Myth : Carpal Tunnel Never Goes Away
Mild cases of carpal tunnel may go away with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. Even in moderate to severe cases, treatments like cortisone injections may help pain and inflammation go away. About half of all people who have the condition require carpal tunnel release surgery for full pain relief. Either way, carpal tunnel syndrome does not have to be a permanent condition, although avoiding movements that exacerbate the syndrome is recommended.
Which Musicians Are Most At Risk For Hand Injuries
Musicians and athletes have more in common than most people think. For one, musicians, like athletes, are expected to perform for long durations of time. Practicing and performing for countless of hours requires the type of physical endurance that often leads to strain on certain parts of the body, especially the hands.
Many musicians, like athletes, are prone to developing musculoskeletal injuries that can have a negative impact on their careers. When it comes to hand disorders in musicians, injuries may develop at any age. However, more incidents affect people in their 30s and 40s. Although hand injuries among dedicated musicians can be debilitating to their careers, to the extent of potentially ending it, there are many treatment options available and with the right plan of care, an end to ones career may be avoided.
Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel
The main characterizing symptom of carpal tunnel is tingling, specifically in the thumb and fingers. This can also be described as a burning or a numbness. Many people feel the need to shake their hands and massage them to try to regain feeling. It is also common to experience weakness in the hand, wrist or fingers. This can lead to dropping things or being unable to grasp things firmly, as well as loss of fine motor skills. Other symptoms include pain in the arm and shock-like sensations.;
Read Also: Does Lidocaine Work For Nerve Pain
Can Cbd Help Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel syndrome can benefit from various treatments, but recently, there has been more attention on natural remedies like CBD that have more mild side effects.;
One of the most remarkable properties of CBD for the treatment of carpal tunnel is the ability to provide anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation can be the main cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, making CBD a possible option to treat symptoms. If you are experiencing pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome, using CBD can help ease the feeling.;
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you might be inclined to try out a natural remedy like CBD. This is a popular choice among athletes to relieve pain, especially because it can be a non-addictive alternative to certain pain medications. If you want to try the natural route, you might benefit from topical CBD treatments that can soothe pain on the spot for immediate relief. Even if you are experiencing more severe symptoms, CBD may provide help in addition to other treatments you might be using.
There isnt much research about the effectiveness of CBD for treating carpal tunnel directly. However, plenty of research shows the benefits of CBD for pain, immune system strength, and other health conditions that can lead to promising results as a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome.
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed
Diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome can be done with a combination of your medical history, a comprehensive physical examination and a test called a nerve conduction study. During a physical examination, your doctor will be looking for any signs of tenderness, swelling or deformity.
The nerve conduction study is a test that measures the conduction speed or your nerve impulse. A slower impulse of the nerve as it passes into the hand could confirm a carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis.
Read Also: What Is Better For Sciatica Heat Or Ice
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
First and foremost, it is important to understand what exactly carpal tunnel syndrome is. This syndrome develops when the median nerve that is located in your forearm, to the palm of your hand, squeezes in your wrist.
Carpal tunnel consists of bones and ligaments in a narrow tunnel located at the base of your hand and helps to bend your fingers. It also allows feelings and sensations in your hands palm and fingers, except for the little finger, and is responsible for controlling a few little muscles at the base of your thumb.
When you develop carpal tunnel, the ligaments and tendons on the area become thicker than normal. This narrows the tunnel in the area and the median nerve compresses and squeezes.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel include:
- Swollen and useless feelings in fingers
Symptoms usually appear gradually. They are felt in the palm of the hand and the fingers, which often include the thumb, middle finger, and index finger. Your symptoms can begin in one hand, but can also develop in both hands at the same time.
Frequently, the first symptoms of carpal tunnel happen at night, but as the condition progresses, these symptoms will happen during the day as well. Eventually, you will find it hard to grip objects and hold items with your affected hand.
Can Typing Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Youve experienced alternating pain and numbness in your thumb or your fingers; sometimes it moves up your forearm. Along with the pain, which can include a tingling sensation, your hand feels weak when you try to grasp something. You may have carpal tunnel syndrome.;
Since the problem involves the hand, including the fingers and wrist as well as the arm, researchers believed that typing for hours on your computer keyboard was the culprit behind the condition. New studies say thats possible, but there are many other causes.;;
Also Check: Fake A Broken Arm
Myth: Only People Who Work In A Factory Or Type All Day Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Work-related conditions that involve high levels of hand-arm vibration or hand force, prolonged work with a flexed or extended wrist, or high repetitiveness are associated with a higher risk for carpal tunnel syndrome, according to one systemic review of studies.1
However, there is no clinical evidence that work-related factors can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Experts believe that work-related stress may be the final straw for individuals who have other non-behavioral risk factors, such as female sex, advanced age, or a history of diabetes.
Activities That May Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
One of the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome is repetitive hand movements including:
Typing on a computer and using a mouse. Ideally, your shoulders and hands should be relaxed while typing and your wrists should be flat. Prolonged typing and mouse use with your wrists resting on the wrist rest increases the direct pressure to your median nerve. Adjusting the height of your keyboard so that your wrists are relaxed can help prevent carpal tunnel pain.
Texting. Smartphones have become a necessary part of everyday life in the recent years. However, based on a recent study, the use of handheld electronic devices for more than 5 hours can put you at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Try to limit your smartphone use and complete hand stretches to ease the pressure on your median nerve.
Playing musical instruments. Playing musical instruments like the piano, trombone, flute or trumpet puts stress on your hands and wrists because of the repetitive and rapid finger movements.
Certain jobs. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety listed the following tasks and occupations that may increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome:
Grasping and pulling of cloth fabric
Handling conveyor belts
Using ratchets and screwdrivers
Pulling out weeds
Frequent use of spray guns
Scrubbing of windows, walls, and floors
Also Check: Big Belly Back Pain
Musicians With A Higher Risk Of Hand Injuries
- String Instrumentalists. Cellists, guitarist, harpists, violinists, viola players and other musicians that perform with string instruments are prone to hand injuries due to muscle strain from overuse or repetitive motions. String players often complain of muscle stiffness, pain, soreness, tension or numbness on the fingers, hand, wrist and shoulders.
- Wind Instrumentalists. Musicians who play the horn, trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone and other similar instruments may be prone to hand injuries stemming from strained shoulders or arm injuries.
- Percussionists. Percussion instruments include the timpani, xylophone, cymbals, drums, tambourine, chimes, celesta and piano. Musicians who play these types of instruments are prone to injuries in the hand, wrist, fingers and arm. Some of the most common injuries of percussionists are tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Do A Warm Up For Your Body Away From The Piano
You might be getting ready to play the piano, but youll need to warm yourself up before ever sitting down on the bench. A little workout routine can help warm the body up in its most essential areas needed for proper technique and posture. A few suggestions for workouts away from the piano include:
- Shoulder Raises – standing up straight and shrugging can help to loosen the neck, back, and shoulders before playing
- Arm and Wrist Circles – slowly and carefully, rotate your arms and wrists in one direction, and then the other, to ease the joints into the right preparation for playing
- Forearm Stretches – place both hands together in front of the chest with fingers pointed down, and stretch the forearm out. This also just so happens to stretch the hands and wrists too.;
A small warm up for your body before ever sitting at the piano can help prepare your body to play in the safest, most effective way possible.;
Don’t Miss: Does Lidocaine Work For Nerve Pain
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And Piano Playing
I have been struggling with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome for the past few months, I’m hoping my new internist I see in August will have some remedy. But it’s certainly making it hard to play, but I force myself to play through.Hopefully it doesn’t get to the point of not being able to play.Anyone else suffer from this and play piano?Tips/suggestions?
I stopped playing the Piano about 20 years ago due to CTS. The condition improved but lately has been rearing it’s ugly head. I probably will need surgery one day
It is never too late to readdress your technique at the piano. Piano playing, when done properly, should be incapable of harming the body in any way, shape, or form. It only takes a few ounces of pressure to depress a piano key. The larger muscles of your forearm when properly engaged can play the piano hour upon hour upon hour without the slightest tiring.The book: On Piano Playing: Motion, Sound, and Expression, by the great pianist Gyorgy Sandor, can change your life at the keyboard.
Originally Posted by lextuneIt is never too late to readdress your technique at the piano.I agreeI’m no doctor so I don’t mean to sound presumptuous about your particular case, but it definitely does happen that piano playing form can actually cause finger and wrist pain all by itself.
Can Playing Guitar Cause Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel develops when someone uses their hands in a repetitive motion most days. Typing on a computer, bakers and chefs, assembly line workers, cashiers, and musicians are just a few examples of ways that people often develop carpal tunnel.
Since repetitive motion can raise your risk of getting carpal tunnel, playing the guitar can also increase your risk, as using your hands and fingers to play the guitar is a highly repetitive motion.
Women are also more likely to develop carpal tunnel, so if you are a female guitar playing your odds of developing carpal tunnel from guitar playing is even higher.
How to Treat Carpal Tunnel?
There are a wide variety of ways to treat carpal tunnel. There are both natural and at-home remedies, plus conventional remedies that require a doctor. If you are in search of ways to help treat and manage your carpal tunnel at home and in a natural way, there are a few options to try. Some medical professionals suggest the following:
- Stop activity when you feel pain arise
- Take frequent breaks from activity
- Keep wrist in a neutral position
- Adjust the way you hold an object if holding for a long time
- Relax your grip when holding something
You can also engage in regular physical activity and perform exercises that use your hand and wrist muscles to help strengthen the area. Studies suggest this can help mild carpal tunnel syndrome.
Don’t Miss: Belly Fat Back Pain
Whatis Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is both a simple and complex issue. It occurs when your median nerve squeezes and compresses at your wrist. This nerve is located in your forearm and connects to your hands palm.
The carpal tunnel is made of different bones andligaments that creates a narrow tunnel at the base of your hand. This tunnelhelps bend your fingers and allows sensation in your palm and fingersexceptyour little finger. It also controls some smaller muscles in your thumb.
These areas of the hand are exceptionally importantfor playing the piano since you need fine tune motor skills to playeffectively.
If you begin to develop carpal tunnel, the ligamentsin the area grow thicker, which causes a narrowing of the tunnel. When itnarrows, your median nerve will begin to compress and squeeze, creating painand other symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of this syndrome are:
- Swollen feeling in the fingers
- Useless feelings in fingers
Even though your fingers may feel swollen, they arenot swollen in appearance. Symptoms develop over time and get worse gradually.You will begin to feel the above issues in the fingers and the palm andsymptoms may appear in one hand or both.
As the conditionprogresses, you will find it challenging to grip objects and move your handsnormally. Since playing the piano almost solely relies on your ability to moveyour fingers, hands, and wrist in a precise and graceful way, developing carpaltunnel can be devastating to your career or hobby.
Whatshould I Look For When It Comes To Symptoms
Symptoms,such as numbness, pain and burning up the arm, wrist pain, andweakness in the muscles, are all conditions to look for if youbelieve you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Depending on how severethe symptoms appear, the inflammation can get worse. If youexperience any of these symptoms, you should speak to your doctorabout it.
Read Also: How To Fake A Broken Arm
Effective Treatments For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Your physician at Coastal Empire Orthopedics uses conservative treatments to reduce your pain and increase your mobility. He may recommend a wrist brace and pain medication, and then gentle exercises or physical therapy when your inflammation subsides. If youre in a lot of pain, your doctor can give you a steroid injection to provide relief.;
If conservative treatment doesnt resolve your condition, your physician recommends carpal tunnel release, in which he widens the tunnel which your median nerve passes through.;
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treated
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome will be most effective if it is started as soon as possible after diagnosis. Early-stage treatment can include these simple steps:
- Taking time to rest the hands and wrists throughout the day
- Avoiding activities that aggravate symptoms
- Applying ice or cold compression to reduce swelling
Initial medical treatment often includes wrist splinting and medication to reduce pain or inflammation, such as NSAIDs .
Your doctor may recommend corticosteroids, such as cortisone, to relieve pain and swelling. An ultrasound machine may be used in the process to help doctors guide the medication and ensure it reaches the affected area.
Read Also: Is Mobic Good For Sciatica Pain
Activities That Can Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If you are experiencing a numbing and tingling pain in your thumb and the first three fingers, you might be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by the compression of the median nerve running down your arm to your hand, which leads to pain in your hands and wrists.
The carpal tunnel is located at the base of your hand and it acts as a passageway for your tendons with the median nerve funneled through it. Your median nerve is responsible for the control and movement of your thumb and your first three fingers so the symptoms usually dont manifest in your little finger.
This condition is more common in women and affects around 3 to 6% of the adult population.
Whatcauses Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Themost common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is inflammation of theblood flow from your wrist to the median nerve. The excess pressurecan be the result of multiple conditions, including:
- Fluid Retention
- High Blood Pressure
Repeatedmotions, such as using a keyboard or mouse, hand tools, and playingpiano, can cause the syndrome to become worse if overextended. Theserepeated motions can overtime damage the muscles and nerves in thehands, as well as affect other parts of the body. If you cannot avoiddoing these repetitive motions throughout your job, try stretchingout your muscles to avoid tension and drink plenty of water.
Don’t Miss: Is A Heating Pad Good For Sciatica
The Complete Pianist: Healthy Technique To Natural Artistry By Penelope Roskell
The Complete Pianist
The technique described throughout The Complete Pianist uses a supple wrist, with the neutral position as the midpoint of all movement. Chapters that will be particularly beneficial include:;
The Roskell Warm-ups ;
The Natural alignment of the arm ;
The Parachute touch ;