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Posted By: sammyplayspiano Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/01/20 08:53 PM
Hey everyone! So a about a month and a half ago, I started experiencing wrist pain while playing, this was sometimes accompanied by a pins and needles feeling in my fingers. I ignored it for a bit and tried to play through it but it became rather painful not only while playing but also just generally sore throughout the day, even if I didn't play piano that day. Some internet research and a minute clinic visit later, I've discovered I probably have some sort of repetitive stress injury and not carpal tunnel. The doctor recommended cutting down on or stopping the activity causing pain.

So I've taken about a two week break from all instruments piano, guitar, and clarinet. Wrist soreness will pop back up occasionally but for the most part it's a lot better. I've tried to play the piano a few times during this break only for like max 5 minutes. As soon as I do though, the pain in my wrists returns nearly immediately so I stop.

My question here would be has anybody here had a similar experience? How long should I wait for returning to the piano? Do you guys have any advice on how to make this pain go away? Do I need to be doing some kind of wrist exercises?

Sorry for the long post, but I really want to get back to playing so I would like some advice.

TD;LR my wrists hurt so I took a break from piano, is this a common issue here? How long should I wait before returning?
Posted By: Sidokar Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/01/20 09:21 PM
I have never had issues related to piano but i did have various injuries with running and mountaineering. I think it is impossible to say how long. There is no set timeframe. Only your physician with exams could be more specific. It can very short or it could take several months to heel. Mine were minor stress injuries which went away with massage and complete rest after a few weeks.

How to make it go away. Well rest is the most effective way, as far as medical treatment or other exercices, my advice is that the last thing you want to do is follow advices from people you know nothing about coming from a forum. Depending on the kind of injury, there may be apropriate medical treatment and or ad hoc exercices but again that can be only prescribed by a physician. Otherwise you run into the risk of making it even worse. If you dont know, the best is to rest a lot and do occasionally a very light practice.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/01/20 11:59 PM
1.Consult with a physician. Follow the doctor's recommendations to heal.

2. After you are better (and only after you are better), consider working with a piano teacher trained in something like Alexander technique to learn how to play without injury.

Be kind to your hands, you will need them for the rest of your life!
Posted By: sammyplayspiano Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 12:11 AM
Originally Posted by Sidokar
I have never had issues related to piano but i did have various injuries with running and mountaineering. I think it is impossible to say how long. There is no set timeframe. Only your physician with exams could be more specific. It can very short or it could take several months to heel. Mine were minor stress injuries which went away with massage and complete rest after a few weeks.

How to make it go away. Well rest is the most effective way, as far as medical treatment or other exercices, my advice is that the last thing you want to do is follow advices from people you know nothing about coming from a forum. Depending on the kind of injury, there may be apropriate medical treatment and or ad hoc exercices but again that can be only prescribed by a physician. Otherwise you run into the risk of making it even worse. If you dont know, the best is to rest a lot and do occasionally a very light practice.

Yeah I intent to listen to the doctor's advice of resting. They didn't give me a time span though, they were just like "cut down on playing". I haven't gone to a physician because I imagine that would be quite expensive. And as far as posting on here I just wanted to see if anybody had any similar situations and how long it took for them to get back to playing. I will definitely take any medical advice from here with a grain of salt like you said.
Posted By: Iaroslav Vasiliev Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 01:46 AM
I'm sorry to say it, but in most cases this thing doesn't just heal. It requires movements retraining and without that it may return indefinitely. Many things were written about it, and there are piano teachers who specialize in that retraining. It may be worth searching for one of them in your area.

If you are not advanced yet, the most important point to understand is how crucial it is to keep wrists relaxed when playing piano and how really relaxed they must be. I think many people underestimate the necessary degree of this relaxation. That degree is beyond what we need for our everyday activities and beyond what is required for sports. For piano wrists must be very, very relaxed and flexible. Wrists relaxation is something that requires every day work, it's that important.


About time span for healing I guess it's all individual. You know there are stories among pianists like, 'I tried technique X and I was healed immediately'. And others say it required them a few months of rest and then half a year of retraining. The latter stories I trust more.
Posted By: Stephan.L Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 05:18 AM
Qigong
I don't know if this will help you but maybe give it a try a few weeks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNLReAiKJZY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL2-7wxZdB0
exercise at 8:30 explained at 2:00
He has many good videos
Posted By: Sidokar Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 08:45 AM
Originally Posted by sammyplayspiano
Yeah I intent to listen to the doctor's advice of resting. They didn't give me a time span though, they were just like "cut down on playing". I haven't gone to a physician because I imagine that would be quite expensive. And as far as posting on here I just wanted to see if anybody had any similar situations and how long it took for them to get back to playing. I will definitely take any medical advice from here with a grain of salt like you said.

I think it really depends on the individual and the cause of the injury. Some people are more prone to injury, it can be due to overtraining, or a wrong repetitive position and mouvements or unhapilly for them just their physical limits. Iaroslav gave you some really sound ideas. For example even a pianist like Lang Lang got injured (of course he is playing much more than you do, but he was also professionally trained) and it took him over a year to heal. You have to see with a piano specialist if indeed some corrective actions can help.
Posted By: sammyplayspiano Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 03:09 PM
Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
I'm sorry to say it, but in most cases this thing doesn't just heal. It requires movements retraining and without that it may return indefinitely. Many things were written about it, and there are piano teachers who specialize in that retraining. It may be worth searching for one of them in your area.

If you are not advanced yet, the most important point to understand is how crucial it is to keep wrists relaxed when playing piano and how really relaxed they must be. I think many people underestimate the necessary degree of this relaxation. That degree is beyond what we need for our everyday activities and beyond what is required for sports. For piano wrists must be very, very relaxed and flexible. Wrists relaxation is something that requires every day work, it's that important.


About time span for healing I guess it's all individual. You know there are stories among pianists like, 'I tried technique X and I was healed immediately'. And others say it required them a few months of rest and then half a year of retraining. The latter stories I trust more.

Yeah that is honestly a very scary thought that it might never go away. I am certainly not advanced, I had been practicing for about 3 hours straight for a few months however so maybe that had something to do with it? Wrist relaxation is something I can try to work on when I get back to playing. But for now I'm going to continue to rest I'm thinking maybe 3-4 weeks and then seeing where I am from there.
Posted By: Jethro Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 03:56 PM
You never mentioned if you had a teacher or not. If not, try your best to work with a good teacher. Your technique, sitting position, unnecessary tension may be contributing to your condition. I would rest your hands/wrists until you know longer feel pain and work with a physical therapist preferably a hand therapist to treat your symptoms.
Posted By: sammyplayspiano Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 04:48 PM
Originally Posted by Jethro
You never mentioned if you had a teacher or not. If not, try your best to work with a good teacher. Your technique, sitting position, unnecessary tension may be contributing to your condition. I would rest your hands/wrists until you know longer feel pain and work with a physical therapist preferably a hand therapist to treat your symptoms.

No I do not currently have a teacher. Gauging by what the doctor as well as everybody on here has said, rest seems to be the best option. I do not want to risk permanent damage to my hands or wrist so I will do that. I am however, worried about getting behind on my playing.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 05:34 PM
Sammy
You really can’t worry about getting behind on playing— a break will really not slow you down. Just get well.

When you restart, limit your practice time, avoid extended practice on the same movement and stop with any sign of pain
Posted By: BruceD Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 05:35 PM
I think that the real way to a solution is to consult with a specialist who can see what you are doing as you play and who, as a result, can perhaps detect what you are doing wrong to cause this kind of pain, if, indeed, it is a question of bad technique.

Asking advice from Internet unknowns can in some cases be a risky move; each individual is different and there can be so many variables contributing to each case that (in my opinion) only a specialist should be consulted to diagnose the cause and recommend treatment.

That said, I sincerely wish you luck in finding the source of the problem and in finding a solution.

Regards,
Posted By: jdw Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/02/20 05:49 PM
I agree with Bruce that you'll need expert observation of your playing (after you've taken the rest you need). However, the specialist knowledge of how to move without injury at the piano is not something that physicians study. Even a specialist in musicians' injuries, whom I consulted when I had RSI, had no idea about this, though he knew how to do hand surgery.

When you're ready to get back to playing, I'd suggest you consult with the folks at the Golandsky Institute, who teach the Taubman approach to ergonomic playing. For me anyway, medical help, physical therapy, etc., could only get me to the point of easing the pain when at rest. To actually play the piano without pain, I needed a Taubman teacher.
Posted By: sammyplayspiano Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/07/20 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by BruceD
I think that the real way to a solution is to consult with a specialist who can see what you are doing as you play and who, as a result, can perhaps detect what you are doing wrong to cause this kind of pain, if, indeed, it is a question of bad technique.

Asking advice from Internet unknowns can in some cases be a risky move; each individual is different and there can be so many variables contributing to each case that (in my opinion) only a specialist should be consulted to diagnose the cause and recommend treatment.

That said, I sincerely wish you luck in finding the source of the problem and in finding a solution.

Regards,

I'm so sorry for the late response. I am very glad this many people have answered. When I posted this I honestly though I was going to get MAYBE one response. I agree that asking for advice can be a risky move, I just wanted to see if anybody maybe had a similar experience.

I did go to a doctor but I haven't been to a specialist of any kind. My insurance is not great and if I went to a physician I would likely be paying out of pocket. So I don't know how monetarily realistic of a solution that is for me at this time. But, that being said it is definitely something worth looking into. And again thank you for your response!
Posted By: sammyplayspiano Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/07/20 10:36 PM
Originally Posted by jdw
I agree with Bruce that you'll need expert observation of your playing (after you've taken the rest you need). However, the specialist knowledge of how to move without injury at the piano is not something that physicians study. Even a specialist in musicians' injuries, whom I consulted when I had RSI, had no idea about this, though he knew how to do hand surgery.

When you're ready to get back to playing, I'd suggest you consult with the folks at the Golandsky Institute, who teach the Taubman approach to ergonomic playing. For me anyway, medical help, physical therapy, etc., could only get me to the point of easing the pain when at rest. To actually play the piano without pain, I needed a Taubman teacher.

What you said about physicians not knowing how to treat that injury is worrying. The doctor I went to said I probably had overuse syndrome, which I believe is a synonym for RSI although I'm not 100% positive. I will definitely look into the Golandsky Institute, but as I stated in a previous comment, my health insurance isn't great and I would likely have to pay out of pocket for any expenses. But I will try and keep you updated on what I end up doing.
Posted By: Jethro Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/08/20 01:13 PM
Originally Posted by sammyplayspiano
Originally Posted by jdw
I agree with Bruce that you'll need expert observation of your playing (after you've taken the rest you need). However, the specialist knowledge of how to move without injury at the piano is not something that physicians study. Even a specialist in musicians' injuries, whom I consulted when I had RSI, had no idea about this, though he knew how to do hand surgery.

When you're ready to get back to playing, I'd suggest you consult with the folks at the Golandsky Institute, who teach the Taubman approach to ergonomic playing. For me anyway, medical help, physical therapy, etc., could only get me to the point of easing the pain when at rest. To actually play the piano without pain, I needed a Taubman teacher.

What you said about physicians not knowing how to treat that injury is worrying. The doctor I went to said I probably had overuse syndrome, which I believe is a synonym for RSI although I'm not 100% positive. I will definitely look into the Golandsky Institute, but as I stated in a previous comment, my health insurance isn't great and I would likely have to pay out of pocket for any expenses. But I will try and keep you updated on what I end up doing.
No overuse syndrome is exactly what it means. Overuse. I call it repetitive overuse syndrome which is typically the precursor to most tendinitis. Just rest your wrist/hand, ice it down if it flares up, work with a physical therapist or hand therapist who will be the providers the "specialist" will refer to you anyway. Then most importantly get a good teacher.
Posted By: Jethro Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/08/20 01:23 PM
I actually treated a student from Eastman College with elbow wrist tendinitis from repetitive overuse. He was trying out a new technique but he attempted it too fast, too soon, too often training up to 9 hours a day and we had to have him take an entire semester off. It took 6 months of physical therapy before he was able to return and I had him start up his routine slowly writing down how many minutes he was practicing and gradually ramping up his routine. I specifically asked him to work with his teachers to analyze his technique when he was playing. I can't give you any other advice as I can't see exactly what's going on but you need to work with a therapist and your teacher who I hope knows what he/she is doing.
Posted By: sammyplayspiano Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/08/20 11:11 PM
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by sammyplayspiano
Originally Posted by jdw
I agree with Bruce that you'll need expert observation of your playing (after you've taken the rest you need). However, the specialist knowledge of how to move without injury at the piano is not something that physicians study. Even a specialist in musicians' injuries, whom I consulted when I had RSI, had no idea about this, though he knew how to do hand surgery.

When you're ready to get back to playing, I'd suggest you consult with the folks at the Golandsky Institute, who teach the Taubman approach to ergonomic playing. For me anyway, medical help, physical therapy, etc., could only get me to the point of easing the pain when at rest. To actually play the piano without pain, I needed a Taubman teacher.

What you said about physicians not knowing how to treat that injury is worrying. The doctor I went to said I probably had overuse syndrome, which I believe is a synonym for RSI although I'm not 100% positive. I will definitely look into the Golandsky Institute, but as I stated in a previous comment, my health insurance isn't great and I would likely have to pay out of pocket for any expenses. But I will try and keep you updated on what I end up doing.
No overuse syndrome is exactly what it means. Overuse. I call it repetitive overuse syndrome which is typically the precursor to most tendinitis. Just rest your wrist/hand, ice it down if it flares up, work with a physical therapist or hand therapist who will be the providers the "specialist" will refer to you anyway. Then most importantly get a good teacher.

Oh okay. That honestly makes me feel a little bit better, everything I've online read about piano playing and RSI was very bleak. So I am glad that RSI and overuse are too different things. None the less painful. I've been off the piano for over two weeks at this point. However as of very recently my wrists have been stinging just from using my computer. I definitely regret not being more careful with my practicing, taking breaks, stretching, etc. I feel quite stupid about it actually, the teacher I did have always told me to do those exact things and I never did.

I've said this a few times on the forum I don't know if I can afford a psychical therapist at the moment, although it's something I will look into. Thank you very much for your response. I will definitely be looking into getting a teacher once I start playing again as that would seem to be the cheapest method to learning how to not injury myself again.
Posted By: Jethro Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/09/20 12:55 AM
Originally Posted by sammyplayspiano
Originally Posted by Jethro
Originally Posted by sammyplayspiano
Originally Posted by jdw
I agree with Bruce that you'll need expert observation of your playing (after you've taken the rest you need). However, the specialist knowledge of how to move without injury at the piano is not something that physicians study. Even a specialist in musicians' injuries, whom I consulted when I had RSI, had no idea about this, though he knew how to do hand surgery.

When you're ready to get back to playing, I'd suggest you consult with the folks at the Golandsky Institute, who teach the Taubman approach to ergonomic playing. For me anyway, medical help, physical therapy, etc., could only get me to the point of easing the pain when at rest. To actually play the piano without pain, I needed a Taubman teacher.

What you said about physicians not knowing how to treat that injury is worrying. The doctor I went to said I probably had overuse syndrome, which I believe is a synonym for RSI although I'm not 100% positive. I will definitely look into the Golandsky Institute, but as I stated in a previous comment, my health insurance isn't great and I would likely have to pay out of pocket for any expenses. But I will try and keep you updated on what I end up doing.
No overuse syndrome is exactly what it means. Overuse. I call it repetitive overuse syndrome which is typically the precursor to most tendinitis. Just rest your wrist/hand, ice it down if it flares up, work with a physical therapist or hand therapist who will be the providers the "specialist" will refer to you anyway. Then most importantly get a good teacher.

Oh okay. That honestly makes me feel a little bit better, everything I've online read about piano playing and RSI was very bleak. So I am glad that RSI and overuse are too different things. None the less painful. I've been off the piano for over two weeks at this point. However as of very recently my wrists have been stinging just from using my computer. I definitely regret not being more careful with my practicing, taking breaks, stretching, etc. I feel quite stupid about it actually, the teacher I did have always told me to do those exact things and I never did.

I've said this a few times on the forum I don't know if I can afford a psychical therapist at the moment, although it's something I will look into. Thank you very much for your response. I will definitely be looking into getting a teacher once I start playing again as that would seem to be the cheapest method to learning how to not injury myself again.
My apologies I should correct something. I thought you wrote RSD which can be debilitating, but RSI which stands for repetitive stress injury is the same as an injury that is caused by overuse. They are synonymous terms that cover a wide gamut of injuries from tendinitis, to bursitis, to tenosynovitis, to trigger finger etc... Basically any kind of injury caused by repetitive overuse. But these stress injuries can be mild, treatable and non-debilitating but if not corrected and/or treated early can become debilitating. So take these types of injuries seriously at rest, ice, stretch, correct the improper biomechanics and proceed slowly in whatever endeavor may be causing you pain.
Posted By: sammyplayspiano Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/13/20 07:19 PM
An update for anybody that is interested enough to read it. It's been almost an entire month since I've taken a break for piano and instrument playing of any kind. This morning I decided to play the bass just for a very short amount of time, 10 maybe at most 15 minutes. I soaked my hands in warm water and stretched before hand and it felt very mildly sore after playing, but this has been a typical amount of soreness for the last few weeks. So I didn't think it was an issue. However a few hours later while I was reading my right hand was suddenly very painful, the most painful it's been in a several weeks. To describe the pain it was an intense stinging soreness that started in my wrist and shot through my whole hand. It lasted for about 5 minutes and then subsided to a much less intense dull ache that is continuing even now.

I'm considering going back to the doctor because that was extremely unpleasant and I'm not sure what could have provoked it. I spent a good bit of time on the computer so maybe that's why? I am wondering if the very little bass playing I did caused that?

I appreciate everyone that took the time to respond to my post. This situation is honestly really starting to worry me as this wrist problem is starting to feel like it could be more serve than I initially thought it was. I am kicking myself so hard this point for what seems like an issue that could have been preventable had I just stretched and taken breaks whenever I played for longer periods of time. Extremely frustrating to say the least.
Posted By: Sidokar Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 12:30 PM
Sorry to hear that. Thats one issue when practising physical activities, which is that it is difficult to know at which point it might create a real injury. And it varies so much by individual ! Take care and I wish you a quick recovery. Regards.
Posted By: dogperson Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 12:38 PM
Hi Sammy
I hope you will go back to your doctor— and hopefully get a specialist referral.
I can only begin to imagine how disappointed you are as I know I would be. Please take care of yourself and let us know how you’re doing
Posted By: Ido Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 12:41 PM
Sammy, I've had a very similar experience - I played other instruments, no problem whatsoever, use computers a lot - then tried the piano and in three months time my hands were ruined.

It took me 5 teachers + Alexander technique + a lot of time to be able to play again. And still, almost 4 years later, my hands and arms are still super sensitive, so I must pay careful attention to my technique all the time. I simply cannot afford to play with sloppy technique.

Iaroslav Vasiliev was correct (as usual) - you'll need to re-program your brain to move your body correctly. You can rest for a year and the pain will still come back as soon as you start playing, because you will be doing the same wrong movements. You'll need to find a piano teacher to guide you through the very basics of movement, in a very gradual manner. Use every book you can can about technique to deepen your knowledge, but don't do it without a teacher.

Most teachers will not suffice in this case. So don't stop looking for the right teacher. Only the fifth teacher I tried was able to put me on track.

Good luck and best wishes!
Posted By: Jethro Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 01:02 PM
Originally Posted by sammyplayspiano
An update for anybody that is interested enough to read it. It's been almost an entire month since I've taken a break for piano and instrument playing of any kind. This morning I decided to play the bass just for a very short amount of time, 10 maybe at most 15 minutes. I soaked my hands in warm water and stretched before hand and it felt very mildly sore after playing, but this has been a typical amount of soreness for the last few weeks. So I didn't think it was an issue. However a few hours later while I was reading my right hand was suddenly very painful, the most painful it's been in a several weeks. To describe the pain it was an intense stinging soreness that started in my wrist and shot through my whole hand. It lasted for about 5 minutes and then subsided to a much less intense dull ache that is continuing even now.

I'm considering going back to the doctor because that was extremely unpleasant and I'm not sure what could have provoked it. I spent a good bit of time on the computer so maybe that's why? I am wondering if the very little bass playing I did caused that?

I appreciate everyone that took the time to respond to my post. This situation is honestly really starting to worry me as this wrist problem is starting to feel like it could be more serve than I initially thought it was. I am kicking myself so hard this point for what seems like an issue that could have been preventable had I just stretched and taken breaks whenever I played for longer periods of time. Extremely frustrating to say the least.
Sammy, please get a referral from your doctor to a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT).

https://www.htcc.org/

These therapists can treat your hand as well as fabricate any custom splints you may need in your recovery.
Posted By: ErfurtBob Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 01:07 PM
This maybe not relevant, but maybe it is. If the pain comes from using the computer, then it's usually the using of the mouse that's the problem. I have had mild pain from mouse-usage (I have been working on computers for over 30 years), and I changed to a trackball which really helped. At some time I didn't have a trackball and I started to use the mouse with my other hand. It's take a short time of getting used to, but it also helped.
Is the pain only in one hand, and is it the hand that you use the mouse with?

I remember a video on the forum where it was plain to see that somebody was using way too much tension in his / her hands while playing the piano. Maybe if you post a short video of your hands while playing, then somebody will be able to spot if may be there is something wrong with your technique. (It would be way better if a teacher were to have look in real-life, but if that's not possible, then this is probably the next best thing.)
Posted By: joggerjazz Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 01:12 PM
Not sure if this was mentioned, but have you gone to a physical therapist for hands?
Decades ago I hurt both my wrists in separate events on a job. They had special equipment with heat and massage after each session. Felt very good. Had splint to wear, but eventually got better. There is scar tissue there that acts up if I impinge it. Days of traditional pushups were over. But I am able to play piano without wrist pain.

I would imagine the material has an effect. i.e. Playing a Chopin Polanaise can be trying at times.
Good luck on your recovery.
Posted By: Jethro Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 01:20 PM
As much as I support good teachers they are not qualified or licensed for that matter to treat the kind of injury you are describing. It can become chronic and more serious if you don't take care of it now. Stop playing your instruments and work with the medical team first. Have your doctor refer you to a physical therapist or much preferably a certified hand therapist who can be either a physical therapist or occupational therapist who specializes in hands. That's where they get that extra certification- there's extra training involved specific to the hands as well as several thousand hours training under a mentor.

There are different levels of treatment available for this. The doctor could inject cortisone and follow up with therapy. Or you could go completely conservative with just therapy, splinting, or combination of modalities including ultrasound phonophoresis or iontophoresis with dexamethasone, exercises, stretches, manual therapy etc. But you need an evaluation first to figure out which tendons are involved and then go from there.
Posted By: Ido Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 01:33 PM
Originally Posted by Jethro
As much as I support good teachers they are not qualified or licensed for that matter to treat the kind of injury you are describing. It can become chronic and more serious if you don't take care of it now. Stop playing your instruments and work with the medical team first. Have your doctor refer you to a physical therapist or much preferably a certified hand therapist who can be either a physical therapist or occupational therapist who specializes in hands. That's where they get that extra certification- there's extra training involved specific to the hands as well as several thousand hours training under a mentor.

There are different levels of treatment available for this. The doctor could inject cortisone and follow up with therapy. Or you could go completely conservative with just therapy, splinting, or combination of modalities including ultrasound phonophoresis or iontophoresis with dexamethasone, exercises, stretches, manual therapy etc. But you need an evaluation first to figure out which tendons are involved and then go from there.

This is a valid advice. What I suggested should take place after this procedure is done, when the picture is clearer and the injury is treated.
Posted By: newer player Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 02:48 PM
Given all your symptoms, I would see a hand specialist that has experience with pianists ASAP. Even if you have rotten health insurance. You don't want to cripple yourself with sub-standard health care or self-diagnosis. Personally, I would try to avoid surgery if at all possible.

Following your doctor's orders, you might avail yourself of physical therapy experts. And you might completely re-evaluate your use of of musical instruments, computers, smartphones, etc.

I had wrist arm pain from piano. A Golandsky teacher helped me sort that out and rework my technique. It took several months of rest and very slow return to the piano.

Golandsky has some videos on bad smartphone & computer use you might find on youtube; these electronics could be contributing factors to your issues. There are ergonomic keyboards and mice. You can also look at the US government's propaganda

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/positions.html
Posted By: D959 Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/14/20 06:21 PM
Yikes.

Make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist ASAP. Sounds like something with the median nerve. So many things could have caused this and it's IMPERATIVE that you go get this looked at earlier than later. That's your best chance of avoiding surgery.

Also, when you're healed, find a teacher who specializes in the Alexander and/or Taubman method. I had some RSI issues for a while and it was completely solved by minor adjustments to my piano playing movements. I'm sure there are plenty of other techniques out there as well, but my experience has been with Taubman and some Alexander so I can only speak for those.

On the positive side, even if you do have a mild to moderate case of carpal tunnel syndrome that persists after conservative treatments, the surgery success rates are higher than ever.

Good luck to you! Hope it's nothing too serious!
Posted By: kevin5540 Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 10/15/20 11:45 PM
You might want to consider a wrist brace when sleeping, one of the softer ones designed for nighttime. Many people tend to curl their hands and wrists when sleeping. And even though that's not the cause, it could exacerbate an existing issue.
Posted By: Kvar Re: Wrist pain hand numbness - 11/06/20 09:09 AM
Hi,
I have also overused my tendons. Unfortunately, it is not easy to go back to normal fast.
I cannot play "challenging" pieces for 8 months now smile
oh well...
That's life.
Unfortunately, in my case it was a careless teacher.

I have never encountered this problem on my own.
Noentheless, trauma is trauma, it's what you have to do - to rest as much as you can.
Maybe go to the seaside, get some fresh air.
Limit the amount of time you type, don't lift anything heavy.
Avoid cold.

I don't know, I think these are general requirements.
It will take some time to recover after a bigger trauma.
None of us wants trauma but if it happens you have to accept it as a part of life.
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