“Harpal Tunnel” syndrome

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    amy-walts on #144976

    I’ve recently been diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, or
    as I now call it, “harpal tunnel” syndrome. Cortisone shots don’t seem
    to be working on the left side. Does anyone have some advice on
    dealing with this injury, and how to bounce back from it? I’m
    interested to hear how other harpists have dealt with t

    unknown-user on #144977

    I am so sorry to hear of your syndrome:(.

    unknown-user on #144978

    Have you tried yoga? I have found it invaluable as part of my life as a musician -it works mainly by keeping the spine flexible, and you may be able to find some yoga poses that address carpal tunnel specifically. Let me know if you’d like some yoga web addresses or book titles.

    Another possible healing modality is acupressure. I recently had a (minor) hip injury from the gym, and the pain was unbelievable. I went to someone experienced in accupressure and the pain is completely gone. It took about a week of work, but it did work.

    Good luck.

    Suzann Kale

    unknown-user on #144979

    Hello Amy:

    M Rodgers on #144980

    I had problems with my wrists in college and I do have tendonitis in both wrists, but, I have not had a problem since I visited a chiropractor/kinesiologist.

    unknown-user on #144981

    Hi! I’m a harp student. I hope that this information will help you. The carpus (wrist) consists of 8 bones arranged of 2 rows of 4 bones each. The carpus as a whole is arched transversely, the palmar aspect being concave thus forming a sort of tunnel. A tough sheath called “flexor retinaculum” is located over the palmar surface of the carpal bones. So, the flexor retinaculum forms the roof of a tunnel, the floor and walls of which are made up of the concavity of the carpus.
    Packed within this tunnel, there are
    1.)a nerve which innervates various muscles and
    2.)various tendons (their function is to attach muscle to bone).
    These, in one way or another, all effect the actions of the fingers. So, any cause that diminishes the size of the tunnel results in pain, sensory changes and muscle weakness. Symptoms can be relieved by dividing the flexor retinaculum logitudinally by means of surgical intervention.
    You can find more information on most Anatomy books. However, I suggest that you talk to your physician because he can give you much more information than anyone else can do.

    unknown-user on #144982

    I would like to make a couple suggestions regarding this potential curse of all harpists.

    Denise Grupp-Verbon on #144983

    A note of advice.

    unknown-user on #144984

    I am a professional harpist who developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both my wrists 13 years ago.

    unknown-user on #144985

    This is something I’ve had recent experience with, and what worked for me was acupuncture. I dealt with four months of pain, loss of grip and manual dexterity, and a total inability to do even the simplest things like open doors and write with a pencil, let alone play the harp. I went to Alexander classes, the chiropractor, the massage therapist, Pilates classes, and more.
    Then I went to an acupuncturist. In four sessions I was totally cured. I am now playing a full season of weddings and have experienced no further discomfort or pain.
    If you decide to go this route, however, choose wisely. A personal recommendation is best, and be sure they are certified in your area, have practiced for several years, and were trained at an accredited institution.

    unknown-user on #144986

    I also have carpal tunnel.

    unknown-user on #144987

    Hi! I have played the harp for 7 years! I have found that the only thing to keep me from getting “Harpal Tunnel” Syndrome is one of three ways! #1. Go to a chiropractor to see if you need an adjustment! #2. Get a massage! It is WELL WORTH THE MONEY!!!!! #3. Go get a rolfing session done! This is also WELL WORTH THE MONEY!!!!! I have found that if I go get rolfed/massaged/adjusted regularly I don’t get back/arm/knee pain!!!!

    I hope my suggestions help!!!!

    Harpist 4 Jesus!

    Patricia Dillard

    amy-walts on #144988

    Firstly, many thanks to all who have taken the time to add their
    insights. I’ve incorporated much of what’s been suggested, and
    felt I should update you all! I have not had problems with my
    hands for months now, and have resumed normal function with
    my harp playing, with all feeling back in my fingers! What has
    worked for me is a prescription for Celebrex, which has been
    managing the inflammation; physical therapy, to strengthen
    everything and keep it supple; wrist splints at night; deep tissue
    massage therapy with an emphasis on myofascial work; and
    retraining my posture, in combination with an ergonomic harp
    chair. It’s been a long, hard slog but it appears to be working so
    far. To anyone else suffering from “Harpal Tunnel”, I would
    recommend finding an excellent orthopedic/hand specialist, and
    experimenting with these techniques to see if they help. (Another
    FABULOUS discovery was “Wristies”… these are fleece “gloves”
    minus the fingers, that go from knuckle to mid-arm, and keep
    your hands and wrists warmed up. They have removable heat
    packs, as well, which are superb for outdoor gigs. You can find
    them at http://www.wristies.com. So far as I’m concerned, every harp
    sold should come with a pair.) Thanks again, everyone… group

    unknown-user on #144989

    I was devastated three years ago when I was diagnosed with cts on both hands.

    Susan Abken on #144990

    It’s all in the technique. Get up from your computer chair now, stand up straight and in a relaxed way, drop your hands to your sides. Let them swing back and forth a bit in a totally relaxed manner. Your fingers should curve naturally a bit, and your wrist will be loose and straight, but not curved back at all. You should feel no tension in your wrists at all. Now raise your relaxed hands and wrists in this position to your strings, stretching the thumb up while keeping it curved a tiny bit, making an L-shape between the index fingers and thumbs. If you feel any tension in your wrist when your elbows are raised, get up from your harp again, and drop your hands to your sides again. LOOK at that relaxed wrist and put it back on the harp with your elbows raised somewhat. I am thankful to a great harpist in Atlanta for correcting me thoroughly when I started to develop carpal tunnel as her beginning student by DEMANDING that I use the correct technique. She is a super teacher, very spiritual, and has a strong background in sports medicine to boot. I’m talking about Monica Hargrave. Sincerely yours, Susan Abken

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