Author Topic: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things  (Read 1149 times)

Offline surfivor

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 I have had a finger problem due to playing the guitar too much and working on the computer all day. I get stiffness in my index finger and have had to change how I hold a pick with different fingers. I have been going to a trainer that has small classes. I just started today. She says my finger problem is related to a stiff shoulder. That seems counter intuitive but kind of in line with some things I have heard or impressions I get from chinese medicine or alt health.

 She also noted my left hip was stiffer than my right hip and seemed to indicate if the upper right body is problematic it translates into the lower left body.

 How to make sense of that ? I would like to understand how that makes sense. There seems to be these different cures that are dismissed because they can't be explained yet people are being cured using these methods and what we did in the class seems to be helping

Offline KellyAnn

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 07:44:41 PM »
Do you carry a bag on your right shoulder like a messenger bag or a backpack that you only use the right side strap?  That could cause a problem with throwing you out of alignment as you try to compensate for your top half being out of balance.

A finger problem *could* be related to a shoulder problem if it was nerve related?  But I think you'd notice if it was nerve related, tingling or numbness or something.  Most likely it's just stiffness because of overuse and you're getting older.  Have you looked at a pick that has a finger loop?  My mom likes them a lot (she took up guitar in her 60's).

Offline Carl

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 02:03:59 AM »
  I have many problems due to poor circulation as lack of sensation and limited motor control and ,so far, I have found one theing that helped.
A body builder supplement called NITRIC OXIDE and a MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENT...OK it was two things. While I did not return to 'normal' ,I did greatly improve and regained some feeling to my numb extremities.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FWLO1JC/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Online David in MN

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 07:46:31 AM »
My right arm and left arm function very differently because I boxed for years. This is very common in musicians as well. Do a lot of stretching and yoga/pilates to help rebalance it.

Many people (me included) have limited joint mobility. If I rotate my arms as far back as they can my right arm goes a good 5 inches farther than my left which will frequently not break parallel with my body. Shoulders and hips are the most frequently impinged.

Some thoughts on fixing beyond stretching...

Is your back strong enough? This is where pullups and other back work can build the strength to fix posture. Do you have tight pectorals? No joke, a lot of shoulder issues come from tight chest muscles that pull the socket out of good posture. Stretch the chest. For supplements, I have found fish oil and vitamin D are the big ones that work for aches and pains.
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Offline AvenueQ

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 08:00:04 AM »
She also noted my left hip was stiffer than my right hip and seemed to indicate if the upper right body is problematic it translates into the lower left body.

My physical therapist has said the same thing, and he's definitely not one for alternative medicine. There are so many small muscles around all the joints, and any of them being weak or inflamed can cause problems. That "zigzag" effect has to do with simple physics; if one side is weaker, then the other side has to be stronger (i.e. exert more force) to make up for it. But, that extra force doesn't just disappear, it refers to other places in the body.

Having had numerous back, shoulder, and hand problems myself, I can say that they definitely affect one another. The injuries may have been separate, but now that they're all there they play off of each other. A PT can tell you more about the specifics of your situation, I would suggest going to see one.

Offline surfivor

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 11:03:26 AM »

 I have been going to a physical therapy class which is like $35 for an hour with about 5 or 6 people in the class.

 The teacher said the body system is similar to how levers or catapults work. I still do not totally get that.

 They told me to try a special pillow. I got a temperpudic neck pillow. It may be helping but I have only had it for one night so far. My right shoulder and neck has had a lot of stiffness. The teacher says it's from working on the computer all day. She said she can evaluate everything for about $225 for one hour and half hour follow up. She also recommended I look into massage. I actually saw they have these massage machines at bed and bath for about $250 to $350 that can massage your back and neck. I tried one out, they seemed not bad

Offline Carl

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 03:30:35 PM »
  Do you let your hand sleep on that pillow? 
I bet your fingers get good exercise counting out all the money to pay for your finger doctor.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

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Offline AvenueQ

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 08:05:56 AM »
They told me to try a special pillow. I got a temperpudic neck pillow. It may be helping but I have only had it for one night so far. My right shoulder and neck has had a lot of stiffness. The teacher says it's from working on the computer all day. She said she can evaluate everything for about $225 for one hour and half hour follow up. She also recommended I look into massage. I actually saw they have these massage machines at bed and bath for about $250 to $350 that can massage your back and neck. I tried one out, they seemed not bad

I have a contoured memory foam pillow, and can no longer sleep without one (as I discovered this weekend at my parent's house). It helps immensely with my neck/back problems. If you decide to go the massage route, I recommend finding someone that's experienced with treating injuries or has worked with physical therapy patients before. When I can afford it, I get the most benefit if I
 go to BOTH massage and PT (but, when I can't afford it, I stick with PT). The advantage of having a human do the massage instead of a machine is that they have tons of knowledge and can really target specific areas and actually do some minor adjusting if they're skilled enough. I always have to have them work underneath my scapula, which is counterintuitive since I don't really have pain there, but it makes everything else feel much better (even though the process is a bit excruciating).

$225 seems steep for a PT evaluation, I think the place I go to charges around $130 for the same (that's self-pay, not through insurance). But, that depends a lot on your area, so maybe that's standard near you. Never heard of a PT class before, is it mostly teaching exercises or do they do manual manipulation as well?

Online David in MN

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 09:00:14 PM »
If it were me I'd skip the massage and buy a TENS. Most massage therapists aren't worth their salt and frankly only a few are even strong enough (men included) to actually do the job.

The TENS will get though any knots and can help recover injuries used right. Just go slow. Gradually hit the correct setting.

I've bought every pillow under the sun. None have helped me. But pairing two pillows at a 90 degree when I had a frozen shoulder helped. One under the problem shoulder helped the pain. I currently use a memory foam. Of all the options it sucks the least.
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Offline AvenueQ

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 06:53:13 AM »
If it were me I'd skip the massage and buy a TENS. Most massage therapists aren't worth their salt and frankly only a few are even strong enough (men included) to actually do the job.

The TENS will get though any knots and can help recover injuries used right. Just go slow. Gradually hit the correct setting.

I've had TENS therapy too, it really helped right after surgery when I was very stiff but still too sore for them to touch me. It's easy to overdo it though, maybe see if your therapist could help you set it up the first time or something.

Offline surfivor

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 04:51:59 AM »
Quote
Never heard of a PT class before, is it mostly teaching exercises or do they do manual manipulation as well?


It's a class of about 5 or 6 people in a small room with equipment.  The teacher writes on the board the same number of exercises that there are people in the room. Each person goes to a station design for that exercise such as the ski machine, rowing machine, heavy balls that you bounce against the wall, kettle ball weights Etc. she set a timer for a couple minutes and says "start" and everyone does the exercise for two minutes or so. Then you go to the next station, rotate  and do that exercise. She watches you and shows you how you were doing it wrong etc. I just ordered a 30 pound kettle ball and I got a roller. She also talks about specific problems you have, recommends exercises for that etc


So TENS is best massage machine?

The therapy place is connected to a yoga studio and the teacher and other people seem  to have good knowledge about massage therapist in the area; however I went to bed and bath and tried out the demo massage machines they have there and it seemed like just five minutes of that was good

I also have been doing yoga classes, especially because it's winter and it's harder to get outside as much as I would like. The kung fu studio where I go for martial arts and tai chi is kind of far and I don't go there enough, but the yoga studio is five minutes from my house and the various postures and stretching are challenging after an hour or so and the stretching is good for you

My friend also has swollen legs from something like vericose veins and she does not get enough exercise and is not motivated to.it seems like some kind of a leg massage machine or vibration machine would help although the one I saw online was expensive
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 05:04:00 AM by surfivor »

Offline surfivor

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 05:07:04 AM »
The neck pillow I bought seem to help but I am on a business trip in DC until Sunday. My neck was getting better but yesterday seemed worse. Last night I slept flat on my back with no pillow at the hotel which seem to help. Of course I did not bring my neck pillow with me on the trip. I am also going to Idaho for a week over Christmas so I will have the same problem although maybe if I'm not working I'll be more relaxed

I'm not used to business trips but I am spending more time practicing meditation in the hotel room  because I don't have my guitar with me or other things.  I have been practicing meditation off and on for many years and know many different approaches.

I bought an Osprey pack which is a carry-on backpack with compression cords. I have no checked baggage and just business casual clothes

There's some Bible museum here in DC that's maybe 10 miles from here that my mother told me about. I was thinking of going there if I have time,I'm not sure
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 05:35:48 AM by surfivor »

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 10:32:21 AM »
It's a class of about 5 or 6 people in a small room with equipment.  The teacher writes on the board the same number of exercises that there are people in the room. Each person goes to a station design for that exercise such as the ski machine, rowing machine, heavy balls that you bounce against the wall, kettle ball weights Etc. she set a timer for a couple minutes and says "start" and everyone does the exercise for two minutes or so. Then you go to the next station, rotate  and do that exercise. She watches you and shows you how you were doing it wrong etc. I just ordered a 30 pound kettle ball and I got a roller. She also talks about specific problems you have, recommends exercises for that etc

Interesting. My therapy sessions always included some manual manipulation before exercises, to loosen tendons and try to guide things back into alignment. Good thing she shows you how to do it properly though, doing any of those exercises wrong can do more damage.

So TENS is best massage machine?

It's not massage, it stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Basically it's a small electrode with pads that you stick to your skin, kind of like EKG pads, and it delivers small electric pulses. If done properly you shouldn't feel any pain, but it's easy to overdo it if you don't know what you're doing, which is why I'd recommend having a PT or OT guide you in how to use it.

Online David in MN

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Re: finger problems due to stiff shoulder or similar non intuitive things
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2017, 11:49:55 AM »
If you get a TENS (and I would recommend it) go slow. Those things could be used to torture. No joke.

If you have shoulder issues, a GOOD trainer can help. When I had an impingement I learned a lot fron the bodmechanic on Gokuflex...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzlbX14opvg

They do more videos about strengthening posture and improving mobility. Sorry if it's a little meathead.
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Offline surfivor

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If you get a TENS (and I would recommend it) go slow. Those things could be used to torture. No joke.

If you have shoulder issues, a GOOD trainer can help. When I had an impingement I learned a lot fron the bodmechanic on Gokuflex...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzlbX14opvg

They do more videos about strengthening posture and improving mobility. Sorry if it's a little meathead.

 That is interesting. I am not sure how effective doing yoga is at these classes I have been to is going to help. I am not sure how effective kung fu movements and warm-ups are either or tai chi. Some of those movements I'm  not sure if I would be doing them quite right because if i go to the trainer, she tries to correct my posture when i do similar  exercises

Offline surfivor

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 How do you select a TENS device ? It looks like they are pretty affordable. Do you really need a trainer to help you figure out how to use it ?

Offline AvenueQ

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I would say yes just because it's a medical device, and like any medical device, you can get bad results if you don't know how to use it (at best it's ineffectual, at worst it makes the problem worse). You could ask a therapist which one they'd recommend too.

Something else I had done that helped was called trigger-point dry-needling. For me it worked best when I had really tight muscles that would spasm, and I only needed a couple of sessions to see results. Some PTs get a special certification to do this, so you could ask your PT if she thinks it might help you.

Offline surfivor

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I would say yes just because it's a medical device, and like any medical device, you can get bad results if you don't know how to use it (at best it's ineffectual, at worst it makes the problem worse). You could ask a therapist which one they'd recommend too.

Something else I had done that helped was called trigger-point dry-needling. For me it worked best when I had really tight muscles that would spasm, and I only needed a couple of sessions to see results. Some PTs get a special certification to do this, so you could ask your PT if she thinks it might help you.

 I may be eager  to get on with this and order one of these things soon and see if I can figure out as best possible on how to use it myself as well as precautionary advice I can find about it online or that come with it.

 Before I order one, I may look into various websites that I see with regards to side effects of using TENS

Edit: I am not really seeing any significant red flags.

 There  things don't seem to expensive. This one is $80 or so on amazon

: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011J79PNK/ref=sspa_dk_detail_7?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B011J79PNK&pd_rd_wg=KQ3EL&pd_rd_r=AZB5PB2W0HX7BC0GXXF0&pd_rd_w=PdPw6

but this one is $400, if it is worth it, but only has 2 reviews:
https://www.amazon.com/Touchscreen-Rechargeable-Massager-HealthmateForever-Lifetime/dp/B00UZONGAW?tag=health0e2d-20&th=1

$150, has  212 reviews. I would be tempted with something like this if the price means it is better than the cheaper ones
https://www.amazon.com/Healthmateforever-electrotherapy-electronic-massager-massagers/dp/B00KB3RENM?tag=health0e2d-20

Edit: I just ordered this last one listed for $150
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 12:35:50 PM by surfivor »

Offline Carl

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  You will need more to properly effect the hand and fingers.

https://healthfully.com/use-tens-unit-hand-7452570.html
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Radios are pointless without someone trained to use them.