Pain in left hand index finger?

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For the last couple of years I've had the occasional bit of numbness in my left hand, mainly while gaming, and sometimes driving. Also when gripping something tightly ( screwdriver etc) it will be sore.

This has never impacted playing before ( although up until a few months ago my frequency of guitar was sporadic at besy) but lately when I do any chords that require the index finger to be used or the thumb to be wrapped round the neck I get a sharp pain in my left index finger and hand. I physically can't hold an F chord at all now.

It's only the last few months that I've been playing regularly (daily ish) but it's only the last couple of weeks where the problem seems to be getting worse. I've also changed guitar recently from an Epi Les Paul to a PRS SE. The necks are different but not dramatically so, and I'm wondering could the have made the problem worse?

Is this the dreaded Carpal Tunnel? Or is there anything else that could be causing it?
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Comments

  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 547
    Arthritis? Does ibrufen have an effect on it?
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  • HeldByWireHeldByWire Frets: 5
    I've not tried ibuprofen, I usually avoid painkillers but it'll give it a blast and see what happens.
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  • Can you be more specific about where exactly is the pain in your index finger/hand?

    Speaking from personal experience here, I would definitely recommend taking this seriously. If you say you've had numbness for a while in your hand, and it's now getting worse, you definitely have to start taking proactive steps as it will only keep getting worse.

    Doing the releases in these videos each day helped me out a lot and had effects quickly. Was actually years after I had finished my physio and no longer experiencing any pain in my daily life (until the second I tried to pick up the guitar).




    And it would definitely be prudent to do some stretching if you don't already. And most crucially... taking it very easy the guitar and gaming, playing as relaxed as possible and stopping whenever you have any pain, taking plenty of rest.
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  • HeldByWireHeldByWire Frets: 5
    It feel like it's in the centre between the bottom of my thumb and the end of my finger. It only seems to be the one finger when it closed in. I can point (bringing in the other three fingers fine) and theres no discomfort but bringing in the index finger to make a tight fist causes the pain.

    I think I'm going to bite the bullet and go to the doctor as much as I'm not a fan of them in general.
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  • CarpeDiemCarpeDiem Frets: 112
    I would avoid doing anything which causes pain as this could make the issue worse. Your decision to see a doctor is a good idea as this will hopefully result in identifying the cause of the problem.
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  • It feel like it's in the centre between the bottom of my thumb and the end of my finger. It only seems to be the one finger when it closed in. I can point (bringing in the other three fingers fine) and theres no discomfort but bringing in the index finger to make a tight fist causes the pain.

    I think I'm going to bite the bullet and go to the doctor as much as I'm not a fan of them in general.
    good idea to go to the doctor, if it doesnt clear up with rest and doing simple exercises, then at least you've started the process with the doctor for some kind of treatment - very likely that the first time you go to see them they will just fob you off and tell you to take ibuprofen anyway, and will then wait to see if you return with the same issue. So definitely also good to get a headstart and take ibuprofen until your appointment :)

    From what you've said about the pain, I think the 2nd video of the 2 might be most relevant.
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  • pintspillerpintspiller Frets: 547
    Do you get pins and needles?
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  • Do you get pins and needles?
    Not when playing, it's just pain. But I'd get pins and needles from an Xbox controller, or driving
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  • BlueingreenBlueingreen Frets: 710
    I have arthritis in that finger.  Occasional pain and won't bend properly.  Makes some things awkward. I can play barre chords ok but half barres can be painful.  I've had to invent weird fingerings for some things, partly a deliberate attempt to avoid the condition worsening.

    Sliding a half barre is a complete no-no.  I also have to be careful with index finger vibrato, subtle is possible but nothing dramatic, and likewise can't do much bending with my index finger.  Shifting between even some basic chords (open c, with the index curling onto the second string c) is more cumbersome.

    The good thing is that I've had this for several years and so far (touch wood) no sign of further deterioration or spreading to other finger joints.  When I first got it I thought it was only a matter of time before I had to stop playing.

    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.” Bertrand Russell

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  • I have had a similar issue for a while, always worse after playing and anything as you’ve mentioned gripping of other objects.

    I thought it was arthritis but blood tests showed it wasn’t? In the past I have had acupuncture but it’s not proven and doesn’t work for everyone. It did relieve it for a short time. A trip to the doctors maybe is good starting point I would say.
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  • Do you sleep on your side ? Could be cubital tunnel syndrome?

    I exhibited pain and fatigue in the base of my left index finger for years ( I ended up playing very little during that time). I had MRI scans , ortho surgeons appointments the lot.
    Saw a post on a forum about not sleeping on your side ( I’d always slept on my left side, foetal style) , swappped swapped sides and the next day pain was gone ! Definitely worth a go.
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  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 18451
    Go and see a doctor.

    I had hand surgery in '09- originally I thought it was carpel tunnel but it turned out to be a couple of fused tendons.
    Took 2 years to recover but now I am playing at 100%.
    I am the juice of four limes.
    Trading Feedback
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 382
    http://www.irondisorders.org/iron-fist-and-joint-pain

    Is one possibility.
    see your doctor whatever


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