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Wrist pain
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Nathan
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PostPosted: 2011-10-04, 22:09    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

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Hey there everyone! So three years into my practice (mostly on a 1.8), and suddenly I'm getting stiffness and pain on my left (upper fingering) hand right around the triquetral bone area of the wrist. First thing I thought was "gripping to tight"...but after several months of assiduous watching and awareness of the tension and pressure (or lack thereof) when holding the flute I'm still having issues with this. I practice a form of martial art that has extensive circular wrist movements that are gentle and therapeutic, but when I go to practice this pain is still occurring. I've tried shifting the way I'm holding the flute and can't say it's helped all that much...but maybe I haven't shifted enough?

If anyone is familiar with this area of the wrist, what movements cause this type of pain, or has any ideas or suggestions it would be most appreciated!!

Thanks!

Nathan
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 00:15    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Answer is "swim".
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Nathan
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 02:01    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

AH! You know...I was in Hong Kong for 5 weeks some years ago and got into a daily swimming routine. I don't think I've ever been in better shape. Funny (scary) how easy it is to forget.

Thanks Brian!
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 05:58    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

John Singer, who is an excellent Kinko player had similar problems and tried numerous cures including acupuncture etc. When he started swimming he was OK and could even start playing long flutes again.
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Nathan
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 06:31    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Wow...great to know. The change in embouchure over the course of learning has been both gradual and radical, which I'm sure has led to changes in the body positioning that I haven't been totally aware of. But the sudden onset of this has been a bit distressing. It makes sense that though the pain is local, the remedy lays in the total. It's easy to see how swimming would do the trick...thanks again!
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Erin
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 06:48    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

So how is it that the swimming helps alleiviate the flute playing/gripping problem?
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Nathan
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 07:01    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Hey Erin! I think it may have something to do with strengthening supporting muscles groups? Stretching with steady fluid resistance? Being in water also gives a sort of freedom of movement and weightlessness which makes it easy to stretch and strengthen without strain.

The idea being that this single pain has many points of origin...and swimming being all encompassing in a way helps resolve it without thought. I think. Wink
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 10:34    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Wow! Swimming will be good for your breathing for sure... and the muscles in the hand/wrist. Okay
Nathan, if you are able to get into a swimming routine again, do let us know if you do feel any difference... it would be very nice to somewhat almost catalogue good suggestions to certain problems.
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Bas Nijenhuis
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 15:50    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

And it is good for your health as well...I think being fit can help a lot playing the shakuhachi, not that this is much related to this topic though...
Please keep us indeed updated about the developments.
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Perry Yung
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 16:44    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Nathan wrote:
Hey there everyone! So three years into my practice (mostly on a 1.8), and suddenly I'm getting stiffness and pain on my left (upper fingering) hand right around the triquetral bone area of the wrist. First thing I thought was "gripping to tight"...but after several months of assiduous watching and awareness of the tension and pressure (or lack thereof) when holding the flute I'm still having issues with this. I practice a form of martial art that has extensive circular wrist movements that are gentle and therapeutic, but when I go to practice this pain is still occurring. I've tried shifting the way I'm holding the flute and can't say it's helped all that much...but maybe I haven't shifted enough?

If anyone is familiar with this area of the wrist, what movements cause this type of pain, or has any ideas or suggestions it would be most appreciated!!

Thanks!

Nathan


Hi Nathan, What is the position of your thumb? If your thumb is in line with the flute (vertical), you are forcing your wrist in to a hard angle which can cause stress. Did you try positioning your hand so that your wrist and arm is straight? This would allow the thumb to cover the thumb hole more from the side, thus reducing the stress on the wrist. It's just a minor adjustment and can help over time. Either way, the trick is to never grip.

Your pain will not go away anytime soon. I sometimes get tingling in the fingertips. For me, a combination of different stretching exercises musicians use and hand and forearm massaging before and after helps.

Also, there is a Chinese herbal tincture called Teet Da Jow that many people use for joint pain. You can get it at any well-stocked Chinese grocery store.

Lastly, see if you can find a copy of Sandra Blakeslee's book - The Body Has a Mind of it's Own. In a nutshell, it discusses how people can develop "road maps" to things that extend beyond their bodies. For example, if your brain thinks of your flute as an extension of your arm, you will work more safely, naturally.

Good luck - Perry
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Nathan
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 20:00    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Kiku and Bas...I will most certainly track any beneficial results and let y'all know...and yes, swimming works wonders to improve breathing!

Hey there Perry! My thumb rests at about a 30° angle and covers the fifth hole with the upper left corner of the thumb pad. My wrist is relatively inline with my forearm, and I try to retain a good posture...shoulders back and relaxed, chin ever so slightly held up and to the left (the sweet spot for this flute), hands fairly close to my chest, elbows hanging relaxed against the body, and the flute is lightly held (ostensibly!) only with the thumb and middle finger of my right hand. From the get-go my teacher has been adamant about not gripping and remaining aware of tension when playing...or anytime for that matter...however...that is not to say that I don't catch myself tightening up or twisting this way and that with whatever it is I'm playing! All part of the process I suppose!

I do have Teet Da Jow! It works wonders for the Wing Chun training...went looking for it recently but I think it's packed away from a recent move. I will make a point to track it down...thanks for the reminder!

I will check out that book as well...looks interesting! I remember having a sort of realization a while back that "the body is a helluva lot smarter than I am!!" To really feel the shakuhachi as an integral part of your body sounds like a wonderful practice...jeez...I think I even have it with me more often than my phone, wallet or keys!

Thanks again for all the great advice!!!
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GalinaSG
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 21:50    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

one
http://myoanshakuhachi.blogspot.com/2010/01/tai-chi-movements-for-carpal-tunnel.html

two
http://www.powerballs.com/music.php?m=Benefits

Does it suit?
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Dean Del Béne
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PostPosted: 2011-10-05, 23:49    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Until the therapies provide a turnaround, temporary relief while playing can be found in a wrist support, like the Futuro Deluxe Wrist Stabilizer for left or right hands:
http://www.futuro-usa.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Futuro/Global/Products/Produc…
Amazon sells them for about $20 each.
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Nathan
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PostPosted: 2011-10-06, 03:22    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

Hi Galina! Yes! Those movements are very similar to the ones found in Wing Chun. I find they do help, but I've obviously hit some sort of threshold where those exercises alone are not doing enough. Haven't seen the "powerball" before...how does it work exactly? Do you use that?

Hey Dean! Do you practice with that wrist support? It looks like it may be pretty restrictive...though if it helps, the tradeoff may be worth it!!
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Dean Del Béne
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PostPosted: 2011-10-06, 09:56    Post subject: Wrist pain Reply with quote

The fingers move freely within the wrist supports; playing is easy, supported and relaxed. The devices teach you to play without bending your wrists so you'll avoid future stresses that may be causing your pain. Good luck with your healing! Please post which approaches worked best for you.
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