Think I have tendonitis - taking a break :(

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by crispsandwich, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. crispsandwich

    crispsandwich Member

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    I have always had some fretting hand issues with some chords and legato passages. My hands are small and I've never done stretches or incorporated a warm-up routine in my playing. Stupid, really. Anyhow, I have pain in my left wrist (at the top) that playing is aggravating. My left thumb is also sore. Dr. Google suggests that it is tendonitis. I don't think the issue is with my technique or playing position, just a lack of warm-ups.

    I'm going to see my doctor in a couple of days. Has anyone else here experienced fretting hand/wrist issues? Any tips? I'm going to buy a wrist splint to wear when I sleep, and once the problem has resolved I will incorporate stretches etc into my routine. I'm guessing I'll have to quit guitar for a few weeks.

    Total wrist rest isn't an option, as I have a physically demanding job, and I write with my fretting hand. I'm still hoping I can improve the situation.
     
  2. Bieling3

    Bieling3 Member

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    Stretches and wrist splints really helped me overcome some similar issues... I also did exercises with 5 LB dumbbells, opening and closing my fists letting them roll as far down my fingers as I could and then curling them back up. I guess the theory is you spend so much time clenching and pressing down while fretting you have to work the muscles that do the opposite motion.
     
  3. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Ice after playing every time. Take an anti-inflammatory. Do you play a lot of three note per string sweep kind of lines? That's a recipe for trouble if you aren't careful.
    I know two people well that had issues with severe tendonitis. One was a classical guitarist that was practicing 8 hours a day for his degree...too much. His came on ...boom. He was practicing one day and all of sudden his wrist hurt like a sonabitch and that was it. After several years of rest he's back into playing but not the heavy duty classical routine.
    The other is a certified guitar hero who get mentioned on the forum pretty often. He was going for the last note of a solo at a big concert when...boom...same deal, big pain in the wrist. He was able to come back with routine icing and meds. It took awhile.
    I don't feel bad about not practicing today. I played in the studio all week, at least 6 hours a day. It's good to take a break.
     
  4. Boytbpc

    Boytbpc Member

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    I have been having problems lately myself. Truefire.com has a Guitar Physiology video that I've been watching. It has already made a difference.
     
  5. jads57

    jads57 Supporting Member

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    First get it diagnosed by a doctor to determine what you have. Then stop doingas much as you can and rest it. Icing it is a great idea as well as taking anti inflamatory Ibuproffen.
     
  6. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    Change the way you play... change the height of the gtr / straps... change the way you hold it... Use lighter strings etc... even consider changing gtr's...

    I almost lost decades of mastering the gtr to these things and it's not funny. Ice and any meds is dealing with symptoms... deal with the cause right away... I've been forcing players for years to listen to the wisdom... ALWAYS warm up and warm down... warm up EVERY practice and every show.... It should be 101 gtr for everyone.. as in this is how you do it, this is how it's done...

    I saved my hand and continued to play... deal with the cause.. and often it does not require surgery or drastic "Medical" mumboJumbo...

    Good Luck man....
     
  7. champion ruby

    champion ruby Member

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    Yes, before you freak out too much go see the doctor, especially if you do physical work with your hands. Warm up, stretch and take note of your posture when playing too.
     
  8. Boytbpc

    Boytbpc Member

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    That Truefire Guitar Physiology lesson I am going through right now is great. I spent an hour last night adjusting the length of my guitar strap to decrease the pressure/bend of my wrist and I can immediately feel the improvement.
     
  9. Guido Sarducci

    Guido Sarducci Member

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    Ive been noticing the exact same thing - a strange feeling in my wrist and sore/numb thumb... I got my strap out for the first time since forever and the fingerings that did it the most felt comfortable. With the strap I only get it stretching in the lowest position at the nut. Maybe even sitting you should use the strap. I think I had it angled too much but you should be used to the strap anyways. Like angled so you can see the top of the fretboard but with the strap you cant at all. Bending the wrist too much
     
  10. arthur rotfeld

    arthur rotfeld Member

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    See a doc or physical therapist for some treatments/exercises.

    I do a wrist relieving technique that works like a charm for me, whether challenging yoga poses or tough guitar passages. Take a look at this little video I made, especially about 2 min in:

     
  11. Baminated

    Baminated Member

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    nutritional yeast & lechitin granules in shakes (talk to your doctor if it's ok for you to eat that stuff)
    these have done wonders for me
    http://www.newgrip.com/musicians.html

    Also, get in a gym with a climate controlled pool, and start doing laps

    I had it for almost 2 years and got back in playing shape !
     
  12. magicaxeman

    magicaxeman Member

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    It could be your playing technique, you could be over rotating the wrist ( having the guitar to high or too low can cause this) or as the thumb is involved as well it could be that your playing to hard with your fretting hand, ie putting more pressure than you need on the strings.

    I had both of these things myself until my disability prevented me playing altogether for a few years, then with the encouragement of my doctor I started to play again, this time making sure I didnt over rotate my wrist and lightening my touch considerably
     
  13. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    The TOUCH!!!!! Da man's got Touch.
     
  14. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

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    and try a good acupuncturist (I'm one) - get a couple of sessions, make sure
    they're experienced, don't have them overdo it- they should work along the
    whole neck/arm a little to make sure things are well relaxed. Then when things
    have cooled off see if they'll have you self-apply moxa on it to strengthen the
    area. Sounds weird, works great - along w/ proper exercise and rest.
     
  15. Michael_V

    Michael_V Gold Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you have deQuervain's tenosynovitis. Take it seriously and follow your doctor's and physical therapist's advice. Trying to play through the pain could be career ending.
     
  16. Chuckwalla

    Chuckwalla Supporting Member

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    This! I have been fighting deQ for over a year now. I have ice on my wrist now. At first, I thought it was being caused by my playing tech. I'm sure that something to do with it. I had gotten back in to playing when it started. It got to the point where I couldn't play or use my left hand without intense pain. Tried it all: injections, PT, meds. All worked short term, but it always came back. About the time I started playing again, I also started a new workout that involved a lot more strength training. On a whim, I asked one of the athletic trainers at the gym to watch my workouts. She made the observation that I was holding my wrist in a "weird" position during my upper body training. Anyway, made some adjustments and the wrist is on the mend.

    Don't not try and "work through it". I have scar tissue now, so I will never be a 100% without an operation. Take a look at everything you do, not just playing, it may be something else that is adding to the problem.
     
  17. wailsound

    wailsound Member

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    Get a doc to look at it and maybe go see a specialist. Also stop playing. Give your hand a rest and let the swelling go down, then get an understanding of how your hand is working then when things have settled down develop a stretching routine. If you carry on without adjusting how you use your hands you will do permanent damamage. It happened to me around 5 years ago, I had to stop playing for 6 months and when I started again I went to a specialist musical Physio who was impressed that I went before I had any injury and put me on the right track to keep me playing. Now I understand whats going on I listen to my hands and know when to stop. I'm now playing more and my hand issues have basiclly gone, it may take a bit of time but you have to start to heal yourself then work on adjusting what you did to cause the problem. The biggest thing I will stress is don't rely on pain killers or anti inflamitory medication, this won't fix your issue only mask whats going on and if you carry on it will stop you from playing all together. Good luck and I know it may seem never ending keep at it and never forget to rest.
     
  18. Michael_V

    Michael_V Gold Supporting Member

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    I had tendonitis that I played through for a long time. Ended up getting worse and eventually required three surgeries. Couldn't play for three years. Now I'm playing again but I lost a lot of speed that I doubt I'll ever get back. I'm a lot more careful now. Listen to your body. Always warm up. Take breaks. If something hurts, stop doing it.
     
  19. Goerman

    Goerman Member

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    +1 on De Quervain's Tenosynovitis (if this is indeed what you have). I have been dealing this for more than a year now. Bets advice here, stop playing NOW, and go see your doctor. If it is De Quervain's, I will tell you, that many of the suggestions here, while well intentioned, are absolutely the wrong thing to do. I am back to playing albeit with several adjustments and taking it easy. I do sleep with a splint (made by an OT) and I do still experience bouts of pain. Here is some info http://www.medicinenet.com/de_quervains_tenosynovitis/article.htm
     
  20. Frankenstrat86

    Frankenstrat86 Supporting Member

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    I second the newgrip it's helped me for a longtime although now that my insurance is back I'll be making appointments to remedy my issue. All the same the newgrip will still be worn to act as a preventative measure. I even did a testimonial on the site videos section.
     

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