Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 69

Thread: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

  1. #1
    Registered User McIrish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    171

    Default Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Hi Guys,
    I've been playing a lot more mandolin in this year and have developed some pain in my left hand, predominantly in my first two fingers. My finger tips are fine and are pretty rock hard from the amount of playing I do on various instruments. The pain is in the joints. If I put my left hand palm down on a table I can recreate the pain easily by pulling my fingers from left to right. I can push or pull in any other direction without pain. I'm not sure if this is the start of arthritis or just a symptom of over playing and doing too many multiple string slides but it is becoming a concern. It's been a problem for about four months now. My doctor isn't too concerned, but he doesn't play a string instrument for part of his living.

    Have any of you dealt with joint pain by taking some kind of supplements? A friend recommended MSM and another Glucosamine. (sp)
    My grandfather was pretty crippled with arthritis so I'm hoping to find some long term relief.

    Thanks for the help,
    Tom
    Gibson 2016 "Harvey" Fern
    Collings MT Mandola
    Petersen Level 2 Irish Bouzouki
    Collings 0002H
    Couple of Banjos
    Lots of other Guitars
    http://www.shadowfields.com

  2. #2
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,110
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Quote Originally Posted by McIrish View Post
    My doctor isn't too concerned, but he doesn't play a string instrument for part of his living.
    Do you mean he isn't concerned because he doesn't figure anything major is wrong, or he isn't concerned because he figures you will just cut back or stop playing mandolin, which will solve the problem?
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  3. #3
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Kerrville, TX
    Posts
    4,004

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Quote Originally Posted by McIrish View Post
    Have any of you dealt with joint pain by taking some kind of supplements? A friend recommended MSM and another Glucosamine. (sp)
    My grandfather was pretty crippled with arthritis so I'm hoping to find some long term relief.
    To be honest, I tried MSM and glucosamine/chondroitin when I was recovering from a shattered wrist and going through a lot of pain and stiffness in my joints during the rehab phase. It didn't do anything for me. And my wife suffers from rheumatoid arthritis in her fingers (her joints are all knobby; it runs in her family) - she tried these supplements as well, and didn't get any benefit from them either.

    I'm sure some people probably notice a difference, and it's worth trying, but I'm pretty much convinced it's just more snake oil. Then again, we may have been trying the cheap stuff that's nothing but sand and sawdust. Apparently these types of supplements are not regulated by any oversight agency, and there's a lot of fraudulent companies out there selling junk and raking in the money. There was a recent scandal involving supplements, which was exposed by a New York government agency, and it involved GNC as I recall (it included many brands sold at Walmart, drug stores, etc.).

    Basically, the "supplement" industry is not to be trusted. If you do decide to try these things, talk to your doctor or someone else who can point you to a reputable brand.

    At any rate, though, my wife has had these discussions with her doctor about finger/joint pain, and his answer was pretty much "there's nothing we can do". So much for medical science. They just tell her to take OTC painkillers and learn to live with it. They also said that the more you use it, the more you'll keep arthritis at bay. Obviously, don't over-work your hands, but keep them active and flexible.

  4. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Tobin For This Useful Post:


  5. #4
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    0.8 mpc from NGC224, upstairs
    Posts
    9,823

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Quote Originally Posted by McIrish View Post
    My doctor isn't too concerned
    I used to know a surgeon who, whenever a patient under his hands said "ouch!", would shrug and answer "I feel nothing".
    I have a two-stage plan for you:

    1 - cut back on slides and on any moves that cause pain; pain is there for a reason, the body does its own repair if you give it time.
    2 - get another doctor.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  6. The following members say thank you to Bertram Henze for this post:


  7. #5
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,110
    Blog Entries
    52

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    My experience with finger wrist pain, FWIW, and as posted elsewhere

    Horrible shooting pain in my left hand if I played for more than thirty minutes. If I pushed it the pain would last for days. Especially the index finger. I tried all kinds of warm up routines and stretching exercises. Nothing helped.

    Unrelatedly I had a scheduled physical, with which they discovered I had diabetes. Within a few days with diet, drugs, etc., my blood sugar was normalized, and the pain went away. Entirely. Like flipping a switch. Never to return. No supplement would have helped me.


    I am not saying you have diabetes, only that there are things worth looking into. The actual cause may have nothing to do with what hurts.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

  8. The following members say thank you to JeffD for this post:


  9. #6
    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lancashire/UK
    Posts
    1,411

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Omega 3 fish oil capsules keep my joint supple, Not an instant solution, but over time and also if you keep using them they work great!
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....


    Fylde Touchstone Walnut Mandolin.
    Gibson Alrite Model D.

  10. The following members say thank you to G7MOF for this post:


  11. #7

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    I am a bit older and have experienced quite a bit of finger pain, and also some lower back and cervical pain. i am a believer in alternative medicine and Ive tried these supplements, with no benefit. That's not to say that you won't, but I would think it is unlikely.
    I do know, however, that there are those who have experienced benefit from the supplements mentioned. I would recommend that you seek help from an orthopedic specialist. I have a "trigger finger" on my left hand which has "flared up" twice. The first time, the orthopedic surgeon was able to do a simple, in office surgical procedure which totally cleared up the problem. Five years later it has flared up again. They can't do surgery again, so I got a steroid shot and a splint to wear at night. I am now back to playing again, but with instructions to play shorter lengths of time. Of course, I don't do this for a living, so that is a bit simpler to do. I would also consider acupuncture. I have had very good results in the past for some (but not all) problems I have had. So, you might consider trying the supplements (I don't think they will hurt you) then acupuncture and then orthopedic surgeon care. Also, you may be able to do some things to help yourself. Try "warming up" your fingers before you play. Perhaps alter what or how you play to involve the troublesome finger less (for example, while my middle finger was out of commission I started playing my bouzouki, using the capo and primarily two-finger chords). And, maybe you need to take a short total vacation from playing. Finally, you may have some bad habits that are contributing to your problem. I'm sure a big part of my problem is that I am self-taught on the fiddle, and I'm sure a more proper technique would have put less stress on my left hand.

  12. #8
    Registered User Carl Robin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Tom
    If it's arthritis, medical treament can sometimes prevent further damage to the joints, and solve the pain. See a doctor, ask for a rheumatologist.

  13. #9
    Fret less, play more! NoNickel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Bloomington, Illinois
    Posts
    488

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    You might want to try Osteo-BiFlex (or a similar product). It contains both MSM and Glucosamine. I take two extra strength daily and have no issues at all. What is interesting is that you don't notice dramatic results right away, but if you stop taking it after you have been on it for a while, you really notice the pain that it has been helping you with.

    Good luck.
    NoNickel

    Duff F5 #196/15
    Plays the "Irv Pearman" Signature Set

    All misspellings intentional. Even thsi one.

  14. #10
    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Neosho, Mo
    Posts
    2,320

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Stick with the glucosamine/condroitin for the long haul. Don't expect miraculous improvement. Or fast relief, it does not work that way. NSAIDs like naproxen or ibuprofen give some relief. The clock does not sit and wait for ANYONE. Getting older means things break down. The trade-off is some joy for some pain. I play disc golf and the trade is the same except I get more exercise throwing the disc and more joy playing the music. I play tenor banjo, so what do I know?
    Mike Snyder

  15. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Londonish UK
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    If it's an arthritic type pain then look at what you eat, some say a low yeast, or gluten diet may help that. You could also try hand massage, I learnt some years ago doing a Reflexology short course, another thing is warm up exercises before you play. A copper bracelet is also said to be beneficial.

    My Mother did a lot of crafting and had lots of pains in her hands, she used a copper based finger/thumbless fabric mitten which seemed to help. There is also an eleastic based mitten available - they work much like the knee braces you can get.

  16. #12

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    dood

    I understand that youre looking for some feedback
    but
    as one who has suffered twice with trigger finger, due to mandolin

    I would strongly urge you to not seek advice here from laymen, but rather, to get back to the doc , or a specialist, and get some real and timely direction.

    as one who doesn't play for living, but played a lot, including gigs, and having dealt with finger issues, I can say, this truly may be a stitch in time situation

    I don't mean to be alarmist, but, I am being adamant due to my own experience, which I would never have believed, given my history and background and decades of playing guitar -mando is different, at least for me.

    fwiw, both times I dealt with trigger finger issues, first one (ring left) took 7 months to resolve, sans surgery, simply not using the finger
    second time (pinky left doing double duty for resting ring above-took almost a year....

    both were stiff, and uncomfortable

    I am no doctor, but, rest and backing off is a safe start. I can say, having no issues ever in 40 years of playing guitar, and being fit, it can be debilitating and really affect your ability to play, and simply grip. for me, the trigger issue made it so I could barely grip with my left hand....not just instruments, bike handlebars, bags of soil, etc.

    anti-inflammatories, ie ibuprofen, did little if anything

    offered with concern, not disdain.

  17. The following members say thank you to stevedenver for this post:


  18. #13
    Registered User DamonIRB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    St Petersburg, FL
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    There are many effective supplements out there. The holistic industry is more than trustworthy. Are there a few low potency products out there that aren't going to do much of anything? Sure. But I wouldn't write off the entire industry and opt for prescription and OTC drugs.

    It took me years to figure out that the discomfort in my hands was due to inflammation. It's not arthritis or joint damage, just plain ole inflammation. Exertion of any type can cause tissues within the hands to swell, which causes pain. Glucosamine/Chondroitine, as well as Omega 3 oils, act as a lubricant for joints. That's great and helps keep you flexible but it won't do anything for inflammation. The best thing I have found is Turmeric. My doctor laughed when I told him what I was taking for the pain he said he could do nothing about. I have no pain now, so he can laugh all he likes. You can take too much of it, so make sure you start with a low dosage (200 mg, for example) to see how it works for you. I wouldn't go any higher than 500 mg per day.

    I also agree with the warm-up and stretching routine before playing.

    Hope you find some relief!

    D
    Morgan Monroe MMS-8/F
    Ovation Celebrity CC-44E

  19. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DamonIRB For This Useful Post:


  20. #14
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    4,964

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    I sincerely hope the OP resolves the problem. That said however, and this is just my opinion... it's Jeremy's show here... I've always thought this forum would be better off using a variant of the Chiff and Fipple forum rules about medical advice. Quoting from their forum rules:

    10: Medical advice

    Put simply: don’t.

    However, we all like to support one another. So, support is OK, but please do not give what amounts to medical advice on the forums. People may give good advice, or they may give crappy advice, and there is no way for the Moderators to police this. Plus, the forums are not really the place to give or receive such advice, which is normally better dealt with by your doctor. This applies to advice both on mental health issues and more general medical problems.
    One look at the compendium of advice given in this post will show why I think this might be a good idea. For one thing, there is a huge potential for differing opinions (not to mention outright argument) once alternative medicine is brought up.

    And again, I hope the OP finds help, or the situation resolves itself.

  21. #15
    Registered User Polecat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Germany
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Quote Originally Posted by stevedenver View Post
    I would strongly urge you to not seek advice here from laymen, but rather, to get back to the doc , or a specialist, and get some real and timely direction.
    I agree entirely.

    I have been suffering for many years now with joint pain in my hands, have tried many remedies, both from conventional and alternative medicine, with varying degrees of success. Some seemed to help, others even seemed counterproductive. My doctor referred me to a rheumatologist who diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis and prescribed methotrexate, which has helped me a lot. It certainly may be worth appraising your diet and, if applicable, changing it (if you haven't already, look into the "antiinflammatory diet"). Most of all, it is important to try to find out what the problem is - changing the brake pads on your car won't shorten the braking distance if the tires are bald - if your doctor isn't taking the issue seriously, look for another opinion, and don't blame the doctor if he can't help you immediately; doctors cannot do more than their best, and as one can read here, what one patient finds helpful may be useless or worse for another.

    Above all, don't despair. I hope you find relief.
    "Give me a mandolin and I'll play you rock 'n' roll" (Keith Moon)

  22. #16
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Statesville, NC
    Posts
    3,190

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    I think I'll call my doctor and ask what would be the best way to learn to play mandolin.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  23. The following members say thank you to Philphool for this post:


  24. #17
    totally amateur k0k0peli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    lost in the woods below Lake Tahoe, California
    Posts
    604

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Tests have shown glucosamine+condroitin to be totally ineffective. Like most unregulated supplements, their 'benefits' are mostly or entirely placebo effect. That is especially true when you consider that many of the Chinese-sourced supplements contain NOTHING of what is on the label. But even if they did, they would be worthless. You have a medical problem. See a medical specialist, not an unconcerned GP or a self-annointed herb doctor. Meanwhile, citizens of Utah should be aware that their Senator Orrin Hatch is largely responsible for supplements being unregulated in USA, at the cost of billion$ of buck$ and much misery. Y'all got a real doozy there, folks.
    Mandos: Coleman & Soviet ovals; Kay & Rogue A5's; Harmonia F2 & mandola
    Ukuleles: 3 okay tenors; 3 cheap sopranos; Harmonia concert & baritone
    Banjos: Gretsch banjolin; Varsity banjolele; Orlando 5-string; fretless & fretted Cümbüs o'uds
    Acoustic guitars: Martin Backpacker; Ibanez Performance; Art et Lutherie; Academy dobro; Ovation 12-string
    Others: Maffick & First Act dulcimers; Mexican cuatro-menor; Puerto Rican cuatro; Martin tiple; electrics
    Wanted: charango; balalaika; bowlback mando

  25. The following members say thank you to k0k0peli for this post:


  26. #18
    Registered User Doug Edwards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Kerrville, Texas
    Posts
    1,884

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    I have joint pain in addition to a bad back, 5 bulging discs 2 are severe. Took handfuls of Ibuprofen & hydrocodone for years. More recently I'm on Celebrex and Gabapentin, helps a bunch. No more narcotics.

  27. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Panama Cit
    Posts
    1,554

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    I'm with SteveinDenver. I've suffered w tendonitis in first joint of the left index finger. This later became a trigger finger maybe unrelated IDK. I had to quit playing for months. This was the only cure for me. I took up the dobro to not have to use my left fingers. (look up my old post about it.)

    Medical Advice on the cafe is worth what it cost you. Folks here will diagnose you, and give you treatments from WD-40 to beestings.
    You need to get an appointment with a board certified hand orthopedic doctor. Preferably one that knows about musicians injuries this may be possible in your location. Take your mandolin to the appointment to show him what causes pain. He alone can point you in a direction. However in the meantime if you can not cease playing for an extended period, rest as much as possible. Ice your fingers after playing. If you keep doing the thing that hurts you, I fear you will tread down the path I have gone. Oh yes, go to the library, or buy, a copy of "the athletic musician" read it. This is advice, you need, for free.

  28. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to GTison For This Useful Post:


  29. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    No. California
    Posts
    821

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Without any time in medical school or much time in college-level science classes, I'd say that there is no absolute solution for this. If there was, then every doctor would give the same solution to each specific problem, and the concept of getting a second opinion would not exist.

    As this thread indicates, the proposed solutions all have worked for some people, but not for others. Personally, I've had good experience with acupuncture, but my instrument-related problems have involved tendons, not joints. I used chondroitin and glucosamine for a while to help with knee issues and didn't notice any significant improvement for the money I was spending. Other people (including my doctor) love them, but have told me that they take a week or two to make any difference, and that you really have to use them consistently forever. There also are good compression fingerless gloves now that help warm up the joints, which sometimes help.

    Good luck with this!!!
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

  30. #21
    Registered User G7MOF's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lancashire/UK
    Posts
    1,411

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Avoiding red foods helps me as well especially tomato's, also citrus such as oranges/grapefruit etc.
    Red meat is another. I'm not saying DON'T eat them at all, just reduce the amount of times you do so!
    I never fail at anything, I just succeed at doing things that never work....


    Fylde Touchstone Walnut Mandolin.
    Gibson Alrite Model D.

  31. #22
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Okinawa, Japan
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    It may be worth looking at the way you play, for example if you use unnecessary force to hold the strings down or hammer your fingers onto the fretboard rather than placing them on the strings. Reducing the stress on your joints will help more in the long-term than trying to heal the damage once it's done.

    Patrick

  32. The following members say thank you to PseudoCelt for this post:


  33. #23
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    735

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    I have stiffness and inflammation -mainly in the first joint of my index finger. I will sometimes take an over the counter anti-inflammatory a few hours before playing. It helps take away some of the pain and stiffness. What I also do is treat my left hand like it's participating in an athletic event. I stretch out my fingers before and after playing using my Yoga Hands for a least 30 seconds. I love those things. (NFI) After playing, sometimes I will dunk my left hand in a bowel of ice water for a few seconds... A few days a week, I also use a medium strength finger exerciser, 3 sets of 15, to keep my hand and fingers strong. This overall protocol, I believe, has helped me quite a bit. When I use the finger exerciser, I also do before and after finger stretches and an ice cold finger dunk if I feel inflammation.
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
    My instruments professionally maintained by...RSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE

  34. #24
    Mandolin Dreams Unlimited MysTiK PiKn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    S.E. ON CA
    Posts
    997

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    Doctors are caught in the hippocratic oath loyalty - if they can't LABEL you, they can't help you. And some are just about useless, or often simply wrong - hence 2nd opinion is a popular sport. Big Pharma is in it for the $money$, and control over certain supplements, etc. Just listen closely to all those commercials on tv - those are expensive - BIG business PROFIT. And they have many devotees who don't know how else to proceed, and few docs will recommend solutions outside the realm of "M.D." Several posts here say - no help, you'll just have to live with it, etc.

    My IDIOT help - you are overextending under tension - esp. with slides and other chords like 'G-chop chord' - the chop extends my baby finger, and the whole chord involves tension. I've been watching this due to pain.
    I think diet plays a part here also with potential for "low blood sugar", aka type 2 diabetes - or a high sugar, high fat diet - the body reacts to high sugar by LOWERING blood sugar (insulin reaction). High fat, the body has to work hard to process that - liver disease. I use vitamin-mineral combos. I eat little red meat. I try to focus on good protein, and avoid sugar pig-outs, and gross fatty foods like chicken, mcRonalds. There is hidden sugar and xs salt in many foods. Educate yourself.

    Also check your mando position. And run action set as low as possible - to promote less tension required. Take a hard look at what is hurting during play.

    I'm not getting into rants - I have several rants already about this MD-Pharma stuff.

    Someone mentioned turmeric - I think that's a main ingredient with curry powder. There's some health benefits to that - but I don't know, and haven't tried it.
    Garlic and cayenne have many health benefits - google those for the list.

    avoid steroids such as cortisone. Also pain killers. If you are causing damage, you want to know, and know early.

    The doctors are sneaking into nutrition - MD is not nutrition, and for decades, docs and scientists and the gov have been used to recommend, and $$down play, lobby, lies$$ dangerous foods - esp. sugar and fat - sugar is "white death". It is not in my house. But now, they get to profit from solving the "obesity epidemic". There's a LABEL they can use. Don't wait for them to organize the PROFITS = look after yourself.

    end of 'not a rant'.

    = The Loar, LM700VS c.2013 = "The Brat"
    = G. Puglisi, "Roma" c.1907 = "Patentato" - rare archBack, canted top, oval
    = Harmony, Monterrey c.1969 = collapsed ply - parts, testing, training, firewood.


    "The intellect is a boring load of crawp. Aye. Next wee chune".

  35. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Northeastern Ohio
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Supplements for dealing with finger pain?

    I suffer with moderate/severe rheumatoid arthritis. It forced me to quit playing for over a year. The answer was finding a good rheumatologist. I am now on methotrexate and enbrel and am living and playing again. A good doctor can make an amazing difference.
    Pickin therapy is great for the soul...and other various things.

    Eastman MD505 Mandolin
    Folkcraft Appalachian Dulcimer
    Cort AJ982 6 string

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •