14 year old with wrist pain. He is guitar and tennis player

by Darlene
(Schenectady NY USA)



My son is 14 and has played the guitar for 4 years.

He is entering 9th grade and has made it into the high school jazz band.

About 6 months ago he started complaining about wrist pain.

I realized he could not flex his wrist (fingers toward sky), more than 30 degrees. Also, he is unable to play more than 30 minutes.

I figured since he is a very "tight" person... hamstrings, etc, that he only needed stretches.

However, I took him to an orthopedic doctor to see what he said. ( My son has very tight muscles everywhere.).

He had an MRI because the doctor thought he may have "crossover syndrome" All was negative. He suggested my son see a Rhumatologist. All blood work has turned out negative.

Then, when he was playing tennis, (after 2 years of time off), with an instructor a week ago, he complained his wrist hurt REAL bad afterward.

He, of course, did not want to say anything when they were playing. Up until this last session, we have been playing as a family with no problems. This instructor REALLY worked him because he said he say "potential".

Anyway, we have started the ice dips. We do 12 in 2 hours..... Should he do more??? Do you think he will be able to play tennis again? It still hurts when he plays guitar. He would give up tennis.....guitar is his first love. I am very surprised by his age and having this problem.

I would appreciate any thoughts you may have.

BYW.... When he tries to play tennis, the back of the hand hurts.

When he plays the guitar, the "palm" side of the wrist hurts. Basically he says his whole wrist hurts. He also mentioned that his right arm almost feels week. Carpal Tunnel was ruled out by the 1st doctor.

This is the 3rd time he has excelled at something he has worked for that he might have to give up. (The other was playing the sax...ear issues, and track....really tight hamstrings).

Help,



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Joshua Answers:

Hi Darlene. Thank you for all the details. Saved me from asking a lot of questions.

So a couple things jump out at me, aside from the obvious wrist pain.

1. Why is he so 'tight'?

2. Why is he having to drop out of activities/not able to 'play' at such a young age?

Those are 50% rhetorical questions.

There's definitely a Tendonitis dynamic, meaning there is a Pain Causing Dynamic of progressive tightness and pain.

We can deal with that. I'm more interested/worried about the underlying cause.

1. Tell me a little more about the ear thing.

2. His energy levels sound fine, yes?

3. How is his digestion?

4. Does he wake up feeling refreshed?

5. Is he a coffee and/or soda pop drinker?

6. How is his health in general?

7. History of illness/sickness/injury?


I have some first impressions, but I'll save them till you answer the above questions and give me a more accurate picture of what's going on.

Oh, and yes, Ice Dip. I would shoot for AS MANY DIPS IN A DAY AS YOU CAN. He's in acute stage, meaning painful and reactive and oversensitive to movement of all sorts.

Ice dip like crazy. More on that later.



Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert
www.TendonitisExpert.com
















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Comments for 14 year old with wrist pain. He is guitar and tennis player

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Sep 09, 2009
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PART 2 - Response to question re 14 year old with wrist pain. He is guitar and tennis player
by: Darlene

Thank you for taking the time to discuss my son...

1. Why is he so 'tight'?

Perhaps genetic??? My husband (57) is very flexible even though he doesn't stretch. I (50) have to stretch daily.

2. Why is he having to drop out of activities/not able to 'play' at such a young age?

He does run, about 1 -1/2 mile 4 x week. This is at my request. Then, I have him stretch afterward for about 15 minutes. He was unable to reach his knees when flexed at the hips...now he can reach his calf..... it has been a jouney. Initially when he ran, his shins & calf would hurt. He no longer has the discomfort since stretching.

Those are 50% rhetorical questions.

There's definitely a Tendonitis dynamic, meaning there is a Pain Causing Dynamic of progressive tightness and pain.

We can deal with that. I'm more interested/worried about the underlying cause.

1. Tell me a little more about the ear thing.

Tubes at 12 - 20 months. When he started playing sax in 4th grade he LOVED it..... mostly enjoyed all the buttons. However, everytime he blew into the sax, his ear would hurt. I was told by his ear doctor that his eustacian (Spell???) tube was narrow and it would expand and cause the pain. Thus, he gave up the sax after about 8 months.

2. His energy levels sound fine, yes?

Great energy level. He loves to skate board and will spend hours skating..... if he falls, he gets right back up.

3. How is his digestion?

Eats well. Healthy digestion. He usually prefers "good" food. He says too much junk makes him feel lousy.

4. Does he wake up feeling refreshed?

No...it takes him a while. However, he needs 9 + hours sleep and only seem get 8 now that school has started. (He has 1st class at 7:30 am)

5. Is he a coffee and/or soda pop drinker?

LImited root beer, ice tea water....it is what I have in the house.

6. How is his health in general?

Had asthma but has worked through it. (2 years ago he could not have run like he can now... he took it slow).. Also, mild allergies in spring. But generally, very healthy.

7. History of illness/sickness/injury?

No history of any real sickness etc.

Sep 11, 2009
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PART 3 - 14 year old with wrist pain. He is guitar and tennis player
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Hmmmm...

Well, there's two directions of possibility.


The first is that, on a Bell Curve, your son just falls on the tight side. Not many people that tight, it's rare numbers-wise but not 'wrong' or bad, necessarily.

Nothing to do about it but stretch, and be as active as one can be and stretch and counter any negatives of the combination of activity and tightness.

I have a client that's -never- been able to reach his arms up over his head. With work, we could get him there, but since he doesn't have a need to reach his arms over his head....

I suspect that your son's on the tight end of the spectrum, which doesn't rule out aspects of the second direction, which is....


Some combination of Vitamin B deficiency and/or Magnesium deficiency (or something else).

Not enough magnesium equals tight muscles. Maybe he has higher than usual requirements for whatever reason. Every system is different.

Vit B deficiency plays a non-direct role, which I'm not going to explain because, well, just because. Not that important right now for all that typing.


Here's my primary suggestions:

1. Read my Magnesium for Tendonitis page. At the bottom there is a link to my Kerri's Magnesium Dosage page.

Start him on Magnesium supplementation as described there. I'm at 800-900mg/day right now, which is right at my body's tolerance level. He might need more than his bowels can tolerate. In which case we'd add in some magnesium oil to rub onto his arms/skin.

That is a good start to investigating what we can do about his systemic tightness.

For his immediate pain, I suggest you get 'The Tennis Elbow Treatment That Works' if you haven't already gotten a DVD.

That plus a little bit of fine tuning from me for the guitar playing, should be able to keep him playing, if he's willing to do the self care on the front end and a bit of maintenance over time.

Keep icing, up the numbers if you can till the painn drops, and start ice massage on the deeper hot spots.


(continued in PART 4)

Sep 11, 2009
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PART 4 - 14 year old with wrist pain. He is guitar and tennis player
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Here's my optional suggestions:

1. Go to http://www.zrtlab.com/vitamindcouncil and for $65 get a blood spot test kit sent to the home, do the finger prick test, send the kit back.

Might as well do your whole family. Vitamin D is vitally important, from lifetime-health-of-a-child-based-on-mom's-VitD-levels to dealing with the upcoming Swine Flu winter.

Vit D3 is dirt cheap and from a health standpoint, priceless.

I don't think it plays a role in his tightness per se, but it definitely may play a role in his systemic leanings towards asthma and ear infections and such.


2. This is more for curiosity than necessity, and may or may not turn out to be valuable.

If it's worth $230ish to you, I recommend you (through my Kerri) get him an Organix Profile (basic) test. Long story short, this is a comprehensive (home urine test you send into the lab) test showing levels and markers of a whole host of chemical/mineral variables.

It may be he is markedly deficient in one or more nutritional factors. Maybe not. Kerri uses the test both to find out exactly where people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and such are at, as well as to fine tune athletes.

It's a great test in that it tells you exactly where you are at, so you're not wasting money on supplements etc that he doesn't need.


And in general, more questions, more answers.



Sep 12, 2009
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PART 5 - 14 year old with wrist pain. He is guitar and tennis player
by: Darlene

Thank you for the suggestions regarding the vitamins/minerals. I never thought of that! I will pursue the resources you mentioned. The $$$ spent now will certainly be less than the $$$ in the future if we cannot resolve these issues. I will be ordering your tennis elbow dvd as well.

I appreciate you time.



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Joshua Comments:

You're welcome. I love to help, as I can.

Re: the DVD, let me know once you start using it, and we can fine tune it as necessary for his specific situation.







Oct 20, 2010
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Similar situation with my 14 years old son (guitarist and tennisist)
by: Anonymous

It's funny how it's so related to my son's situation as well. He is 14 years old guitarist (has been playing since he's 6 years old) who went through the tendon rupture repair surgery on his little finger in May and started taking his first tennis lessons in September (was cleared by his surgeon).

However, he has started experiencing wrist pain while playing the tennis. His doctor said it has nothing to do with the surgery. My son notices that the pain increases on the third day in the row of playing tennis.

He checked with his trainer about his grip position and has been told it's correct. While he is playing the guitar without any pain, tennis clinic presents some problems.

He has very strong muscles because of so many hours and years of guitar playing. any ideas on this wrist pain?

Thanks a lot!


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Joshua Comments:

Wouldn't it be great if the surgery had NO consequences on the body? If it were only pure and good and positive without any downsides....

Anyway, maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. What is for sure is that the surgery didn't positively affect in any way the dynamic that CAUSED the problem in the first place.

So the problem is still there.

Yes, his musculature is strong, that's great. But it's too tight, connective tissue is too tight and constrictive, etc.

Ice Dipping is a good start, as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page.



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