should see results in 2 to 4 days. She was concerned that the inflamed sleeve could become worse without treatment.

    We will see. No guitar for a couple of days. I am typing with one hand....

    Results to follow.

    fos1
     
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  13. fos1

    fos1 Member

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    PS. I didn't realize how much I would miss playing the guitar. I have a couple set up ready to play all of the time. I just pick one up and start playing / practicing frequently. I had an old music teacher many years ago. He frequently stated, "You never know how much you will miss music until you no longer play."

    fos1
     
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  14. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    Get a slide and start picking up licks, brotha.
     
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  15. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    <double-post edited>
     
  16. fos1

    fos1 Member

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    I had the injection two days ago. Getting better. Doc said 2 - 4 days for maximum effect....

    Still counting.
     
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  17. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    I am dealing with a different nerve but similar syndrome. Mine is called cubital tunnel syndrome which is a compression in the elbow of the ulnar nerve. It has two effects: I can give myself a funny bone by even lightly touching my upper forearm or anywhere near my elbow OR by bending my elbow quickly or more than 90degrees; and secondly my pinky and middle finger go numb anywhere from minutes to hours to days when one of those first things happens. Usually hours, not minutes or days. But it's so easy to do one of those things that cause it that my fingers seem to be numbed up most of the time. Left / fretting hand, of course. It just started about three or four weeks ago. I've been wearing a brace to keep myself from bending it too sharply, especially when I sleep. But a locked straight elbow and numb fingers in fret hand are a bad combo for guitar playing.

    But I've been cheating and playing my guitar anyway. My fingers are numb but they still work fine. And I'm trying to play with the guitar a bit lower so my elbow isn't bent to much. Weirdly after playing if for a couple of hours it feels better in that the finger numbness goes away in spite of my persistently bent elbow. I'll think of it as guitar therapy.

    That said, real physical therapy starts this week but since guitar playing doesnt make it worse and arguably seems therapeutic, I'm going to keep it up until a doctor tells me it is risky long term for me. Guitar playing aside, I would like this to go away because if it sticks around for a long time it can really mess your hand up. Hopefully they don't tell me I have to stop playing for a while but if they do I guess I'll have to.
     
  18. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Do you rest your forearm on the edge of the desk when using keyboard on computer? I have had ulnar nerve entrapment in the past and it went away after several weeks on its own after paying more attention to ergonomics at the desk.
     
  19. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    sometimes but more when I drive (resting on the door) or when I'm sitting around watching TV, resting it on the arm of my chair. I've been wearing that brace (even without the rigid splint) for some protection and as a reminder "hey, keep your elbow away from things". It's gotten a lot better, was numb for two weeks straight, now it comes and goes. I'm hopeful.
     

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