Professional Guitar Player with Mild pain in the wrist
by Attila Tapolczai
I'm a professional guitar player, I play 3-4 gigs a week plus practice/record quite a lot. In the last 7 months I played more than in the previous years, I had personal problems too so I had a lot more tension on me than it would be "normal".
Anyway, a month ago after a very busy day (I recorded 7 songs and I had a 2 hours long gig in the evening) I felt tightness in my left forearm and later on I felt mild pain in my wrist on the same hand.
I went to a phisyiotherapist who gave me laser/ultra sound/electric/massage/ice/warmth treatment, then I felt better and I also tried to reduce the guitar playing as much as I could.
I read a huge amount of material about tendonitis, CTS, etc. on the net and I think your website is one of the best source, I strongly sympahize with your approach. I understand that we need to help our body solving the problem, we have to make it live instead of just rest, medicine or surgery. I've also studied the anatomy of the hand and forearm a little bit.
The longs and shorts of it, my problem is mainly in my left wrist. Sometimes I feel as if it's not the tendon but the bone where the pain comes from. It's in the thumb side of the wrist but not where the thumb tendon goes. Often with cracking sound.
I also feel the tightness in some tendons/muscles in the forearm halfway between my wrist and elbow.
It appears mostly (almost only) when I play the guitar, I get tired much faster on the instrument than before the injury.
Also when I do the Carpal Tunnel test, I feel a very light pain in the left wrist and after the test I feel a little tingle in the tip of my first finger. Also when I push the thumb and the first finger together I feel a very mild pain in the shoulder.
I've found stretching exercises recommended by musicians and I also spoke with a friend of mine who's a PE teatcher, he told me about the right stretching technique. I've been doing a set of stretching for a week now, every day. I also do self-massage every day and when I have to play the guitar I do icing after a few songs.
I read about the possible lack of magnesium I take it now too every day with vitamin D and also B6. All these things feel good especially that the whole problem is not a mystery for my any more that would make me panic.
I hope I do the right things but the problem is not gone although it haven't got worse either.
I'm very interested if you could give me any other advices or could you say anything for these symptoms.
Attila from Galway, Ireland
It sounds like you're doing a lot of the right things.
I suspect that you're just not doing enough.
Kind of like tug of war. One side is pulling (and causing pain). You need to pull MORE than the other side to make things feel better, and then you need to KEEP pulling more until the other side falls into the mud. If you stop pulling, the other side keeps pulling and you'll sooner or later be in pain again.
The Pain Causing Dynamic
is a mechanism. Understand it.Tendonitis
is a very predictalbe beast. You're learning about it. You're motivated. Great. The more you learn, the better you'll get and making the pain go away, and keeping it away.
See: What Is TendonitisGuitar Tendonitis
is no different, though it has a couple unique flavors to it.
Just like you've learned to play guitar, it's time to learn to take care of your body (now required to continue to play the guitar).----------------------
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expertwww.TendonitisExpert.com