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Author Topic: RSI  (Read 453 times)

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John MacKenzie (Cugiok)

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RSI
« on: May 19, 2019, 02:01:32 PM »

I have arthritis in the base of my thumbs, and sometimes, playing can be painful. So much so, that I am trying to work out a mod for the bass air button, so as I can decrease the amount of stretch involved. I have an idea that involves a tube that with sit snugly over the air button, with a J shaped extension downwards. My thumb would sit in the crook of said J when playing. That's the theory anyway, time will tell.
The other thing I have discovered is that the PC mouse I have been using, {cordless with a thumb operated trackball}, seems to have aggravated the discomfort at the base of my right thumb, so I have gone back to a mouse that I have to move around on a mat. So I think this comes under the heading of RSI, I will see how the change affects my pains.

Sir John
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Roger Howard

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Re: RSI
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 03:11:19 PM »

Good luck with it. I do sympathise.

 I have a similar problem with the base of my left thumb and left forefinger. About three years ago, it was having a pronounced effect on what I could/could not do. Playing NSP was virtually impossible, basses on the box were very difficult. My GP referred me to the specialist hand unit at Derby Hospital, where they took care to understand the effect on my playing, identified the precise problem areas, and treated me with steroid injections and exercises. I’m still reaping the benefits!  (:) 
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: RSI
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 03:25:32 PM »

I also have arthritis in my RH thumb, which coupled with a thumb tendon injury in September 2018, made it very painful to play the melodeon (and the clarinet). At one point I thought I was going to have to give up playing altogether, which made me very depressed as you may imagine.

Fortunately a steroid injection into the base of my thumb helped a lot and the arthritis is now much improved from using glucosamine hydrochloride tablets on a daily basis and, for a few weeks when it was really bad, using cannabidiol ointment (derived from cannabis but with the hallucinogenic part (THC) removed, so it is legal in the UK). The ointment (balm) is massaged into the joints two or three times daily, over a period of a few weeks for me.

The glucosamine can be obtained at mainy health food shops (e.g. Holland & Barrett) or herbal suppliers; the cannabidiol ointment: CBD Balm from CBD Brothers Ltd. It's not cheap at £41.95 for a 30 ml tin, but it does the business. I have only used about 1/2 of the tin, so it goes a long way. My wife is a retired professional medical herbalist and I also see another practicing medical herbalist and both recommend the CBD balm for easing arthritic joints. It has worked for me.

The other important ingredient is time. My tendon injury took nearly 6 months to heal fully and even now I have to be a bit careful how I open screw-top jars and bottles. The arthritis is still there a little bit, and I don't suppose it will ever go away completely, but it is so much better than it was.  Overall, I can play again without pain, which is a blessing. 

« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 03:28:36 PM by Steve_freereeder »
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catty

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Re: RSI
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2019, 04:42:00 PM »

I'm also a CMC joint sufferer.  I gave up classical/flamenco guitar - which I played for 30 years - as a result.  I played all the stringed instruments, and the only that doesn't exacerbate my condition is fiddle, so that's what's left.  I took up accordion largely as a replacement for strings.

I have one box with a rather stiff action on the air button which is hard on my thumb.  I'll have to work on that at some point.

Many thanks for recommendations on herbals Steve!
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Theo

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Re: RSI
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2019, 04:54:41 PM »

Changing between Hohner type of pull down valve, or Italian push in type can be helpful.  It’s usually fairly straightforward to change from the Italian to the Hohner style, a little more work to go the other way. The Hohner type can be lengthened too,  but may need taller bass feet to stop damage to the air button.
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Squeaky Pete

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Re: RSI
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2019, 05:02:13 PM »

Theo, you play a (ex) club box that comes with an Italian style air button. Have you altered this or do you find it ok?
They can certainly be variable as to the pressure needed.
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playandteach

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Re: RSI
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2019, 05:29:27 PM »

I have arthritis in the base of my thumbs, and sometimes, playing can be painful. So much so, that I am trying to work out a mod for the bass air button, so as I can decrease the amount of stretch involved. I have an idea that involves a tube that with sit snugly over the air button, with a J shaped extension downwards.
I've stopped playing several times for various reasons, and always found a way round the problem. I have also had the spring tension reduced as far as possible.
I don't know what style of music you play, but it could be time to experiment with other styles that require a different type of playing?
My air button sits just above the main thumb joint but require only the tiniest hand pressure - no movement or grip on the thumb at all. I'm sure I've seen boxes that have a long bar (maybe under the wrist?).
There will be answers, I'm sure. Staying as patient as possible and avoiding other non-melodeon strains on it - good excuse not to wash up, hoover, etc. Good luck.
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Theo

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Re: RSI
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2019, 05:33:12 PM »

Theo, you play a (ex) club box that comes with an Italian style air button. Have you altered this or do you find it ok?
They can certainly be variable as to the pressure needed.

My ex club box has a standard Hohner valve.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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george garside

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Re: RSI
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2019, 07:23:06 PM »

I have arthritis in  both hands/fingers as well as in feet and shoulders  and I  find that playing the box  regularly  ( at least an hour a day) reduces rather than increases the arthritis pain in the hands,  playing for 15 or 20 minutes  first thing in the morning seems to be particularly beneficial. The importance of and benefit from exercise of ones arthritic bits is confirmed  be many medical website eg the mayo clinic etc etc.   One extols the virtuues of piano playing  but does point our that positioning of the hand etc is all important.

IN this respect ,and at a guess,  It may be that the way the hand is used to play  box may exacerbate rather than reduce the effect of box playing .  In particular I am thinking about using the hand  to push against the keyboard to locate it or worse still  the melodeon grip  with thumb behind the keyboard or to put it another way the reason I find playing beneficial for my arthritis could be ?? because  I always use 2 carefully adjusted straps so my hand does not in any way locate the keyboard  to the extent that I can easily use my thumb to play the chin end accidentals. In other words my hand/fingers does nothing other than tapping the appropriate buttons.

just a thought!

george
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Clive Williams

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Re: RSI
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2019, 10:51:51 PM »

I'm sure I've seen boxes that have a long bar (maybe under the wrist?).

Yes, I have a Castagnari Giasco I that does that - it's a long bar that you push away from you, not into the box like an Italian air button, and not down like a pokerwork. It's a Basque accordion design feature I gather.

Roger Howard

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Re: RSI
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2019, 06:42:16 AM »

I have an old Koch GC which has that sort of air button, too.
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george garside

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Re: RSI
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2019, 10:49:12 AM »

air button the prodding of can be harder on the thumb joints if the left hanad is not far enough through the bass strap.  I find the best  position for painless operation is to have the bass strap roughly where a watch strap would be if you were wearing one.  ( I Put my watch on my right arm hand when playing)  Having the arm in that position also facilitates movement amongst the bass buttons  as the fingers will be be 'u' shaped and hit the buttons from above so to speak rather than creeping round the top corner of the box!   

Most air buttons can then be pressed with some part of the side of the thumb so only using the bass of the thumb joint and thus included press in air buttons and hohner   sliding type.

I also find it less stressful on the finger joints to have the right hand 'u'shaped so the finger hits the buttons from above  and moving up and down the keyboard ia done by wrist articulation'

george

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Corinto

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Re: RSI
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2019, 05:29:36 PM »

I have arthritis in  both hands/fingers as well as in feet and shoulders  and I  find that playing the box  regularly  ( at least an hour a day) reduces rather than increases the arthritis pain in the hands,  playing for 15 or 20 minutes  first thing in the morning seems to be particularly beneficial. The importance of and benefit from exercise of ones arthritic bits is confirmed  be many medical website.

Similar beneficial experience here.
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