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Thread: Ever Use a Thumb Protector?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearpaw View Post
    Be very careful about taking Advil (ibuprofens) during this pandemic. It may weaken your immune system and compromise your ability to fight the an infection. Best to talk to your doctor before taking this medication. Full disclosure: I am NOT a doctor or a medical professional, simply aware that ibuprofen has a particular risk in the current pandemic.
    Fake news.

    https://www.wired.com/story/the-ibup...vid-19-rumors/
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Use a pick. Get several picks, felt, rubber, thin plastic and use them all. Each will deliver a different sound. Also keep using your thumb, just not all the time, give it a rest by using a pick. Its not rocket science, there is no law that says you are forced to use your thumb all the time.

    Sure it will take some getting used to, the sooner you start, the sooner you will start to care for your thumb.
    OP said it was his left thumb, so Iím assuming thatís his fretting hand, so a pick wonít help.
    But maybe heís left handed, and plays a uke set up for a south paw?

    My approach to dealing w/ finger & thumb pain probably isnít going to be helpful, but Iíll mention anyway that acupuncture helps, (Iím licensed so can do it for myself), magnets help me, (people usually think thatís goofy, but Iím mentioning it anyway), and when not playing, various topical cremes can help. (I donít use them when playing to avoid getting the cremes on the ukulele.) I have also taped my fingers (flexible tape) on bad days.

    Iím very picky about necks, because that makes a big, big difference for me, too. If you have the opportunity to try out different necks, (which you may already have done), try different neck shapes, nut widths, etc. & see if any of that makes a difference. Itís a good excuse for UAS. 😁

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Use a pick. Get several picks, felt, rubber, thin plastic and use them all. Each will deliver a different sound. Also keep using your thumb, just not all the time, give it a rest by using a pick. Its not rocket science, there is no law that says you are forced to use your thumb all the time.

    Sure it will take some getting used to, the sooner you start, the sooner you will start to care for your thumb.
    The OP said the problem is in his left thumb, which I am assuming is his fretting hand.

    Sorry, I just noticed the post before mine covered the same thing.
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  4. #14
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    Jul 2019
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    A lot of good suggestions. I named the thread to try to focus on thumb protectors because over time, I have tried many of the non-protector ideas mentioned here (but not magnets - yet ;-). I have practiced the "no-thumb" approach and it helps, but I find I still need my thumb and want to be able to use it. I liked the Benny Chong video at 2:10, but noticed that earlier in the video he's pushing with his thumb quite forcefully, and has a very bendable first joint.

    Thumbs have two joints, and both are problems for me. Besley's protector works for him for the carpal-metacarpal (cmc) joint, and I might try that, including a covering to not damage my ukes. My other thumb joint is painful when bending too far back (like Benny Chong's). So far the best I have found for both is wrapping with a stick-to-itself elastic bandage.

    Since not playing and taking anti-inflammatory drugs regularly are not something I'm willing to do at this time (for various reasons), I'll continue to look for the perfect protector that works for me and is easier to use and set up than an elastic wrap.

    Thanks again, and if anyone has another or new idea, please let me know.

  5. #15
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    You might try stretching your thumb(s) before and after you play. (Finger stretches too.) It helps me. Plus I practice in shorter time blocks than I used to. Taking more breaks.

    Keeping my hands limber helps. Moving them often to keep the joints active. Also keeps the blood flowing to your hands.

    Believe it or not, I found that a hand exerciser, set at a low resistance, also seems to lessen the pain in my thumbs.

    Arthritis is a tricky thing and Osteo is very different from Rheumatoid.

    Inflammation can also be treated by soaking in ice cold water after you play. (IE: athletes soaking in an ice bath after a game.) You treat swelling with cold.
    Loosen your joints, ligaments, tendons & muscles with heat. Before you play and after your cold compress or ice bath. Massage can also be beneficial.
    Commercially there are machines that have warm paraffin for soaking your hands and allowing the heat to soothe the aches.

    My orthopedic doctor told me that if Glucosamine Chondroitin doesn't begin to help after 2 or 3 months, it probably won't. He said that more recent studies have shown better results with Omega Fatty Acids. But neither are magic bullets. They help some people, somewhat.

    The pianist Glenn Gould used to soak his hands in warm to hot water before every performance or recording session to loosen his hands.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you donít begin to know until you begin to try to do.

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  6. #16
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    For what it is worth , back when I was 10 to 12 , during the time I was taking guitar lessons ,
    I had a left thumb problem , it got very painful but I worked through it like the pain in my fingertips.
    I remember the nerve pain in my middle fretting finger , whew .
    I've been playing ukulele only for the last few years , I took out one of my guitars
    and my fingertips were like fat marshmallows , I couldnt do anything with them.
    " Anything larger than a soprano is cheating "
    " I'm no luthier but ,........"

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by besley View Post
    Are we talking about thumb base arthritis? I'm "lucky" to have this in both hands, though it is much worse in my right (which is odd considering that I am left handed). Anyway, I have found thumb braces to be quite a help.


    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
    I was given something similar to this when I was attending the physio department at our local small hospital. It works to a certain extent for me for my right/picking hand and allows me to hold a flatpick as a rare experiment. On my left/fingering hand it was too muchof an encumberance. It was also suggested that I tried the exercises they gave me which,after 3 weeks,seem to help.

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