Can trumpet playing aggravate carpal tunnel?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Not_A_Note_Yet, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Not_A_Note_Yet

    Not_A_Note_Yet New Friend

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    Mar 22, 2015
    Hi everyone,

    I'd love to start playing the trumpet, but I have carpal tunnel syndrome in my left hand and am wondering if trumpet will aggravate that problem, even with one of those ergo-brass support devices (or any support device, for that matter). (Sorry if this question has been addressed elsewhere -- I looked through many posts but couldn't find a definite answer.) Any advice is much appreciated!
     
  2. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Firstly my disclaimer:
    I am not trained in medicine.

    I have several trombone player customers customers with carpal tunnel syndrome. They deal with this issue by altering how they hold the instrument with their left hand. Instead of grasping the instrument around the slide receiver and cross brace, they use a support which places all the weight on the back of their hand. The weight of the trombone is resting on the back of their hand.

    I tell my trumpet students that the trumpet should rest in their left hand - do NOT grip the trumpet. the trumpet should sit securely in their hand the same way a coat sits on a coat hanger. This does not require any special device such as is needed for the trombone.

    In conversations with my Alexander teaching friends, I have been told that this method of holding the trumpet does not constitute the sort of mis-use which can aggravate the carpal tunnel syndrome. In other words, if your playing affects your problem it is because of your not holding the instrument appropriately.

    My suggestion:
    Try it.
     
    J. Jericho likes this.
  3. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

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    Having had CTS in both hands/wrists, never really had a problem playing. Have had the surgery on both, and playing isn't a problem for me. Some things are, but playing isn't one of them:oops:
     
  4. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

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    I agree with Buck. I had it both hands as well, had surgery on the right hand and found retirement to be a good approach to dealing with the left. But even at its worst, playing didn't bother me. If you have a severe case in your right hand, you might have pain in your fingers when pushing first or second valves, much less chance of it for third valve use. If so, see a doctor.
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Disclaimer: I am trained in medicine.. . And have great malpractice insurance. So I go with what the last two people said.
     
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    yes -- I have it --- and a lot of times in practice grab the horn like Ivan (trumpetsplus) says and let it rest in my left hand ---- the right hand is not too bad with the valves, sometime elevating the elbow in a practice session seems to help ((yeah, you will look like a dork, but then again it is only practice)) --- that being said, I have some "arthritis" in my jaw and various joints --- so I occasionally take a day or two off each week --- not consecutive days --- have done this for the last year ---- have not noticed it to hurt my playing trumpet that much in more way than one ---- a day or two of rest helps everything ((except endurance)
     
  7. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

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    +1 on the endurance,KT.

    When I had my first surgery on the right hand, there were some complications during recovery. My little finger curled down over the splint they had me in. Had to manually straighten it against the scar tissue. Hurt like hell for a while, then used a squeezy ball to get things going more towards normal. Played a Christmas cantata during the recovery period and think that working the valves actually helped in recovery. Second one was a walk in the park compared to the first. Different surgeon, newer techniques:oops:
     
  8. Not_A_Note_Yet

    Not_A_Note_Yet New Friend

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    Mar 22, 2015
    Thanks everyone, you've encouraged me to try my hand at it!
     

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