The Acoustic Guitar Forum  

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 05-17-2010, 05:03 PM
nm_guitarist nm_guitarist is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1
Default Playing a guitar after a hand or wrist injury?

I have been playing guitar for about three years now. I broke a metacarpal bone in my hand and my wrist yesterday during a softball game. I got a fiberglass cast put on this morning. I learned to play the guitar as part of music therapy program because I'm bipolar. I'm always learning new songs. I will have to wear a cast for 8 weeks and after that I might need to wear a splint for a couple of weeks and I will have some therapy. Is it painful to play again after a hand injury and not playing in awhile?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-17-2010, 05:21 PM
15 Man 15 Man is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 852
Default

First of all, Welcome to The Forum!

Sorry to hear about your injury. The short answer to your question is - YES. How much pain will depend on how severe the injury is. At the very least you’ll have to go through building up the calluses again. I just had elbow surgery in January and it took me a good couple of months to get my playing skills back close to where I was before hand. And yeah, there was some pain during the process. My playing skills still aren’t all the way back to where I’d like them to be. However, that’s due more to having too many other things going on that cut in on my playing time than anything else.

It's funny (sort of) that you mention this. The last few days my left wrist has been hurting like heck and I have no idea what I did to it. It's not from playing because I've been away for a few days. If it keeps up I may have to forget about playing for a week or two until it gets better.

Good luck with your recovery!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-17-2010, 06:21 PM
Marc Durso Marc Durso is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 520
Default

I have two steel plates, 12 screws, two criss crossed wires and artificial bone in my wrist joint. Cast from fingers to shoulder. Six months of excruciating therapy. Ah, but I can play again!!!! So, heal, follow your therapist's instructions, be patient.
__________________
Wonderful reality guitars now:
Ted Thompson Guitars: T1 (GA), T2 (00), T2C (00) all in sitka/EIR
...

Wonderful dream guitars someday:
Mark Blanchard Pinyon (00) Ad/Koa slothead 12fret contour cutaway, Mark Blanchard Sugarpine (000) Ad/Mad fan 12 fret contour cutaway w/Manzer wedge
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-17-2010, 06:28 PM
ljguitar's Avatar
ljguitar ljguitar is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: wyoming
Posts: 31,616
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nm_guitarist View Post
I have been playing guitar for about three years now. I broke a metacarpal bone in my hand and my wrist yesterday during a softball game. I got a fiberglass cast put on this morning. I learned to play the guitar as part of music therapy program because I'm bipolar. I'm always learning new songs. I will have to wear a cast for 8 weeks and after that I might need to wear a splint for a couple of weeks and I will have some therapy. Is it painful to play again after a hand injury and not playing in awhile?
Hi nm_guitarist…
Which hand? Picking or fretting?

Here's what you need to ask your doctor(s)...
''If I’m playing my guitar and feel pain, am I doing further injury?" That is the biggest issue with injury, healing and playing. Then you need to see if there is a way you can adapt your playing for fun and growth.

If it's just pain - I can endure pain and play - but if it's resulting in either slowed healing, mal-formed healing or further injury it's best to wait.

__________________
Larry J

Baby #01
Baby #02
Baby #03
Baby #04
Full-size Full-Scale Baby #4

Larry's songs...

…Just because you've argued till a discussion turns silent doesn't mean you have convinced anyone…
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-17-2010, 07:34 PM
Papol Papol is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Cal
Posts: 1,246
Default

I had to lay off guitar for most of this year due to 3 tendon surgeries (2 in left hand, 1 in right), and as a side-effect, I lost the feeling in my 2nd & 3rd fingers in my left hand until just a week ago.

So yes, there's a ton of pain when I play, and I have to say I totally love it ;) Feeling anything including pain is better than nothing.

The best thing that helped me most after the surgeries was intensive PT/OT (physical and occupational therapy at the local hospital. I've been doing that for 4 months, and have another 2 to go. The PT's let me know whether I've gone too far with practicing, taught me to recognize it, and just to make it more practical, the general rule is that while healing from an injury, it's best not to keep playing endlessly through pain.

I can play for hours now, but have to take a break for 5 minutes of each ~60, and do a few exercises when it is worst.

Best of luck to you --
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-17-2010, 08:57 PM
Bingoccc Bingoccc is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,886
Default

It hurts.. Check it out with your doctor then get over it. Pain is part of life.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-17-2010, 09:19 PM
richnrbq richnrbq is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 117
Default

Sorry to hear about the injury and, yes, it's definitely a journey back from something like this but totally worth it and totally motivating.

After a lifetime of playing fairly seriously, I severed a tendon in my right hand that took me out of playing keyboards and guitar for almost a year. The very first time I was able to simply place my fingers on the keyboard and make a basic chord brought tears to my eyes, it was just so great to feel that connection between playing and hearing a sound again. I didn't know how much I would get back at that point, but for the moment it was enough.

Thank God, I've pretty much recovered all motion and more importantly can play pain-free with abandon. You will heal and you will be able to play again. Hang in there, do what the doctor tells you, go for it with the physical therapy when the time comes and it'll come back.

Have faith, friend!

Rich
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-17-2010, 09:39 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 13,230
Default

I broke my left wrist two and a half years ago, and was pretty upset about it since I maintain an active paid music schedule, leading a church music group among other things.

Some gigs I had to flat out cancel, because they were too soon after the injury for me to fulfill. I kept leading the music group, and found that within two weeks I could start playing mandolin again.

Guitar took me about a month to get back to, and it was still difficult for at least a month or so after that. The last of my instruments that I got facile upon was the mountain dulcimer, which was actually the most painful to resume because I use all the fingers of my left hand and press downwards, in fingerings that are closer to piano fingerings than anything else.

But my doctor was astonished at the speed of my progress in regaining a full range of motion, and told me he was convinced that it was my musicianship that made the vital difference. He told me that others with the same injury generally take two to three times as long to make the same progress I made. I was fully functioning again as a musician within six weeks, and had been back to playing mandolin within two weeks, though I was still wearing the wrist brace until that six week mark.

This doesn't mean that you and I had the same injury: as you've no doubt learned by now, the wrist is an exceedingly complex collection of bones, nerves and sinews.

But I would urge you to make every effort to play as soon as you possibly can, however awkward it may be at first (and possibly for some time to come.) But keep your hand in, and it will probably help speed your recovery.

I know it did in my case.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-18-2010, 07:14 AM
Kurt Kurt is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: NW Lower Michigan
Posts: 499
Default

What Larry says: Check with your doc to ensure the pain is 'good' pain. But what Wade says: Play again as soon as possible.

I've had two right wrist surgeries in the past two years. There were enough nerves severed in each case that it took awhile for the fingers to do what the mind was asking. But my doctor encouraged me to play as soon as possible, cast and all. Anything to get those fingers moving again. But once more, you should check with your doctor to make certain that's what she/he wants for you, I'd suggest.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-18-2010, 07:16 AM
Aaron Smith Aaron Smith is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2,473
Default

All good advice here. The other advice that I would offer is to make sure you are seeing an orthopedic hand specialist, who has completed a fellowship in hand surgery. I would speak with your doctor to ensure that he has experience treating musicians, and make sure that he understands that the music is part of your therapy for bipolar disorder.
Good luck in your recovery!
__________________
"Things men have made with wakened hands, and put soft life into are awake through the years with transferred touch and go on glowing for long years. And for this reason, some old things are lovely warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them." -D.H. Lawrence

1943 Gibson J-45
1951 Gibson LG-2
2004 Collings D3
2010 Martin 000-18GE Custom
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Loading

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=