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Discussion Starter #1
As the title says my arms and hands will often fall asleep when I play my flat tops. Does this happen to others? If so have you came up with a solution? This started about 2-3 years ago. It doesn’t happen every time I play but more often than not it does.
 

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Only my audiences fall asleep when I'm playing. ;)


Seriously though - what about trying an acoustic (is this what you mean by flattop?) with a beveled arm rest? I think the new very affordable Taylor Academy series has this feature. You could go play one at L&M for a while and see if it helps.
 

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...my arms and hands will often fall asleep when I play my flat tops. .
Both arms and both hands?

Does it happen at other times during other activities or when at rest?

Have you talked to your Dr. about this? ...This is really my main point.
The other questions are because of my background as a physiotherapist. Don't answer them if you would prefer not to...but your Doctor will want to know the answers.

In addition, I would strongly advise that you keep brief notes outlining the frequency it occurs, the extent (i.e., location) of the numbness and nature of the activities that cause it, make it worse and make it better/reduced/"go away" .

Good Luck (sincerely) with sorting this out.

Dave
 

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Are you using a standard size dreadnought? If so have you tried some smaller size guitars ie: the Art&Lutherie Folk or some of the smaller Taylor's or Martins, a change in size might and I say might be one answer for you. Greco's suggestion of seeing a doctor is an excellent idea to help eliminate things that could prove much more serious later in life.
 
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Position may play a part in it too.
Is this while standing or sitting?
Years ago, I had tinges happening in my fretting hand while sitting into about 5 mins of playing.
I can't recall where I read it, but, it was recommended to play classical style.
Guitar on your left leg instead of right (assuming you're a righty).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Both arms and both hands?

Does it happen at other times during other activities or when at rest?

Have you talked to your Dr. about this? ...This is really my main point.
The other questions are because of my background as a physiotherapist. Don't answer them if you would prefer not to...but your Doctor will want to know the answers.

In addition, I would strongly advise that you keep brief notes outlining the frequency it occurs, the extent (i.e., location) of the numbness and nature of the activities that cause it, make it worse and make it better/reduced/"go away" .

Good Luck (sincerely) with sorting this out.

Dave
No, I haven’t spoke to a Dr about this possibly I should. The only other time it happens, and this isn't very often, is when I am sleeping.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are you using a standard size dreadnought? If so have you tried some smaller size guitars ie: the Art&Lutherie Folk or some of the smaller Taylor's or Martins, a change in size might and I say might be one answer for you. Greco's suggestion of seeing a doctor is an excellent idea to help eliminate things that could prove much more serious later in life.
I have two dreadnoughts and 1 OM size. I'll have to pay more attention and see if its only happening with the dreadnoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Position may play a part in it too.
Is this while standing or sitting?
Years ago, I had tinges happening in my fretting hand while sitting into about 5 mins of playing.
I can't recall where I read it, but, it was recommended to play classical style.
Guitar on your left leg instead of right (assuming you're a righty).
This is seated, I only rarely play standing. I'll have to try a few different positions to see if that helps.
 

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I have the same issue. In particular, my fretting hand fingers go numb while playing. Playing guitar is like exercise for the wrists/hands. A proper warm up helps along with massage and maybe some stretching. Best to see a massage therapist, physio, or some other health care practitioner.
 

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When I first started playing guitar about 10 years ago, my fretting hand would go numb. It never happen when I played piano which I'd been playing in bands for years. Looked into it and in my case it was thought to be carpal tunnel. I eventually went to a specialist who confirmed it. If you shake your hand for a minute or so and it goes away, that would help confirm it. Never bothered my arms though. I never did get the surgery. I played through it for awhile and it eventually got better. Not 100% but pretty close. As others have said, best to talk to your doctor just in case it's something else.
 

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No, I haven’t spoke to a Dr about this possibly I should. The only other time it happens, and this isn't very often, is when I am sleeping.
I had a similar issue, my entire arm would go numb starting with my pinky and ring finger. At first it was only when I had my arm bent beyond 90° for more than 5 min. Then it was so bad that I was unable to open a door with a knob, I could not grip the handle tight enough to turn it with my left hand. Went to the doc and was sent for nerve response testing (EMG?). They hooked wires up to all my fingers and then shocked me at different points on my arm. Nerve damage was to blame in my case, doc told me to live with it as long as I can as surgery was the only option.
Turns out this was all caused by how I was sleeping, I would always sleep with my left arm bent under my head. I started waking up every night in pain (entire arm throbbing). Now I sleep with my arms at my side and almost all of my issues have gone away.
Inflamed tendons in my wrist were compressing the damaged nerve, I found some stretches on youtube for tendinitis that have helped as well.

Good luck!
Hopefully you solution is as simple as mine was, it has been 3 years now for me living and playing pain free.
 

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As the title says my arms and hands will often fall asleep when I play my flat tops. Does this happen to others? If so have you came up with a solution? This started about 2-3 years ago. It doesn’t happen every time I play but more often than not it does.
Hello,

Sounds like carpal tunnel syndrome...I had it a couple of decades ago.. It`s caused by repetitive movement and can be hereditary.There are physio treatments that can help, or surgery if necessary. I had surgery, it was short and simple.

Good Luck,

Jim
 

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I also have this problem when playing my full bodied acoustic. No problem playing electric or small parlour type guitars. The larger guitars cut into my arm under my armpit and seems to cut the circulation off. Like our good friend Greco said, consult a doctor first to have an idea what to do.
 

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See a doctor, if its carpal do not wait, i did and suffered permanent damage by putting it off. Not something to ignore unfortunately
 

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I've had some considerable success with massage therapy and chiropractic adjustment to my shoulder (largely because of a rotator cuff issue which exacerbates the numbness and tingling in my hands and arms, especially my right). The chiropractor tapes my shoulder with athletic stretch tape which I can endure for a couple of days before it creates an unbearable itch, and advises me on shoulder/arm/hand posture.
 

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See a doctor, if its carpal do not wait, i did and suffered permanent damage by putting it off. Not something to ignore unfortunately
I guess it affects everyone differently. I had my numbness in my left hand diagnosed as carpel tunnel after tests done by a specialist in Belleville and opted to not have the surgery. It hasn't bothered me for some time after playing through the numbness for awhile, is not perfect but it's not getting any worse.
 

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Theee stretches for CT has helped a lot for me. Also learning about what causes it. (Position., excessive pressure often due to poor posture/technique. )

I didn't operate. Mine was caused by the standard height piano bench. I have a tall torso and my elbo was 3-4" higher than the keyboard (when it should be level or slightly below).
 

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Have you gained weight over the last few years? Fat deposits can press against nerves and blood vessels reducing circulation. Just a thought.
 
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