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Mar 28, 2020 - 3:44:17 PM

Randrew

Canada

8 posts since 8/29/2012

This could probably go In any section but I was playing tenor banjo when it happened so here we are. Does anyone have experience dealing with ulna nerve damage in their left hand from playing banjo? After weeks of playing every day I had to stop because my pinky finger tingles so badly and it goes all the way up the nerve to my neck. If anyone has any experience/advice I would really appreciate it.

Mar 28, 2020 - 3:55:07 PM

48 posts since 12/12/2011

I do get problems with the ulnar nerve in both hands , only in the hands and not in the arm. This can happen to me in several positions while asleep, playing banjo, holding a mobile to my ear , simply leaning on my elbow. It always goes away simply by straightening the arm. Following an mri scan I was told it was due to age related spinal scoliosis. Tony

Mar 28, 2020 - 5:58:52 PM

Omeboy

USA

2421 posts since 6/27/2013

You should really see a physician. Chances are good, especially if you're a little older, that your problem is originating in your cervical vertebrae due to nerve compression. If that's the case, welcome to the club: you've got plenty of company. Your doctor can help.
@Randrew

Edited by - Omeboy on 03/28/2020 18:00:38

Mar 28, 2020 - 6:23:56 PM
Players Union Member

wizofos

USA

5491 posts since 8/19/2012

Had ulnar nerve issues in right hand for years. EMG test showed some damage so had nerve relocated in my hand, but not much help. It was like I had hit my funny bone but almost continuous.
Anyway had right shoulder replaced and solved all the problem but nerve is still damaged. Some numbness in right pinky and outside of right ring finger.
See a doc, I am not a nerve doc but if the pain is all the way up to your neck then sounds like some problems in your cervical vertebrae.
An EMG test will show them where the problem is.

Mar 28, 2020 - 11:00:03 PM

Meestro

Canada

111 posts since 5/3/2016

quote:
Originally posted by Randrew

This could probably go In any section but I was playing tenor banjo when it happened so here we are. Does anyone have experience dealing with ulna nerve damage in their left hand from playing banjo? After weeks of playing every day I had to stop because my pinky finger tingles so badly and it goes all the way up the nerve to my neck. If anyone has any experience/advice I would really appreciate it.


Interesting that you bring this topic up now as I have suffered the issue in my left hand  middle to pinky fingers. I play mostly double bass, both jazz and in an orchestra and I thought it was from having my hand up in the air. I had a CT scan and sure enough I have DDD (Degenerative Disk Disease) resulting in a pinched nerve between the 6th and 7th vertebrae in my neck where this nerve exits the spinal cord. I immediately went to a physiotherapist and was given 5 exercises to do and then subsequently purchased a water based pillow and a compression sleeve for my hand and wrist that doesn't have any rigid parts which can make it worse. It really helps, but like playing the banjo, if you don't use it you lose it. Hope this helps.

Mar 30, 2020 - 3:00:10 PM

Randrew

Canada

8 posts since 8/29/2012

Thanks for all of the advice. Sounds like I will be going to my doctor after the pandemic calms down. @meetsro my theory is that it has to do with the amount of independant pinky finger use and maybe also the angle of the arm. My Injury first showed up a few years back playing 5 string banjo but then I went back to guitar and had no problems there. As soon as I switched back to banjo it fired back up.

Mar 30, 2020 - 3:48:54 PM

227 posts since 10/8/2018

As soon as I switched back to banjo it fired back up....

Uh-oh, how many frets does your banjo have?

It sounds like you might have the dreaded BANJO-19 virus...

Edited by - guitarbanjoman on 03/30/2020 15:49:14

Mar 31, 2020 - 5:38:41 AM
like this

7075 posts since 8/28/2013

When you do see a doctor, be very specific about what and when and how this problem arises. Be sure to show any doctor how you hold the banjo (and the guitar, since there may be a clue in the difference between the hand positions you are using) and the motions required for each.

Also, stress the fact that your income depends on your playing, even if that's an exaggeration. I've dealt a few medical people who didn't seem to think playing as an amateur was all that important.

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