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#1 ido

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 05:18 AM

I started having pain in the conection between my hand and thumb (right hand).
it passes after a while but evry time I play it again the pain comes back.
any I decided to take a break for a week or two.
any suggestions on what to do?

#2 JimLucas

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 09:52 AM

I started having pain in the conection between my hand and thumb (right hand).
it passes after a while but evry time I play it again the pain comes back.
any I decided to take a break for a week or two.
any suggestions on what to do?

Have you wondered why only the right hand?

You play the English, as do I, and using the thumbs for support might lead you to suspect the concertina as the culprit. But it might not be that.

I'm going to guess that you're right-handed and you use a computer mouse a lot.

For decades I never had pain in my thumbs while playing the concertina. More recently I found myself experiencing a pain like you report, and like you, only in my right hand. At least in my own case, I have traced the cause to my use of the computer mouse, and two factors in particular: 1) increased use of the mouse buttons (more often generally and more of rapid repetitions) and 2) use of a smaller "mini" mouse (I tried a "mickey" mouse, but I kept falling asleep ;)). With the smaller mouse my hand assumed a more cramped shape which seems to have put additional stress particularly on the joint at the base of the thumb, while the increased use of the buttons (mainly the one under the index finger) apparently added to the stress. The distribution of stresses in holding and playing the English concertina then brought forth pain, but that was not the cause.

I have done three things to reduce the stress: 1) return to using my larger mouse, 2) consciously cut back on my use of the mouse buttons (this involves changing habits of both work and play on the computer), and 3) switch to using the mouse with my left hand for extended periods. Once again, I am without pain while playing the concertina, though lately I've been playing it more, not less.

YMMV. I.e., your problem and its best solution may not be the same as mine. But I don't think it would hurt you (pun acknowledged) to experiment with the changes that helped me and see whether they might also benefit you.

#3 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 10:44 AM

You could try some 'weight bearing ' exercise for your hands. I think that many people today do not work as hard anymore.
I have worked hard with my hands all my life and ,so far, it has not inhibited my playing of any instrument. A certain degree of physical strength in the muscles of hands, wrists and arms can only help .As Jim points out there might be some other activity that is causing you this problem.

With my large EC (8 inch Baritone) I do use the wrist straps to take some of the strain off my thumbs.

Edited by Geoff Wooff, 12 June 2011 - 10:46 AM.


#4 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 02:25 PM

Another thought; is it possible that the pain in your right thumb is caused by playing with your concertina resting on your left leg ? If this were the case then a move to right leg resting could abate the problem.

Edited by Geoff Wooff, 13 June 2011 - 07:07 AM.


#5 bellowbelle

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:22 AM

I've had numerous hand troubles. I've discovered numerous solutions. (Doing well, for now.)

I've found Aleve (over-counter med) to be effective at times.

And, although you can't wear them while you play, you might try wearing a compression glove(s) at off times. This pair at Amazon is not the cheapest but they are amazing:
Thermoskin Premium Arthritic Gloves



And, yes, it's 3:21 AM, here..... I'm not lurking around on the other side of the world! Posted Image

#6 Kautilya

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:55 PM

I started having pain in the conection between my hand and thumb (right hand).
it passes after a while but evry time I play it again the pain comes back.
any I decided to take a break for a week or two.
any suggestions on what to do?

Try arnica oil = holland and barret (not cheap)or from welleda by ebay and post. Much cheaper abroad if you are in Germany or say Slovenia and in most supermarkets.

It either works for you or not, but if it does it gives pain relief in seconds. I keep bottle for quick smear for knee pain due to motorway accelerator pressure or lots of clutch changing - it's a v ancient anti-inflammatory which does not ;cure' but removes pain for a few hours...

#7 ido

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:46 PM

thanks for the aswers but I think I might not be holding it corectly mybe Im putting my thumb too deep.
well I know this is a concertina forum but if we are on the subject of ergenomics so, I've started playing piano last week and my hand muceles are sore any tips?
and again sorry for putting a piano quistion in a concertina forum.

#8 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 03:05 PM

thanks for the aswers but I think I might not be holding it corectly mybe Im putting my thumb too deep.
well I know this is a concertina forum but if we are on the subject of ergenomics so, I've started playing piano last week and my hand muceles are sore any tips?
and again sorry for putting a piano quistion in a concertina forum.



If you have just started to play the piano then you are using muscles that you are not used to using in this way and they will be sore. They need to get fit and more of the same but in a gentle way (not too much playing) will strengthen them.
Geoff.

#9 Ardie

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 02:18 AM

I started having pain in the conection between my hand and thumb (right hand).
it passes after a while but evry time I play it again the pain comes back....
any suggestions on what to do?


It is completely impossible to have any good idea what the cause of your trouble may be or a rational view on suitable treatment without a close examination. Do see a doctor and/or a professional ergonomist.

thanks for the aswers but I think I might not be holding it corectly mybe Im putting my thumb too deep.


The question *how* deep the thumb "should" be put into the strap is an everlasting debate issue. It is firstly a personal question related to other individual playing habits but putting it as far in as possible stabilizes the thumb and thus is expected to result in reduced load on thumb joints and less strain for thumb muscles.A wider ( ca 30mm) thumb strap which immobilizes the distal joint is expected to improve this situation even more.

I've started playing piano last week and my hand muceles are sore any tips?


If you have just started to play the piano then you are using muscles that you are not used to using in this way and they will be sore. They need to get fit and more of the same but in a gentle way (not too much playing) will strengthen them.
Geoff.


Basically true concerning fitness by sensible practise which firstly means that coordination and efficiency improves. The greater "strength" one may experience after the initial phase is mainly greater endurance. There is much misunderstanding around concerning importance of "strength" (=muscular power) however.You don't need strong hands/arms in that sense for playing neither the piano nor the concertina and "strengthening exercises" mostly is just waste of time for a person who is generally fit.

#10 ido

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:02 PM

well I went to the doctor and hopfully I'll be able to play again in no time so I guess the thread can be aficialy closed.

#11 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 10:12 AM

well I went to the doctor and hopfully I'll be able to play again in no time so I guess the thread can be aficialy closed.


Reminds me of the old "Doctor" joke:

Doctor: Leave the bandage on and take the medicine for a week, and your injured hand will be as good as new.

Patient (eagerly): And will I be able to play the concertina afterwards, Doctor?

Doctor: Oh, yes, certainly!

Patient: That's a miracle!

Doctor: Why a miracle?

Patient: Because I couldn't play the concertina before my injury!

However, a more true-to-modern-life version might be:

Doctor: Leave the bandages on and take the medicine for a week, and your injured hand will be as good as new.

Patient (eagerly): And will I be able to play the concertina afterwards, Doctor?

Doctor: Er ... what's a concertina?

:P

Cheers,
John




#12 ceemonster

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 04:00 AM

did you say, it's the connection between your hand and your thumb? that sounds like the condition i was diagnosed with when i was trying to learn to play fiddle. this was eons ago. i was in pain not on my fiddle-neck side, but on my bow side. i'd put it down for a couple of weeks, the pain would go away, i'd pick it up, the pain would come back, etc. it is a syndrome with a proper name like carpal tunnel, but lesser-known, called de Quervain's: inflammation of the tendons on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb.

http://www.medicinen...tis/article.htm
http://en.wikipedia....ervain_syndrome

in my case, it had a happy ending, because though i broke my heart over fiddle for several years before stopping, free-reed instruments became my first love rather than a second choice.

but de quervains is the unmentioned reason, in addition to my stated reasons in the ongoing thread under general discussion, for wanting to play EC holding it like an anglo with no thumb strap involvement......

there is surgery that is done for it, but it is only effective about 50% of the time, apparently....they see it in dental hygenists who are holding implements, and supposedly see it more in cellists than in violinists. but imho, the whole ergonomic situation of the EC is fertile soil for this problem if you are vulnerable.....i still get it when playing bisonoric button accordion while bracing it with my thumb, but can ususally shift position to alleviate, and it's not been bad enough to stop me from being able to play....

if you really have de quervain, the only solution will be to change the ergonomics of your playing setup---either by changing something you are doing---posture, or relaxing the thumb, or whatever---or, as i envision doing, by finding a way to change how you are holding the concertina......de quervain's is inflamed by holding the thumb too straight and rigid. if you can relax it and still manage to play, that might do it. otherwise, you'd need to augment the concertina setup so it is not being braced by your thumbs..... straps, wood braces, who knows.

#13 ceemonster

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:03 PM

did you say, it's the connection between your hand and your thumb? that sounds like the condition i was diagnosed with when i was trying to learn to play fiddle. this was eons ago. i was in pain not on my fiddle-neck side, but on my bow side. i'd put it down for a couple of weeks, the pain would go away, i'd pick it up, the pain would come back, etc. it is a syndrome with a proper name like carpal tunnel, but lesser-known, called de Quervain's: inflammation of the tendons on the side of the wrist at the base of the thumb.

http://www.medicinen...tis/article.htm
http://en.wikipedia....ervain_syndrome

in my case, it had a happy ending, because though i broke my heart over fiddle for several years before stopping, free-reed instruments became my first love rather than a second choice.

but de quervains is the unmentioned reason, in addition to my stated reasons in the ongoing thread under general discussion, for wanting to play EC holding it like an anglo with no thumb strap involvement......

there is surgery that is done for it, but it is only effective about 50% of the time, apparently....they see it in dental hygenists who are holding implements, and supposedly see it more in cellists than in violinists. but imho, the whole ergonomic situation of the EC is fertile soil for this problem if you are vulnerable.....i still get it when playing bisonoric button accordion while bracing it with my thumb, but can ususally shift position to alleviate, and it's not been bad enough to stop me from being able to play....

if you really have de quervain, the only solution will be to change the ergonomics of your playing setup---either by changing something you are doing---posture, or relaxing the thumb, or whatever---or, as i envision doing, by finding a way to change how you are holding the concertina......de quervain's is inflamed by holding the thumb too straight and rigid. if you can relax it and still manage to play, that might do it. otherwise, you'd need to augment the concertina setup so it is not being braced by your thumbs..... straps, wood braces, who knows.


i guess i'd better self-edit here and note that i am not presuming to offer you a medical diagnosis or treatment prognosis! just throwing in my experience with thumb pain that proved to be a medical syndrome i had never heard of. it may have zero to do with your experience, and good luck!

#14 Michael Ducky Raley

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:54 PM

I just learned of a thing affecting musicians called 'Focal Dystonia' which is
a neurological condition resulting from repeated trained hand movements and
results in uncontrolled muscle contractions.




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