Warm wishes for 2016, and warm it certainly is, summer is sure heating up Western Australia. This year is my 10th year anniversary of being on Youtube, how times flies. Youtube had been around for around for about a year when I created my account in May 2006, so I felt like a late comer, but it seems now like I'm an early adopter.
Meanwhile, whilst practising one of my latest songs I injured my hand again. Argh. Same as last time, left pinky. It's some sort of strain, only hurts when I use it...I've mentioned before that when you are practising it's not a good idea to do the same movements over and over again. I should listen to my own advice.
I stopped playing for a week or two which coincided with Chrismas so it was not too bad, but I was very disappointed with my boo boo. I started doing some research into what it is, and what I can do about it. It seems that it is an over-use injury, somewhere between tendonitis and carpal tunnel but not arthritis...nothing Dr Google could fully diagnose. I did however come across much interesting and useful stuff.
Did you know your ulnar nerve is the "largest unprotected nerve in the human body (meaning unprotected by muscle or bone), so injury is common" (Wikipedia). The reason I mention this is because it is connected primarily to your pinky, via your elbow. It is your "funny bone" - when you whack your funny bone it is your ulnar nerve you are whacking. Since both my pinkies suffer from the same problem I'm pretty sure my left hand pinky is only aggravating an existing issue at my elbow. Cubital tunnel syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome except rather at the wrist it is at the elbow, entrapment of the ulnar nerve. I don't think that is what it is, except it made me realise I've had elbow issues for years.
Anyway, what was the most enlightening was what to do about all these finger, wrist and arm issues - stretching! After watching a few Youtube videos, I couldn't believe how flexible some people's hands are - and how stiff I am. In fact, I sat down with my wife and we did a ten minute video doing a bunch of different hand stretches, and my wife's hands are far more flexible than mine!
So I've been doing a bunch of stretches daily, or more, things like bending my hands back and forward, stretching fingers apart, pushing thumb against the wrist and backwards. Very quickly I noticed my hand flexibility improved. It didn't make my problem go away, but it's early days, I'll report back with findings.