TAC Family Forums

Share your wins, get unstuck, or see how others use the TAC Method to create a fulfilling guitar life!

  • Post Move Hand Pain

    Posted by BigMoge on December 20, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    Well, after 40 years with the same company, I did it! I retired in July and moved to Idaho. Anyone who has ever moved a lifetime worth of memories (or in my case the past 40 years) it is a LOT of work. During the three months it took to sell one house and buy another, I found out that I had improperly healed from a broken wrist earlier in my life and it was causing me, not only pain when stretching my fingers, but numbness if I pushed too hard or used my left hand too long. The problem was in the tendons in my left hand. I really want to play the guitar rather than dabble for the rest of my life so I did some research. What I came up with for me is called the Gelliflex. It is a device that allows me to focus on the tendons and muscles in my wrist and hand. I have been using it now for two weeks and can see a definite improvement. I am able to play longer and have been getting stronger (less buzz with the pinky, etc.). Before I retired, I bought a few guitars because I thought I would not be able to on my retirement income. I set up a room in my new house with all my guitars, but it was painful to play them for any meaningful amount of time. Imagine all of those beautiful instruments hanging there unplayed (I KNOW, right?). My grandfather once told me, “If it hurts, you’re doing it wrong,” so I tended to focus on my technique. What I didn’t realize is that my hand pain was the result of an injury and, because of that pain, I tended to avoid using my left hand (sort of like chewing on one side of your mouth when you have a cracked tooth). Now that I actually WANT to use that hand, I kinda have to start all over. I’m writing this because during my journey, I was frustrated and worried that this may not be something that I can or will be able to actually do. The TAC family’s support of each other and your inspiration helped me to keep looking to find what works for me. I have always kept to myself and watched from the shadows, but I do find inspiration and encouragement from others and wanted to let you all know how much I appreciate your kindness and genuine support of each other. I does make a difference.

    paul0r replied 2 years, 3 months ago 6 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Loraine

    Member
    December 20, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Glad you were able to find something that helped @BigMoge ! And just want to say that moving in general is stressful, but moving out of state is ten times the stress. Retirements meant to be relaxing, not stressful!

  • N-lightMike

    Member
    December 20, 2021 at 1:25 pm

    Welcome to the light of participation @BigMoge . It might be uncomfortable, but I hope you don’t go back into the shadows of spectating. We get much more out of the community when we participate, as you have done here.

    I don’t know much about your condition, but it sounds like you have enough understanding to function. I’m sorry that you can’t play guitar as long as you would like. It turns out, no one can play for very long periods of time at the beginning. That increases, but it takes time.

    In the meantime, there are other ways to be involved in your guitar journey. Music and guitar is a very large world.

    You can practice strumming, finger picking and flat picking without ever using your left hand. The right hand has a lot to learn to get proficient at just one of these techniques. And there are “sub-categories” of these 3 general techniques. Folk finger picking isn’t the same as classical finger picking or flamenco finger picking. Then there are mixed techniques. Can you strum and pick together? Yes, but it’s a whole different technique. You could spend hours each day teaching your right hand various techniques.

    How about music theory? There is a very large field there, and for me, it is very fascinating. I have learned a ton in the last 2 1/2 years and there is still much I don’t know or understand. And there is music theory as it specifically applies to the guitar fretboard. That’s a very cool study.

    Speaking of the fretboard, maybe it would cause less pain if you were just fretting a single string at a time as is more common in lead guitar. There is another very large area that you could explore.

    You talked about the community supporting and encouraging each other, and it’s true. However, all I can do is throw words at you. You must participate, which is what you have done here. I congratulate you for doing that. The sharing of knowledge and supporting each other through our respective challenges is another way to further your guitar journey without actually using you left hand. It turns out, playing the guitar is more and more challenging as we grow older. And if you started late in life, it is even more challenging. So you can help us as much as we can help you. Helping others on their guitar path helps keep our guitar desire burning bright.

    I can’t thank you enough for putting yourself out there, BigMoge. Others will come by and give more support. If you will continue asking questions and contributing to other peoples challenges, you will find the strength to continue your own guitar journey no matter how hard it may be. And in time, you will realize it gets better. It may never be what you wanted or hoped for. But it can be a wonderful journey none the less.

    And I forgot to mention another area of our guitar journey that you could explore that won’t tax your left hand. How about song writing. That’s a huge field that involves several other things I’ve already mentioned, like music theory. But it is so much more. It involves writing your thoughts and feelings. But putting them to music instead of just here on the forum.

    Anyway, I wish you success and joy on your guitar journey and I hope you continue to participate. You are welcome, also, to come join the community over at justmusicgeeks.com. Most of the members there are current of former TAC members.

    MG 😀

    • BigMoge

      Member
      December 20, 2021 at 2:03 pm

      Thanks Mike. Now that I’m settled into my retirement “villa” and am rehabbing my left wrist, I am confident that things will progress much faster. Your suggestions (especially regarding right hand discipline) are on point and will be included in my routine. Happy Holidays!

      • tailsawaggin

        Member
        December 21, 2021 at 3:24 pm

        @MikeGaurnier deserves a big thumbs up for that excellent reply, and I’d like to add just one thing to it about right hand-only training. Since the guitar’s standard tuning isn’t terribly musical when it’s played open, I’d take one of the guitars and put it into a tuning that does naturally sound nice. Open D is really pretty, and so is DADGAD, especially if you have a big dreadnought or jumbo that can really sing the low notes. I don’t know about anyone else, but the more pleasing my guitar is to my ears, the more I’ll play it!

        Good work on focusing on solutions to your problems instead of getting bogged down. That’s a huge part of the battle right there.

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  tailsawaggin. Reason: Words are hard
      • N-lightMike

        Member
        December 22, 2021 at 6:17 pm

        🙏😃

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        December 22, 2021 at 6:17 pm

        👍😊

  • jumpinjeff

    Member
    December 21, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Hi @BigMoge , fantastic recount of your struggle and finding the solution. I read a ton of determination in there between the lines. I am a huge fan of determination. Hat’s off to you and solution based journeying. I want to put another therapy tool on your radar, just in case you have not seen it. Its use has become a super advantageous part of my routine. It is Theragun. It is a percussive massage tool. I use it for my hands and forearms and the results are dramatic and welcome. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to more tales from the Journey of BigMoge.

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      December 22, 2021 at 6:18 pm

      👍😄

  • paul0r

    Member
    December 22, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Welcome to the ranks of the retired: I bailed ten years ago Thanksgiving and life is good. I’d like to draw on my work history to suggest another strategy that could give you even more control/relief than you have now. Salicylic acid (as in Aspirin) is available in a cream form and has some serious advantages. You can apply and rub it in just where you need it and it will not penetrate enough to monkey with your general body chemistry. It has modest effects of both pain relief and reduction of inflammation, and the latter is likely the reason your best efforts hit a wall after some time goes by. You can expect benefit within 20-30 minutes, and the effect will be gone in 2+ hours. I use this myself occasionally, and use it before I practice. CAUTION: There is a product called AsperCream, which comes in two forms. One has salicylate (the good stuff) but the other only has an anesthetic. I would not suggest the anesthetic, since it just masks the pain and keeps you from stopping when you should. If you have questions, I’d be happy to respond. Guitar geeks unite!

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