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Jan 26, 2021 - 9:36:35 AM
287 posts since 1/28/2018

Starting a couple of weeks ago started getting a tingling / slight pins and needles in right claw hammer hand.
Not sure of cause but putting my spare hypochondriac head on the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome appeared (or maybe just too many beers during the UK LD3!).
I was playing / learning several songs from the Miles Krassen Claw hammer book - with a lot of galax licks & repeated alternative string pull-offs & wondering if these repetitive movements were a cause.
Anyway decided to try a wrist guard & have modified one we have for skating to try out. Finding it ok to play with it on and has changed style to be more of an arm movement eliminating wrist movement & the tingling reducing.
What is possibly interesting is that wearing the wrist guard naturally puts the fingers in the claw hammer position - maybe jokingly but this could be a tip for beginners along the lines of holding a credit card in the palm.
Does anyone else wear a wrist guard/ splint? - looking it up interesting saw that Tony Spadaro who wrote Rocket Science Banjo wears one.

Edited by - Nickcd on 01/26/2021 10:58:18

Jan 26, 2021 - 11:03:56 AM

278 posts since 4/10/2018

I have advanced carpal tunnel, surgery in a month or so, in both hands. The brace helped for a bit on my right hand but not on my left. I ended up not playing for 6 weeks and then gradually played on with several rest stops over a 2 hour period. My surgeon advised playing as it prevents atrophy. I recommend seeing a physician as well as physical therapy. It doesn’t get better on its own.

Jan 26, 2021 - 11:38:55 AM

Nickcd

UK

287 posts since 1/28/2018

Hopefully if have it not very advanced - with situation here difficult to see someone to give a firm diagnosis.( I also have what I suspect is Morton's Neuroma in my right foot - got an ultra scan but didn't show anything which , which is not unusual - but no follow up from GP).
I will see how wrist guard helps - have heard surgery can in certain cases make things worse e.g due to scar tissue & think that option may be a long way down the line for me even if I wanted it (i.e a low priority for our NHS).

Edited by - Nickcd on 01/26/2021 11:41:34

Jan 26, 2021 - 10:53:49 PM

KatB

USA

141 posts since 9/3/2018

quote:

maybe jokingly but this could be a tip for beginners along the lines of holding a credit card in the palm


Ha-I actually did try wearing a wrist guard in the beginning to train my hand to stay in line with my forearm :)

and also an ace bandage, which didn’t stop the movement but did make me aware of it if I lapsed. 

Jan 27, 2021 - 2:21:26 AM

3216 posts since 4/29/2012

I was at a Dwight Diller workshop years ago where he was wearing a wrist support due to a bit of CTS (which he blamed on overstretching while playing a big gourd banjo). Didn't seem to affect his playing. He wasn't wearing it the next year so it seems a period of support and protection did the job.

Jan 27, 2021 - 8:35:01 AM

Nickcd

UK

287 posts since 1/28/2018

quote:
Originally posted by AndrewD

I was at a Dwight Diller workshop years ago where he was wearing a wrist support due to a bit of CTS (which he blamed on overstretching while playing a big gourd banjo). Didn't seem to affect his playing. He wasn't wearing it the next year so it seems a period of support and protection did the job.


That's comforting - hopefully what ever is causing the sensation will clear up. But nevertheless quite enjoying playing with the guard on - may eliminate bad habits re wrist movement that I had.

Feb 1, 2021 - 7:54:28 AM

Nickcd

UK

287 posts since 1/28/2018

Update in case others similarly afflicted.
Have been wearing a wrist band while playing and things improving a lot. Also beginning to wonder if issue was also partly caused by golf (played almost every day during December while courses still open here).
Another point of possible interest is that I was playing mainly using my index finger but have noticed if use middle finger my wrist movement is far more limited.

Edited by - Nickcd on 02/01/2021 07:55:31

Feb 1, 2021 - 8:29:17 AM

1227 posts since 8/7/2017

I have mild carpal tunnel. Things I do to prevent worsening:

1. Take 1/2-1 tablespoon of camelina oil each day. I take 1/2 T oil if I forgot to take it during the day, and only remember right before bed (1 T causes heartburn if I lay down to sleep). Camelina is an Omega3 oil. Fish oil is also rich in Omega3 oil. I take 2 capsules fish oil/day, but that is not enough, by itself, to fix/alleviate my carpal tunnel. The capsules hold about 2ml oil, while a tablespoon holds 15ml oil. Camelina oil gave improvement in my carpal tunnel condition within 2 days of starting the treatment; practically a wonder drug for me (I have no financial or other interest in Camelina oil).

2. Limit my playing to 20 min or so per session. Stop before it hurts, in other words. I can play multiple 20 min sessions a day by doing this.

3. Run warm water over hands before playing, run cold water over hands after playing. Learned the cold water trick from a hockey player. The swelling you get after abusing muscle/tendon causes damage itself - cold water reduces swelling. The initial warm water makes my hands more limber.

4. Wear a wrist brace (Ace brand, found at Walmart) while using computer. This keeps my wrists straight, so less carpal tunnel stress. I have not worn brace while playing - it feels restrictive, and I am not used to that (but I'll keep it in mind, Thanks for the tip Nick).

5. Get monthly Gua Sha treatment for carpal tunnel from my acupuncturist. This consists of running a smooth edge "scraper" up and down forearms and wrists to break up muscle adhesions. After you've had several treatments and you understand the procedure,  you can give yourself the treatment; I use the smooth polished shaft of a 5/16 wrench for my scraper (which coincidentally fits my banjo hook's nuts *smiles*). I will give myself the treatment if I played a little too long and have pain after playing. Or I'll give myself treatment as a nice-feeling preventative (it also helps my right elbow).

Hope this helps.

Edited by - BrooksMT on 02/01/2021 08:38:21

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