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I'm an experienced guitarist/pianist and am having a bit of a problem with my left hand. When I'm playing guitar I seem to suddenly get a pain between my index finger and thumb fairly deep, almost as if I'm a beginner again. It's playing havoc with my ability to make it through an entire song without pain. Also my hand has started to outright refuse to move in certain directions even after a warm up.

Barre chords are agony to attempt almost immediately with a thick-necked guitar and even any octave stretches on piano are painful. I'm hoping that I've just pulled a muscle but it's been around for the last 3 months or so. I've never really liked the thought of hand trainers (to me it always sounded like the old dipping your fingers in vinegar to get them to harden up) but if this will allow me to play again I'm happy to try it.

Any recommendations for relaxing/training that muscle?

Edit: As a side note, my hands lock up occasionally and I need to heat them up in order to be able to get all feeling and movement back.

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This may sound obvious, but have you discussed this with a G.P? –  Tim Feb 3 '14 at 13:45
Just had a discussion with the missus. Been putting it off (stupidly) because I think I know exactly what the answer is. The dreaded A. –  ScottMcGready Feb 3 '14 at 13:45
Agreed with Tim here - you should probably be talking with someone instead of a bunch of people on a website. It could be arthritis, but it could also be a nerve thing as well. –  jjmusicnotes Feb 3 '14 at 13:46
Oh I totally agree, I suppose I was hoping that there was a specific untrained muscle that a hand tensioner would train and if anyone else had a similar experience. –  ScottMcGready Feb 3 '14 at 13:48
This will sound strange, but if it is in fact arthritis, you may find this helpful as it was to me. Before going to bed, soak your hand several minutes in a very hot epsom salts bath, hot as you can make it. Then work peanut oil (yes, peanut oil) into the area. Wear a glove on the hand (wool is preferable) when you go to bed. Do this for a week. Of course, if you in fact have carpal tunnel or something, the heat won't do it much good. Otherwise, no harm in trying it? –  BobRodes Feb 6 '14 at 16:42

1 Answer 1

Given your edit, it sounds like an entrapment of some sort - either carpal tunnel, or one of the tendon sheaths, or both. I'm not a doctor, but have had problems similar to this that were caused by carpal tunnel.

You want to reduce the swelling - warm feels better, but actually doesn't help. Try icing your hand and wrist instead to help the swelling go down, take an NSAID if you can stomach it and see your doctor. You may need a steroid injection, or (minor) surgery. A hand specialist will know better than some random person on the Internet.

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