Tuesday, March 23, 2010



A sudden sharp pain at the base of my thumb - in the fleshy part of the palm! This afternoon, as I was slathering it with Blue Emu I found a rigid muscle in that area that seemed to be the source of it all.

I've been dealing with a lot of generalized pain in this area over the past four months - it came on rather suddenly. I couldn't really pin it down - where, exactly it was hurting, but I'm pretty sure I know why. It seemed to come and go; some days it seemed to be a lot worse than others; some days it seemed to go away altogether.

I've been working at trying to reduce my thumb pressure against the fingerboard, and recently I'd begun to believe I'd made some progress.

Then last night at orchestra I felt a strong "twinge" for a moment; it didn't last nor did it return. However, this morning as I was playing a piece with a lot of first finger extensions, that twinge returned - but this time it was more like a jolt. I looked at my thumb's location on the back of the neck relative to the first finger and I realized I have been locking the thumb in one place on the neck while trying to extend only my forefinger backwards to the Eb. We had talked about this at several recent lessons and my teacher told me I had to let my thumb move freely when I play these extensions. Easy to say, harder to actually do, consistently.

I hate taking ibuprofin for things like this; it seems so ridiculous to ingest large quantities of something that affects the whole body just to deal with a small localized issue like this. It would be nice to be able to rub in a small amount of ibuprofin-laced cream directly on the source. Lacking anything like that I applied Blue Emu. So now, about an hour later, the cream seems to be warming things up and it feels OK... But I can't trifle with this, so I'll probably go ahead and start taking ibuprofin too.

Oh no... we have ibuprofen gel here in the UK, but I know you can't get it in Canada. Not available in Alaska either I take it?
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