2 months into my tendonitis now and it just won't go away!
Hi there, I'm a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, a guitar performance major. I'm currently finishing up my 5th semester this summer. At the beginning of the semester, around early June, I was practicing some rather stretchy chords with my left foot on a classical footstand (so as to put less strain on my hand, and keep the wrist straighter).
I've always been wary of tendonitis, since both my parents are physical therapists. I've always stretched out my wrists, forearms, and fingers, multiple times a day. I also would take frequent breaks during practice. I've always had very good technique. I thought I was doing everything right.
That said, looking back, I did have a very heavy touch and would get quite tense while playing.
Anyways, on this particular day, I felt a sudden pain at the top of my forearm. I kept playing for about a half hour more just to make sure that it hurt (yes, I know, not smart), decided that yes, indeed, it did hurt, and so I stopped. The next day, the pain was in my left wrist.
Interesting note: I had just returned from a break from weight lifting. That day I did some pretty heavy weights/low reps, mostly upper-body exercises.
Since then, I've had pain come into my right wrist as well (most likely due to frequent computer use...I'm also a composer and spend a lot of time recording and writing scores), pain on top of my hand, near my finger joints, in my elbows, a brief encounter with ulnar nerve entrapment in my right elbow (which thankfully "un-entrapped" itself), and most annoyingly, pretty extreme pain in my fingertips (ring, middle, and index, mainly) whenever I stretch my arms out.
I've seen multiple doctors, ruled out arthiritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, etc. They all say that it's tendonitis (though the finger tip pain when extending my arms makes little sense to me; I've found no info to explain that anywhere online).
Interestingly, I took a single dose of Cipro during my first semester, fall 2009, for prostatitis (that's a whole other can of worms that's made my life VERY fun *sarcasm*, especially at my age).
I had a sort of panic attack and fast breathing and immediately stopped after that one dose. All my doctors were clueless--they hadn't heard of the blackbox warning label or anything (yet another larger problem).
I also took
Accutane my freshman year of highschool, in 2005. I know it was a while ago and you don't talk about it on this site, but I've read some things about long-term side effects, including tendon damage, from Accutane.
Anyways, I've been ice dipping and massaging pretty religiously, and the pain gets worse and better, depending on the day. Right now, typing this, my finger tips hurt because I had to extend my arms to grab something up high, and my wrists are burning a little bit, up into my forearms.
Also, I've been wearing a wrist brace while sleeping, as much as I can manage (it's pretty uncomfortable).
Interesting note: I do have a chronically tight neck. I have to conciously relax it multiple times a day.
Also, I've noticed my fretting hand getting fatigued easier over the past 1-2 years. It's been a very, very slow decline that I've just now noticed in hindsight, but it's been there. By this past spring semester, I could only practice about 2 hours a day before my finger joints were too tired. Remember that I ruled out arthiritis with X-rays, though, taken last week. Maybe that was tendonitis slowly introducing itself?
Sorry for the long entry, but there's a fair amount of information to share, and I want to be thorough and beat this once and for all. I'm going to school to play guitar for a living. I don't want something like this to keep me from doing that.
Any other information you can share will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for running this great site!----------------------
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expertwww.TendonitisExpert.com