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#31786 by Shredd6
Sat May 17, 2008 8:49 am
Has anyone ever had it ?

I went to the doctor today.. I'm pretty sure I have it. I have to see a specialist next week.

I'm a custom woodworker by trade..

This is what I do:


I Install stair railings.

Last year somebody stole my cordless drill, so I had to buy a new one. When I was looking for a new one, I saw a Makita that was an 18volt and really light weight. It advertises that because it's light weight, it's easier to use. But the torque is the same as the other heavier ones.

For a while now I noticed that because of how light weight it is, when it does torque you have to compensate with your hand. If you get lax with it it'll wrench your wrist, so you have to hold on tight to it. Doing my job, it's used for a good 4-5 hours a day. It's been months now of using it everyday, and yesterday, my hand could finally take no more.

I can't even play my guitar now.

The last cordless drill I had was a Dewalt which is heavier. The heavier back end of a cordless drill helps to counter-balance against the torque. So for any construction workers who are on this forum, don't buy into the hype of a lightweight cordless with a high torque rating..

I tried to play guitar tonight, and I lasted all of 5-minutes. I'm typing this with my left hand, and it's taking forever. I can barely hold a pick right now. My other hand is burning and throbbing. I tried to open a pack of 9V batteries earlier and it hurt to do it. Simple tasks just hurt like hell.

My rhythm hand is completely gimped, and I'm afraid I did permanent damage. I need surgery to correct it. I just know it. All I have to say at this point is, Carpal Tunnel hurts like hell, and I hope none of you ever have to experience it.

#31787 by Craig Maxim
Sat May 17, 2008 8:56 am
That's scary man.

I'm worried that I am getting it too, cause my hands cramp up now quite a bit, which makes it hard for me to play keys sometimes, well, play fast runs and stuff. I can force myself to do it, but I am not as fast when this happens, and there is pain. I've been worrying that I am getting it from all the hours I spend in front of the computer, typing on this forum, and especially all the band stuff I do on computer, through MySpace and email.

I'll be praying for you bro.

I don't think you've done permanent damage. I just have a feeling.

It will be alright.

But you may have to rest it for awhile.

Take care of yourself man. You are too talented for the world to lose just yet! Seriously!

Well wishes from me brother!

#31789 by blair_rock
Sat May 17, 2008 10:35 am
Hate to hear it too. You'll be in my prayers also.
I've got 2 bum shoulders, 1 from a motorcycle accident and the other from a work injury. They're getting bad now. Think it's got alot to do with age. See that your young. Sure damage isn't permanant. Try to keep your thoughts positive. James Allen wrote a book in the late 1800's
As a man thinkith. Poem in it goes.

Mind is the master that molds and shapes.
And man is mind and evermore he makes.
The tool of thought that shapes his will
creates a thousand joys, a thousand ills.
He thinks in secret and it comes to pass.
Reality is but his looking Glass.

I'm also wearing a cooper bracelet with magnets and it's actually helping some. Whether it really does or me just believing that it does doesen't matter. I'm looking forward to hearing a good report about the whole situation.

#31791 by philbymon
Sat May 17, 2008 10:58 am
Beautiful work, shredd6!

I'm a carpenter, too. I've used those light weight cordless drills, & they do seem like a dream to work with. I've expected prob's like yours, though, when they're used too much, what with the extreme torques.

I have an old Porter Cable 19.2 volt cordless. Heavy as hell, which in my opinion helps a great deal to avoid those prob's as long as I'm not working overhead.

I think, after you get it checked out & fixed, you'd do better to use one of those new light weight cordless hammer drills for everything, if you can continue to do the work you're used to.

It may be too late to do them, but there are many exercizes you can do to offset CTS. It sounds like you may have done some damage, considering the length of time that has gone by with the constant daily strain. I'd be very leery of getting the operation, though. I've never talked to anyone who's had it that is satisfied with the results.

Take some time away from using that hand. Yeah, I know...hard to make a living that way. Give it a rest, for at least a couple weeks. Do the stretches & use the splints that hold it steady while you sleep & such. Use the heat/ice/heat stuff, it helps. Massage it as often as you can. Wear the braces & put zero weight on your hand. DO NOT GO FOR THE QUICK FIX!!!!

It's possible that it really isn't too late. Surely you've noticed, looking back over the last year, that there were indeed symptoms, right? I mean, this hasn't just magically happened to you overnight. Now you know what to watch for. You can get it back, if I'm right in my assumption that it's a recent development, providing you take care of it immediately, & continue daily care with stretching & massaging.

You might also want to check out a good, experienced acupuncture therapist accompanied with some holistic therapy to stimulate nerve regeneration.

Once they cut you, man, you can only get so much better, & the op can do more harm than good. They give you no guarantees on it for a reason. You can do far more for yourself, in most cases, by going this different route.

It will probably take more time to fix than you think you are able to live with. Even as long as a year. Stay with a good program on this, shredd6. It can be done.

I pray that your damage is reversable, my man. In most cases it is, if you are prepared to do what it takes.

#31794 by Crip2Nite
Sat May 17, 2008 11:28 am
Don't sweat it.... I had the operation on my right hand and eventually I'm told I gotta have it done on the left... It got so painful that I would writher in pain at night... finally got the operation and aaaaahhhhhh....what a relief...pain is gone.... they say I lost 17% in my right hand and was awarded 25 grand by workers comp.... was out of commission as far as playing guitar for about 2 months and took quite a while to get back into the groove again but don't regret the op at all cause in the long run, it feels great.... I'm supposed to get it done on my left hand but it really ain't bothering me and I'm gigging like crazy so it ain't gonna happen till I'm in severe pain again!

#31796 by The KIDD
Sat May 17, 2008 12:26 pm
Hey Shredd

Thought Id jump in here real quick to say that EVERYONE I know who has had the surgery, has had great results..One lady is a doghouse bass player playin hard drivin BG. Man shes back to slappin that bass hard as ever...One older guy 71, who I THOUGHT wasnt gonna fair that well, ended up with good results...Like Crip said, he was outta commission playin for a long time (becuase his was
more seasoned" but he said the wait was worth it...Lets keep the faith that your on the road to recovery...


#31797 by Franny
Sat May 17, 2008 12:32 pm
Wow, thats some beautiful work man.
I was a rough framer in my 20's, till some nitwit wanted to raise a fully framed 5 unit front townhouse wall all at once, i was on an looked like a wave of wall traveling down towards me, i kept my end up at a price...compressed my lumbar spine. Needless to say, 20 some years later i'm on full disability because of it.

On your CTS, i've always been one to take extra care with my hands, stretching the webs inbetween my fingers, warming up the forearms, wrist stretching, the whole nine yards, i've been fortunate as i play 35" scale 5-6 string basses, with me being a mere 5'61/2" (was 5'8" up until surgery) you can imagine the distance i have to cover on a bass thats 3/4ths my entire height. :twisted:

#31798 by philbymon
Sat May 17, 2008 12:35 pm
Gee...sounds like I may be a bit off on this, from what I'm hearing.

Dunno...I know 5 ppl who had the op, & none of them faired that well.

There are alternatives to the op.

Perhaps it's the docs involved.

Still, I'd be leery of getting cut again. My ulna nerve surgery hasn't seemed to help a bit. Still have numbness in my left 3rd & 4th fingers. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't.

Nothing more frustrating than a hand that acts like it belongs to someone else.

I'd check into all the possible treatments.

Glad to hear that it's worked for some, though.

#31800 by Paleopete
Sat May 17, 2008 12:59 pm
I've been worried about CTS myself for years, it seems just about everything I do should put me at high risk...started playing guitar at age 5, sax since 12 or so, carpenter, computer technician, small engine mechanic, and have already had a major tendon problem since was in 8th grade. Cut a tendon going to my left ring finger, had to have it surgically reattached. That has caused a lot of pain and trouble, there have been nights I could barely play at all, I've played gigs with the neck of the guitar straight up so I wouldn't have to bend the left wrist, very painful. And that was 20-25 years ago...(My cordless drill is a Hilti, by the way, 12V but pretty heavy and lotsa power. I like it)

I sure hate to hear you having this kind of problems, I know how painful it is. I'm having trouble with my right elbow right now, but not sure if it's tendon problem or arthritis. I think arthritis. Same thing though, it's been abused for many years swinging hammers, pulling wrenches, sitting at a bench typing or working a mouse, etc. And of course playing guitar every day for 45 years hasn't helped I'm sure...

Take care of that hand, but as noted above do everything else you can to try and improve it before resorting to surgery. I had no choice, I was 12 or 13, they didn't know what was wrong, just had a movable lump there (turned out to be a pus sac under the skin) and when they opened it up to see what the lump was they also found the tendon only holding by one or two strands. I woke up with a cast on my arm and FREAKED...I'm sure the nurse told stories about it for years, she didn't know I was awake yet when I yelled "what the hell did they do break my arm???"

The cast was to hold the hand in place so I couldn't stretch the tendon for a couple of months until it had time to heal. I ignored the doctor and was trying to play guitar with a cast on 2 weeks later, couldn't stand it, I HAD to know if I could play again. He told me not to touch a guitar until the cast came off. He also told me he didn't know if I'd ever play guitar again at all...not what I wanted to hear...

I still have limited use of that hand, also fell on it years later (early 20's) and hurt the wrist, so it's been giving me trouble for many years when I play. I still manage to be one of the best guitar players in town long as I stay sober...but I'm pretty limited on chords, my fingers cannot physically do what yours can do, can't be done. But I practice chords that hurt until I can play them and it no longer hurts, the first 2 years everything hurt.

For the ring finger to move, the middle one has to move with it. Hold up two fingers, the index points straight up, the middle drops to about half mast. Put your hand palm down on a table and you should be able to raise your ring finger an inch or more, by itself. I can raise mine maybe 1/4" and that's painful. If I try to play keyboards, I can only use the thumb and index or ring finger (not both) and pinkie on my left hand. Ring finger is almost useless palm down. Palm up for guitar it's ok, but limited.

Take care of that hand, don't overdo it. Do everything you can to avoid surgery, but in the end it will probably be necessary. I know I'll have to do it one day, but I try to stay away from doctors as much as possible to begin with and surgery is always a last resort only. There are other things you can do, and at least postpone the need for surgery. I have a friend here who plays bass, had surgery for CTS a few years ago and says he's had no trouble since, but he's the only one I've talked to so that's just one instance, I can't draw any conclusions from that.

Good luck, I know how that hurts, I've been dealing with a wrecked tendon for many years...I've seen nights I've played almost in tears...I'm surprised CTS hasn't reared its ugly head already...

#31802 by fisherman bob
Sat May 17, 2008 1:31 pm
Try some alternative methods BEFORE you get operated on. Almost two years ago my left knee went completely numb. I literally fell down after getting out of bed. Instead of going to an osteopath I went to my chiropractor. I had some misallignments in various places in my spine, causing the nerve running down my leg to screw up. It took about six months of spine adjustments for my leg to get completely better. If I had gone to an osteopath most likely they would have operated on my knee and NOT SOLVED THE PROBLEM. I'm no doctor but maybe your carpal problem might be related to your spine. I'm sure you do a lot of twisting and turning. The area of your spine that most affects your arms may need to be adjusted. Also look into naturopathic medicine. Look in the yelow pages for naturopathic or holistic doctors. Sometimes accupuncture can help with all kinds of ailments. Your diet may also have a negative effect on your carpal tunnel. Right after I started going to the chiropractor I also went to a naturopath because I was having severe irritable bowel problems. Turned out I was allergic to dairy and didn't even know it. Cut that out of my diet and made some other significant changes (no red meat, no peppers, no tomatoes, no carbonated beverages,etc.) I lost a fair amount of weight. Also my blood pressure dropped draatically (no drugs needed). Bottom line for me is if I have any medical issues I go first to the naturopath or chiropractor. Our medical establishment knows only of two cures: drugs or surgery. Chinese medicine has been practiced for over 2,000 years. they have natural cures for almost every ailment. Look into the natural cures and you might be pleasantly surprised and save a lot of aggravation. Good luck.

#31810 by Irish Anthony
Sat May 17, 2008 3:03 pm
sorry to hear your plight tell the truth i dont know the first thing about c.t.s......i dont know anyone(in ireland) who has it and very little about it...i hope you overcome it how ever you can....


#31814 by Guitaranatomy
Sat May 17, 2008 3:59 pm
Yeah, I have it. Or some kind of tendonitis. It really can flare up and hurt horribly, right now for instance my right hand is slown down. I strained it somehow, perhaps working out.

But I know when I went to play guitar for the last two days, I have not had the proper strength so I go to play something and I miss notes and strings. Bleh. I am all out of sync. Lol.

But yeah, watch out for that, man. Just be as gentle as you can on your hands. My sister has it very bad, it comes from typing so much. I mean I type about 140 words a minute at top speed. Right now I am only doing a little over 90 I think. It hurts you hands after a while, tearing away at them.

Now I play guitar and want to learn keys, so that is not going to be fun. Lol. It has always been hard for me to get very fast at guitar, or hold it too low, or I feel pain in my hands. I am working on adjusting to this.

Just ease up on your hands, if you feel any pain, take a break (With guitar that is or any other instrument you might play). Buy wrist supporting braces they are very good for this stuff. Make sure they keep your thumb locked though.

Peace out, GuitarAnatomy.

#31816 by Kramerguy
Sat May 17, 2008 6:25 pm
I have it, was diagnosed last month. My doctor put me on a B complex vitamin regiment and had me get a wrist brace, which I wear while I sleep.

It has helped a bit, I will sum it up for you:

Before seeing doctor: (all in my left arm/hand btw)

1. Arm falling asleep, started at night while sleeping, kept waking me up, had to keep flopping around in bed
2. Started happening during daytime when doing repetitive tasks or something like holding a phone up to my ear for more than 3-5 minutes.
3. The arm asleep starting also bringing on 'tingling' in my hand/fingers, and overall increased occurrences.
4. Hand starting getting fatigued, weak when playing super long guitar solos or song-intensive full bar chords without other chords to give my hand a break.
5. In the end, started getting shooting pains in my wrist and arm on opposite side of my elbow

after doctor, testing, diagnosis- wear brace, take vitamins.

1. Relief within a day, shooting pains stopped completely
2. Still get the arm falling asleep, but less frequent
3. Additional tingling in fingers also much less frequent.
4. More strength in guitar hand, and more durability, but still have discomfort, arm asleep, tingling to some degree when playing stuff I described above. I can barely play "creep" and "rooster" because of how relentless the consistent bar chords are.

Overall, I'm successfully managing it rather than correcting it, but also not letting it force me down. My doctor is against surgery unless it becomes a necessity. I'm down with that.

Hope this helps

#31817 by Franny
Sat May 17, 2008 6:38 pm
Hey Kramer, i had the same symptoms a couple years ago, pins and needles in my left hand, felt like it was constantly asleep. Well knowing that MD's love to send you to someone with a knife, i went to a Chiropractor and he diagnosed what they call "double crush", it turned out it was coming mainly from my neck (cervical spine), few neck adjustments later what ever it was, was gone. Now i can just lean my head to one side and get a "crack" to keep it at bay.
It can and has at times returned; but knowing how to work it out myself has saved me from unnecessary surgery imo.

#31818 by Shredd6
Sat May 17, 2008 6:45 pm
thanks for all of your prayers and good comments. hand still hurts like hell, but i got a few braces and splints today. one way or another, i will play guitar again. i've decided to keep practicing using a hammer-on approach. i'ts gonna be strange, but i think it'll be an interesting thing to try. obviously i can't play any of my other songs, but i'm gonna write a guitar piece and perform it using only my fretting hand , record it, and post it on here later.

Thanks again everyone for the comments and advice. if i have to have surgery later on, then that's just the way it goes.

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