Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Banjo Pickers - Splint for Focal Dystonia

For those of you that have followed my posts or know me fairly well, you will know that I have been troubled with focal dystonia in my right hand.  For banjo pickers, it is my understanding that it hits the forward roll the hardest -- and this is certainly the case for me.  My index finger curls up and just refuses to do anything.  This means that much of time I miss the strings that my index finger is supposed to play, especially when it's part of a forward roll.  My middle finger tends to shoot out across the banjo head, but fortunately for me, it doesn't cause an issue because I can always get it back fast enough to play the next note, even if it looks kind of odd at times.  What I have noticed is that sometimes this is worse than other times.  It seems to have an ebb and flow like playing itself does.  There are good days and bad days, but mostly bad.

Now for some good news.  I have come up with a splint of sorts that will keep my index finger from curling up.  I don't know how this will work in the long run, and I don't know if this will cause other problems, but this at least keeps my finger in playing position, even if I can't move it on its own volition.  I move it with my hand.  I know that probably sounds impossible, but somehow I am just able to do it.  What's even better is that after I play with the splint for a while, I can remove it and my finger is better temporarily.  It's like it is training my brain in some way.  Now, I'm no medical expert or anything of the such, but if anyone else out there is having an issue like this, all I can say is don't give up.  Analyze the issue and start trying to find a solution. 

Here is a video that shows the splint and how I use it.

2 comments:

Jon said...

Hi there! How is it going with your focal dystonia? I used to have FD but have managed to recover. I've created an online resource here which I hope is helpful:

Musician's Focal Dystonia

All the best,

Jon Gorrie

Wheelchair India said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Finger Splint

Keep Posting:)