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Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2373810
01/15/15 11:18 AM
01/15/15 11:18 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 513
New York City!
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Jonathan Baker Offline
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Jonathan Baker  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
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New York City!
Hello Brenden,

Originally Posted by Brendan888

My punching bag routine wasn't too much, about half hour a day for a few weeks.


Thirty minutes per day for a few weeks is more than ample abuse to the hands. And frequency is not the point - it only takes a wrong move just once to permanently injure the body.

I had a student who was an amateur boxer and who did serious harm to his hands through that sport. Boxing and piano technique are two activities that are incompatible, obviously.

Originally Posted by Brendan888
It might not have been the punching bag; whenever frustrated I'd punch a door frame with my right hand. Only happened maybe 2-3 times?


Well there you are - your injuries are not a mystery and they have nothing to do with keyboard technique. This is a frustration-managment issue where you are abusing your body.

The Goldman institute does good work addressing injuries caused by faulty hand/arm/body technique, but I doubt they specialize in injures caused by punching bags and door frames. They will bluntly tell you to stop that behavior and channel frustration in non-violent ways. What those newly acquired habits would be I do not know - you might want to talk that over with a behavior specialist.

If you do not find it possible to stop using your hands for violent battering, then it might be advisable to take up some other musical instrument that does not require healthy hands, such as singing or conducting a choral group.

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Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2373867
01/15/15 01:56 PM
01/15/15 01:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 11
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Brendan888 Offline OP
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Brendan888  Offline OP
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Yeah, I've stopped. I'm sure the raging hormone teenage boy thing had a big factor to in all the frustration.

Right now, I'm just trying to fix past mistakes, all made with poor judgement. So that I can get back into piano.

Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Jonathan Baker] #2374543
01/16/15 11:18 PM
01/16/15 11:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
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laguna_greg  Offline
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guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted by Jonathan Baker
Hello Brenden,

I had a student who was an amateur boxer and who did serious harm to his hands through that sport. Boxing and piano technique are two activities that are incompatible, obviously.

The Goldman institute ...


I think you meant the Golandsky Institute? Maybe?


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2374545
01/16/15 11:21 PM
01/16/15 11:21 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
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laguna_greg  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Originally Posted by Brendan888
Thanks for the link. I wasn't aware that RICE could be applied to this type of injury. I've been using heat packs but I'll try ice and elevation.


Hi Brendan,

RICE probably won't help too much this late in the game. But it can't hurt.

I suggested the link because there might be some information on the thread that will help you find some good medical providers in your area. You'll need to work with people who understand that you're a musician, and you need the most sophisticated treatment options you can get.


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Jonathan Baker] #2374558
01/17/15 12:08 AM
01/17/15 12:08 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,446
Philadelphia
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Derulux Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
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Philadelphia
Originally Posted by Jonathan Baker
Thirty minutes per day for a few weeks is more than ample abuse to the hands. And frequency is not the point - it only takes a wrong move just once to permanently injure the body.

I had a student who was an amateur boxer and who did serious harm to his hands through that sport. Boxing and piano technique are two activities that are incompatible, obviously.


Quote
The Goldman institute does good work addressing injuries caused by faulty hand/arm/body technique, but I doubt they specialize in injures caused by punching bags and door frames. They will bluntly tell you to stop that behavior and channel frustration in non-violent ways.

I would like to address these two statements, being that I probably have more expertise at at least one of them than anyone else here.

The first is false. In fact, there is quite a bit about boxing technique that translates well to piano. However, it is true that, done poorly, it can take only one injury to permanently sideline you.

The second, in my experience, is also false with regard to a healthy activity like boxing training (maybe less so punching doors). In fact, I won my 8th and 9th titles while training with a Taubman teacher.

The critical difference is proper training. Any idiot can hit a bag and break their hand. But if you've trained and conditioned properly, you're more likely to suffer an injury typing on a computer.


Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.
Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2375248
01/18/15 09:49 PM
01/18/15 09:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 11
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Brendan888 Offline OP
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Brendan888  Offline OP
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That might be the case, haha. I've been an avid user of the computer for years now, be it watching anime, chatting or playing games (usually the only time I leave my computer seat is to attend an appointment, eat, sleep, or use the bathroom). Starting about a month ago, I'm trying to give my hands more rest. I haven't been playing any games or using the computer as often. Been doing stretches and exercises advised by my OT and have picked up piano again. Though any octaves or scaling on the right hand is pretty hard to do because of my pinky.

Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2375871
01/20/15 12:06 PM
01/20/15 12:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
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laguna_greg  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
Brendan,

Has the MD ordered any kind of imaging? If yes, what does it show?

A very common RSI among pianists is stenosis of the synovial sheath that surrounds and protects the tendon. If it becomes inflamed or scarred sufficiently, it will interfere with the passage of the tendon. The condition is more commonly known as trigger finger, and it can make it impossible to straighten the finger entirely.

The MD or the OT can tell if you have this condition. Also, imaging studies of one kind or another will show what's really going on. X-rays don't necessarily unless they are done by a very fine tech..


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2378204
01/26/15 04:41 AM
01/26/15 04:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 11
B
Brendan888 Offline OP
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Brendan888  Offline OP
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Posts: 11
I've done X-rays, MRIs and PETs, I believe. But the doc hasn't mentioned anything wrong with them except for the MRIs.

Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2378454
01/26/15 07:49 PM
01/26/15 07:49 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
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laguna_greg  Offline
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Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
well the x-rays won't show anything wrong with the soft tissues unless they were done by a world-class tech.

The MRIs and the PETs will show everything.

If the doc comes back after the radiology report is finished and can't really tell you anything, or suggest a course of treatment, the best thing to do is to the pictures and get a second opinion from a really good ind med/occ med specialist, or a music medicine specialist if you can find one.

Does your OT have an opinion at this point?


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2378606
01/27/15 08:28 AM
01/27/15 08:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 11
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Brendan888 Offline OP
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Not that I know of, no. My OT's only been instructed to give me exercises that will strengthen my wrist and forearm muscles.
Doc's asking me to go through half a year of PT, which I honestly think is a bit excessive. She's said that the MRI does show a TFCC tear, but the tests she's done on my wrist don't suggest such.

Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2378648
01/27/15 10:49 AM
01/27/15 10:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
laguna_greg Offline
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laguna_greg  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,906
guess where in CA and WA
PTs and OTs are ALWAYS full of opinions. Ask if you haven't already.

6 months is A VERY LONG TIME for therapy. Have you asked the doc what they hope to accomplish with it?

If you really did strain/tear that complex of soft tissue, it can take a very long time to heal. Blood flow is poor in tendons, poorer still in ligaments, and even worse in cartilage. Which is why they take a long time to heal.

Nevertheless, I would be deeply, deeply concerned that NONE of your providers have given you a clear diagnosis, or are even in agreement with each other about the injury. Without a diagnosis, any treatment plan could miss the mark by a lot, and you just won't recover.

If you really do have some kind of boney or cartilaginous obstruction in that part of the wrist, it could explain why your pinky won't straighten. The tendons that lift and drop that finger have to pass above and below those structures in the wrist. Any sizable obstruction in that region would shorten the dropping (flexor) tendon, for example, and limit that finger's range of motion.

However, that should be obvious from the imaging.

Myself, I would keep shopping for a doc who could actually tell me what was going on. I also would not let them cut on me until 1- they could say what was going on, and surgery was the best option for it, or 2- it was my last resort.

Where are you located in the country?


Laguna Greg

1919 Mason & Hamlin AA
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/greg-dempster/34/325/6b9/ (my day job)
Re: Finger Can't Straighten [Re: Brendan888] #2379112
01/28/15 10:47 AM
01/28/15 10:47 AM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 529
Connecticut/Cincinnati
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computerpro3 Offline
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Joined: Nov 2004
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Connecticut/Cincinnati
This happened to me when I was in school, and since I was a piano major it was very scary. It was a combination of two things.

First, I was a stomach sleeper, and would sleep with my right hand under my pillow. The pressure from my head would be on my right pinky finger all night and prevent circulation from it. When I woke in the morning, I could not straighten my finger for hours.

Second, I was spending a lot of time in class and at my computer desk. What is the connection between the two? A lot of pressure was being placed on my right ulnar nerve in my elbow. When I was in class, I was leaning my head on my hand, supported by my elbow on the desk. When I was at home, the hard armrest of my computer chair was placing pressure on the same ulnar nerve.

I changed my sleeping style to my back, replaced my computer chair with one with a soft armrest, and stopped leaning on my elbow and my problem went completely away in a couple of weeks.

Google ulnar nerve and pinky finger - there is a good chance this is what is going on.

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