Pain in the left hand after playing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tlaws25, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    You just HAD to go there, didn't you. ;-)

    To the OP, disregard the vid I posted, although to a degree if you "stop it," it might help.

    I suggest you change your grip. Personally, I don't hold my trumpet in the traditional left hand grip anymore, where you hold the horn with the 3rd finger through the ring and all fingers around the casings above the 3rd valve slide. I split the grip, two fingers above, two fingers below the 3rd valve slide, with the tip of my middle finger through the ring. For me it's just as effective as the normal grip, and in some ways I think is a better grip than the traditional grip.

    One thing that seems to ring true, for almost any serious musician I have known or read about, particularly drummers, at some point along the way some changes had to be made due to the occupational injuries caused by the repetition of playing the instrument. Carpel tunnel syndrome is the most common, but shoulder and knee pain, back issues, neck issues, etc - there are so many things that can arise from the repletion of playing a musical instrument.

    Changes have ranged from everything to better, more ergonomic approaches, in the cases of drummers, sometimes it's repositioning drums and cymbals to different heights and locations, working on posture, doing yoga, and in some cases, simply backing off of the amount of time spent practicing, all in an effort to keep from further aggravating an injury.

    I once went through a thing with one of the knuckles on the middle finger of my left hand - an issue that cropped up one night playing drums for a praise band rehearsal. I don't know if it was how I was hitting the snare that night or what, but that inflammatory injury persisted for months until I made a point to ask to be taken out of the rotation for a bit, and I simply stopped playing drums altogether for about 5-6 weeks. It finally went away on its own, and fortunately has never returned.

    Keep us posted with what you wind up doing.
  2. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Me too Patrick. Good for broader hands and I find it easier to work both 1st and 3rd slides in concert with this grip.

    The size and shape of people's hands are just as variable as lip formation, so isn't it reasonable that there are a variety of different grips around? I've seen somewhere or other that I shouldn't park my right thumb between 1st and 2nd. I ignore that rule too :-)
  3. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    I've had carpal tunnel in both hands from repetitive work( paced line operator). The neuro conduction test wasn't fun, but at least pointed the problem out( literally, weird watching your fingers move and you're not making them do it). Surgery on both, but spaced years apart. Right one first( dominate hand), then the left. During the time span between them, procedeures had improved, the left one was a walk in the park compared to what I went through with the right( long somewhat painful recovery and story):oops:
  4. tlaws25

    tlaws25 New Friend

    Dec 11, 2011
    Hi Everyone who commented, sorry about the late reply/post. I'll give you a short update on my wrist.
    I used a wrist brace for about two months which was great in keeping my wrist stable. After going back to the physio, my physio alerted to me that my posture was actually the problem in the first place. My left shoulder was slightly depreciated and was causing all of the pain in the wrist. Now I am currently trying to fix my posture!

    Here is a timeline of events
    July 2014 - First spasm near shoulder blade while playing trumpet. After a while It went away...
    September 2014 - Wrist starts becoming painful while playing and just in general.
    November 2014 - Starts using wrist brace
    January 2015 - Stops usage of the wrist brace and starts focusing on shoulder problems
    April 2015 - Currently working through to rid of my shoulder problem with physio exercises.

    Thanks for all your comments!
  5. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    I would consult an Alexander Technique teacher....
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    In the photo your thumb is in the saddle too far (IMO). I keep the thumbnail even with the saddle and this also makes it easier to move the saddle.
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    That's probably not the source of the pain though - that minor of a shift probably wouldn't make that much of a difference.
  8. SAS

    SAS Pianissimo User

    Jan 7, 2015
    Do you have tingling in your arm? Finger tips? Neck pain? This could be a disc problem in your neck. My entire neck is fused. Carpal tunnel doesn't usually affect your entire arm...but compressed nerve roots in your cervical spine will. I have carpal in both wrists. I know the difference.
  9. terrytuner

    terrytuner Pianissimo User

    Sep 23, 2010
    I had an episode of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) a few years ago. Went to a medical doctor specializing in the hand who prescribed a muscle relaxant, a wrap and exercises for my left hand. Whatever he did, worked. It should be noted that I retired from my day job (Chemist) about the same time.

Share This Page