Early Right Hand Wrist Tendonitis From Fast Guitar Playing, fast finger movement causing tightness and stiffness

by Brad
(Los Angeles, CA)

Hi Joshua-I have had a problem in my right hand and wrist for a long time that I would like to discuss. I am a 26 year old musician. My problem is with my right hand wrist. I notice a general tightness of my muscles, specifically in the wrist. Where i notice the most accute tightness, on the back side of my wrist. I feel like it is in the tendons- when I play. The funny thing is, it generally only occurs when I am performing fast passages where I have to move my fingers very fast.

I first noticed the problem in my senior high school year when I played bass with my band. I can specifically remember playing and feeling some limited mobility and stiffness in my hand and wrist muscles. I didn't think much of it, because I was still able to perform most of our repertiore.

In my mind, I always just sort of hoped it would go away and that maybe it was just something I had to work through and just strengthen my hand muscles.

I sort of attributed it to an instance I seemed to have recollections of. As a kid playing sports, I seemed to remember a time I went to catch a football or something and it may have bent my hand back far and maybe put a strain on it or something.

If that did happen, I'm pretty sure it wasn't a big deal because I didn't have any recollections of pain after that.

Then a few years later I was playing a recital at my music college. We had a fast metal song in the middle of our set that I was playing bass on. It was a constant fast song with many notes and very quick moving and altenating of my fingers.

I remember gettting to a point in the middle of the tune where my wrist tightened up again, especially the back side in between the hand and elbow, and it was like I was trying to "break on through" past the tightness but couldn't, and I missed a few notes. I also sort of contributed it to some nervousness on the day of the concert. But it worried me.

I am always very conscious about proper warm-ups and technique as well. I remember playing my piano scales at music school over and over again. Starting slow and then increasing speed.

And it always seemed that when I would get to a certain speed for a extended period of time, the tightness would kick in and the speed and fastness I wanted to achieve seemed compromised by the tightness. Like I just couldn't get faster.

It's never really painful, just an overall tightness. And it seems to happen the worst when I play fast. And when I finish there is no pain or sign of "residue" from
the tightness. It's as if it never happened. Then I am fine until I try it again. I can play perfectly fine at normal speeds with no pain. It's just when I want to really rev it up that I feel it.

I've always hoped it would go away, but it doesn't seem to be the case. And now sometimes it seems I can feel the tightness even when I'm not playing.

I'm just trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

Anyways, the whole situation is just really annoying and I want the peace of my mind to know that I can play with no limitations.

I would love to hear your response.



Joshua Answers:

Hi Brad. Let's take care of this while it's still 'annoying' and before it gets 'painful'.

You said there was never any pain or soreness after playing fast, but lately you can feel the tightness even when you aren't playing.

That's how the Pain Causing Dynamic works, and that's the pridictable path to Tendonitis.

In short. Muscles contract. Every time that contract, they hang on to a tiny bit of that contraction. Time passes. Muscles get shorter and tighter. Connective tissue shrink wraps down and constricts.

Your body compensates.

Then you play fast, and your body literally can't keep up because there is too much tightness and constriction, so the structure can't flow freely, is bound down.

The body compensates. Until it can't anymore. Then you start to feel more and more tightness, then ache, then pain, etc.

You could rest, but that won't reverse the dynamic.

Were I you, I would get The Tennis Elbow Treatment That Works.

Theoretically I will have a Wrist Tendonitis ebook and/or dvd coming out sometime soon, but who knows when that will actually get done.

The Tennis Elbow DVD has the bulk of what you need, and we can fine tune it a little bit for you.

Essentially you need to reverse the dynamic, free up the structure. Really simple, once you know how.

And then over the rest of your career once you knock this down, you can do a little bit of regular maintenance to keep your body happy.

My point being, just like playing guitar, it's no big deal to get rid of pain once you know how.

Once you know how, there's just fine tuning and exploring what you can do with it.

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

Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook cover

Reversing DeQuervain’s ebook cover

Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works Dvd cover

Reversing Guitar Tendonitis ebook cover

Comments for Early Right Hand Wrist Tendonitis From Fast Guitar Playing, fast finger movement causing tightness and stiffness

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Dec 07, 2009
learn a different way of using your body
by: Marianne

Agree its a perfect place to start to address the problem before you have too much pain.

Take all the good advice from the Tendonitis Expert about treating the stiffness, but also find a new way of playing.

Need to adjudt the way you use the body so that the stiffness does not reoccur once you've treated the problem.

It might be worth contacting an Alexander teacher to help you.


Joshua Comments:

Alexander Technique = Thumbs Up!

Oct 05, 2010
Tendonitis/Carpal Tunnel
by: Anonymous

I was diagnosed with tendonitis and later with also maybe having carpal tunnel. doctors told me it was due to all the repetitive motion and overtime it caused my problem. i have pain throughout my arm, it starts at the wrist or edge of my palm and sometimes or most times it radiates to about my elbow. the pain is also on the opposite side of the wrist, and it's on both of my hands. i have been going to therapy, electro therapy, ultra sound therapy, doing exercises/stretches and they are giving me massages, all this has been going on for about 4+ months now... im getting discouraged that i will ever get better, is there anything else you would recommend, not having to do with surgery,

thanks a million


Joshua Comments:

You're welcome a million!

Well, the bad news is, you've joined the ranks of millions of people who experience a progression of symptoms just like you've described.

The good news is, it's a very predictable pattern of progression and maintenance.

The bad news is, all that stuff you've tried obviously hasn't been successful. And thus you have been or will be advised, by the same people prescribing all the failing therapies, to have surgery.

So, I can provide you a couple options:

1. There's lots of helpful information on my site. Browse around.

2. One of my products will be perfect for you. Either The Carpal Tunnel Treatment That Works or The Tennis Elbow Treatment That Works (which includes the Quick Start Companion ebooks that come with them).

If you have numbness and tingling I'd go with the Carpal Tunnel one. But since you play guitar...how about this. Get the Carpal Tunnel DVD, and then send me a note and I'll throw in the Reversing Guitar Tendonitis ebook ebook.

My point is, it sounds like you have what everyone has, within a common range. And IMHO if you want to beat it, you need a complete plan that you can use on a daily basis to fix yourself.

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