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I'm starting to notice a slight amount of tingling in my pinky, mostly on my fretting hand. Dr Google suggests this is fairly common in guitar players; particularly if they start to up the volume of playing they are doing. I've been going a bit crazy lately and adding a lot of bends and bends against fretted notes with my pinky. It also doesn't help that I spend a lot of time on the computer for work.

I've been trying to ease up a bit, make sure I'm fully warmed up, and have limited the bending and fretting that I do with my pinky. I've also been taking more rest days. A trip to the Doctor is also being scheduled.

What are folks here doing that have had to deal with this?

Thanks,

Jeff
 

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I've suffered from severe stiffness in my left pinky (fretting hand) for a number of years, to the point that certain chords are too painful to play.
Since this is age-related, I've been searching for a way to turn back time and become more youthful.
No luck yet.

However, switching to a 24.5" scale guitar has made a huge difference. It's much, much easier for me to play than my others, which are a mix of 24 3/4", 25", and 25 1/2".
 

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My fretting hand is very temp sensitive. If I come in or start cold and really dig in, my fingers start to go numb from the big joint out to the tips.

Washing hands in HOT water before I start helps some, sora pre-warmup warmup.

This is probably more arthritis related than carpal, might be worth a try. Once I'm fully warmed up, I don't have the issue.
 

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Rigid night splints while you sleep
 
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When I got my D18 in 2012 the neck profile was different than I'm used to and I developed a cyst on my left wrist in about 6 months; it got to be about the size of .22 pellet. It didn't hurt but it didn't go away for years. I'd read that these were called bible cysts because the old time cure was to clock it good one with a bible and that would break up the cyst. Not having a bible I hit it a few times with The Rules of Civil Procedure which is a large heavy book something like a bible. After about the third application of The Rules it became evident that I was on a pyrrhic course as the cure for the cyst was likely to break my wrist.

I few years later I got an HD28V which has a different neck profile than the D18 and the cyst went away once I started playing that guitar a lot; no reduction in playing time just a different guitar.

So, can you change something in how you play or maybe start using another guitar part time which is what worked for me; I didn't at the time expect anything to change because of the new guitar but I did notice right away that the neck on the 28V was less strain on my left hand and eventually the cyst went away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Wardo

That is a really interesting post. Thinking back (now that you mention it) I noticed this when I started playing my CV Tele more than my Strat. The CV has a C neck, medium chunky I would guess. The Strat has a V neck, but it's overall thicker. I have another Tele now with a chunky neck as well; have only that for a week or so (yes, I owe a NGD thread). Possibly another piece of the puzzle?

Still taking it easy and getting checked out, but I know the neck profile of the guitar I've been playing the most recently is different from what I was doing before noticing the trouble.

Thanks
 

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I have been having trouble with my thumb where it joins the hand on my picking hand when holding the pick and playing. 22 year old MX injury coming back to bite me. It was fun at the time though.
 

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I have had various tendonitis issues for about 15 years, due to computer use and guitar playing (in fact, I am in a slight amount of pain all of the time, including right now).

Here are the things that I have found useful:
1. Using lighter gauge strings (I switched from 11s to 10s and now 9s)

2. Finding out the appropriate stretches for hands and arms (some may damage you, but others can help)

3. I have found that doing the following a couple of times per hour helps: doing a 'doorway' stretch

To do a doorway stretch, I stand with my right shoulder close to a doorway, put my right arm up (as high as you can) on the piece of wall to the right of the door frame (one needs a doorway that has some space to either side of the door frame), then I slowly step forward with my right leg and go into a kind of lunge position and hold that for a few seconds, making sure that I keep my right arm straight and up on the wall

I then do the same with my left arm on the left side of the doorway/frame

4. I do another stretch with my hands, for my wrists, but the specific one depends on what type of injury one has

5. I use a TENS machine (electronic massager), which is fantastic. I have been through 3 of these (Dr. Ho) in the past 30 years

6. Massage has been helpful, partly because I have discovered that the pain in my right arm, and hand is largely related to my rotator cuff, which I would never have guessed.

7. I realized relatively recently that I hunch my shoulders a bit when I play, and that I do not breathe consistently, so I have tried to start breathing through playing different passages, which is surprisingly difficult for me

8. When I am playing sitting down, I have found that moving the guitar from resting on my right knee to my left knee takes a huge amount of pressure off my rotator cuff, right shoulder and arm and hand. I have also found that it is difficult to adjust to my left hand being so relatively far away when I do this.

Good luck with this
 

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Have you tried the range of different CT specific stretches? Also Go to lighter strings. I’ve really enjoyed going from 10’s to 9’s. So much more expressive. Should have done it years ago.

also study your posture. The habitual way of playing could likely improve to lessen the stresses causing the issues to problematic proportions. Just a few thoughts. I was diagnosed with CT in 1992. Learned the stretched, switched from piano to guitar as my instrument at university and I was ok thank God.
Hope it gets better.
 

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Wearing a wrist brace at night completely fixed my numbness and pain.
It helps train you to sleep with straight wrists, which reduces the swelling.
For me a couple months with the brace on at night was enough.
I haven’t experienced any more symptoms for 3 or so years.
 

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Try to avoid using thumb chords when playing anything other than short chord changes! Get back to a straight wrist position asap when using them regardless of the neck profile and width. When you arch the wrist backwards the tendons on both the area of the carpals and the long ones of the forearm can do damage because they move out of the natural position between the bones. Try the best you can to keep the wrist straight to the hand and forearm. The worst position possible is with the wrist bent backward and the thumb adjacent to the hand back from the natural position of the hand and thumb. Any playing position that causes strain in the hands is not good at all and that goes for both hands. Always warm up the hands by gently flexing the joints all the way up to the shoulder before playing. Any sign of cramping is a sign that you have caused the blood flow to stop to the muscles and continuing to play after a cramp develops is a sure route to developing long term problems.

I can no longer use a foot stool and must use a knee lift that I build specifically for comfortable playing without strain. I have severe arthritis in my lower spine from both an old industrial accident and playing the classical guitar in a position that tilts the pelvis for long periods of time. In short if playing causes strain at all fix the problem don't let it progress. I no longer recommend that players use foot stools at all they are terrible for posture and if anything cause long term strain in playing classical guitar. Quite a few great guitarists have lost the ability to play because of bad hand and body posture over long periods of time. One of the first guitarist to recognize the problems was Dionisio Aguado who created a support stand for playing for this very reason. Steel string players develop the same problems especially if their left hand position is used to support the instrument instead of being completely free to move. Alway pay careful attention to posture it is the key to great playing which must become effortless.
 
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