WTF is with my hands?
January 30, 2009 8:45 AM Subscribe
I'm having periodic numbness in my hands, very minor. I'm a musician (violinist). I might have messed something up exercising. I recently started practicing a lot more. I'm trying to be very careful. Also I type a lot. And it's cold. I'm freaking out a little bit.
I'm looking for some level headed advice.
Basically the deal is
January 11th I started a new practice regimen. I started doing 3 hours a day. 1 hour scales, 1 hour etudes, and 1 hour music (I actually play fiddle music, but I'm studying classical technique right now). It went great for about 12 days straight...no problems at all. I was so excited by keeping up with things that the next day I decided to start exercising too. My exercise of choice has been intervals of Burpees, squats, leg lifts and crunches.
So I did that one day and wore myself out, right after practicing.
The next day, I had two very short but rather severe feelings of pain in my wrist. It felt similarly to a muscle cramp in my leg. A feeling of having pulled a muscle.
It freaked me out and I took the rest of the day off and the next day from practicing.
I'm not sure if it was the practicing or the exercise. I'd had no pain from practicing, and the exercise was the new variable. The pain seemed to go away, but came back once when I was sitting on the floor and pushed myself up off the floor (bending my wrist against the floor)...which made me think it was the burpees (which are like crazy pushups...and where I might have been dropping myself on my wrists without cushioning myself.
Since then I've eased off on the practicing, but I'm experiencing periodic numbness in the hand that originally felt the pain. It's been very mild. I'd say if the numbness you feel when you wake up on your arm and it's totally dead is a 20, this is like a .5 The pain seems to have gone away.
This morning the numbness is slightly more intense. Maybe a 1 out of 20. But I can feel it.
The other thing is that there is a touch of numbness in my left hand, which I don't think I injured in any way.
I'm totally paranoid about getting carpal tunnel or tendonitis. So it's entirely possible this is psychosomatic. And I could see myself worrying myself into a tizzy about this.
Are there any good resources about hand diagnosis online? Or good exercises or info like that? I've been warming my hand before practicing and walking more instead of the high intensity exercise.
For the record, in the past violin teachers have told me that the fundamentals of my technique and my physicality are really healthy, and I'm working hard on playing without tension and being mindful of my wrists. I don't have access to medical care right now (no insurance, no money). I'd really like to get back to practicing. I don't think I'm doing anything really off the mark here. I'm almost wondering if the whole numbness thing is totally psychosomatic, and that the injury was just what it was and is gone, but I also don't want to injure myself further.
I'm wondering too if a certain amount of aches and pains are part of being a musician. I've been playing music for a long time and never really seen this addressed in a non-hysterical but also non-dismissive way.