Debilitating pain in anyone’s finger joints can effect you in so many ways. I’m nowhere’s near the debilitating state, but having those odd nagging sensation makes we wonder what could be in store for me, right around the corner. Now, being a guitarist with this kind of complication is worrying to me to say the least. So now I’m trying to understand what it is, what causes it and how can I attempt to manage the symptoms.
There are so many problems related to this health problem in both musicians and non musicians that it’s not funny! Rheumatoid arthritis (a hereditary autoimmune disease) or osteoarthritis (a noninflammatory type of arthritis that can be caused by repetitive movements or overuse of a joint) or Focal Dystonia can be very taxing both physically and emotionally. For a musician, just imagine the pain that you would be experiencing if you were forced to just turn off the thing that you loved the most … your instrument.
Over the years I have never given it a second thought. I guess being relatively young gives you the air of invincibility. You might say that only happens to other people, certainly not me! That is what goes through a young persons mind this topic arises in conversation.
It’s only been in the past couple of months that I have noticed strange feelings in the joints of both hands. Today, I think the root cause for me is by moving many patients from a stretchers to their beds. I know most people in a hospital setting develop it. The most common complaint is the back and knees.
When I bring up this question to the many surgeon’s that I work beside with everyday, most reply that the root of the problem usually starts in your feet. It then starts to radiate to you knees, then back and well … you get the picture.
So I guess I’ll have to go and hit the podiatrist office and see what they can do for me. I realize this will be VERY COSTLY because our health plan, like most others, do not cover this service. The one nurse I’ve talked to says she had the exact same problems for years until she broke down and had to go see one. She says after they made her some foot inserts (costing around $400.00) and used them for a while, there was immediate relief in her feet, back and her fingers. God help the podiatrist if I buy them and they don’t work!!!
I found this book titled the The Musicians Hand, what is quite fascinating. It has full descriptions of your condition and how it can resolved surgically (as a last result that is!) I know I’ve seen some wild cases in the past that ended with favourable results. If you happen to be effected with this type of issue, this might be the first step in finding out more about this horrible problem.
Here is a simple on line test to take to start off with if you experience problems like this. I scored in at 75%.
If anyone out there suffers from any of the above illnesses, can you tell us what you do to help work through it?
Keep on Jammin’
Here are some books that I think you might find interesting!
- Playing (less) Hurt | An Injury Prevention Guide for Musicians
- The Musicians Hand: a clinical guide
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Fast Facts
- The Musician’s Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness