A few months ago, my right thumb started to hurt. Now, I'm no stranger to overuse injuries when it comes to playing viola, but never in my career have I had pain in my right hand. I saw a chiropractor in Dallas before I moved to Lubbock, and he helped my thumb feel better. Then I moved to Lubbock, and started playing... A LOT.
So here I am, in the midst of a really intense week of LSO rehearsals, with my recital's dress rehearsal on Sunday and a recital in a week, and my thumb HURTS. I got a brace at Walgreens which helps stabilize the thumb, but doesn't allow me to play, so that's no good. Yesterday, though, Janeen Gilliam (administrative assistant at TTU, and phenomenal English horn player in the LSO) let me borrow her Tommie Copper fingerless gloves to test out for an hour or so. I don't know what is in these gloves or how they work, but what I do know is that when wearing this glove, I was able to run through the entire Tchaikovsky symphony tonight with only minor thumb pain, whereas yesterday I had to continually stop playing during rehearsal.
Whatever they do, they work. At least for me. And then today Janeen gave me a pair of these crazy gloves, so currently I am wearing a fingerless glove on my right hand, with a welcome, warm, slightly tingly sensation in my otherwise pain-ridden thumb muscle. It is wonderful.
And tomorrow morning I have a massage scheduled!
Phew! Hopefully there will be much happy practicing this week!