Arthritis Tips

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Roland White 1 month, 1 week ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #15479

    jimshau
    Participant

    Does anyone have tips for a problem with arthritis in the thumb of the bow hand? I have a brace, have had injections, and have tried adjusting my bow hold. Any advice at all would be appreciated.

  • #15506

    Casey Willis
    Keymaster

    Hi, Jim. I don’t have any advice specific to arthritis…perhaps @roland does??

    The only thing I might suggest is stretching your hands/thumbs for 5 minutes before & after playing…I know that is a good idea in general, and I would think it would at least help some??

    I feel your pain, sir…I’m a week out from having my left thumb operated on…

    Best of luck to you…Fiddle should be fun: not painful..

  • #15510

    Roland White
    Moderator

    Hi Jim & Casey, yes that is a tough problem to have and the bow hold is so important. About the only thing I can suggest is look into Physical Therapy there may be some exercise movement to deal with your specific pain location and strengthening does help. Other than that you might experiment with a different Bow Hold that still allows you control but will reduce the the pain. I also will sometimes use fingerless compression gloves to warm up. You will not be as precise when you play but it does make the hands warm up faster and reduce the hand pain. Good luck and let us know how it any of these tips work. Best Roland

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by  Roland White.
  • #15512

    jimshau
    Participant

    I so appreciate your suggestions. I have exhausted all these avenues but with a minimum of improvement. The problem is with the first joint closest to the nail. It has very little flex ability and wearing the braces is even more restrictive. I have made an elastic loop that goes around the bow stick and my middle finger. That is to ensure I do not drop the bow. I am playing through the pain but the issue is bow control. It tends to slide and you know what a horrible screech can result. I am working on bow exercises to help prevent that. I have been checking your bow technique videos. All of your suggestions are very useful. Perhaps this conversation will be helpful for others. I wish you all the best on your surgery Casey. Thanks again for your responses.
    Sharon

  • #15514

    Roland White
    Moderator

    Hi Sharon, Well in your case I would repeat the adage, “Where there is a Will, There is a Way.” …I do recall in fiddle workshop I went to where the instructor pretty much made us feel like wimps and whiners if we complained of any handicaps, physical or otherwise that might hinder us.

    She proceeded to show us pictures and recordings of 3 fingered or one armed fiddlers that because of their desire to play figured out a way to do it. So I commend you on your desire to find a way to end the pain and keep playing.

    You are really free to try anything that comes to mind, including modifying your brace to work for you. I know that PT therapists that work on hands can now make you a Custom Specialized Splint for your hand that may be able to put your hand in position with no pain.

    They do this in the office with you sitting there for fitting and results. Maybe take your bow and fiddle with you and try your instrument holding in the office to see if a new splint will work. Meanwhile the bow videos are really good, Casey has several that specifically work on the finger strengthening and those might also help. Good luck with your playing and let us know if you have any breakthroughs. Best, Roland

  • #15752

    RickM
    Participant

    Sharon (jimshau) I’ve been dealing with the same issue with both hands for a couple of years. It can be debilitating for sure.

    Something you may not have tried yet is kinetic tape. The stuff that you’ll see athletes wearing these days that looks like a strip of bandage or something. I know there are lots of opinions about it being junk science, but out of desperation, I tried it. Darned if it doesn’t help.

    It come in rolls about 2″ wide. I cut a 4 or 5″ length. Split the first 2″ or so into two “legs” One goes on the thumb, one on the forefinger and then the rest runs the length of your forearm.

    Somedays it does nothing, others I get instant relief. I have been unable to hold the bow, applied some and gone back to playing for an hour or more. I use a brand called MuscleAid, my wife uses KT brand because of the glue, so you may have to experiment. Hope you get a little relief

  • #15753

    Roland White
    Moderator

    Hi RickM, thanks for the tip. Hopefully this will help folks having these playing issues. I know it can seem desperate when nothing works. If any of you try this, let us know how it works for you. Thanks for the tip. Best, Roland, Forum Moderator.

  • #15757

    jimshau
    Participant

    Thank you for the tip. I will certainly give it a try. I am desperate.
    Sharon

  • #15758

    Roland White
    Moderator

    HI Sharon,

    Let us know how your results turn out and how you used the tape…you never know it might work for someone else too.
    Thanks for posting, Roland Forum Moderator

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.