Having problems with my finger joints, painful after 15 minutes. Advice needed

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by cult, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. cult

    cult SS.org Regular

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    So, here we go...

    In the last few weeks I noticed some increasing pain in my finger joints, not the wrist, after playing to the point where I couldn't play any longer.

    15 minutes and that's it.
    Of course I am going to see a doctor about it.

    Does anyone have some similar experience?
    Care to share?

    I have no clue what could be going on, but it's definitely not nice.
    I can't even go to band practice anymore.

    The problem might be that I am playing the guitar, that I ride my bike to work and work with my hands all the time basically (chem lab assistant).

    Any ideas or stories?
    Any help is appreciated, I just had a huge sad yesterday after thinking I could probably never play live again or jam in longer sessions :(
     
  2. Ebony

    Ebony Signal purist

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    Do you have trigger-finger(stenosing tenosynovitis) with the pain?
    Do particular joints hurt more than others?
     
  3. cult

    cult SS.org Regular

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    No trigger finger with the pain.

    It's the middle joint of the index and the ring finger of the fretting hand which hurt especially, the others not so much.
    Not the joint where the finger meets the palm, but the next one.
     
  4. Ebony

    Ebony Signal purist

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    If it is a simple matter of overusage, you need to avoid sustained gripping and rest the fingers in an elevated position as much as possible until it gets better. This is important, without healthy fingers you can forget about playing/working.

    If it is inflammation/tendinitis, you need to do the same but add an anti-inflammatory diet. Leafy greens, broccoli, organic meat and eggs, bone broth, avocados, etc. And avoid alcohol, refined carbohydrates, trans fats, junk food and too much caffeine.
    Supplement with potassium and calcium magnesium (NOT Calcium carbonate), if you don't have time/want to eat 2 broccolis and 2 avocados a day. Quit all the junk salt, only use pink himalayan salt or celtic sea salt.

    Inflammation is often caused by stress (of any kind), so if you know this is a problem you have to try and reduce that as much as possible.
     
  5. Ebony

    Ebony Signal purist

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    And about the sustained grip thing, let me give you an example.
    If I go bowling for 2 hours, I can't perform a proper blast beat for at least 3 days.
    And bowling is notorious because of the combination of sustained grip and stiff arm.
    This can apply to guitar aswell if your fretting-arm is too stiff. People are often told that you need to relax the wrist, but in general every non-static part of your body should always be as relaxed as possible during exercises (that doesn't require static movements)
     
  6. Rachmaninoff

    Rachmaninoff Amateur porn actor

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    Did you try lighter strings?
     
  7. cult

    cult SS.org Regular

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    Stress and over-usage could be a cause.
    I already reduced my intake of caffeine by a drastic amount (4 coffees a day to 2 at max) and eat a healthy diet. almost no junk food, lotsa greens, almost no meat.

    Thank you very much, both of your posts have been really helpful!

    I tried lighter strings, it didn't suit my playing which led to me fretting too hard and such, not ideal.
     
  8. redstone

    redstone SS.org Regular

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    Check

    -1 abuse of bends. For obvious reasons.

    -2 abuse of stretched finger patterns. Fingers out of alignment can't deal with pressure very well. Especially when it comes from the wrong angle. (stretch in one direction + slide in the other.. nope nope)

    -3 straight fingers in general. Lack of curve = no strength left to protect the joints. Also, check overflexed wrist, because generally those issues are collaborating for mutual self-destruction.

    Three ways to strain those joints.
     
  9. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Also adjust you're playing position. If you don't already, play with the guitar higher up/classical position.
     
  10. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    This, but also be aware of issues in the new position.

    If I play in a "steep" classical position, I develop really sore index finger from Bar-chords.

    A "slight" classical position fixes the issue.

    If it hurts, :

    [​IMG]
     
  11. thevisi0nary

    thevisi0nary SS.org Regular

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    I am dealing with the same thing. Doctor tells me I have osteoarthritis. Only hurts on 3 fingers and two of them are visibly distorting. Interestingly enough, although I am usually in pain, there are times when I am not. And when I am in pain my fingers usually all hurt at the same time (for the most part). So cause of that I am thinking that inflammation is definitely a factor. I would experiment with diet, go see a doctor also, and do some research on the nervous system. You may be able to come up with something that works for you. I hate hearing "change how you play" regardless of how true it may be, try fixing the problem first then look at steep adjustments. I tend to think of it like this - if most people can do this, then there should be a fixable reason why I am having issues with it. Inflammation is a passive/non isolated thing, so if inflammation is your issue and you can address it with diet or meds or supplements then that may be the end of it.
     
  12. cult

    cult SS.org Regular

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    I already play with the guitar pretty high up and I am also aware of the "Pain means stopping the exercise" rule.

    The odd thing about it is, that the pain unly came up recently and that I haven't had any problems of that kind before.
     

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