Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis in Right Wrist from Guitar Playing and Computer Work

by Penny
(British Columbia, Canada)

Hi, I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist a couple of years ago and have avoided surgery by using a night splint, some icing (not the sugar variety) and some acupressure and shiatsu points.

I'm at the computer constantly for work. I'm right handed. I'm a guitar player but can only play for about 5 minutes before my hand is numb and tingly.

There has been some wasting of the muscle below my thumb but I'm thinking that may just be because it's not used as much as it was pre-carpal tunnel syndrome.

I am scheduled for surgery tomorrow and I'm reconsidering.

Definitely my reasoning for have the surgery would be to allow me to get back to my guitar. If the surgery goes well, am I likely to get back the full dexterity of my right hand so that my guitar picking doesn't suffer?

Thanks for your help.



Joshua Answers:

Hello Penny.

I obviously didn't get back to you by the surgery deadline (that was cutting it close, asking the day before!)

If you get Carpal Tunnel surgery, I HOPE that you get back to a full 100%. I wouldn't bet any money on it though.

So, did you get the wrist surgery? If so, respond with a description of what exactly the surgeon did, what s/he told you to do for recovery and rehab, and how you feel now.

And we'll work on helping you recover from the surgery as best as possible.

If you didn't get the surgery, let me know and we'll go from there. I'll have some questions, etc.

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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Nov 02, 2009
PART 2 - Guitar and CTS and surgery results - Carpal Tunnel Diagnosis in Right Wrist from Guitar Playing and Computer Work
by: Penny

Hi Joshua, I went ahead with the surgery.

I wasn't sure I was going to do it until that very morning. After two years of trying other remedies - which did make things somewhat better - i decided I just needed to be rid of this constant pain.

Needless to say, 5 days post-surgery I'm feeling more pain in my wrist than I was before.

That was expected. I think the surgery went well.

I'm icing several times a day. The stitches aren't bothersome but my wrist is very sore and bruised (using arnica to try to help with that.

I'm feeling confident that my hand will heal well and hopefully all of this will have alleviated at least some, if not all, of the CTS.

I have arthritis in my neck and think it's highly possible that I have some other nerve blockages elsewhere in my shoulder and arm. Time will tell.

I think the biggest problem will be getting the strength and stamina back in my hand so I can pick my guitar for hours without pain.

Thanks for your help.


Joshua Comments:

Great Penny, keep us updated. Let's hope that that surgery does the trick.

And, once the wound seals, I suggest that you start ice dipping as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page.

Apr 14, 2014
tendonitis thats turned into carpal tunnel, agonizing discomfort
by: Chris T

3 months ago I was playing guitar and felt a sharp pain shoot up palm side of wrist. Didn't think much of it.

Next day tried playing some chords and it felt funky so I stopped and right away went on rest.

After 3 weeks of rest I still could hardly play without my wrist feeling tight and burny so i completely stopped using my hand and wrist for anything.

After about a month of this it was feeling good and I was using my hand again here and there for doing dishes and ect. For a couple days i really thought I cured it. Unfortunately I irritated the area again carrying a heavy bag. This was a huge mistake because by this time my wrist was very small and week from months of disuse and guarding.

It is much smaller than my right wrist, and where before I just had burning in the wrist I very recently now have tingling in the fingers with an agonizing tickle feeling. Even hours of ice dipping does not relieve this tickle feeling below my palm, and it is pure torture

I need to start using my hand and wrist again because my wrist is so small and weak, but when i do any exercises to try and strengthen it the discomfort feels unbearable. Im very worried and not sure the next step to take.

One other thing is I have chronic muscle tension in my larynx from straining my voice singing a while back. Im not sure if this could contribute.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Chris.

1. Just a slight adjustment. Tendonitis doesn't turn into Carpal Tunnel. Tendonitis is a dynamic of a variety of factors, when those factors get worse or arrange themselves in a particular way, one can then experience Carpal Tunnel Symptoms.

2. What do you mean your one wrist is 'smaller' than the other. You mean, like the bones shrunk or something?

3. What have you done for self care other than Rest?

4. How old are you?

5. Did you have -any- symptoms of any kind before the one day you were playing guitar and felt a sharp shooting pain up your arm?

6. Any other health/pain issues anywhere?

7. The larynx tightnes most likely is related, but answer the questions above and we'll go from there.

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