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arthritis in right thumb?

4910 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jazzbluescat
I've had some thumb joint problems that are scaring me lately, making me question whether or not I'll be able to continue to play sax.
For most of my adult life, my thumb joint will lock up on occasion. No big deal- I just flex it inwards and the joint will click (making a noise kind of like snapping your fingers). No pain and really nothing more that a nuisance.

However, a month or so ago my right thumb joint swelled up and was extremely painful. Rather alarming as I hadn't done anything to injure it in any way. The ER doc took an x-ray and said he didn't know what it was but that there was fluid on the joint. His soultion was to splint and wrap my hand to immobilize it.
The next day I happened to mention it to my massotherapist. She said her mother-in-law's knee joints swelled in the same fashion when her doctor put her on Crestor for colesterol. Coincedently (perhaps) I had been taking Crestor for several weeks before my flare up. I immediately stopped taking the Crestor. A few weeks later the swelling and pain had all but completely gone away and I was able to resume playing sax.
For the past several weeks it's back to hurting, but no swelling and not enough pain to prevent me from playing... until this week. There's no visible swelling but it's painful enough to be a major distraction and I'm afraid I'll make it worse by playing through the pain.
Any other players out there with a similar experience?
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My thumb does exactly the same, with the locking up, flexing and clicking. When I first started learning sax twelve years ago, I had too much weight on my right thumb, I didn't have the sling taking all the weight and I whole hand was painful and inflexible and I couldn't use it very well for a couple days.

Now on occasion, the thumb thing happens. If I lay off sax for an extended periods, say two weeks whilst on holiday, then my thumb locks also.

My right shoulder is clicking more and more of late and also my right knee. I did damage the knee about twenty-five years ago. I think the right hand and shoulder is down to playing saxophone.
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