17-year-old with wrist, hand, finger, and forearm pain at different times in both arms

by James
(Troy, Michigan)

The first time I started getting pain in this area was when I was 12 or 13.

It was the summer, and I spent most of my days playing online computer games. Most of the school year was spent playing this way also. It was just pain in the wrist at the time, and it went away after wearing braces and rest. also, I was playing lots of bass guitar, but this never caused pain.

the next few years were spent with much time playing video games, computer games, bass guitar, and guitar. mostly pain-free.

The next instance was December 2008. I was 15. I was spending my winter break mostly on computer games. Pain came back, but it went down with rest. the next few months I had a little pain when I played too much. I was playing bass in a band that practiced often and played shows, but this still didn't hurt when I played bass. I was playing guitar on the side.

Then started the worst episode, which lasts to this day.

It was June of 2009. I spent the first few days of summer almost exclusively on the computer. I began to get the worst pain in the wrist that I had ever felt. It was sharp, on the bottom, on the sides. I had a pain all day amplified by everything, even everyday tasks. All I could do was sit in bed. We went to the doctors, an orthopedic surgeon, who gave me Celebrex for two weeks.

halfway into the course, the pain in my wrists was reduced and moved into other spots. I started getting it on the bottom of the wrist, the top of the forearm near the elbows, the fingers. my hands and arms felt heavy even at rest. everything was. I wasn't fully at rest, and the Celebrex only enabled me to try the computer again.

After a month and a half of taking more medicine and playing Xbox until that started to give me pain, the doctor gave me another anti-inflammatory drug which just masked it.

School started up, and writing caused me pain. the sharpest pains in the wrists were mostly gone, but I had pain everywhere else in the fingers and forearms. my left pinky finger would twitch on its own. I also had pain in my palms and the joints of the fingers. the worst aches would come from my forearms on top near the elbows.

I started using the computer with my feet, which aggravated them. I was limping and had ankle pain for a while.

We went to a rheumatologist who tested me for JRA, which I didn't have. We got an MRI without contrast which didn't show anything. we tested for carpal tunnel, which I also didn't have. I went to occupational therapy for two months, and the exercises brought more pain back in the wrists. my therapist suggested icing, which I still do to this day, and it has helped reduce pain.

she also helped me fix my posture, which was pretty bad until then. One doctor thought I had scoliosis, but I didn't. We also tested for vitamin D deficiency, which I also didn't have.

The therapist made custom splints that I have been wearing at night. icing really helped.

meanwhile, I was trying to get as much rest as possible aside from school. I pretty much did nothing, no instruments, no video games, no computer. I was taking 4 to 6 ibuprofen pills a day until March of this year. I was able to ignore pain. the pain was dull.

In late December, I began playing bass again. I wouldn't do it everyday. I was doing super technical stuff, and I was better than I ever been, ironically. Pain wasn't there while I was playing. Ibuprofen and icing masked the pain until March, when ACT testing in school brought back more pain. I stopped taking ibuprofen. Throughout school, my right hand was the worst, since I am right handed.

Until late April, I kept from other activities with my hands. I was no longer taking ibuprofen. I started playing guitar, not bass, again, which I had to stop because picking caused wrist pain. I would always get the worst pain hours after or the next day.

School ended on June 21, and I have been trying to get rest. I wore custom splints built by the therapist for the first few days, but they brought back a lot of pain. I have had more pain this month, mostly dull pain in the hands and fingers. I had stopped taking vitamins. This week I've been having more pain in the palms, fingers, and forearms. common daily stuff has been aggravating my arms more.

I have started ice dipping yesterday, and just finished my 10 today. I have noticed more pain, maybe because of the massages. I have noticed hotspots in my palms and the underside of my right elbow/forearm.

So that whole episode has been going on for a year and a month. I'm using a voice program to type. I haven't even touched a keyboard since August 2009.

Also, I have had a significant growth spurt within the last couple years. I was taking a steroidal allergy spray that I began before that June episode, and some obscure mentions of pain in the extremities as side effects maybe stop taking it. I stopped in May, and I have noticed less ankle pain. Could be a coincidence.

Do I have tendonitis? Doctors have no idea what is going on. I haven't seen one since October.

I want this to end. I'm really scared of bringing this back with activities. I'm really scared of playing an instrument again. I'm scared that I have permanently messed up my hands.

Thank you.


Joshua Answers:

Speaking bluntly here....good, you should be scared.

If you don't get your body healthy again.....

And yes, you absolutely have a Tendonitis dynamic.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

1. I find it incredibly hard to believe that a cave dweller like yourself has adequate Vitamin D levels. What was the number/level?

2. Did you get my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook or the Guitar Tendonitis one?

If not, please do. That will explain a lot and give us a place to work from.

3. In general, it's safe to say your are magnesium, protein, Vitamin B6 (Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency) insufficient/deficient. I bet you a dollar you're short Vit D also. And it can't hurt to get a bunch of Vit C, Melatonin, and some others in you.

You started young and have thousands of hours of intensive repetitive hand motion, and poor nutrition, under your belt. And a growth spurt requires even more nutrition.

My point is, you'll need to do some physical tissue work as well as some chemistry nutrition work to get your body out of pain and back on track.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.
And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

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

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Comments for 17-year-old with wrist, hand, finger, and forearm pain at different times in both arms

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Nov 23, 2014
Direly in need of help for forearm and thumb pain from playing guitar 9 hours a day
by: Christopher

For the duration that I had been (past tense) playing guitar, I played it vigorously, both Bass and a 6 string.

I left high school, and had all the time I could imagine to play and so I took that time to do just that. I played for hours and hours a day, generally like 8 or 9 hours per day. It wasn't until around 3 and a half years ago that I took notice of the first signs that something was going wrong. A sharp sensation pierced through my thumb.

I continued to play just as much for a long time, and about a 2 and a half years ago that I began to notice the real sensations of commonly occurring pain within my hands, fingers, and forearms.

It hurts very bad at the moment just typing away like this. Due to circumstances I've never really been able to stop using my hands. But now I am here. At the most basic level I can say that there is most definitely an issue of the "chronic" level.

I went to a neurologist a year and a few months ago to check for carpal tunnel, and that wasn't the case at all.

The only remaining alternative was tendonitis. And it has grown in severity ever since that day I mentioned above where the sharp sensation pierced my thumb. I just ordered the Carpal Rx as an automated massager and it seems to be helping but at the same time unearthing some severe discomfort.

My arms and hands have been neglected badly in a sense of treatment and so its just compiled and compiled like the process of calcification.

I am going to traverse this site and look for the helpful information that is professed, but in the meantime, I am hoping after I list off all the areas in which the pain and discomfort resides and persists, that someone who reads this is knowledgeable enough to help or direct me.

1.There is a lot of pain in the top of my hands, and really the entirety of my hands. They throb and ache in a sense but its very notable exactly where the pain is traveling through.

2.My forearms are virtually the same. The tendons are very tight, the tendons on the upper side of my forearms are also heavily afflicted.

3.As of late there has been that pins and needles sensation flowing through all parts of the effected areas. Idk what this means exactly but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that its not good.

Again as I stated before I am in dire need of some help. I leave for work in a very short amount of time. A few days. To go do construction building houses. I worked construction for awhile with the same symptoms, so I have my own tactics on how to avoid unnecessary strain on my hands and forearms.

But Still, please anyone who is willing, please help me out in any way you can.

I would be forever grateful.

With kind regards-



Joshua Comments:

Hello Christopher.

It sounds like a tendonitis dynamic to me, with elements of Carpal Tunnel (meaning some possible involvement from up at the neck/chest/shoulder).

It feels bad to you, but from my side of things, it looks pretty common. You used your hands A LOT. Muscle and connective tissue gets too tight, a Process of Inflammation develops and takes hold, and necessary nutrition gets eaten up leaving you insufficient/deficient.

That's the basics of the everyday Pain Causing Dynamic

So you just need to reverse the process. From what you've said so far, I don't expect it will be a problem to drop syptoms 80%. Get there and then we can talk again and make predictions about gettign to 100% pain/problem free.

I suggest Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook or The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works DVD and the ebook that comes with it. Might as well get the latter as it covers the neck/chest/shoulder aspect and some specific wrist technique as well as everything in the wrist tendonitis ebook.

And of course I suggest one of those because you need a complete plan of attack. A tip or a trick just isn't going to do it for you.

1. We'll have to see what happens to that spot in the thumb. Probably it will reduce when you reduce all the other factors of the overall problem.

2. Valuable concept: Your tendons aren't tight. Your MUSCLES (and connective tissue) are too tight and are pulling on the tendons 24/7. That's a problem.

See Related: 12 Years Of GUitar Pain In Neck Shoulders Hands Forearms And I Fear I Have It All

See Related: Forearm Pain Only From Playing Bass Guitar

Sep 24, 2015
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