Finger pain

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sarah_and_flute
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Finger pain

Post by sarah_and_flute » Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:15 pm

When I practise, the little finger of my right hand starts aching quite badly. I take lots of breaks, but it still does. What do you think this could be? Might it be worth getting it checked out? I hope it's not Repetitive Strain Injury or anything :shock:

ick27
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Post by ick27 » Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:11 pm

The pinky operates more different keys than any other finger on the flute, and it has to stretch out to reach them. It's especially hard if you have small hands. I don't think you need to worry about RSI. What often happens is we tense up the pinky constantly, pushing hard on the keys and trying to balance the flute at the same time.

Any time you have pain in your hands from playing, you should re-evaluate your hand position. Are the keys pointing straight up towards the ceiling? Generally, if you have the flute body rolled back, it will be more uncomfortable for your right hand. Try rolling it a bit forward--I play with the keys facing slightly forward. Also, you can adjust the position of the footjoint. A good starting position is to align the post of the footjoint with the middle of the body tone holes, but you should experiment with other positions to find which is most comfortable for you.

Once you have worked out a hand position you like, practice some low notes making sure to only use the pressure needed to close the key. Keep the pinky slightly curved in a natural position like the other fingers, and don't try to balance or hold the flute with it. Keep experimenting!

noseflute
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Post by noseflute » Thu Jul 29, 2004 2:19 am

It can also help to turn your right wrist towards the end of the flute - this small change can make a huge difference to the position of the little finger on the footjoint (and also stops the right hand fingers from being 'lazy' and resting on the rods of the flute!)

I used to have lots of troubles with this, especially when I was at college and palying/practising for 4 or more hours a day. My little finger would go cold, then numb... I finally went to a sports physoitherapist about it, and he traced it back to a nerve in my spine being squashed, and this was connected to the nerves in my pinky! Weird! But a few crunches and twists later it was all good. Still recurs every so often (well, considering that was over 10 years ago...!!)...

sarah_and_flute
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Post by sarah_and_flute » Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:05 am

Thank you both for your help! I'll give those suggestions a go :D

jessclark
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Finger Pain

Post by jessclark » Thu Jul 29, 2004 8:23 am

There is an excellent guide to arm pain that covers fingers at:
http://www.fluteinfo.com/Health/ArmPain/

Sneeble
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Post by Sneeble » Fri Jul 30, 2004 1:55 pm

Try not to tense up the right hand - that's where you get pain in your pinky and wrist. Are you playing an openhole flute? Maybe put some plugs back in until you can get a comfortable "stretch."

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jessclark
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Post by jessclark » Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:17 pm

Sneeble makes a good point.

Taking out the plugs on an open hole flute does not improve the tone at all, it just allows the flutist to do some tricky alternate fingering and perhaps a slide from one note to another. Just this past year my college professor put all of the plugs into her flute.

Jesse Clark
http://www.FluteInfo.com
Resource for all kinds of flutists.

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Dance4Him
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Post by Dance4Him » Tue Sep 21, 2004 3:51 pm

That is great advice, I just started playing flute and am having the same problem, but i'll try this!
~ DANCE moves the BODY but music moves the SOUL ~

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pandagirl11
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Post by pandagirl11 » Tue Sep 21, 2004 5:40 pm

Hmm...this sounds so familar. =P Except, I haven't really really started flute yet (aside from learning a bit on my own). =P However, I've been playing for about 10 years now and I'm about to do my DipABRSM in...November and ARCT in June 2005. Something I learned yesterday while at the doctor's was that overstretching your fingers can cause the joints to become inflamed and therefore painful. =P Motrin (sp?) apparently helps if you take it continuously, twice a day, for a whole week.

Kendall
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Post by Kendall » Wed Sep 22, 2004 4:37 am

Motrin is a great medicine, I take one with every meal to help relieve knee pain......it worked for so long


now im prone to it and it doesnt help much, but it worked for a long time
Kendall

sarah_and_flute
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Post by sarah_and_flute » Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:36 am

Motrin- I'll have to look into that, thank you!

pandagirl, you're doing your DipABRSM? Wow, yeah, I'm doing my performance diploma sometime next year, with Trinity. It's amazing you're doing your diploma after having taught yourself, you must be really dedicated! But good luck, I'm sure you'll be fine :)

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pandagirl11
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Post by pandagirl11 » Wed Sep 22, 2004 6:41 pm

Whoa...I swear I never saw that mistake when I typed up a reply. =P Let me correct it. =) For flute, I've been playing for a grand total of...2 weeks. =P It's for piano that I've been playing for 10 years and am about to do my DipABRSM and ARCT exams. =P I've also played violin for...7 years and I played viola for...8 weeks. =P So yeah, sorry for the mistake!

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