Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years

Hi Joshua


I have had on and off pain for 12 years now. More recently it has been on.

From shoulder, to mild elbow pain, thumb and index finger.

I am a guitar player and also play keboards. My day job for the last 10 years has required me to lift and carry bundles of papers, also with recording I use the computer a lot. As you can see I have had to use my hands a great deal. The pain and stiff feeling in my thumb is constant.

I am having a break from playing and have left my job for another which is not so demanding. Like you say on your site, I have had 3 weeks break so far but the pain hasn't gone.

Which DVD would be best, The tennis elbow or carpel tunnel? I am also a vegetarian so your bone broth wouldn't be for me. Is there anything else I should take like MSM or Glucosamine etc. I would love to get rid of this for good and be back to how I was. I believe I caused this problem 12 years ago when I had to cram so much work, gigging etc in over one hectic month. I also have a ganglion on the back of my wrist near the thumb.

Thanks Dann


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Joshua Answers:

Hello Dann.


Yikes. 12 years is a long time.

Good news. It's never too late.

You have a classic Guitar Tendonitis dynamic. Shoulder, elbow, wrist, thumb, finger.

As you've noticed, taking a break just isn't going to help. Tendonitis just doesn't work that way.

And, we can reverse the mechanism that got you here, and get the ecology of your arms healthy again. It will take some work and some diligence. And then you will have to do some ongoing maintenance, but not much, even if you continue to use your hands a lot. The more you do on the front end, the less you'll have to do on the back end.

The DVD I would suggest for you is The Tennis Elbow Treatment That Works.

It has 80% of what you need, and I'll talk you through the rest.

Plus, after you do the Healthy Elbow Protocol, for a solid 7 days, we'll have more to talk about and can adjust your activities.

I wouldn't worry about the ganglion cyst unless it is obviously causing you problems, depending on size, etc.

There are apparently vegetarian forms of GLucosamine (from corn), but (depending on who you talk to) not Chondroitin.

And you may want to consider, once every 6 months or so, taking in a lot of bone broth for a month. Bolster your system periodically. I know it sucks from an ethical standpoint, but from a health standpoint, I believe it is worth it. Your choice, obviously.

Other intake? Vitamin D. Magnesium. Definitely those two.

Did I miss anything?


UPDATE: Also, my ebook 'Reversing Guitar Tendonitis' is now available.



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
















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Comments for Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years

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Mar 27, 2016
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Sharp stabbing pain across the back of my left hand
by: Jon J

I play classical guitar. I've played for 50years.

I perform weekly at a local wine bar and also for weddings. About a month ago I experienced sudden sharp pain in my left hand which made me scream "ouch!"

I've always practiced proper posture and hand position and found that keeping my elbow below the guitar neck kept my wrist straight and the pain at bay. This works better for repertoire pieces I have well learned.

I was working on a new piece with an AMaj7 chord with melody notes +11 and 9 cause jerky motions that exacerbate the pain and I must stop.

I have been using DMSO for years for carpel tunnel and other tendonitis from skiing. I also take MSM which has helped.

I'm trying the ice massage which is pretty easy for me as I live in the mountains and just grab a hand full of snow outside my door and rub it in until it's gone- a few minutes.

I'll keep this up for a week and see what happens. I can't be screaming in pain during a bridal processional so I hope the ice massage works along with using DMSO and MSM.


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Joshua Comments:

Hi Jon.

1. Ice dipping helps lower pain levels and increases circulation, and provides all the benefits that comes with those two factors. But it's not a fix.

2. The Pain Causing Dynamic is to blame for the ongoing, progressive tendonitis/carpal tunnel etc that ended up with a yelp of pain. The trick is to stop the downward spiral and push the body back up the upward spiral.

3. Yeah, only the groom should be yelping in pain at a wedding!

4. How are things now?



See Related: Classical Guitar and Index Finger Impairment Loss of Dexterity







May 04, 2014
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Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

It's been a while and I seemed to get things under control although the tired arm feeling never really went. I went to a physio and they found I had no reflex in right arm, looking at my neck (which was stiff and limited in range) they think I might have a disc bulge. Is it possible I've cured the tendonitis in the arm and the neck is now to blame. Thanks.


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Joshua Comments:

He Dann.

That's great to hear, overall.

Use the contact form (tab over on the left) and tell me that again and I'll send you something for the neck.






Aug 22, 2013
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Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua, just wanting your opinion on something. The past two years I have been waking in the morning with stiff fingers, mainly the middle two and a bit on the index. A quick rub and stretch and they are fine for the rest of the day.

I think I may have found the cause. On my van door(I am a delivery driver) on the inside it has a little trough where you put your fingers to pull the door shut. It is only big enough for less than the top half of my fingers, now I open and shut this door which is very heavy and need a good hard pull to close about 150 times a day,6 days a week.

Do you think this could be straining my fingers slightly?

I've just started today a new way of pulling the door shut, having the window down and pulling it from the outside. Less effort.

Will let you know over the next few weeks how it is. I've heard golfers can have the same symptoms.

Thanks, Dann


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Joshua Comments:

Hi Dann.

I think 150 times/day is A LOT of ongoing stress/strain on the fingers. That stress adds up over time as inflammation, stiffness, etc.

So changing tactics is very smart. Very smart.

Anybody can have the same symptoms. It's just a matter of use, and how healthy the body is.

Keep us updated!




Aug 01, 2013
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Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

Been a long time and things have been good. Every now and then I go back to the DVD and have a couple of weeks on it.
However I now remember that I did sprain my thumb area in 2003 after doing a lot of sledgehammer work. This area ( between my thumb and base of index finger) has always been tight with a bit of an ache. I've been icing and massaging the last 2 weeks, however it does hurt a bit when rubbing it. Should I just keep icing and massaging to try and loosen it and get some flexibility back?
Thanks Dann


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Joshua Comments:

Hi Dann.

At this point I can only imagine that you need to get in there and massage all tightness, stuckness, and 'pain' out of there.

If ice dipping helps, do it, you bet. While it does good things whether you feel benefit or not, depending on what you have going on I'd focus on the specific massage.

Wouldn't hurt to follow any thumb tendons down to their muscles (which could be in the forearm) and see if those are tight/hurting too.





May 28, 2012
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Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

Long time since I've posted. I've been using the DVD and Guitar tendonitis ebook for a while now and with good results. Every now and then I need to do a bit of icing and the other parts to keep it under control.

One thing I wanted to know is, the morning after I have done a good icing my forearm and thumb base are a bit sore. Does this mean I am digging in a bit too hard with the massage?

It doesn't really hurt on the night, just the next day. Didn't want to be shocking my system into thinking it was injured if you know what I mean

Thanks for all your help.


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Joshua Comments:

Hi Dann. You'll have to make the call on that one, as far as how 'bad' it feels.

Are you working it (too) deep? -Should- it be sore? Are you just releasing pain enhancing chemical into the area or are you actively making it hurt?

A little bit of sore isn't a problem, but definitely gauge whether it's good or 'bad' pain, and see if you can tell which of the above factors are at play.

If you're worried about it, lighten up a little and see what happens.

And as always, push the edge to see what's happening with your body. Over time you'll know whether to be worried or not.






Mar 28, 2011
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Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

Thanks for your reply. The swollen part on my elbow hurts when I rub it before or during ice dipping. It is not a big lump that is raised high, it is just a slight raise over about 3 cm in length.

Thanks


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Joshua Comments:

I can't really tell from here, but sounds about right.

Keep at it. Ice that spot, and all the area/structure around it.

And stop hitting it on the door!



Mar 27, 2011
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Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

Things have been good the last 6 months. Every now and then a bit of ice dipping keeps things fine.

Although the outside of my elbow,(the tennis elbow area) is ever so slightly swollen. More than my other elbow. I don't know if this is from me using that part of my elbow to open the van door, something I do over and over again every day, or it is my old problem from years ago.

However my question is that when I massage it after ice dipping it is painful when I rub with either knuckle or finger. Should I rub this part or stay away from that area.

I have just got an elbow pad to stop irritating it.

Thanks Dann


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Joshua Comments:

Hi Dann.

Elbow pad is a great idea. Hitting it over and over and over makes sense that you're creating a chronic pain situation. Swelling? Probably.

Does it hurt more/less after icing when you press on it?

In general, there's not need to stay away from pain. If it hurts, rub it, and around it. You want to create circulation, old stuff out, new stuff in.




Mar 01, 2010
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Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

Over the last few months things have been great. All of a sudden last week things went back 6 months. I think this was due to being busy at work and doing a bit of lifting.

One thing I didn't mention was that on the right side of my back just below the shoulder I have a painful spot. It is about the area of a golf ball. There is no bruising or redness on the skin but it feels like I have been hit with a bat.

If I rub it you can feel a lot of movement and knots. Is it possible that when this flares up is it also causing the pain in my arm, elbow etc.

What could I do to try and clear this up? I haven't really looked at this as much as I maybe should have.

Thanks


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Joshua Comments:

Got hit with a bat? That's kind of weird. Do you use those muscles for anything? Throwing, climbing, etc?

Did you do something new that might have made it sore?

If it's still hurting, try ice packs and self massage intensively for a couple days.

I can't imagine it's a cause of pain in your arms, but maybe related somehow.

Nothing jumps out as obvious at the moment. What could have caused this?

If you're moving boxes around, my best guess is that you lifted something in such a way that it caused soreness...





Feb 03, 2010
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Sounds similar to my problem.
by: GuitarLover17

I am 20 years old, and I also play guitar. I have a ganglion cyst on each wrist, tendonitis in every finger of both hands for about 3 or 4 years, and rotator cuff injuries on both shoulders that I also suspect to be tendonitis related (I originally felt pain during workouts at the gym, but I have not been to the gym in 5 months and the pain is still there).

The tendonitis in my fingers kicks in after as little as 5 to 10 minutes of playing, and has caused me to pretty much quit guitar all together.

I also get pain in my fingers after writing with a pencil or pen for over 5 minutes, and occasionally from playing video games. I have also had lower back problems after beginning to go on bicycle rides.

I have gone to occupational therapy, however this did not improve my condition in any substantial sense. Like this website says, although laying off using my fingers helps relieve pain, it does nothing to prevent it from returning.


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Joshua Comments:


Hi GuitarLover17.

Grrr, I hate it when people have had to quit a hobby they love because of hand pain.

So you have a lot going on, hand/arm/shoulder/back.

I suggest you get my new Reversing Guitar Tendonitis ebook. That will deal with your forearms/wrists/hands/fingers.

You have chronic inflamation, your structures are TOO TIGHT, and you're likely protein and Magnesium deficient.

Focus on the ebook's plan until pain levels are down satisfactorily, and then we can move on to shoulder and back.

Even if you've hurt for years, it's just a matter of reversing the dynamic.

Having said that, the cysts may or may not be a problem. Let me know if they remain a problem, my Kerri is investigating a doctor that treats cysts with a certain kind of iodine that QUICKLY makes them vanish. I don't know if cysts in the wrist fall into that category. I'll know more later.




Oct 01, 2009
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PART 9 - Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

While things are improving is there anything I can do before a gig. I have heard of people dipping their elbow and forearm in warm water. I always used to warm up and do some light hand stretching, but I have heard some people saying you shouldn't stretch the hand.

On my bad hand the cold still stays longer than the other and still feels the weakest of the two during ice dipping. If I were to say try and squeeze a sponge it would be more of an effort with my bad hand. I should say my recovering hand
as it is a lot better.

Thanks


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Joshua Comments:

Hey Dan.

Hot water is good. Massage is good. Light stretching is good.

You want to fill the structure with new blood, warm it up, make it mobile as possible, so it can work and move freely.

It sounds like you still have muscle fatigue....



Sep 04, 2009
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PART 8 - Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

One hand (my bad hand) reacts to the cold by not being able to move my fingers as easily as the other hand. Not painful but takes more effort. I know cold makes hands harder to move but just wondered if it was a sign that this hand was not as healthy. They may even out after a few more weeks.

Also, yes it feels a bit weaker.

Learnt a lot this last few weeks.

Dann


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Joshua Comments:

Hmmm. If it continues to be like that after another several days to a week of icing, let's talk about that.



Sep 04, 2009
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PART 7 - Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

I've noticed that while doing the ice dipping one hand becomes a lot harder to move than the other, even with equal dipping. Does this mean that that hand is not as healthy as the other or is it a sign of the toxins.

I have also dicovered that too much time on the computer with the arm I use the mouse causes stiffness on the outer part of the elbow at the bottom of the forearm.

As you say I will find out what causes problems.

Thanks Dann



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Joshua Comments:

Isn't it interesting how much can learn when one starts paying attention??

RE: the hard to move hand. I don't know. Say more about that. Hard to move how? What does it fell like, in comparison? Weak? Stiff? Etc.



Aug 26, 2009
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PART 6 - Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

I've been doing the healthy elbow protocol now for 8 days. I must say I have felt an improvement, I'm really enjoying this, first time in 12 years I feel like I'm getting somewhere.

You said I would need to do some maintenance, can you tell me what this is please.

By now would you think my arms will be healthy to start training and continue yoga sessions. Don't want to risk pushing too hard too soon.

Thanks Dann

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It's likely time to start getting active again, and paying attention.

It is predictable that you will be able to do -some- without issue, and then at a certain point start to feel fatigue, ache, tightness, or some other similar symptom.

Good pain is good, bad pain is bad.

Really you're just gathering information. How much can you do without problem, how much symptom and how fast does it return, how long does it stay, and, how much self care does it take to knock it back down?

There's kind of a balance to achieve. You'll be able to do more and more if you do the self care, and as you do more and more you'll be able to self care less and less.

Also, start digging in more with activity #3. Most of the inflammation is down/out, so increase the getting in there and opening all that tissue up.

And, by 'maintenance', I mean it's likely that as you stay active with guitar and yoga, you'll want to do some level of regular self care to keep your forearms happy. This might mean a couple few times a week, once a month, once every few months. It just all depends.

You will learn to get really efficient at it, so will need to do very little to counter any negative effects of repetitive motion and the Downward Spiral.

Keeping your body in an Upward Spiral.

Make sense?




Aug 23, 2009
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PART 5 - Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua,

While I do the DVD treatment is it best to avoid drinking alcohol.

Thanks Dann


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Joshua Comments:

Well....on one level, alcohol is poison. And anything that inhibits your body's ability to be healthy is going to affect your body's ability to heal.

Having said that...some booze isn't likely to cause a noticeable negative effect. I'm assuming you mean 'a little' and not a lot.

Still, it's more about overall body health/vitality than actual site specific healing.

*Shrug* -Probably- not a problem.



Aug 19, 2009
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PART 4 - Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua, Got the DVD

I've been doing the ice dipping for a few days now. Can you tell me, after I have done the other activities, etc how long should I wait before I do the next ice dip. Also should I do any kind of the others on my stiff thumb area.

Thanks for you help, Dann


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Joshua Answers:

He Dann.

Just a couple minutes in between is fine. For instance, you could do it twice during a commercial set while watching TV.

Basically, you just want to give you body enough time to push a lot of new blood and nutrition back to the area.

And, the activities can be used anywhere on the arm. Consider it a tool to be used as needed.

Explore around, and you will find where you need to use it.





Aug 14, 2009
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PART 3 - Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

Had the ganglion drained. It's gone down quite a lot and feels good (for now) although it may come back.

Does acupuncture have any use for tendonitis? I've tried it in the past but not sure how effective it was.

Also while I'm waiting for the DVD should I avoid playing. Don't want to cause any inflammation and hamper progress.

Also does MSM have any use for tendonitis?

Thanks Dann

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Joshua Answers:

Hey Dann.

Acupuncture: Can be really good. In my experience with myself and others, it will either really help or won't do much of anything.

I've had it do wonders for my knee and neck, and nothing at all for my back. It just depends on the variables.


Playing:

Sure. Play a little. Don't strain or hurt it, but enjoy yourself, go through the motions, and pay attention. See where your 'limits' are, and how much you can do right now that causes or doesn't cause irritation/inflammation.


Ganglion:

Ganglion cysts have a tendency to come back sooner or later. Keep an eye on it.


MSM: I don't have any first hand knowledge of this. From what I know about it, and the little I have seen from others, it that it is like most other things. It may help reduce pain some, but it doesn't reverse the tendonitis dynamic at all, or deal with the source of the issue.

I'd go with Magnesium before MSM.


Aug 04, 2009
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PART 2 - Guitar Tendonitis Problems For 12 Years
by: Dann

Hi Joshua

Thanks for the help.

The hospital are looking at my ganglion in 2 days. Is it OK to let them drain it, or is this risky? I wouldn't want them to cut it out as I've heard there can be dangers with that.

Looking forward to the DVD.

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Joshua Comments:

You're welcome. And your Tendonitis Treatment DVD is on it's way.

Depending on the size of the ganglion cyst, and it's location, draining shouldn't be a problem, and removal shouldn't be (again, depending on how deep it is, what it's next too, semi-attached to, etc).

I'm not really a fan of removal unless the thing is seriously causing problem, as there are possible downsides, as you've read.

In the old days, they'd just smash it with a heavy book. That's why it has the nickname of 'Bible Bump'.

So they'd just pop the thing, and all was good.

I wonder how much skill a person needs at whacking your hand/wrist with a heavy object to successfully do that.....

Feel free to describe the cyst and symptoms in more detail.





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