Doctor insights on:
Playing Guitar Arthritis
Yes: I have treated several professional musicians for thumb arthritis using a minimally invasive technique (arthroscopic hemitrpeziectomy) along with stem cell resurfacing of the joint with excellent success. One in particular has been playing guitar at the grande ole oprey in nashville 3 weeks after surgery. There are definitely some good options and i can give out references if you like. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Arthritis is progressive degeneration of one or more joints. Symptoms may include joint pain, swelling, decreased motion, and stiffness. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which is associated first with articular cartilage breakdown with a component of inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is a systemic autoimmune disorder that affects joint linings first and secondarily ...Read more
Whether one is hyper: Mobile or a stiff lump. Play. Hand size, finger size, strength, dexterity, coordination, speed, an ear, all affect playing an instrument to various degrees. "hyper mobility" is not a fixed illness just a range. Perhaps lax joints will make it harder for some things just as a stiff arthritic joint will make it harder to do something else or small or large hand will have other affects. ...Read more
Clinodactyly: Clinodactyly is the deviation of a finger - usually the pinky pointing to the ring finger. Therapy is generally unsuccessful as treatment, and surgery is usually required if there are functional problems. As far as guitar playing, it is unlikely to be harmful. However, the ability to play depends on the severity of the condition. ...Read more
Overuse neuropathy: The same thing happens with any repetitive activity. Imagine throwing 5000-10000 stitches with a needle every day, making quilts over years: those ladies have the same complaint. This overuse of the fingertips can actually damage the nerves enough to cause numbness. Staying away from the activity allows for some recovery, but then you have to decide: do you love the music or finger sensation more? ...Read more
Can playing guitar be considered therapeutic in recovering from a mildly displaced 4th metacarpal without surgery?
Depends on age of Fx: If its less than 3 weeks, then its best you don't; as i think you might cause it to get displaced. After 5 week yes it'll help, as by then the fx has healed. Between 3-5 maybe, depending upon the fx type, degree of displacement on xrays, etc. Your treating doc would be in a better position to gauge your treatment. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Moisturize: Unfortunately, callouses come with guitar playing as do shorter fingernails. You want and need calluses to play proper guitar. Practice every day in short increments. If you are using an acoustic guitar with metal strings, insure that they are new and have a nanoweb coating (elixir strings). Moisturize your finger tips twice per day with a cream containing Alpha hydroxyacid. ...Read more
Time: This is not something covered in medical school, but i can tell you as a one time guitar player myself, if you practice a lot over time finger tips will get calluses and this problem gets better. ...Read more
Doubtful.: That is a very very very painful procedure to lengthen bones and may take years even. It is usually done when one leg significantly shorter than the other. I don't know your age. If you are still young, your hands could still be growing. Perhaps in the meantime, you could find an easier instrument to learn that doesn't require as long of finger stretches. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
How soon can I start playing guitar after a mildly displaced 4th metacarpal without surgery. I don't want to jeopardize proper healing.
Guitar hands: Nondisplaced 4th mc fractures are generally stable as long as you are careful. The fracture usually heals by 6 weeks. If this is your strumming hand, you are probably safe to play guitar by week 3. If the fracture is on the fretboard hand, then you will likely be too sore and stiff to play before week 4 or 5. You should generally protect the hand for 6 weeks. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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