Kudos to those of us who suffer from dystonia and have persevered in their playing. I've been deterred/discouraged in my own playing from far less. I don't have much advice to offer, as others' input seems much more informed than anything I could say, but I offer my encouragement. In my journey with traditional grip, I've found patience to be important. Someone linked a Rob Brown video in this thread, and if I remember correctly, it took him well over a year to feel competent with traditional grip, and adopting a journey vs. destination mindset has been helpful for me.
Since this thread is the only active traditional grip discussion, I hope you'll humor a point about traditional vs. matched (and I don't mean to be adversarial). We all know why and how trad. grip came about, but I think to end discussion of its relevance there misses the important point that traditional grip players mainly developed the drumset as an instrument (I'm no drum historian, so I'll be happy to be corrected). If this is true, then matched grip should be considered an adaptation to playing the drumset, as it was meant to be played with the traditional grip. Thoughts?
Eh, I wouldn't say the drumset was "meant" to be played with traditional grip. Traditional grip is just what people played, and as time went on it became less common because the drums weren't sitting at the extreme angle anymore.
In my own little journey here, I've had to try and compromise for best results sooner - I'm having to forego the trad grip journey (again) as the lack of middle finger mobility is hijacking my ability to relax again. After a lot of fiddling around I've found I'm getting the most relaxed feeling from played a very flat German style grip and using the middle finger as the primary fulcrum. I'm still going to persevere with trying to develop a French-style grip (which is what my original intention was to start with), but I need to work on the finger mobility before I can do that.
In my experiments with working out my issue, I've pretty much narrowed things down to a couple of stretches that focus on stretching the forearm; and holding my pinky and index fingers down with my thumb whilst stretching, or attempting to straighten my middle + ring fingers.
It's looking to me like when I can finally hold a 'peace' sign with my left hand with my middle finger positioned in the same way as the index finger, that's when I'll probably have enough mobility to really fix my technique. Hopefully it won't take too long to fix 20+ years of poor neural training