Compartment syndrome?

Posted In: How To Play

  • Participant
    Timbre on #253245

    Has anyone on this forum been diagnosed with chronic exertional compartment syndrome in their forearms?
    If so, what kind of test was administered, and what was your treatment?

    I have suffered from what I thought was tendinitis for 17 years, but after new physical therapy work and an orthopedic surgeon, they are wondering if I have a rare compartment syndrome.

    Symptoms:
    Chronic burning deep in the center of my forearms.
    Shooting pain while playing fast passages or playing for over 45 minutes.
    Chronic sensitivity/pain in muscles and nerves in arms when pressure is applied.
    Pain tends to fade to a dull burn with rest but symptoms immediately return when I return to playing.

    Before you ask, I now play proper Salzedo technique but suffered the initial damage playing a non-standard technique invented/taught by my first teacher who claimed she was teaching Grandjany. 😓

    Participant
    Gretchen Cover on #253249

    I have a chronic shoulder problem from an accident so I can understand what you are dealing with. I can easily get tendinitis anywhere from my fingers to my shoulder so I am very mindful. As you are now aware, you should feel no pain or tension in your forearms when you play harp. The minute you do, you must stop playing or you continue to re-injure yourself. I would practice in much shorter segments and stretch after practicing. I would not play technically demanding music for a while. It sounds like you get tired during practice and therefore tense your forearms. Think about feeling and playing from your shoulders. You may need a physical therapist or occupational therapist to recommend a few exercises to strengthen and stretch. I go regularly to the chiropractor and do yoga twice a week. There are a lot of good yoga videos. I like the ones by Jen Hilman of Pysche Truth. Be sure, too, your bench is the correct height and you are sitting up straight. This is going to be an ongoing process for you.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #253475

    Oil of frankincense may provide some topical relief, as well as lidocaine patches. An interventional ultrasound radiologist is your best friend. The ultrasound will tell him exactly where your problem originates, and there are at least two treatment options, cortisone or lidocaine injections, and needle therapy. Other doctors can only guess.

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