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Tendonitis causing playing difficulty

Postby dmooretu » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:53 pm

Has anyone here ever suffered from tendonitis in your hands? I've developed a bad case in both hands, on the right on the tendons underneath my thumb. Holding my euphonium and playing for any extended amount of time causes a lot of pain and I have to stop. It affects lots of daily activities like using a screw driver or gripping something, and it's getting worse. Has anyone here had success visiting a hand specialist? I have a feeling my general practitioner will not have the specific knowledge to help with this, so I'm trying to decide if I need to look for a general hand specialist or search for one who has helped musicians.
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Re: Tendonitis causing playing difficulty

Postby scottw » Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:07 pm

First question: where are you located? That will help determine the hand doc you need to see. Based on [unfortunately] too much experience in this area, there are a lot more bad ones than there are good ones. And, the bad ones can do a lot of harm in a short time. A good one? Can work miracles! It is worth the time and effort to locate the good one.
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Re: Tendonitis causing playing difficulty

Postby Mike C855B » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:25 pm

I had a similar issue when I was doing more English horn work than I was used to (right thumb bears the whole works), but in that case there was a neckstrap ring and I used a sax strap to take the weight off while it healed mostly on its own. In my experience, the orthopod doesn't have much available other than cortisone injections into the tendon (OUCH!) followed by physical therapy. In the long run my solution has been taking the pressure off and letting it rest, and OTC ibuprofen for the inflammation and pain. FWIW, and YMMV.
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Re: Tendonitis causing playing difficulty

Postby dmooretu » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:29 pm

I live in East Texas. It may be that Dallas is my best option, as it's only 2.5-3 hours away. I'm just trying to find some place where my insurance will be accepted, because I'm sure this is not cheap. I have a couple braces I ordered, as it's in both hands, and I'm icing it and taking anti-inflammatory medicine, but it makes it hard to practice and improve when I am unable to practice for long amounts due to pain.
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Re: Tendonitis causing playing difficulty

Postby scottw » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:55 pm

Do your research and find the best HAND specialist, not a generalist available in Dallas. It costs no more to have the best treat you than a doc who finished dead last in his class!
good luck!
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Re: Tendonitis causing playing difficulty

Postby MikeW » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:21 pm

Two ideas that may be relevant:

A Euphonium player I used to know wore his Euph on a saxophone sling, which eased the load on his hands.

I used to use a wrist brace because of fierce pains in my hand and wrist, until one magic day I had the immense good fortune to slip down a muddy slope and badly sprain my ankle (a thousand, thousand, blessings on whoever spilt that water). This forced me to use a walking cane for a few weeks, which provided enough stretching and exercise to fix my hands. These days I always take the cane with me when I go out for a walk, and make a point of giving both hands a fair share of work to do: in fact the main reason I go walking is to give my hands a work out. So far (several years) the pains haven't come back.

If your specialist agrees that exercise will not make your problem worse, you may find a sturdy walking stick a worthwhile investment (as us usual, YMMV).

Good luck.
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