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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Cause for concern? Numbing on fretting hand


    I have been practicing religiously 20 minutes a day on arpeggios and melodic patterns for the past 6 months.

    Lately, I have noticed a slight numbing in my fingertips on my left (fretting) hand...Is this cause for concern or simply my hand getting used to practicing again?


    Last edited by davek; 06-29-2009 at 03:20 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2


    Is this on the pads of your fingers where they hit the String ?...If so my guess is it's normal...

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  3. #3


    I had a problem a couple of years back with the numbing of my index & middle finger tips due to a compressed nerve at C7 ( cervical vertebra # 7 ) . I developed it after I had done some ceiling drywalling , and I was told that It probably started from my cycling . I ride a racing road bike and being bent forward with my head turned up pinched the nerve . You can also get the same affect from sitting in front of a computer with your body leaning forward with your head turned up to look at the screen . I still get it from time to time for a brief bit when I first sit down to play , but it goes away propmtly when I let my arm down and stretch my arms and neck . I play classical style by the way . I don't know how old you are or what type of activities you have done/do , but there are exercises that strenghten the muscles associated with this area of the neck . I imagine you can find them online . It could also be in your shoulder since the nerve travels through it to reach the hand . I'm no doctor , but thought the info of my problem might give you some insite to one of several possibilities . Definitly I'd check your playing position . I feel your concern . I had just got back into playing when it happened to me and I thought CRAP!!!! How the h-ll am I going to be able to play with numb fingers .
    Of all the things I've lost
    It's my mind I miss the most

  4. #4


    What does a pinched nerve feel like?


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  5. #5


    Kind of like the freezing from the dentist . Mine had a kind of a frozen feeling , but with some sensation . A pinched nerve can have many types of manifestations depending on the location and the severity of the compression . It can range from intense pain to just a numbness in the area that is served by that nerve .
    Of all the things I've lost
    It's my mind I miss the most

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries

    Default I would vote for 'cause for concern'

    To my mind pain and numbness is nature's way of telling you to cool it or run away from it or stop doing that. But since we're talking guitar playing and it's something we don't want to stop doing I'm thinking that making sure your hand isn't too bent around is a good thing to start with. I remember Brad Carlton saying that you want to make sure you're not tensing up too much so you might want to keep that in mind as well. And like Bry said, check your posture and vary your I'd also make sure I didn't go all macho and think you can push through the pain without addressing it. It could just be you toughing up your fingertips with calluses that you're feeling too. Again, pay attention to it and check those things and also, vary your routine so you don't travel down the path to repetitive injury or carpel tunnel problems. I know when I tried to practice hard and every day I ended up with the bad bad wrists and no playing for a good number of months. So don't just man up and try to fight through it.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Blog Entries

    Default numbness etc

    I think Bry50 and Gadlaw have some good advice. A lot of misdiagnosed carpel tunnel is actually a problem with pressure in the cervical vertebrae. I hate to sound like a commercial, but if the problem continues, you should probably go see your doctor. I had to stop playing altogether for about nine month due to a traumatic left hand injury and I thought I would go nuts, but since it has healed, I am almost sane again.
    Proverbs 17:22 says "A cheerful heart is good medicine..." So I could be overdosing. Alumnus of Jeff Beasley's Shred Warehouse Classroom; Steve Lasner's Bar Room Blues Workshop; & Les Wise's Fretboard Freedom Fighter Workshop. I'm fairly certain I forever will be simply a guitar student.

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