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I am unsure as to whether or not this matter has been covered before but I confess that I have not noticed any previous reference to the topic outlined below.

 

I have been using a computer regularly since Windows 3.0 (1990/1), which, of necessity, has involved much use of the right hand for control of the mouse. I have, occasionally, had feelings of discomfort along the 5th finger of my right hand, together with the right edge of the palm; usually the discomfort takes the forms of numbness accompanied by a strong tingling sensation, akin to a very light electric shock. Usually, transference of the mouse to my left hand for a week or two has produced the required effect and my right hand has, eventually, been ‘restored to life and power and thought’. Over the last ten days, the numbness has returned, this time with a vengeance and making it impossible to use a piano or organ keyboard to anything the extent I could manage hitherto.

 

It is possible that some of the medication that I take may have affected these bodily extremities, and no doubt my medical advisor will confirm or deny my diagnosis.

 

So many church musicians use a computer regularly and I wondered if anyone here has suffered similar difficulties; if so what remedies do they recommend? I know that one of two of our contributors are medical experts themselves and may well have an answer.

 

David Harrison

 

Post scriptum: I have just returned from the morning service at church, which I accompanied on the piano. I sense that some of the numbness is beginning to ease off, though in truth, any improvement is so minimal that it may be my imagination at work. It is amazing, however, what can be achieved with just the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand. Even when you are playing the piano.

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I am unsure as to whether or not this matter has been covered before but I confess that I have not noticed any previous reference to the topic outlined below.

 

I have been using a computer regularly since Windows 3.0 (1990/1), which, of necessity, has involved much use of the right hand for control of the mouse. I have, occasionally, had feelings of discomfort along the 5th finger of my right hand, together with the right edge of the palm; usually the discomfort takes the forms of numbness accompanied by a strong tingling sensation, akin to a very light electric shock. Usually, transference of the mouse to my left hand for a week or two has produced the required effect and my right hand has, eventually, been ‘restored to life and power and thought’. Over the last ten days, the numbness has returned, this time with a vengeance and making it impossible to use a piano or organ keyboard to anything the extent I could manage hitherto.

 

It is possible that some of the medication that I take may have affected these bodily extremities, and no doubt my medical advisor will confirm or deny my diagnosis.

 

So many church musicians use a computer regularly and I wondered if anyone here has suffered similar difficulties; if so what remedies do they recommend? I know that one of two of our contributors are medical experts themselves and may well have an answer.

 

David Harrison

 

Post scriptum: I have just returned from the morning service at church, which I accompanied on the piano. I sense that some of the numbness is beginning to ease off, though in truth, any improvement is so minimal that it may be my imagination at work. It is amazing, however, what can be achieved with just the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand. Even when you are playing the piano.

 

My initial response is Be Careful! I have been through this type of problem - pain is NOT gain. The school where I teach (now part time) has laptop computers for every staff member: we are expected to use them for every part of our work and routine - a nightmare for digitally directed musicians! Within six weeks of using a laptop for everything - roll marking, lesson plans, school notices, etc (and at this time I was teaching full time) my playing was badly affected, requiring visits to an excellent physiotherapist. Since then (encouraged by the physio, an occasional church attender)I have read and absorbed many books with titles such as "What every piano player and organist needs to know about the body" and "What every musician needs to know about the body", plus the stuff from Alexander Technique people and the like. Rob Sholl at S Michael's Croydon knows a lot about this too - I am sure he won't mind me mentioning his name. I am - or now happily, was - familiar with the 'electric shock' feeling that you mention. That suggest to me a "stop immediately" situation. Seek a remedy - and there are plenty. At school (thanks to the intervention of my physio some years ago) I now have a separate keyboard and I use my left hand for the separate mouse. I make a point of using my left hand for all sorts of daily things but keep in check my body alignment, arm postion/posture etc etc. I can happily give you some specific book titles which helped me immensely - and will help you rethink the way you hold your arms/body/wrist/hands/fingers . . and my goodness it has made a world of difference. (I wish my own music teachers thirty years ago knew what I have learnt now). In summary, a problem that can be managed without pain, and additionally may free up your playing . . . but left unchecked will cause pain and frustration.

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Some mice are really insensitive to use and have a terrible shape. My favourite is currently the Logitech MX400 Performance mouse - instantly comfortable like a 60s Harrison console... :blink:

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I am unsure as to whether or not this matter has been covered before but I confess that I have not noticed any previous reference to the topic outlined below.

 

I have been using a computer regularly since Windows 3.0 (1990/1), which, of necessity, has involved much use of the right hand for control of the mouse. I have, occasionally, had feelings of discomfort along the 5th finger of my right hand, together with the right edge of the palm; usually the discomfort takes the forms of numbness accompanied by a strong tingling sensation, akin to a very light electric shock. Usually, transference of the mouse to my left hand for a week or two has produced the required effect and my right hand has, eventually, been ‘restored to life and power and thought’. Over the last ten days, the numbness has returned, this time with a vengeance and making it impossible to use a piano or organ keyboard to anything the extent I could manage hitherto.

 

It is possible that some of the medication that I take may have affected these bodily extremities, and no doubt my medical advisor will confirm or deny my diagnosis.

 

So many church musicians use a computer regularly and I wondered if anyone here has suffered similar difficulties; if so what remedies do they recommend? I know that one of two of our contributors are medical experts themselves and may well have an answer.

 

David Harrison

 

Post scriptum: I have just returned from the morning service at church, which I accompanied on the piano. I sense that some of the numbness is beginning to ease off, though in truth, any improvement is so minimal that it may be my imagination at work. It is amazing, however, what can be achieved with just the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand. Even when you are playing the piano.

 

=========================

 

 

It's not looking good to be honest, judging by what I've read.

 

First the BAD news, which includes the following possible causes:

 

Nerve injury

Spinal problems

Pressure on nerves

Shingles

Lack of blood supply to a specific area

Carpal tunnel syndrome (pressure on the wrist)

Diabetes

Migraines

Multiple sclerosis

Seizures

Stroke

Transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a "mini-stroke"

Underactive thyroid

Raynaud's phenomenon

Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium in your body

A lack of vitamin B12 or other vitamin

Use of certain medications

Toxic nerve damage due to lead, alcohol, or tobacco

Radiation therapy

 

Now the GOOD news:

 

Remaining seated or standing in a fixed position for a long time can produce identical symptoms.

 

Assuming that you are not in danger of imminent death, it is quite likely that the "Mouse" is the culprit. (Are they ever anything else?)

 

I know from personal experience of thundering up and down motorways in a truck, that fixed seating-position and a general lack of muscular activity, can cause all sorts of problems; ranging from lumbar aches and pains, to feet going numb.

 

I suspect that using a mouse also places pressure on the wrist, which may be a contributory factor in all this.

 

I have always found the best "cure" to be exercise, and not just wiggling toes and ankles, or doing a bit of the Widor on an imaginary keyboard. Using ALL the body, the circulatory system continues to function well.

 

Have you thought about finger-tip press-ups?

 

It may not help or save your life, but it could at least postpone your demise. At the very least, people would be impressed.

 

MM

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=========================

 

 

It's not looking good to be honest, judging by what I've read.

 

First the BAD news, which includes the following possible causes:

 

Nerve injury

Spinal problems

Pressure on nerves

Shingles

Lack of blood supply to a specific area

Carpal tunnel syndrome (pressure on the wrist)

Diabetes

Migraines

Multiple sclerosis

Seizures

Stroke

Transient ischemic attack (TIA), sometimes called a "mini-stroke"

Underactive thyroid

Raynaud's phenomenon

Abnormal levels of calcium, potassium, or sodium in your body

A lack of vitamin B12 or other vitamin

Use of certain medications

Toxic nerve damage due to lead, alcohol, or tobacco

Radiation therapy

 

 

Don't forget it could also easily be polonium poisoning.... :blink:

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I hope I haven't missed something here but, as you use a laptop, have you considered using the touch-pad (either hand)? Your hand/fingers would be in a different position to that when you are using a mouse.

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Don't forget it could also easily be polonium poisoning.... :o

 

 

==========================

 

 

Your cover is blown Igor.

 

:blink:

 

MM

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I hope I haven't missed something here but, as you use a laptop, have you considered using the touch-pad (either hand)? Your hand/fingers would be in a different position to that when you are using a mouse.

I found switching to a trackball very helpful. I used one that had three or four buttons which could be used as programmable shortcuts in different applications.

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...So many church musicians use a computer regularly and I wondered if anyone here has suffered similar difficulties; if so what remedies do they recommend? ...

 

I had a very similar thing a couple of years ago. tingling and an annoying ache. At school at that time we had small mice for the children, which resulted in a very closed and uncomfortable hand position for adult users. I started using my left hand to give the right hand a rest and I got a larger/normal mouse, kept it on the left and even now still only use my left hand for the mouse, even at home. The right hand is absolutely fine, and the left hand has never suffered from the complaint.

Using the hedge trimmer is another matter for both hands, especially when you attempt Duruflé Veni Creator later the same day... I speak from experience. The hedge does look good though!

 

P.

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Using the hedge trimmer is another matter for both hands, especially when you attempt Duruflé Veni Creator later the same day... I speak from experience. The hedge does look good though!

I'm confused. Was the hedge trimmer used on the computer, the children or the Duruflé?

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I'm confused. Was the hedge trimmer used on the computer, the children or the Duruflé?

 

=======================

 

 

I think the usual thing to use on a computer is a router, while children respond well to petrol-driven chainsaws.

 

At 11 minutes, the Durufle is a bit overlong.....hedgetrimmer!

 

MM

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I had much the same thing (tingling, pins and needles) in a different location on the right hand several years ago.

At the time, I was driing a car 4 hours a day - which had no lumbar support built into the seat. So shoulders were pushed forward, just slightly, while I was driving.

The "arms consultant" explained that the nerves to the arms and hands are dstributed all over the surface of the shoulder (particularly the rear of the shoulder) as they head for the spinal column. So a nerve had probably become worn, through the poor seating position. Inserting a cushion in the small of the back - to take the pressure off the back of the shoulders - did the trick, slowly, over about 3 months, and the symptoms disappeared.

 

So, if you've read this far, you'll find that as usual, I agree with the much-esteemed MM, again, in a less entertaining and more pedantic manner. Sorry!

 

It may be nothing to do with the hands directly. Think where the nerves in the hands come from....

 

Also look up 'paresthesia'... all sorts of odd symptoms that can be cured by sorting out the spine (I did, by myself, using exercises taught by a good physio). Possibly not unrelated.

 

Now where did I leave the hedgetrimmer and chainsaw? :lol:

 

Good luck!

Ian CK

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The distribution of the paraesthesia sounds like the territory supplied by the ulnar nerve. Do you lean on that elbow? The ulnar nerve not uncommonly gets entrapped as it passes around the back of the elbow.

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First of all, may I thank all those who have sent in most helpful and illuminating posts; it seems that there are all kinds of different problems which can afflict those of us who rely both on our computers and on our keyboard skills to see us ‘through all the changing rooms of life’.

 

I consulted my doctor who professed himself unsure as to the exact cause of the difficulty but like several of our correspondents, he felt that the nerves in the arm near the elbow seemed to get the nod. He did say that, according to that which I told him - no pain but tingling sensations, he felt that it was most likely to be nerve ends, there was no cause for alarm and that it was also likely that it would get better eventually if slowly. I was advised to keep him up to date with progress, and, of course, I shall.

 

Ick1508 appears to have had much the same sort of problem as I and I reckon that the discomfort should be gone over the next two or three weeks.

 

There may be those who might bridle slightly at my doctor’s diagnosis or apparent lack of it but I must emphasize that I have experienced no pain at all with this condition and therefore he felt that it was not muscular in origin. I can well understand that one would need to be extremely careful if this were the case. Two organists of my acquaintance have suffered with related problems which turned out to be muscular and eventually, with the right treatment all was well.

 

Last Sunday I had to manage the hymns with only three digits of the right hand; I am fairly confident that by next Sunday I shall be able to cope pretty well normally. When I can barge my way happily once more through ‘Dieu parmi nous’ I will inform you so that you can all arrange to be out of the country at the time.

 

Thank you all once again.

 

David Harrison

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One of the most important things is to avoid pressure on the elbow, which can certainly exacerbate a nerve which is prone to compression at points where it passes through tight areas; the most common of these you can find between the two bony prominences on the inside of the elbow joint (medial humoral epicondyle and olecranon). We lean on our elbows all the time, and apply pressure on this area in a variety of situations. It is a matter of being aware and trying to avoid this. It is important to ensure that the symptoms resolve with this conservative approach, as a more chronic entrapment can lead to wasting and weakness of the small hand muscles, of which the ulnar nerve supplies the majority. Any sign that these muscles are becoming weak is an indication to consider surgery to decompress the nerve, which is why your doctor will want to monitor the progress. Be vigilant for this.

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