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Distinguished SOTW Member/Saxus Envious Curmudgeon
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We have all hit our elbow on the "funny bone" spot and had a strong tingling sensation shoot up our arm at one time or another.

I have a bit of a lingering problem...
For almost 3 months now, I have had an ulnar nerve problem..what that means is that somehow or another I have hit my ulnar nerve or done something that has caused the left side of my left hand, pinky and half of my ring finger to constantly tingle and I am experienceing a slight loss of sensation.

Have any of you ever had this happen?

My doc says that it could also be that the nerve is pinching in my wrist area....
It isn't too much of an inconvenience yet...but using the table keys on the sax is getting a bit interesting, to say the least.:cool:
 

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Randall, this sounds exactly like a problem I had a few years ago. I too posted here looking for advice.

A few people, but particularly doc tenney, posted in reply, and were correct in calling it CUBITAL TUNNEL. note not carpal.

do a search here for cubital tunnel. If you want to PM me I would be happy to give you more details/ information.

good luck
 

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If you think it may be RSI you could check out the RSI page

I read one of their recommended books "It's not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome" and it's working for me through their exercises.

As I recall the ulnar nerve runs from the hand up to your shoulder. So a tingling hand could be due to pinching at points other than the wrist, and the root causes could be anything from the way you use your hand to your posture. According to the book a lot of doctors misdiagnose the problem to the wrist area often resulting in unecessary wrist surgery which doesn't solve the problem, so they recommend seeking a PT specializing in this area.
 

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Randell,

I had a very similar problem most of this summer. I injured an area near my scapula in June, which caused pain to my shoulder and elbow and numbness on my first and middle finger.
After x-rays my Doc said it was soft tissue injury. I was told to use heat and not lift any weights until it was completly better. About the first week in September the numbness finally went away.
Good luck with your recovery.

Reg
 

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Randall said:
...left side of my left hand, pinky and half of my ring finger to constantly tingle and I am experienceing a slight loss of sensation.
You say the tingling and loss of sensation is constant not intermittent? You've got a pinched nerve somewhere, and if you don't do anything about it, it will more than likely only get worse. A good neurological exam may determine exactly where the pinch is, and if not a nerve conduction study may be needed.

You should get this evaluated and treated, or you risk a permanent loss of function. Treatment may be rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and PT/OT, or possibly surgery, but you need to find out exactly what is causing the problem before surgery can be even considered.
 

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You may want to have your doctor check your neck. I had a painful and perisitent "electric shock" feeling radiating down my right arm, ending up in the pinky and second fingers of my right hand. The cause was diagnosed as a prolapsed (herniated) disc in my neck, between vertebrae 6 and 7, which was bulging out and irritating the root of the nerve that runs down my right arm. This spot on your neck is exactly where a conventional sax strap sits. Apparently the weight of a tenor sax on my neck every day for years exacerbated the problem.

The solution was in six months of physical therapy - and in buying a Neotech super harness. The harness took the stress off my neck so I could continue playing while undergoing therapy. It works great for me. Over the six months the excruciating pain went away, then the numbness in my shoulder, and then gradually the tingling feeling worked its way down my arm until it was gone. I am pain free now, no surgery, no drugs.

Based on my experience, I'd recommend trying a harness. Pretty low cost solution. It did require a change in playing position as it holds the horn close to your body, but a small price to pay for the absence of pain.
 

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Go see a DOCTOR!!!!

AHEM
you have a ulnar nerve compression neuropathy either at your elbow or your neck like everyone has said. You need a neurological exam by either an orthopedic surgeon (like myself) or a neurologist and nerve studies to determine the location and type of compression. Ulnar nerve problems are a bear if they are neglected so make sure you get there pretty soon. You dont have enough info to know if its gonna get better on its own (which some of them do) or need surgery.

Best of luck.....dont procrastinate.....

dr j
 

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I had this happen to me, but it was pretty mild and went away after a few weeks. It was really tough for me to hit the bell keys.

Yup, talk to a doctor and tell us what you learn.

-Dan
 
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