Cellist - Finger Injuries

Q: Dear doctor: I have enjoyed very much your article available on the Internet. My name is Julia and I am a cellist. I have suffered from all kinds of problems in my left arm since April of 1998 and so far I have been unable to find the right help or even a hint of support from any doctor. My main problem at this moment is a result of a car "accident": I smashed my left index with a car door. Fortunately the X-rays show no sing of a bone fracture. However I still experience a very sharp pain inside of my fingertip when I try to play and some times when my index is in contact with something very hot or cold. At the same time all the area between my last joint and the tip feels sleepy, specially in the exact spot where the car hit me. Doctors have told me that there is no possible way of finding out what is wrong because of the small size of nerves and tendoms in the fingertip. I want to believe that there has to be a way of getting a diagnosis and fight this problem. I have also thought about trying accupuncture, but I don't know what technique would be good for me . I have just moved to Calgary and plan to attend The Banff Center of the Arts in October as an artist in residence. You can imagine how desperate and how lonely it feels to be here with not a clue of what to do. I would very much appreciate any suggestions from you. I hope that maybe you have dealt with similar cases in your hospital and maybe you happen to know about a professional that happens to live in Calgary or near by and who isused to dealing with musicians injuries.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter and I look forward to your response.

A: I wish there was an easy answer to your dilemma, but your finger is in the middle of healing from this injury and it's going to take time for that process to be completed. When you have a crush injury, like smashing your finger in a car door, it involves damage to all of the soft tissues in the finger, including blood vessels, cells, nerves, tendons, and bone. It's going to take months for all of these tissues to heal. Playing the cello with the damaged finger is simply slowing the process of healing - you're putting continued pressure on the damaged area and stressing it more.

One of the best healing methods that can aid your body's healing ability is chiropractic care. A Chiropractor will check the functioning of your nervous system. Your nervous system is the controller of all bodily healing - it drives the healing process. If your nervous system is compromised in any way by spinal misalignments (subluxations) it will slow the healing process.

I recently worked with a man who was unable to flex his fourth finger to his palm. He wasn't sure of the reason why. By adjusting his spine, restoring nerve flow to the finger, and performing muscle and tendon massage to his hand, within five visits he could flex the finger normally again. This shows the power of a properly working nervous system.

Acupuncture may be helpful in this situation also by enhancing microcirculation in the region of the injury.

I personally do not know of any chiropractors in the Calgary area, but you may want to call around and ask them if they believe they can help you. Make sure you find a chiropractor who is subluxation-based and understands how the nervous system controls your healing mechanisms.

I wish you well and hope that your body's healing ability is optimized.