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Old 01-25-2013, 04:19 AM   #1
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Is it Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Alright, so I may just be worrying too, too much but hear me out.
Firstly, I'm not much of a fingerstyle player, because till now I mostly played songs that didn't require the use of fingers, or the original bassist had used a pick too. But yes, I did practise my fingerstyle technique, hoping to gradually improve it so that I could start with some Maiden.

So yesterday, I was playing the Clairvoyant repeatedly, about 4 times. Then I switched to The Number of the Beast. I had barely been playing for about 2 and a half hours, when I noticed a pain in the below mentioned area.

The area is as follows: Look at the skin between the middle finger and the ring finger (on the back of the hand). Now slowly run your finger south from that area, till JUST south of the knuckles. That's where I observed the pain. It was a sharp pain, that went away as soon as I stopped playing.

For a newbie to playing Steve Harris basslines, I expected it to be hard on the plucking hand, as these basslines usually involve speed and stamina. I stopped playing right then, and now about 14 hours later (which includes 10 of sleep) the situation is still the same. I looked up Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on the net, and searched for images of affected areas, and found that the area of pain seems to come under the affected areas..

Please, please help me out here. Is it really CTS? I only started playing about a year ago, and I'm 15 (if that makes a difference at all).
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:34 AM   #2
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I don't know but if you're worried that it might be you shouldn't be asking an internet forum. Seriously, go see a doctor and find out from someone who actually knows what they're doing, not just a bunch of people who might know how it showed up for 'a friend' who may not even exist.
Generally though, pain = bad so I would definitely say don't try again until you've seen someone about it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:57 AM   #3
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As someone who suffers from both tendinitis and Carpal tunnel. I can say that what you described doesn't sound like CTS. Get it checked though cuz as chatterbox272 said pain is bad.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:51 AM   #4
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I would go and get it checked out just to be sure, but it could just be general pain from movements you're not used to.
I'm 16 now and I've been playing for nearly 4 years but I've never had any pains apart from if I've been playing for a long period of time.
If it does turn out just to be a general ache, try some slightly lighter strings and play a little lighter.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:52 PM   #5
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First and foremost, discard any serious injury by checking a doc.

I'd give it two days without playing, and then play some lighter, slower parts or whatever. If you're getting into maiden, i recommend you to learn the songs, but slowly, I mean, if the song is at 200 BPM, learn the whole song in 100 BPM and biuld speed slowly, so you don't push your hands too far to limits where they're not ready to go. This way, you'll avoid injuries. I know this from soccer training, muscular the injuries comes from too much exigency on a muscle that is not ready for it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sudaka
First and foremost, discard any serious injury by checking a doc.

As everyone else has said, do THIS!^

Any hand injury is potentially serious, because such injuries take months or even years to heal. This is because you are constantly using your hands, so giving them time to rest is not an option. Even if it is a minor thing, trying to play through the pain can turn it into a major thing. Don't risk it. If you strain a muscle or pinch a nerve in your hand, you are in for a horrible time. I strained the muscles in both hands during a reconstruction project and for two weeks I could not lift even a can of soda. You don't want that, my friend.

Good luck to you! I hope it is not serious!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:20 PM   #7
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I am going to bet it's just a slight bruise on the skin. But seriously, go see a doctor. They check that stuff for a living.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:35 PM   #8
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Do not play any instrument for extended periods of time without breaks. Seriously

It doesn't sound like CTS (my husband had in it both wrists), but you should get it checked out. Hand injuries can be just as serious (I managed to stop my upright playing for 2 months by stabbing myself in the palm).

And yes, we are not doctors nor play one on the internets, so see a physician.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:53 PM   #9
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I agree with the above. It isn't CTS. However, you need to be careful of how much you strain yourself at one time. Remember to warm up before taking on a technically demanding piece. Also, stretch out your finger.

1) Put your fingers tip to tip and push them together, but, not too hard.

2) Extend your arm, pull you fingers back with the other arm... GENTLY.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:30 AM   #10
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Yeah definitely not CTS, but if you keep putting this kind of strain on your hands, it could easily develop into CTS or tendinitis.

Definitely do the stretches Angusman described.

Also, you need to make sure you relax your hand while you play. Tensing up while you play might help you play faster in the short run, but it will actually slow you down in the long run (not to mention any physical damage it could cause). Work on your guitar parts slow at first, MAKE SURE it's comfortable and perfect before you try to speed it up. I know it's tempting to learn something at full speed right from the start, especially if you can get it pretty close, but you will be much better off learning parts slow at first.

A good rule to follow is that if you ever experience pain while playing, STOP what you are doing, and either put down the guitar for the day or do some stretches and alter your technique a bit. Don't just suck it up and play through the pain (unless it's just sore fingertips, then just man up).
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:42 PM   #11
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CTS is within the wrist to my knowledge. it is the tunnel amongst the Bones in the wrist which cradles the nerves wo the whole hand.

What I read was a pain between the Phalangies (the bones of the finger that extend from the Wrist).


Look, I have been in this thing since I was 9 that is 38 years. I started with 30 min Practice a day, if that!

Later after a year your hand should be trained to handle and hour and 15 min AT THE MOST.

If then learning a more intricate and intense piece that time would shringk back to 30MIN.

These days I will do 6 hours max. But that is Rehersal, stuff I am trained on.

I had this similar pain which subsided in minutes the other night after not playing much for three weeks.

I hope the pain has subsided.

You need to do stretches, breaks, soak you hands in epsom salts, and have a Homeopathic remedy handy which is topically applied.

It is called Arnica Montana.

It is at Health Food Stores. Apply a bit of that to any strain, bruise, or painful area and REST IT.

Now for the oldtimers like me, if you are facing arthritis, I had a nodual growing on my Left Index Finger. First used a derrivative of Poison ivy called Rhus Tox, which took the pain out instantly (30c Dilution, oral).

Pain was back the next day, and as I talked to a HealthNut Friend he mentioned Bee Stings.

Well I used a Remedy derived from Bee Venom (Apis 30c), took that once a morning for 3 mornings.

Pain was gone instantly every morning and no pain nor rememdy taken since the 4th Morning. That was 2009.

Oh yes, at 15 your body has an amazing ability to heal itself. Don't do it again.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sliide90027
CTS is within the wrist to my knowledge. it is the tunnel amongst the Bones in the wrist which cradles the nerves wo the whole hand.
Yep, the carpal bones are the 7 or 8 (?) bones that make up the wrist joint.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:04 PM   #13
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The entire back of my fretting hand hurts when I play >.>
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:07 PM   #14
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this is why technique is such a valuable hidden trait. If you worry this much about it, its probably true, but carpal tunnel takes a while to develop so if you 1)ask a doctor 2)find out if your technique is wrong 3)take breaks in your playing, you should be able to get rid of that pain, and in the process become a better instrumentalist. Trust your instinct it will guide you on what to do. Playing music is a passion that not only do you have barriers to climb, but also GIVE barriers for others to climb. The balance is important, and if you want, NOTHING can really stop you from getting better at it if you're patient.
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:08 PM   #15
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also, the lower the strap, the less control you have. Try wearing your instrument like Tom Morello and you will see instant progress NO MATTER WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:21 PM   #16
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Ive had pain on my wrist where it bends on the vein side... that was CTS. It wasn't too serious. What caused it was me playing too aggressively because my rig wasn't quite cuttin it at practice. When I made some upgrades to my rig to get a little more power/volume I was able to play a lot more relaxed and have never had the problem again.
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