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Author Topic: random evil finger  (Read 4332 times)
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« on: Oct 28, 2005, 11:11AM »

I'm not entirely sure this belongs in this section. I'm putting it here anyway. OK. So here's the thing. My left ring finger has been numb for the past week, especially the top half of it. I recently changed the way I hold the trombone with the left hand from between the index and middle to between the ring and middle. This numbness isn't causing any problems, but it feels a bit weird. Could this possibly be caused by my trombone playing, or is my finger just evil?
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josh roseman

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« Reply #1 on: Oct 28, 2005, 11:16AM »

I think you want to check that one out, grandioseobsessed- it's probably your new & improved positioning.  fingers are hard to replace, the numbness is gonna affect your darts game.  &  you might start spilling drinks, detergent, etc.
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 28, 2005, 01:23PM »

Is it only your ring finger, or is your pinky also numb at all? I ask because this happened to me, and it had to do with a pinched nerve in my shoulder... people carry around a lot more muscle tension all the time (a lot in the shoulder/neck area especially) than they realize, and it often has effects like this- a good thorough massage might help. If not, it'll feel good anyway, right?
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 28, 2005, 03:18PM »

Get it checked out... This happened later in my teacher's career, but he had a similar problem with the ring finger on his left hand- he woke up one morning and it was bent at the first and second knuckle and locked at the joints.

A simple surgery corrected the problem, but still that'd be pretty scary. For him, it was a common condition that physicians refer to as "trigger finger", usually common in construction workers or similar professions, where the hand/fingers are commonly bent in a certain fashion.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 28, 2005, 08:19PM »

This sounds like it's the way you hold your horn. In point of fact, this is what happened to me when I first took up my horn again after many years of negligence. What happens is that you put pressure on the side of your finger and the digital nerve is put under pressure. Check out the way you are holding your horn. If the side of your finger is pressing against any of the metal parts of the horn, that is probably the cause. My wife made a padded sleve for my finger that I used for a while. I eventually learned to hold the horn so that it wouldn't happen.  

You usually don't get numbness with a trigger finger.
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Galen McQuarrie

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« Reply #5 on: Oct 28, 2005, 09:00PM »

Forgive a brief excursion off-topic, but I think that Random Evil Finger would be a great name for a band! Good!
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 28, 2005, 09:46PM »

Hmm. It's only the ring finger.  Not the pinky finger. I'm considering going back to holding the trombone how I used to, but I didn't like that because it hurt.  I'm alos not very coordinated, so I often ended up pinching myself with the slide when I held it like that. I'm just talented. I think I prefer the numbness to the pinching. I'm not too worried about it.  For awhile my big toe on my left foot used to randomly go numb. I don't know what that was about.  Maybe there is a numb monster running around in my body. Oh well...
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 28, 2005, 10:02PM »

Quote from: "grandiosobsessed"
Hmm. It's only the ring finger.  Not the pinky finger. I'm considering going back to holding the trombone how I used to, but I didn't like that because it hurt.  I'm alos not very coordinated, so I often ended up pinching myself with the slide when I held it like that. I'm just talented. I think I prefer the numbness to the pinching. I'm not too worried about it.  For awhile my big toe on my left foot used to randomly go numb. I don't know what that was about.  Maybe there is a numb monster running around in my body. Oh well...


Maybe your shoes didn't fit. Try putting some padding (like a cut off glove finger)  on you numb finger.  I suspect the problem will go away in time.
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Galen McQuarrie

  "Some days you get up and put the horn to your chops and it sounds pretty good and you win.  Some days you try and nothing works and the horn wins. This goes on and on and then you die and the horn wins."  Dizzy Gillespie
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 30, 2005, 06:02PM »

Hmm...well.  I tried to change the way I hold my trombone back to how I used to do it.  I also wore a fun glove.  My finger is still numb.  It feels weird...wait....never mind...I can't feel it if it's numb.  Anyway, I still have no idea why my finger has decided to be numb.
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 30, 2005, 07:14PM »

Maybe not such a big deal. I have a large callous (sp?) on the inside of the knuckle of my ring finger. It's where the knuckle contacts the slide brace and I get some numbness when playing more than usual.

You could try reducing the angle of the slide in relation to the bell section. This might reduce the stretch and relieve some pressure.

Personally, I wear my callous proudly and am thankful that I don't have one of those big red hicky-looking things on my neck like the violinists!
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 16, 2005, 06:48PM »

I had exactly the same problem after trying to use Doug Yeo's grip on my bass during one rehearsal.  That was 2+ months ago, and my left ring finger is still partially numb.  Works for him, and he's an infinitely better bass bone player than I, but it kinda scared me.

I'm going back to a traditional grip, and either building or buying an Edwards Bullet Brace-style thumb grip device.  Permanent nerve damage in that finger doesn't appeal to me.

Now my actual random evil finger is not my ring finger.... Grin

Random Evil Finger would be a good band name, especially for a weekend-warrior group of proctologists or OB-GYNs.
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 16, 2005, 07:01PM »

I tried switching back to the other grip, but it actually didn't really help because it felt like there was more pressure on it than before.  I'm not really sure how that worked out...
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 16, 2005, 09:25PM »

It sounds as though you put a lot of pressure on that finger. If the "axons" of the digital nerve of that finger were pressed hard enough for long enough, then the nerve may have been damaged enough that it could take months for it to recover.  I would protect the finger with some sort of padding and be patient.  I am assuming that the finger is now numb all of the time.
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Galen McQuarrie

  "Some days you get up and put the horn to your chops and it sounds pretty good and you win.  Some days you try and nothing works and the horn wins. This goes on and on and then you die and the horn wins."  Dizzy Gillespie
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 17, 2005, 10:11AM »

Quote from: "Orestes"
It sounds as though you put a lot of pressure on that finger. If the "axons" of the digital nerve of that finger were pressed hard enough for long enough, then the nerve may have been damaged enough that it could take months for it to recover.  I would protect the finger with some sort of padding and be patient.  I am assuming that the finger is now numb all of the time.


Yeah....it's numb all the time.  I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to do it, but I am going to make it so it doesn't have all that pressure on it and wait for it to get feeling back.  At least now I know exactly what causes it to be numb.  Thanks to everyone who has replied! Your information has been very useful. I love this forum...
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