20 year old bassist in university
So since late January this year (about 6 months) I've been having pain in and around my wrist. I've been to see a doctor twice, and a Physio that was referred to me. They've all told me it's different things (tendonitis, CTS and even tennis elbow (despite not having elbow pain)). From doing research, I believe it's probably tendonitis. I play bass guitar, and I'm currently studying music performance at university. While I stopped playing as soon as I was diagnosed, I've had to keep playing for university recitals and performances etc., so I haven't had chance for a full recovery. While I've finished for the summer, I want to try and recover before I begin my final year of study.
Symptoms are pain in both palm side and back side of my wrist, occasionally going up the muscles towards my elbow, and in the past I've had it go down the back of my hands and in the base of my thumb. The extremity of the pain varies, from barely there to chronic. my hands don't experience the numbness of CTS but they do feel tight, almost as if I need to crack a joint or something. They don't have full range of movement they have in the past and I have a lack of grip strength. I don't have any noticeable swelling in hands or wrist.
The symptoms have affected my playing ability, and my ability to do other hobbies such as cooking and mountain climbing.
The main causes of pain are obviously playing bass, but also lifting, squeezing and general use of my wrists.
I can't remember specifically what caused it but I was practicing a lot, often in the cold (my central heating broke), and had bent wrists while I was playing. I also remember learning a particularly fast piece at one time and the symptoms began not long after.
I've found that heat tends to numb the pain temporarily.
I've used ibuprofen, mainly the gel, with no noticeable affect. I've found by stopping using my hands reduces pain.
I've also used wrist supports to not much use. However, when most of my hobbies involve using my hands I'm finding myself very bored, and I'm worried about the symptoms persisting into my final year of university. With all these complications, it's also effecting my mental health.
I've tried pretty much everything I've found online and not really found anything that works. Doctors haven't been much use and I haven't really been told anything conclusive.
Based on symptoms, what do you
think the issue really is, and how would be the best way to ensure recovery ASAP?
I think your self assessment is correct, that you have tendonitis. Because wrist tendonitis, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome are all the same tendonitis dynamic.
, no matter where in the body it shows up, is the same thing, the same dynamic, made up of the same factors.
See: What Is Tendonitis?
See: Pain Causing Dynamic
"I've found that heat tends to numb the pain temporarily."
Heat brings new blood into the muscles, which reduces ischemic pain (muscle pain due to not enough blood in the muscles). So it makes total sense that using heat helps but only temporarily.
"I've found by stopping using my hands reduces pain."Rest
reduces new irritation into an already irritated dynamic. Can help temporarily, but is not a fix, because it doesn't reduce the three main factors of the tendonitis dynamic.
"I'm worried about the symptoms persisting into my final year of university."
That is a valid concern. Tendonitis isn't the kind of thing that (usually, generally) just goes away. It's a mechanism, and (usually, generally) only gets worse over time (quickly or slowly) unless you actively help it get better.
"With all these complications, it's also effecting my mental health."
Ironically, that anxiety eats up nutrition...which makes the physical mechanism/problem worse.
"I've tried pretty much everything I've found online and not really found anything that works."
Well, to be accurate, you've tried what you've tried. And the usual stuff....mostly doesn't work.
"Doctors haven't been much use and I haven't really been told anything conclusive."
Yeah..... :( Doctors are great with car crashes and gunshots...not so great with more subtle issues like persistant pain from playing bass guitar. It's just not in their wheelhouse.
You look like you're well within the norm of people suffereing from your set of symptoms. And thus, my overal suggestion is to get and start working with the Reversing Guitar Tendonitis
Let me know if you have any questions about any of this.----------------------
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expertwww.TendonitisExpert.com