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Violinist, have dull pain and stiffness on shoulder blade, fingers, pain on straightening the hand, joint and upper arm pain on rotating the arm. What can be done?

I have a dull pain and stiffness on my left shoulder blade. Quite often, I have pins and needles on my left hand especially when I sleep at night or staying at one hand position for a long period. I am a violinist and very often after playing, I will have some pain straightening up my hand. My fingers do feel a little stiff too. I have pain on the joint at the shoulder and the upper arm when I try to reach behind me or rotate my arm at certain angles. I am not sure if constant usage of my left hand especially when playing the violin will make matters worse. I am a left hander as well.
Asked On : Mon, 25 Jun 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  161
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Orthopaedic Surgeon 's  Response
Dear cheongyuenhar,
Thank you for logging on to HCM forum!
You seem to have 2 problems in your left upper limb.
1) Ulnar neuritis: The ulnar nerve is one of the important nerves in your arm & hand; in fact it is known as the 'musicians nerve'. It is obviously getting compressed when you bend your elbow/ or sleep on it, as it runs behind the funny bone in your elbow. That is giving you the felling of heaviness in your fingers & also the pins & needles.
Usually needs surgery to free the ulnar nerve & bring it in front of the funny bone so it does'nt get stretched on bending the elbow.
2) Impingement Syndrome : This is a condition when your rotator cuff ( set of 4 muscles in your shoulder) is getting squeezed in your shoulder under the acromion bone in certain positions of your arm.
Usually treatable by physiotherapy to rotator cuff.
To start with you should go see the Orthopaedic surgeon and he'll take it from there.
Dont worry, you can continue to enjoy playing the violin more than before once your neuritis is treated!
Dr. Mohan Thadi
Answered: Tue, 26 Jun 2012
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