1

When I exercise fast chord changes on my acoustic guitar( just open chords, no barre), after about 10 minutes, I feel contraction on my palm near the thumb( on thenar eminence). When I touch there, I feel a slight numbness. It is not my first month on the guitar, I did not feel that pain even I am practicing barre chords, but I have never exercised that much chord changes before. My palm is not touching to neck, my thumb is on the back of the neck nearly all the time and I'm trying to press close to frets. I practice around 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times a day( total 1-2 hours).

Edit: I have found something interesting, when I make a fist and bend my wrist inwards, I feel the muscle/nerve(on thenar eminence) which I'm talking about is like popping, something like a string is conracting.

Should I practice less or let my muscles workout?

  • 1
    The best thing would be to get an experienced teacher and/or talk to a doctor. Anything else is just guessing. The safest guess to make is to practice less and see what happens. – Todd Wilcox Aug 28 '17 at 12:14
  • I'm practicing myself for 2 weeks, before that I had 2 different teachers, I asked both constanly about my positioning, they said it's okay. – Melih Aug 28 '17 at 13:29
  • 1
    Symptoms in the palm, near the thumb may come from nerve compression as mentioned, but also another location. The median nerve can also be compressed at the elbow under teres major. Or it could be both. A knowledgeable massage therapist might be very helpful for the symptoms, but you may need to stabilize not only your left upper limb, but your spine and pelvis too. – Jeff Aug 29 '17 at 5:58
  • I have found something interesting, when I make a fist and bend my wrist inwards, I feel the muscle/nerve(on thenar eminence) which I'm talking about is like popping, something like a string is conracting. If it is related to other muscle groups, I'm working out, of course teres major is also working. – Melih Aug 29 '17 at 14:38
  • 1
    You'll be fine, just keep playing or take a break. – marshal craft Aug 29 '17 at 15:17
3

It could be carpal tunnel syndrome. It occurs when the median nerve is squished inside the carpal tunnel of your wrist, which can cause numbness. It is often due to exertion but most often due to curving your wrist too much.

Look at the way you play. Your wrist should be bent as little as possible. If you use thumb-behind-the-neck technique the neck must be tilted up. A good rule is to keep the nut at ear level. Another option is to put the thumb over the edge of the fingerboard, angling it towards the headstock if needed. And if you have already been using proper technique, or correcting your wrist position doesn't help, just see an expert already.

Also for more difficult chords a lower string action and lighter strings do help. A little fret buzz is better than hurting yourself.

Finally see if there is any part of your technique where you are using more force than necessary, if so fix it. That is all i can think of.

  • It could be, because I'm a computer science senior and I'm also working out, I guess I do everything causing that syndorome. I changed my strings to 0.10 light ones(I was using 0.12) and I checked the action. I will tilt the neck, and the problem occurs mostly on A-Am chords where I put so much pressure on my first finger and the thumb, I'm gonna try to fix these. – Melih Aug 28 '17 at 13:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.