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View Full Version : Joint pain: Left Hand in middle and end joint of the Index finger ONLY



sam13
04-27-2015, 05:11 AM
Hey everyone,

Has anyone else developed joint pain? I have ... a little and wonder what might be done with it ... with medication, and without medication.

My left hand index finger (middle joint) is a little painful and still in the morning and then it loosens up. And a little the first joint by the nail of the same finger. They are the only joints in my body.

The only thing I can think of is the barring chords which might put extra stress on it.

Anyone have this? Any solutions? Acupuncture? Meds? Oils? Creams? Diet Related stuff?

Thanks in advance for sharing.

spookelele
04-27-2015, 05:18 AM
stretching works for me.
I think it is from barre's. When I play alot of barres I start to feel it in those index joints. and then I stretch and it goes away.

DownUpDave
04-27-2015, 05:21 AM
It is because all your ukes have radius fretboards :p................give them all to me, including Bella and your problem will be solved

Seriously though I think spokelele is on to something about barre chords. Have you been working alot on any new barr chords. I know most of the stuff you do is jazz with pile of barr chords. Maybe a few new ones that are very repetetive.

SoloRule
04-27-2015, 05:51 AM
DownUpDave got the right idea.
I will tell you where to drop off these awful instruments that are hurting you.
You just had your birthday so it could be 'age' :p
Ice it and leave Bella alone for a day! Hope you are feeling better soon . Joint pain is annoying!

sam13
04-27-2015, 06:57 AM
stretching works for me.
I think it is from barre's. When I play alot of barres I start to feel it in those index joints. and then I stretch and it goes away.

Good point regarding stretching ... what kind of stretching do you do? Any videos on YouTube? Probably are ... will check.

sam13
04-27-2015, 06:59 AM
As for @DownUpDave and @SoloRule ... TOO FUNNY! I will just cuddle Bella before giving her away! lol.

Wonder if there is any Yoga moves that could help.

SoloRule
04-27-2015, 07:27 AM
How long have you been playing Bella since Saturday night?
Bella must be one temperamental girlfriend. You gotta treat her different from the Pono(s) because she is expensive and she is CANADIAN. LOL
I still say just rest and leave her alone for a day or two. I know it's killing you.

spookelele
04-27-2015, 09:33 AM
Good point regarding stretching ... what kind of stretching do you do? Any videos on YouTube? Probably are ... will check.

there are lots of videos on guitar type stretching which is probably the same for uke.

Mostly, I grab each joint and wiggle it gently in circles, and massage the joint. Then I stretch the whole index finger back and to the side and then I do one that's hard to describe in words....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tubk-NJkiUU

Doc_J
04-27-2015, 10:48 AM
I get joint pain on and off in the thumb and index finger base joint in both hands. For me, Aleeve and time away from playing help.
YMMV.

Steveperrywriter
04-27-2015, 12:02 PM
Go see your doctor and get a diagnosis; once you have that, then you can figure out the best treatment. Might be a little osteoarthritis, but it could be a tendon, or other stuff. Better to know which. Not everything will be treated the same.

river_driver
04-27-2015, 12:28 PM
Go see your doctor and get a diagnosis; once you have that, then you can figure out the best treatment. Might be a little osteoarthritis, but it could be a tendon, or other stuff. Better to know which. Not everything will be treated the same.

:agree: Good advice.

In the interim, take a couple days off from playing, so the inflammation can abate. It may be a stress injury from repetitive overuse. But a doctor's advice will be better than that of us guys on the internets.

Nickie
04-27-2015, 01:56 PM
Seeing a Doc isn't a bad idea. You might try switching from radiused to flat fretboard once in a while too, and stretching is a great idea. Acupuncture can be very helpful. I get joint pain periodically, and I rub Cryo Derm on it.
Remember, all things in moderation....

TheCraftedCow
04-28-2015, 04:38 AM
Do you know anyone who has some DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) It is sold in feed stores. You can read about it on line and see if it is something you might want to consider. One drop is all it takes on a finger joint.

sam13
04-28-2015, 06:04 AM
Thanks everyone. Today there is little or no pain.

You might know I just bought a new LFdM. The action at the nut is 2mm. It barely takes anything to barre chords. I haven't had hours and hours on it because I have young kids and work. But it is t an issue causing pain.

I think I need to work on better left hand and barre technique.

NUD to follow soon.

Ukulele Eddie
04-28-2015, 06:37 AM
Glad Bella arrived! Look forward to the NUD report.

On barring, did you see Glen Ross' posting last week about using your thumb more like a tripod? So many of us put the thumb directly opposite the finger we're barring with. His point was to place your thumb more toward the headstock for better leverage. Just trying something different may alleviate some of your discomfort. Hope you sort it soon so you can maximize your limited time with Bella.

Best, Eddie

UkerDanno
04-28-2015, 08:09 AM
put the uke down and step away!

JustinJ
04-28-2015, 08:22 AM
I was having problems with thumb joint pain in my left hand. I was working with a lot of Jazz chords. I was working in Lyle Ritz's Dvd Lyle Style and spending two hours a day doing all his barre chords.

I started getting burning sensation in my thumb joint that would go to my elbow.

What fixed the problem for me was getting a strap. I think holding the uke and moving up and down the uke was putting excess pressure on my thumb joint and wrist.

After getting the strap, I no longer have the problem. My pain is gone. I had pain for a good month. I should have stopped playing but I didn't. Playing ukulele brings me much joy. What I did after getting a strap was baring without using my thumb. I was pulling in a little bit towards my body with the large muscle group in my shoulder, arm and back using i. I got this idea about barring from classical guitar players. Now I try to think about just resting my thumb on the uke.

My technique improved and I do not have problems anymore. Use a strap on your uke, even your expensive one. I did not want to drill in my uke but it was the best thing I every did. I have an expensive uke coming and the first thing I'm doing is putting a strap button on.

My playing has improved just by getting a strap. I can relax my left hand play up and down the neck gliding instead of trying to hold a uke.

deschutestrout
04-28-2015, 09:29 AM
Not sure how you barre your chords, but it may help to extend more of your index finger over the fretboard so more of the stress is taken up by the bulkier part of your finger.

actadh
04-28-2015, 09:42 AM
When I first started, I had a lot of issues with my left hand and had barely any grip. Just playing helped to free up my left forefinger, which could hardly extend. I also went back on Nabumetone (generic of Relafen) after being off if it for a year.

The stratabond neck of my OXK is kind of rough - if I play for any length of time, I develop a callous on the inside joint of my thumb. So, I position the thumb in different places on the neck to relieve the pressure on that area. The plus side is that the act of repositioning my thumb several times in a playing session helps limit the pain in the entire left hand.

mds725
04-28-2015, 09:52 AM
there are lots of videos on guitar type stretching which is probably the same for uke.

Mostly, I grab each joint and wiggle it gently in circles, and massage the joint. Then I stretch the whole index finger back and to the side and then I do one that's hard to describe in words....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tubk-NJkiUU

Bummer. When I tried to play this video, I got a "This video is private" message.

spookelele
04-28-2015, 05:01 PM
Crud... sorry. I uploaded from my phone. It should work now.

sam13
05-02-2015, 05:21 PM
Glad Bella arrived! Look forward to the NUD report.

On barring, did you see Glen Ross' posting last week about using your thumb more like a tripod? So many of us put the thumb directly opposite the finger we're barring with. His point was to place your thumb more toward the headstock for better leverage. Just trying something different may alleviate some of your discomfort. Hope you sort it soon so you can maximize your limited time with Bella.

Best, Eddie

Thanks for the thought Eddie. I have been using the thumb like a tripod and also pulling the Uke into the body also helps with barring.

Bella's action is sweet. NUD coming soon. Your Kinnard has me thinking of one as well.

sam13
05-02-2015, 05:25 PM
I was having problems with thumb joint pain in my left hand. I was working with a lot of Jazz chords. I was working in Lyle Ritz's Dvd Lyle Style and spending two hours a day doing all his barre chords.

I started getting burning sensation in my thumb joint that would go to my elbow.

What fixed the problem for me was getting a strap. I think holding the uke and moving up and down the uke was putting excess pressure on my thumb joint and wrist.

After getting the strap, I no longer have the problem. My pain is gone. I had pain for a good month. I should have stopped playing but I didn't. Playing ukulele brings me much joy. What I did after getting a strap was baring without using my thumb. I was pulling in a little bit towards my body with the large muscle group in my shoulder, arm and back using i. I got this idea about barring from classical guitar players. Now I try to think about just resting my thumb on the uke.

My technique improved and I do not have problems anymore. Use a strap on your uke, even your expensive one. I did not want to drill in my uke but it was the best thing I every did. I have an expensive uke coming and the first thing I'm doing is putting a strap button on.

My playing has improved just by getting a strap. I can relax my left hand play up and down the neck gliding instead of trying to hold a uke.

Thanks for the thoughts. I use a strap on all of my Ukes. I find it allows me to focus my energy on other things.

peanuts56
05-03-2015, 02:02 AM
Someone mentioned seeing your doctor. Very good advice. Maybe try seeing an orthopedic physician. Be sure to stretch from time to time while practicing as well as before you start and after. Try gentle ice massage too, my chiropractic physician recommends using Dixie cups. Fill them about three quarters, stick them in the freezer. Gently rub the ice over the affected area for 5-6 minutes.
I also try to practice in shorter sessions, 20-30 minutes at a time.

sam13
05-04-2015, 08:46 AM
Someone mentioned seeing your doctor. Very good advice. Maybe try seeing an orthopedic physician. Be sure to stretch from time to time while practicing as well as before you start and after. Try gentle ice massage too, my chiropractic physician recommends using Dixie cups. Fill them about three quarters, stick them in the freezer. Gently rub the ice over the affected area for 5-6 minutes.
I also try to practice in shorter sessions, 20-30 minutes at a time.

I will look to speak with my doctor.

Interestingly, I have backed off on the Tenor's and their tension on barring and played my Super Soprano Keli'i Uke with low action and lower string tension ... and the joint pain has left ... so I think I need to switch it up a bit to allow me to keep playing.

JustinJ
05-04-2015, 08:55 AM
Hi Sam,

I just recently received a ukulele and am waiting for a wooden strap button to be made for it. The new uke has higher action and I'll get this set lower when I have the strap button put on. My thumb pain is coming back. My other uke has very low action and has a strap on it.

I have strong hands and can work in the yard all day. I can play the piano for extended periods of time. I may need to take more breaks when playing ukulele. I play the uke for hours before putting it down, unless I get on the UU lol. It's my favorite instrument.

The problem must be that the hand is held in a certain position for too long.

wendellfiddler
05-04-2015, 09:16 AM
Yeah, bar chords will exacerbate finger problems. I sometimes try to find positions that use all of my fingers independently instead - even if using a bar position is "easier". And yes, there are stretching exercises that can help. Actually, mandolin might be the worst of all stringed instruments for finger and wrist stress because of the doubled steel strings and wide spaced chord positions. So the uke is not as bad as that.

One thing though - don't push it - if you have pain playing something in particular - play something else for a while and come back to it later.

Icelander53
05-04-2015, 09:43 AM
The problem must be that the hand is held in a certain position for too long.

This^^^

I have the same issue and am addressing it by fretting less strenuously. Fortunately, it seems that I've learnt barring well enough that I can use about half the pressure I normally used. Or something like that. It's making a big difference already but I have to constantly remind myself to relax. Actually playing my Risa solid electric that clued me into how much pressure I used when fretting. On that baby a very light touch is all that is needed and so I began slowly to go softly when fretting. It seems to be working. I just need to stick with it.