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Please Answer This One Question on Injuries #2926522 12/24/19 05:59 PM
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Brian Sweeney Offline OP
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I started playing about two years ago and after playing for one year I woke up one day to parts of my hands being numb, cold and mild pain. I had a lot of time on my hands so I probably overdid it, no pun intended and my teacher taught me to play using my fingers and not so much my arms. I had a EMG done and one doctor said I had carpel tunnel syndrome in one hand so I had surgery on one hand. That surgery was in retrospect a mistake since I had symptoms in both hands. I had PT, two acupuncturists, many doctors and now I'm seeing a well-known neurologist who's just sent me to a vascular specialist, ordered blood work and ordered an MRI of my brain.

I can't say it's gotten worse and I'm working with a great teacher, Andrew Kraus to undo my "technique" but about a month ago the symptoms started in my feet. My feet get so cold they become painful and I can't focus on anything. I've been to a neuro surgeon and had an MRI of my neck and he's ambivalent about doing surgery. I'm also doing Qi Gong and played with Feldenkraus a bit.

The question I have which nobody seems to be able to answer is this: Should I take some time off? I've taken ten days off twice but got no results. Thank you all very much! Brian

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Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2926529 12/24/19 06:50 PM
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Brian:

In my many years on PW, I have not encountered anyone with the symptoms and conditions that you describe. I think it would be presumptuous of anyone here, since you have seen specialists, to give any specific medical advice.

Since you are suggesting, yourself, that time off may be an option to ease the symptoms, all one can say is try it and see if it helps.

Best wishes in finding relief.

Regards,


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Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2926545 12/24/19 07:30 PM
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Agree with Bruce. Treating providers should guide this, not internet folks (I am in medicine but wouldn’t advise taking any advice here). Qualified professionals have the benefit of detailed history, physical exam findings, and appropriate test results. Best wishes!

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: dhull100] #2926561 12/24/19 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dhull100
Agree with Bruce. Treating providers should guide this, not internet folks (I am in medicine but wouldn’t advise taking any advice here). Qualified professionals have the benefit of detailed history, physical exam findings, and appropriate test results. Best wishes!


+2 Listen to your doctors/providers.



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Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2926563 12/24/19 08:35 PM
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Jethro Offline
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Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
I started playing about two years ago and after playing for one year I woke up one day to parts of my hands being numb, cold and mild pain. I had a lot of time on my hands so I probably overdid it, no pun intended and my teacher taught me to play using my fingers and not so much my arms. I had a EMG done and one doctor said I had carpel tunnel syndrome in one hand so I had surgery on one hand. That surgery was in retrospect a mistake since I had symptoms in both hands. I had PT, two acupuncturists, many doctors and now I'm seeing a well-known neurologist who's just sent me to a vascular specialist, ordered blood work and ordered an MRI of my brain.

I can't say it's gotten worse and I'm working with a great teacher, Andrew Kraus to undo my "technique" but about a month ago the symptoms started in my feet. My feet get so cold they become painful and I can't focus on anything. I've been to a neuro surgeon and had an MRI of my neck and he's ambivalent about doing surgery. I'm also doing Qi Gong and played with Feldenkraus a bit.

The question I have which nobody seems to be able to answer is this: Should I take some time off? I've taken ten days off twice but got no results. Thank you all very much! Brian

Hi Brian I know you are looking for answers and I agree with the others. Some of us in our professional lives may be able to and would desire to help you but this is not the proper place. It is discouraging that you in fact listened to your doctors and may have undergone an unnecessary and invasive medical procedure. It happens far far too many times. If you saw what many of us in healthcare witness I don’t know if I would trust the healthcare system. But that said do listen to your doctors especially the neurologist and get second opinions before any invasive procedure. They are still beyond a doubt your best option.

Last edited by Jethro; 12/24/19 08:36 PM.

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Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Jethro] #2926583 12/24/19 10:31 PM
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Thanks you all but I don't believe the doctors know what they're talking about at this point. Several doctors told me I can continue to play and several told me to stop so go figure. I'm at a loss for words.

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2926588 12/24/19 11:11 PM
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Just listen to your body then and start slow. If no pain go ahead and play to your hearts content. If pain then stop. Playing the piano is the least of your concerns. Follow up with your neurologist and do what he asks you to do. For now just enjoy the holidays!


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Schumann/Liszt Widmung

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Kawai VPC-1
Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2926599 12/25/19 01:58 AM
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Do whatever makes your symptoms better and avoid whatever makes them worse, it's that simple.

May I ask you, when you feel extreme cold in your extremities do you at the same time feel increased warmth in your head?

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2926612 12/25/19 03:55 AM
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Maybe I missed it, but I don’t see the connection between playing piano and your symptoms?

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2926705 12/25/19 10:52 AM
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I agree with everyone here that medical advice is best dispensed not over the Internet but rather by your own doctor, assuming you have one whom you feel you can trust. I myself am a retired physician, and some of your symptoms sound like they COULD be Raynaud’s syndrome. Are there any changes in color of your fingers or toes along with your other symptoms? I’m not saying that’s what you have, as I couldn’t possibly make that determination over the internet without examining you, taking a detailed history, running tests, etc. But I bring up Raynaud’s only to suggest that you be sure that one of your doctors has already ruled that out (which I suspect they already have).

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Jethro] #2926772 12/25/19 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jethro
Just listen to your body then and start slow. If no pain go ahead and play to your hearts content. If pain then stop. Playing the piano is the least of your concerns. Follow up with your neurologist and do what he asks you to do. For now just enjoy the holidays!


I stopped playing for ten days twice and one week twice and it didn't have any effect on the symptoms. I backed way off on practice, went from ten to sixteen hours a day to about two so go figure. Thank you and happy holidays.

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: SMA55] #2926773 12/25/19 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by SMA55
I agree with everyone here that medical advice is best dispensed not over the Internet but rather by your own doctor, assuming you have one whom you feel you can trust. I myself am a retired physician, and some of your symptoms sound like they COULD be Raynaud’s syndrome. Are there any changes in color of your fingers or toes along with your other symptoms? I’m not saying that’s what you have, as I couldn’t possibly make that determination over the internet without examining you, taking a detailed history, running tests, etc. But I bring up Raynaud’s only to suggest that you be sure that one of your doctors has already ruled that out (which I suspect they already have).


No, no discoloration of my hands and at this point I don't trust any of them. I had three surgeries that went south in the last ten years, two were unnecessary and one doctor cut my vocal chord so I couldn't speak for 14 months seriously limiting my ability in my sales job. He told me I wouldn't get my voice back but when I went to another doctor for something completely unrelated he told me just to take an over the counter med called Prilosec and my voice came back in a week. Turns out the surgery on my hands was unnecessary too. Now my neurologist has sent me to a vascular specialist and blood work and an MRI of my brain. I'm getting pretty sick of the crap. I was hoping another pianist that's been injured had some advice.

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Iaroslav Vasiliev] #2926775 12/25/19 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Do whatever makes your symptoms better and avoid whatever makes them worse, it's that simple.

May I ask you, when you feel extreme cold in your extremities do you at the same time feel increased warmth in your head?


No, no nothing in my head except it may be empty. Thank you.

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2926832 12/25/19 06:26 PM
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"went from ten to sixteen hours a day to about two"

Seriously, something is wrong with you.

Get a complete rest in bed for one week and then have a doctor see what's actually up with you. I suspect that all the physical constraints have an origin you may not expect.

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2927194 12/27/19 07:55 AM
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Brian,

I would strongly suggest that you look up Dr. John Sarno's work. His book: "The Divided Mind" might very well clue you in to exactly what is going on and give you the tools to correct it.

https://youtu.be/p20QhBz-Tik

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 12/27/19 07:57 AM.

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Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2927706 12/28/19 07:09 PM
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I know for certain I have had shoulder pain that may have started off as muscular
and ended up being made far worse after my doctor told me I had "frozen shoulder"
and nothing could be done !
Do not laugh, but what actually cured it was buying a new handbag and a new pillow !
The pain seemed to be irritated by having a bag (purse) with a strap hanging from that
shoulder.For a while I just used a carry bag .The new pillow helped me sleep better .
My sleep had been badly affected by the pain.
I had been living on pain relievers such as Tylenol for Arthritis.
Everything actually became much worse after I was diagnosed as having chronic "frozen
shoulder" ???
So I still.do not understand? However I am now well !
Please do not think that we do not appreciate your pain. Yours may not have been magnified
by your mind as mine was ! It may be more physical.

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: P W Grey] #2928061 12/29/19 10:02 PM
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Brian Sweeney Offline OP
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Thank you, I read his book "Healing Back Pain" years ago and attended his lectures at NYU Hospital. He helped me tremendously. He was a great man indeed. It's beginning to look like a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Brian Sweeney] #2928072 12/29/19 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Do not laugh, but what actually cured it was buying a new handbag and a new pillow !

Glad the new handbag and pillow helped, Lady Bird. My late wife's grandmother always used to say that a new handbag and a new hair-do would give a woman a new outlook on life. smile

Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
Thank you, I read his book "Healing Back Pain" years ago and attended his lectures at NYU Hospital. He helped me tremendously. He was a great man indeed. It's beginning to look like a vitamin B12 deficiency.


Brian, I hope the vitamin B12 supplement will help solve the issues you are having.

A few years ago, I was waking up in the morning and my little finger, and ring finger on my left hand were numb feeling. It would get better on in the day, but it worried me and I scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. I also did some research online, and learned that it could be irritation of the ulnar nerve that comes down from the shoulder to the hand.

The Dr. x rayed my left shoulder and elbow and said everything look okay, and I was irritating the ulnar nerve in my elbow by sleeping with my arms folded. He said I needed to try and sleep with my arms straight, and there was a special brace I could wear if needed, to keep my arm straight when I slept. He also said if the problem persists, he could do surgery and move the ulnar nerve to another location at my elbow. That was NOT something I was interested in.

So, I've learned to keep my arms as straight as possible when I sleep at night. I still get the symptoms if I bend my arm at night while I sleep, but the symptoms are not as bad as they were previously. I guess when we get older, we have ailments we have to deal with.

I have never noticed any pain or discomfort whatsoever while playing the piano, ever. So, I guess my technique, although probably not proper, is not harmful either.

All the best!

Rick



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Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: Rickster] #2928198 12/30/19 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Do not laugh, but what actually cured it was buying a new handbag and a new pillow !

Glad the new handbag and pillow helped, Lady Bird. My late wife's grandmother always used to say that a new handbag and a new hair-do would give a woman a new outlook on life. smile

Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
Thank you, I read his book "Healing Back Pain" years ago and attended his lectures at NYU Hospital. He helped me tremendously. He was a great man indeed. It's beginning to look like a vitamin B12 deficiency.


Brian, I hope the vitamin B12 supplement will help solve the issues you are having.

A few years ago, I was waking up in the morning and my little finger, and ring finger on my left hand were numb feeling. It would get better on in the day, but it worried me and I scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. I also did some research online, and learned that it could be irritation of the ulnar nerve that comes down from the shoulder to the hand.

The Dr. x rayed my left shoulder and elbow and said everything look okay, and I was irritating the ulnar nerve in my elbow by sleeping with my arms folded. He said I needed to try and sleep with my arms straight, and there was a special brace I could wear if needed, to keep my arm straight when I slept. He also said if the problem persists, he could do surgery and move the ulnar nerve to another location at my elbow. That was NOT something I was interested in.

So, I've learned to keep my arms as straight as possible when I sleep at night. I still get the symptoms if I bend my arm at night while I sleep, but the symptoms are not as bad as they were previously. I guess when we get older, we have ailments we have to deal with.

I have never noticed any pain or discomfort whatsoever while playing the piano, ever. So, I guess my technique, although probably not proper, is not harmful either.

All the best!

Rick



Besides the emotional lift of carrying a new handbag, people who carry handbags, messenger bags, brief cases and backpacks start overstuffing the bags and develop back and shoulder injuries over time. One of the easiest fixes is to buy a much smaller bag and make sure it stays light. Better for our backs and shoulders for sure. I’d guess that’s why LadyBird’s new purse combined with a new pillow for sleeping did the trick. grin


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Re: Please Answer This One Question on Injuries [Re: j&j] #2928218 12/30/19 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by j&j
Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Do not laugh, but what actually cured it was buying a new handbag and a new pillow !

Glad the new handbag and pillow helped, Lady Bird. My late wife's grandmother always used to say that a new handbag and a new hair-do would give a woman a new outlook on life. smile

Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney
Thank you, I read his book "Healing Back Pain" years ago and attended his lectures at NYU Hospital. He helped me tremendously. He was a great man indeed. It's beginning to look like a vitamin B12 deficiency.


Brian, I hope the vitamin B12 supplement will help solve the issues you are having.

A few years ago, I was waking up in the morning and my little finger, and ring finger on my left hand were numb feeling. It would get better on in the day, but it worried me and I scheduled an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. I also did some research online, and learned that it could be irritation of the ulnar nerve that comes down from the shoulder to the hand.

The Dr. x rayed my left shoulder and elbow and said everything look okay, and I was irritating the ulnar nerve in my elbow by sleeping with my arms folded. He said I needed to try and sleep with my arms straight, and there was a special brace I could wear if needed, to keep my arm straight when I slept. He also said if the problem persists, he could do surgery and move the ulnar nerve to another location at my elbow. That was NOT something I was interested in.

So, I've learned to keep my arms as straight as possible when I sleep at night. I still get the symptoms if I bend my arm at night while I sleep, but the symptoms are not as bad as they were previously. I guess when we get older, we have ailments we have to deal with.

I have never noticed any pain or discomfort whatsoever while playing the piano, ever. So, I guess my technique, although probably not proper, is not harmful either.

All the best!

Rick



Besides the emotional lift of carrying a new handbag, people who carry handbags, messenger bags, brief cases and backpacks start overstuffing the bags and develop back and shoulder injuries over time. One of the easiest fixes is to buy a much smaller bag and make sure it stays light. Better for our backs and shoulders for sure. I’d guess that’s why LadyBird’s new purse combined with a new pillow for sleeping did the trick. grin



I had a similar issue with my wallet in my back pocket. I switched the wallet to the other pocket, and the pain went away and has not come back in over a year.



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