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extreme thumb/hand cramps
Hey violinist/physicians help me diagnose my issue!
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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fiddlionist
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December 13, 2013 - 7:01 pm
Member Since: August 24, 2013
Forum Posts: 48
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I've had cramps in my hand ever since I got my new violin. The last violin had a much lower bridge. I like the higher bridge on my violin now, and lower tensions strings have helped.

Most of the time I play with the pad of my thumb under the neck of my violin (I think). I've told myself to relax but it won't really physically allow me to press down the string, and if I try to counter the force lost with by using my thumb with the upward force produced by squeezing the violin more with my neck I worry about damaging the violin.

 

I stretch, eat bananas(good for cramps), don't over practice etc. but the cramps still occur after only a little bit of playing.

The quality of my violin should really be in questions considering what I payed for it, so what do you guys think?

 

Should I lower my bridge?

Bare with and hope muscles develop better?

Maybe do something I haven't thought of?

 

This has really got me bummed out and concerned about my technique so I haven't really been playing lately.

Any constructive advice would be helpful.. maybe let me know what worked for you if you had the same problem?

GCV Kreisler 1730

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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December 13, 2013 - 7:28 pm
Member Since: April 22, 2012
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 I'd say that it's the way you are holding the neck. From what I've seen you don't support the neck with the pad of your thumb 'under' the neck. 

Being a new thing that you are having your arm and hand doing it 'should' get tired after a while but it 'shouldn't' cramp and be painful. 

Have a look at FM's video below. You have probably already watched it but have another look an see if you could be doing something wrong. You will see that the thumb doesn't hold the violin up

 

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Q9kMMF2gbuY?

 

And you will find a good explanation of the left hand on the violin at the link below

http://www.violinstars.com/lef.....ition.html

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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StoneDog
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December 13, 2013 - 10:24 pm
Member Since: January 14, 2013
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Is it painful or numbness? Is it like your hand goes to sleep, or like a very intense pain in your hand? My hand will get really numb sometimes but never really hurts. I just can't move it.

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fiddlionist
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December 13, 2013 - 11:44 pm
Member Since: August 24, 2013
Forum Posts: 48
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yeah I checked out fiddlerman's vid just before posting this actually.

 

I've had pains before because of over playing, and I've always been able to quit for a week at most. But these are definitely like muscle cramps, a pain that occurs during playing instead of after.

 

Definitely not a numbness. It reminds me of workin out. Trying to play that extra bit is just like trying to push out a few more push ups.

 

I didn't have this problem before but I did recently kind of relearn my technique as I believe it was wrong before.

GCV Kreisler 1730

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 15, 2013 - 7:22 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

From my experience, most people if not everyone exerts way more energy on holding and playing the violin than is actually really necessary. I like to work with students, especially new ones, on using a fraction of what they use. It makes sooooo much difference when they discover how much unnecessary tension they had going for them. Where do you live again fiddlionist?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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fiddlionist
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December 15, 2013 - 5:23 pm
Member Since: August 24, 2013
Forum Posts: 48
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All the way up in WV... Although I do plan on stopping by if I make my way down to Florida anytime soon.

GCV Kreisler 1730

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 15, 2013 - 10:23 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Good. I'll be happy to have a look.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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