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Hand rehab ideas?


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Does anyone have any good ideas for hand rehab?

I have a hopefully very slight issue with the ring finger on my fretting hand.

About 2 months ago, I picked up a box one-handed and something "tweaked" in that finger. It was a shooting pain that goes halfway up my forearm.

The initial pain went away almost immediately, but every once in a while it comes back.

Sometimes while typing on the computer keyboard - ALT-TAB is one that gets me the most.

It flared up while doing the grid exercise the other day ( I can't find that lesson now LOL, or I'd reference it properly.), and now I'm feeling a bit of pain all of the time.

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I have no answers on therapy but I too have issues. I’ve played for nearly 40 years but never took things that serious until about a year ago. Now I’ve noticed my thumb is so painful sometimes I can’t work through it and have to put the guitar away for a couple days.  I know it is caused from playing and probably not doing it correctly. But it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've learned that a paraffin wax bath can help a lot.

I've had it before and I don't think it's something I would bother to do at home.


I recently found a hand massage device that provides heat and uses air to compress around the hand. I am waiting for delivery still , but will report back when I get to try it out.


@Austin Looking at the site that you linked, I am vaguely familiar with that method. My sister-in-law was studying it, I think. It's probably something I should look into overall. I could use more flexibility, generally speaking. My golf swing is horrendous right now. LOL.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...

Yes I have had three ulnar nerve transposition surgeries that screwed up my picking arm and hand something fierce. I used the putty they use in physical therapy and just gripped it like it was a guitar neck and squeezed slowly maintaining steady pressure. I also took the putty and squeezed between my fingers, it sounds silly but I was back to playing within a few months. Now i just deal with the nerves constantly firing pain signals and some random fine motor nerve twitching which can't be avoided. My galloping rhythm is shot, also do this do ice and then heat immediately afterwards to the point where you can tolerate it. After the putty I would change it up also one time I would start with heat for 10 mins and then immediately transition to ice for 10 mintues, did it about twice a day just to keep the swelling down. Then the next time I did ice first and then heat afterward which felt awesome to me, the other way the nerves in my hand and arm would get pissed. Also use pressure points when the pain gets bad if your are accurate enough you can control about 70% of it through the pain points in your hand. 

One you can hold a pick with light to minimum pain while your watching TV or sitting down strum the guitar lightly to see what you can tolerate, sometimes the motion can trigger certain pain. I did it this way to ID what was going to happen under a full load of playing and compensated accordingly with exercise to strengthen certain ligaments and tendons to make the transition back to playing easier. There is no quick route unfortunately. 

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Ugh I had to have an ACDF done on my neck coupled with degenrative disc disease. All from all the crap I did while I was in, I worked with the Military Working Dogs and doing decoy training tears your body up. Getting hit by an animal that can travel almost 30 MPH and then hitting you takes it's toll. It just sucks in general getting old, I had to get rid of an older Les Paul studio it was just too heavy and moved to one of the chambered models. But it still feels heavy compared to the few Epiphones I use to own. I did love my one Schecter it was made in Japan and that thing played awesome right out of the box, low action but the only down side I noticed were the actives. No matter how nuaced your playing can be it just sounded steril. I have been looking into these Fishman pickups but I am still on the fence. I like the pro buckers that Gibson makes. 

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