Focal Dystonia, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis, ect

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Tommy P., Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Musicians and thier careers depend on healthly minds and bodies, just as much as any other profession.

    We've heard of the debilitating consequences of long gigs in smoke filled recording studios and clubs. Livelihoods lost and sometimes found again.

    My own recent occuring hand pain (from extensive gigging and practising) has led me to find much information on afflictions some of which are well known and others that are not.

    So I'd like to start a thread that we can use to gather info and share resources on the subject.

    Feel free to post anything both professionally and personally pertaining to health matters.

    Here's a link I found at David Lesiner's site and about Focal Dystonia

    And another link on hand surgery
  2. mchakravarty

    mchakravarty Guest

    Thanks for the post on hand conditions. It's both informative as well as exhaustive for the needs of musicians. If you would require any information in particular, I could be of some help.
    Have a good day.
  3. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Hello mchakravarty, I see that you are a medical teacher. Welcome to the R.O. forums!

    I am astonished at this focal dystonia a brain misfunction/disease that can occur because of extensive practising. Very scary too. It seems it has also afflicted proficient braille readers who read with multiple fingers.

    Thanks to what I read at David Lesiner's website, I am thinking of working out some simple coordination exercises on guitar that would help to keep the neuron channels as separate as possible, even maybe try re-learning the guitar in advance of any brain confusion.

    He also explains how he now uses muscles in the middle of his armpit, shoulder and biceps to move his hand- rather than using the tiny muscles in the fingers. Its sounds like the right thing to do.

    Presently, I am having pain in the small ray and ring ray of both hands. Besides playing a lot of guitar , I must also frequently use a power grip because of my career as an electrician.
  4. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    Jul 4, 2003
    A tip or two from Carol Kaye!

    Hey Tommy, here's a couple of tips Carol Kaye gave me awhile back!

    Hope you find this useful, I have!

  5. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Excellent, Treena, thanks. Great advise from Carol, which I will put to use asap.
  6. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    Yeah, these kinds of injuries we all run the risk of getting. The slightest bit of excess tension over time can result in a chronic pain. This is why "proper technic" is not something to blow off.

    My own journey through tendinitis and arthritis have both humbled me and given me like "insight" and a source of "strength". After working with many physical therapists and doing my own homework I have an exercise routine that I must follow when I'm playing a lot of gigs or working on multple projects-- otherwise the pain re-occurs. I should follow the routine regardless but we all know how easily side-tracked we can get :^(

    Proper nutrition, sufficient water to drink daily, plenty of berries and anti-inflamatories, anything "detoxifying", plus a resonable exercise routine especially for our hands and arms with at least a partial emphasis on high reps: these kinds of things when I follow it well make an astonishing difference.

    When I have students I stress warm-ups and injury prevention, and I'm very upfront about what the injuries can be. I just think it is stupid to do otherwise.
  7. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    Jul 4, 2003
    Another Tip From Carol Kaye

    Tommy, Carol recently sent this to me and I think she reposted this on her forum as well! I use this rubber ball therapy at times it helps!

    (Dead Link Removed)
  8. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    Thank you Treena, and as always, Carol is a treasure. I especially heed this advice of hers on a regular basis:
    So very true. Note scales kill "the ear" and creativity. Chord tones inspire personal phrasing and signature style building. We will play what we practice. How simple can it get? :D

    Lol, during winter shows people find me in the bathroom with my hands under hot water all the time. I have a heating pad, an ice pack and a microwavable Therabead pack. I avoid pain killers, they don't work a fraction as well as stretching and warm ups.

    BTW, I have also kept to playing my shorter Gibson scale (24 3/4") fat necked axe as opposed to my Fender scaled 25 1/2" ones with the "thin" necks. Big difference in comfort. Not to mention keeping my palm pressed up against the neck whenever possible, using a thumb rotation for reach... avoiding "the clamp" wherever and whenever possible.

    Now to try the small rubber ball in my back... :)


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