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Hand PAIN is ruining my practise... (Read 12590 times)

Offline jacobrudduck

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Hand PAIN is ruining my practise...
« on: August 11, 2012, 04:20:22 PM »
I'll try to be concise - I always find forum posting difficult in that respect.

For the past week or so my hands have been hurting quite considerably. I first noticed it the day after I was doing push ups. I only did about 25 because my stamina isn't that good yet (heh, I'm a skinny guy trying to gain muscle).

I know a lot of people say push ups are bad for your wrists, but it isn't my wrists that are hurting. I have outlined on this diagram where the pain is. Not my hands lol but it will do:

I'm not sure it was singularly the push ups that did it, I think it's more likely a number of things leading up. I spend a lot of the time on the laptop, and the mousepad can be quite tiring on the thumb, especially when playing Age of Empires III for a couple hours straight  ;D

Thing is, when I know my hands are hurting I have to make sure I take a break from piano to prevent further injury. But it seems lately everytime I have sat down to play I've felt pain in my hands after not very long. It's so frustrating; I can't play because my hands hurt, and I'm paranoid I'll do some permanent damage, so I stop playing and when I do come back my hands hurt because I haven't played in a while. It's a vicious cycle.

I try to warm up, but to be honest I've always neglected it somewhat. Lately I've been playing the first prelude from The Well Tempered Clavier as my warm up piece. Then I play the C Major scale quietly, concentrating on evenness of sound, then I'll probably play a few bars of Fur Elise. Not always in that order btw.

Today I just decided to go ahead and play, did my warm up. Couple of very small twinges, I decided to work through it. I usually make sure I don't play constantly and take small breaks every couple of minutes or so. Was doing fine for about 25-30 minutes and then suddenly felt a very painful *squeezing* cramp in my right hand. Stopped immediately and walked away. About 20 minutes later, I was just standing in the kitchen and I got another painful cramp in the thumb knuckle of my left hand. It hurt enough for me to immediately flinch and reach for it.

Okay you get the picture. My hands even hurt now typing this. What would you guys suggest in this situation? Is this level of pain enough to warrant seeing a doctor or other professional help? I wouldn't want to waste their time, what could they really do? Should I completely give up playing until my hands are 100% better? I haven't played properly in at least 2 weeks because of this, it's so frustrating.

And as for doing push ups and weights...I know this is another topic of great debate. I've heard it is completely detrimental to your playing, and I've also heard it's fine as long as you're not injuring yourself working out. I really want to do both, I'm a skinny guy trying to gain much needed weight, but I want to be a good pianist also  :P

Any comments welcome, thank you  :)

Offline hmpiano

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Re: Hand PAIN is ruining my practise...
«Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 05:16:51 PM »
My guess is that you're too tense.  Allow your arm and hand to hang from your shoulders and wriggle your fingers - does it hurt?  If not, try and play a few notes with that same lack of tension.  To do this the only extra effort you need is to hold your forearm up so your hand's over the keys.  There's plenty more to tension free playing but that's a start.