View Full Version : Hand Problems

07-11-2006, 06:01 AM
I tend to worry about my hands as I go about my daily routine. I'm starting to compulsively rub my right fingertips together in a effort to keep the hand loose. I also just got this job throwing bags at the airport and I have to grip and rip heavy bags all day. My hands to do feel stiff and tired and I want to make sure I don't damage them. How fragile are your hands? How long does it take and what does is take to damage them? How do you keep a tab on the status and health of your hands?

07-16-2006, 01:31 AM
Honestly, the only tab I keep on my hands is about if I feel pain or not. When I start to feel, if it's to intense, I stop to play and came back to it 30min to 1 hour later.

Something that I noticed though is the fact that when I am stressed about playing, my hands become tense over the guitar and then it makes playing harder.

As for your problem with your job making your hands stiff, I am not an expert, but I'd say that with time, your hand will "adapt" to it. It's kinda like doing a physical work out. At first, your muscles hurt, but after a few, you don't feel as much pain as you did when you started.

Maybe you should force your hands too much on the guitar for now...just to give them a chance to adjust to your new physical demands.

Hopes all goes well for you! :)

07-16-2006, 09:44 AM
hey guys. I have had RSI, tendonitis a while back. I was really concerned about it obviously and put down the guitar for a while which i have never done before. I recently bought one of these things called a 'powerball' which i supposed to help aid your wrist and completely rectify symptoms and pain of these injuries, as it is a no-impact form of exercise, it helps build up your wrists too. (its a gyro thingy). It helps athritis, carple tunnel too apparently.

Naturally i was dubious, but after using it for a couple of days (albielt on a low rpm) it seems to have helped my wrist in feeling looser and i have had hardly any pain at all.
If you are worried about your hands/arms i would really reccomend one, because in the future if you ever do suffer form any injuries/ailment it may help, and in the process build up your hand/wrist/tendons which in-turn will build up your stamina and therefore lower the risk of injury.

They do look kinda funny to use though!

Ben :cool:

07-16-2006, 04:32 PM
search and find:

anyway, try glucosimine, it helps repair joints and tendons and so on and will aleviate the soreness in your hands. You can find it at any drugstore or walmart.

08-19-2006, 01:00 AM
apparently eating bananas helps with tendons and whatnot. cod liver oil also.....apparently, dont know why, cods dont have fingers.

08-19-2006, 01:43 AM
i used to get stiff hands a lot, so i started to use chinese medicene balls and my hands are more agile and stronger.

08-20-2006, 04:38 PM
+100000 on the glucosamine! That's what has helped me (also heat and ice in the acute periods, when the injury was still fresh). I'd go easy on the exercise thingies. What is this powerball thing? Is it like a passive exerciser? or more like a squish-stretch thing?

08-20-2006, 08:35 PM
Hi jorge,

Check out powerballs.com for indepth information. Its basically a powerful gyro that you rotate in your hand, and it supposedly helps ailments like tendonitis, arthritis etc. I had a bout of tendonitis, and after using one, my wrist felt much more smooth and i havnt had the problem since-wether this was due to it im not sure, but i higly expect so. That was on a low rpm though-you dont wanna overstrain it!

Ben :cool:

08-21-2006, 06:02 AM
I used to have very stiff hands, but if you massage your hands, and thoroughly stretch them after working or playing, it will help you a lot. I also like to soak my hands in hot water before I play, to soften them up.

08-21-2006, 01:25 PM
I usually 'draw a circle' with my hands in each direction and give them a gentle stretch before I start playing. I was warned a few time that if playing guitar hurts stop and do something else (read up on theory, watch tv) till the pain stops.

08-25-2006, 04:27 PM
I tend to be over paranoid about my hand health. Always being careful not to accidentally bend a finger or strain anything. My dog loves to jump up on me and learch forward. I almost had her jam one of my fingers back so now I just simply hold my fingers closed when she is in the jump mode.

I have a weak area with my fretting hand between the third and fourth finger, but have had success in making my hand stronger in that area by simply practicing with all four fingers once I warm up for about 15 minutes.

The funny part is that over the years, I spent soooooo much time trying to strengthen fingers 2,3, and 4 that I neglected my index finger. Now to warm up I practice with just the first two fingers for about 15 minutes before introducing fingers 3 and 4.

I always used to be hung up on the fact that players like Paul Gilbert could use his third and fourth fingers with no problem so I lost focus. I spent a good deal of time at youtube.com watching videos of some great players and noticed that they did not ALWAYS use all 4 fingers.

Yngwie plays lightning fast and much of what he does up on the higher registers are with fingers 1 2 and 3, with an occasional 4th finger but many runs he uses are just fingers 1 2 and 3 on the higher strings.

Lately I have been trying to adapt to the Django Rinehardt style.

Spent time this past week learning conventional arpeggios with just fingers one and two. It has improved my horizontal motion skills, which is important to effective improvization. You gotta be able to move around.

I always practice very slow and deliberate but when I improvize I do whatever comes to mind. I guess my point is that now I am not so hung up on what finger I use. I try to work around the weakness with different fingerings but still strive to strengthen the weak areas. It's all good.

11-09-2006, 04:16 AM
In my opinion, i wouldn't worry all that much about the sort of stuff you do during your normal a normal day or at work (but im not really sure of the nature of your job),but you've lasted this long with your hands.
As for playing guitar or warming up to prevent injury, i use like a 10 or 15 pound wieght and tilt it back in and forth with my rist to warm up, or soak them in hot water, and i sometimes use a little stress ball or whatever you want to call it i guess it helps increase circulation?

i have a question tho...once my hands get cold i can't seem to play well at all, and its starting to frustrate me seeing as how its snowing like crazy here in canada... im not asking how to warm them up...but im kind of curious why that happens?

11-09-2006, 11:39 AM
In the winter I use 30 weight oil in my car because here in connecticut we get some nasty cold weather. The 30 weight oil does not thicken up as much as the 40 weight and it makes the car easier to start since the oil thickens up a bit in cold climate.

40 weight thickens up so much that it can strain the battery and just start harder. I think the human body "thickens" up in cold weather.

???????????????????????????????????????any takers?

11-09-2006, 12:33 PM
apparently eating bananas helps with tendons and whatnot. cod liver oil also.....apparently, dont know why, cods dont have fingers.

That's genius.

11-10-2006, 03:35 AM
read this last nite,


he has a part on hand problems and also talks about music school and how it helps the creative process?

nice stuff uk,
lovin u is great.

opps! the article is by randy ellfsen

11-10-2006, 07:59 AM
I think Randy pops in here from time to time to keep us up to date with his hand problems, have a search for his posts here.