Numb Finger

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by LH123, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

    May 14, 2010
    (This may be hard to diagnose over the internet... but if anyone has had a similar issue let me know what you think.)

    First, let me describe how I hold my trumpet. Left hand, fingers 1 (thumb) and 2 around valves, fingers 3, 4, and 5 under 3rd valve tubing, supporting most of the horn's weight.

    Here's my problem: on the point where my 3rd finger of my left hand contacts the horn, a bump has formed (I suspect bone growth from the pressure from supporting the horn). That whole side of the finger, from the base to the tip, has gone completely numb, and stays like this even after I stop playing. Is this normal? If not, what should I do about it?
  2. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I don't know about normal but I have never liked putting my pinky under that third valve slide... I think you have diagnosed the problem. I would try changing my grip for a month and see if that helps.
    and I would also definitely consult a physician to make sure you aren't having some of the serious health issues that numbness is a symtom of .... LIKE RIGHT AWAY
  3. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    No way to safely diagnosis this online, as you already pointed out.

    They way you hold the trumpet may have caused it, or it may have nothing to do it. A bump on a finger can be from any number of things, such as an infection, a blister, or a cyst. Extra bone growth is a possibility, but this normally take years to form.

    I'd have a doctor see it as soon as you can get to one. It's interferring with your playing and it's causing other symptoms (numbness). That's enough for me. If your regular doctor can't see you tomorrow, you might want to go to an urgent care clinic or an emergency room.
  4. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

    May 14, 2010
    Thanks for the prompt replies! I've been using this grip for several months now (3 or so) after reading about it in the book, "New Approach to Altissimo Trumpet Playing" by John Lynch. As stated in the book, this grip has reduced pressure to my top lip, which means increased endurance and a more free tone, benefits that I would like to keep. What horn grip should I change to? (probably the 'standard' grip).
  5. LH123

    LH123 Piano User

    May 14, 2010
    Another problem I've been having recently is a bouncy horn when playing things like Clarke studies. I slam my valves down pretty hard. A grip change should resolve this problem as well, hopefully.
  6. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Two other causes, if the third and fourth, restriction of ulnar nerve( elbow), one and two, carpal tunnel...........:oops:
  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Numbness is not normal, so get off to the Doctor quickly.

    We here in Australia use that digit regularly to communicate, and it is an important finger...[​IMG]

    It would be difficult to drive without the use of the 3rd finger Left Hand, although you guys in the USA would probably use the right hand when driving.

    Seriously, get it looked at, it is not normal. There are several grips that can be used, you may need to modify it, but once fixed you can re-assess. It may have nothing to do with the way you hold it, that may be highlighting the point that has been there all along.
    Good luck, and do not mess around here getting opinions, get to a Doc.
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I second TrumpeMD. Even I, who have been known to go out on a diagnostic limb won't touch this one.

    Do get this seen soon by a physician.

    But do keep us posted on a weekly basis what changes you are noticing, as sometimes, changes over time may help us put a finger on the diagnosis.
  9. Anonymousiv

    Anonymousiv Pianissimo User

    May 29, 2010
    Youngstown, OH
    I agree with those that say, "Go see the doctor."

    I wouldn't mess around with it.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Hay TrumpetMD I want to send you a reply but your mail box is too full. If you clear it I will send you the message.

    Oh the heck with that, here is the message (Sorry OP of Numb Finger for using your post - but do get your finger looked at)

    As for you TrumpetMD:

    Thanks for your kind words regarding my band. Yes, I too am an academician, I am an internist-pediatrician and am the director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton OH.

    I also teach much of the year 1 curriculum using my PhD training in biochemistry and MD clinical interests I integrate many clinical cases into Team-based Learning Modules and run a series of these for the Year 1 Molecular Biology and Cellular and Tissue Organs Systems Courses.

    In year 2 I teach the first quarter Clinical Decision Making course (Evidence-based Medicine essentially) and the Newborn Nursery Neonatal exams for Introduction to Clinical Medicine from September through April.

    I teach the Pediatric Clerkship Evidence-based Medicine modules in year 3. In addition I attend the internal medicine wards (which I am doing at this time) and pediatric wards which I start in August.

    I was just in Bethesda in May presenting to the NIH at were they should be directing funding for there Cystic Fibrosis Diabetes Research. I have become somewhat of a national expert on that subject as I co-wrote clinical practice guidelines for CFRD in December's Diabetes Care, and am the Cochrane Collaborative author for CFRD reviews. I am working on two multi-center RCTs looking at oral agents and insulin in treating CFRD and CF impaired glucose tolerance and am working with Novartis at looking at an agent I can compound with Tobramycine aerosols that eliminates the pseudomonas biofilm in Cystic Fibrosis patient airways. I have been averaging getting into the Washington DC area about once a year. I will definitely let you know the next time I am in town.

    Oh yes, I play in the Eddie Brookshire Quintet as well. Two weeks ago we played a Woman in Jazz Festival, last weekend the Cityfolk Festival, and over the next 2 weeks we are playing two weekend series in Cleveland at the Playhouse Square complex. By the way, an agent that books our band in Cincinnati wants to book us in a club he runs in Virginia Beach. If this is anywhere near you, let me know as this will likely be happening within the next 6 months.

    All the Best (and do stay in touch),

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