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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Swollen Thenar Muscles in the General forums; Hello everyone! I'm new here, so I do hope I didn't post this in the wrong section! My question is, ...
  1. #1
    New Friend PinkValveOil's Avatar
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    Apr 2014

    Swollen Thenar Muscles

    Hello everyone!

    I'm new here, so I do hope I didn't post this in the wrong section!

    My question is, have any of you trumpet players experienced swollen thenar muscles before? About a week ago, one of my thumbs became extremely swollen and it was very painful to play. I analyzed my technique, and I realized that I was lazily putting my right thumb out straight instead of tucking it underneath the pipe next to the valves. As a result, my right thumb was partly supporting the trumpet. In the past couple days, my left thenar muscle has gotten a bit swollen too. I have guessed that this is because I am putting my thumb too far into the thumb right, and the trumpet is being supported on the weaker part of the thumb. So, my problem (I believe) lies in poor technique.

    Have any of you ever experienced anything like this? I don't believe it is carpal tunnel. It is quite a shocker, and it doesn't help that it has come the week before juries, a lesson, and my first gig.

    Thank you all for your advice! Have a nice day!

  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: Swollen Thenar Muscles

    Welcome to TM, PinkValveOil!

    We have some tame doctors who might chime in. Have you eliminated everything except trumpet playing as being a cause?

    Wishing you all the best for juries!
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

  3. #3
    Utimate User tobylou8's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Re: Swollen Thenar Muscles

    BOTH swollen / swelling simultaneously might suggest a trip to a doctor. Trumpets aren't that heavy at 2.5-3.0 pounds then held by 2 hands. It's spring time and a lot of folks start doing yard work and use muscles rarely used. Weeded any beds / trimmed any shrubs / cutback your liriope?
    I doubt it is a trumpet related issue but I can't see you so, "IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE"?
    Knowledge is freedom, and ignorance is slavery - Miles Davis

    The difference between a beginner and pro mouthpiece is practice - tobylou8

    Nobody has learned how to play the trumpet. It's endless. - Maynard Ferguson

    Don't be afraid to try something different. The Ark was built by an amateur and the Titanic was built by a group of experienced engineers.

    By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard, it's hard!

  4. #4
    New Friend PinkValveOil's Avatar
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    Apr 2014

    Re: Swollen Thenar Muscles

    Thank you for the warm welcome.
    I haven't completely eliminated all other possibilites. Around the same time that my right hand thumb became swollen, I sprained my wrist. I don't know how I did that either. Also, I tend to bang on the piano a bit too hard, so that might be an issue as well. I haven't been doing any heavy lifting, so that is out.

    Ironically, my older sister, who plays saxophone and clarinet, had this same issue. She has had it increasingly worse for over a year, and she is just getting back into playing after two months of being out of commission. She went to all the doctors, and they all said she was fine, and they didn't know what the problem was.

  5. #5
    Pianissimo User Sturmbill's Avatar
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    Feb 2004

    Re: Swollen Thenar Muscles

    Maybe you can find an answer here: Finger, Hand, and Wrist Pain and Other Problems

    I suffer from Dupuytren's disease with a few cases of Trigger finger thrown in for good measure. I'm in the process of having triggers installed on my horns to extend my "shelf life".
    "Keep Your Stick on the Ice"- Red Green

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