Guitar tendonitis plz help!

by Mike

On average I played guitar about 9-10 hrs a day in Music college, and a little less when I was in high school.

About six months ago I was in an ensemble at school playing very demanding material, very fast and accurate movements.

After one rehearsal it was too much and I stopped playing - my forearms where rock hard and I knew there was something wrong.

I took a semester off and focused on rehabiliting my arms (both of them feel pain)
I began to ice and stretch and stopped drinking so much caffeine.

A month later I started hand therapy at an orthopedic center where I was taught stretches, small amount of yoga and techniques to cope with pain.

4 months later there is small progress, I can play after a lot of preparation, but it will most definitely become inflamed afterward so I use icey hot during performances and then use real ice afterward.

I also started physical therapy for my back and posture. Its now been 5, almost 6 months and I'm still struggling. I did have a long period of rest, now I just play gigs and I don't really practice at all.

What do you think is the next step for me?

Great resource. Thanks for the site.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Mike. I'm glad you're finding the site valuable.

Well, were I you I'd get my Reversing Guitar Tendonitis ebook. It has the bulk of what you need to reverse this progressive pain dynamic.

There's a couple things in there I'd have you focus on.

Rest won't fix it. Not even maybe.

Stretches (traditional stretches, anyway) aren't going to do it.

You're going to have to jump in there and get to work on it, meaning little bits often throughout the day. Probably for -at least- a couple weeks, depending on your specific situation.

There's no magic bullet for you here. Having said that, it's not mysterious either.

Having said -that-, I'm working with a college guy/guitar player and we just can't get him out of hopefully you two don't share exactly the same dynamic.

My point is, it's going to take some effort, some learning, so diligence.

But In my experience, I don't know what other good options you have. PT for posture and strength will help. But you have to deal with those forearms, and nutrition too.

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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Mar 06, 2015
bassist with forearm tendonitis
by: Nick

We have only recently stopped him from playing.
We have now pulled him from all jazz band rehearsals, performances, and festivals.
As well he is taking ibuprofen and icing his hand.
The doctor has referred us to a hand specialist for consultation. He has started doing some stretches curving the palm of his hand down towards the inside of his forearm.

My son's right forearm is tender on the top and was diagnosed by our physician as related to a "tennis elbow" compensation for the earlier wrist tendonitis. My son's left forearm is tender on the inside of the forearm.


Joshua Comments:

When you say 'icing', I imagine you mean with ice packs? (not the best use of time)

I'm biased of course, but I'd get the Reversing Guitar Tendonitis program.

Your son has some amount of three primary factors at play:

1. Nutritional insufficiency

2. Inflammation process

3. Too tight muscle and connective tissue

I imagine that it's primarily the first two, but they all work together.

When the body doesn't have the nutrition it needs, it can't work right (and it's all downhill from there).

If there is chronic inflammation (there is), then chemicals that make the body hurt more are constantly being released (and it's all downhill from there).

If one doesn't effectively deal with all three factors, results will come slower or not at all.

Depending on what exactly he has going on and what he does about it, results will be fast or slow. Basically, he gets to work on the self care, and we see what happens and fine tune as necessary.

Also, wrist tendonitis, tennis elbow, it's still the above three factors and the structures in the forearm (it's not a 'wrist thing' or an 'elbow thing', it's a forearm thing).

Mar 05, 2015
upright bass tendonitis in 17 year old, not sure what to do
by: nick

My son has developed tendonitis in both forearms by overplaying upright bass (gigs, college auditions, festivals, rehearsals). He now has soreness all the time. He's 17.

This got worse over the last 3 months. Now it hurts him too much to play upright bass, electric bass, or even piano.

Not sure what to do.


Joshua Comments:

What are you/he doing now for self care to reverse this progressive dynamic?

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