De Quervain’s syndrome
Today I saw a little feature in the Irish Times about De Quervain’s syndrome. The article mentioned pain around the thumb associated with motions such as gripping. This caught my attention right away…
I play whistle for a few hours most days, and sometimes I notice that my thumbs get quite sore. I always try to keep my hands as relaxed as possible while I play, but perhaps I’m still too tense.
Apparently this condition is diagnosed by something called the Finkelstein manoeuvre. You fold the affected thumb in towards the palm, wrapping the fingers around it (making a fist with the thumb inside the fingers). If pain is felt when the wrist is moved in the direction of the little finger, it could be De Quervain’s syndrome.
I tried this after playing for a few hours and it did hurt - nothing unbearable, but noticeable discomfort. After resting for a few hours I tried it again and it didn’t hurt at all.
The article doesn’t talk a lot about the treatment of the condition, but mentions resting the hands (stopping the action that caused the problem! - now, I can’t really do that, can I?)
Does anyone else suffer from sore thumbs while playing whistle/flute/pipes? I’m wondering if this is something that could become a big problem down the road, or if I’m just being a hypochondriac and just need to learn to relax my hands more while playing…