sore thumb joint

Just getting started with playing the accordion and have questions? Have a question about a technique? This is the place.
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Kathleen
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:03 pm

sore thumb joint

Post by Kathleen »

Hi all. Happy new year. I decided to try your collective wisdom on a problem I have felt developing over the last few months. My thumb joint on my bass side is getting quite sore. As a relative newbie to the accordion, is there something typical I need to watch out for?.....I thought maybe I was twisting my wrist, but the wrist itself feels fine. It is getting quite debilitating. I will be going to a physical therapist on this, but any technique hints very welcome!
olivigus
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2022 6:20 pm

Re: sore thumb joint

Post by olivigus »

Hi Kathleen. I know you posted this a while ago, but I just joined the site and wanted to reply, since I experienced something very similar. How is your thumb doing now? There's a condition called de Quervain's syndrome, where the tendons at the base of the thumb get inflamed, which is what I've still got to some degree. I had to stop playing and taking lessons for a few months last fall because of the injury, which was such a bummer. I've actually been wearing a brace (called a spica splint) that immobilizes the thumb joint but still lets you use your fingers. It has really helped me keep from reinjuring it but still be able type (which I do a lot of at work) and do things around the house. I pretty much only take it off when I play the accordion, which I can finally do again. If you're still having thumb pain, I'd really recommend trying one of those splints. I attached a picture below. I got mine from the doctor, but they also sell them on Amazon.

I think what I had been doing was using my thumb along the left side of the instrument to help move the bellows, because I can still feel some strain there when I use the air button. Part of fixing the problem has been been staying very conscious of putting my hand through the bass strap far enough so that my thumb stays relaxed and is just hanging out there next to my fingers. I also watched all the videos I could find about proper accordion posture, and found this one particularly helpful: (It's in Spanish, but it's easy to see what he recommends).

Anyway, I hope your thumb has recovered, but if you've still got some soreness, these things might help.
Cheers,
--Suzanne
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Alans
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2021 11:57 pm

Re: sore thumb joint

Post by Alans »

Hi,many professional accordionists play with the band that the poster shows above. The important thing to keep in mind is stop playing when you feel pain.this old idea of work through your pain is ridiculous. I believe there is a book about the body and the accordion. If your thumb continues to bother you make sure you take lots of breaks. Maybe a teacher may be able to suggest other ways you can play without hurting your thumb.
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