Guitar Players Tendonitis and is Tendonopolos right?

by Sean Kelly

Hi there. I'd like to start by saying, i've addressed my wrist issues in what seems like every way conceivable and am still having issues.

I'm 19 years old and go to school in Ohio, where I am a guitar/music tech major.

As a guitar major, I play about 3 hours a day (not all in one sitting) almost every day of the week. I'd like to go professional so this regimen will probably continue for years to come.

I've been playing about five years and have had issues for 2 or 3, but these haven't been serious until about a month into my freshman year (this school year). My wrist issues got so painful that I physically could not play most days, which was difficult seeing as my playing was a part of my grade.

I've been to two doctors and a chiropractor now. The first doctor told me to lay off playing for a month and take anti inflammatories, which I did, only playing a small amount to keep up with my grades.

At the same time, I began going to a chiropractor as it was recommended by my professor, which was wonderful for taking the pain away, but it would always seem to come back as my next appointment would be coming up. This was all before christmas break began, which as of today, has been around a month and a half to two months of intense wrist pain.

I'm currently back in my home state of Illinois and in just as much pain as ever, so I saw a doctor out here who told me I had something I'd never heard of called tendonopolous (I apologize if that is an incorrect spelling) which is apparently very similar to tendonitis.

The only thing he could tell me to do was literally play zero guitar for 6 weeks and to slowly work my way into playing after that.

As my performance reflects my grades I'm at a complete loss as to what to do. Guitar playing is my passion and will hopefully someday be my livelihood so quitting just doesn't seem like an option.

I'm desperate for any advice that'll help me get rid of this pain and keep it away for good.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Sean.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Guitar Tendonitis.

A couple subtle adjustments here.

1. I think you've actually tried every conceivable 'usual, normal'
method that you've found on the internet, and that you've gotten from your doctor.

2. I think 'tendonopolos' is 'Tendonosis. Meaning, tendon degradation due to lack of circulation.

Unless there's something else...? What did the doctor say about it?

Do you have Tendonosis? Maybe. If so, is it the main problem? I don't think so.

It rhymes with Biceps Tenodesis but tenodesis is a surgery that moves a tendon attachment.

3. For the record for future relevance, 1 month of rest plus anti-inflammatories will give you the same results as 6 months, as 12 months.

I'd say that you have a the far end of a Pain Causing Dynamic, meaning, TOO MUCH muscle tightnes and connective tissue constriction and Process of Inflammation.

Which is another way of saying Tendonitis.

Guitar players have something specific though. It's a deeper, deeper structural thing. It's not the tendon so much as REALLY tight muscles/connective tissue. Far more and different than usual tendonitis issues.

Imagine someone standing on your forearm as you play guitar. Kind of like that, except imagine someone standing on your forearm 24/7. Obviously this causes problems.

I'll have an ebook to sell you sometime this month:), but until then, for the next 7 days:

1. Ice Dip like CRAZY for the next 7 days (and more, but start with a serious 7 days). Your guitar playing career depends on it.

2. Start supplementing with Magnesium for Tendonitis. Make sure to follow the Magnesium Dosage link at the bottom of the page.

That's it for this week. Get to it. First things first, let's get the pain levels down. Let me know exactly what you do, and what the results are.

It's not a mystery, but it will take some work on your part. If you're motivated to get out of pain and play a career's worth of guitar, start with this.

More questions, more answers.

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

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Comments for Guitar Players Tendonitis and is Tendonopolos right?

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Dec 31, 2009
That really sucks
by: Ruben Salas, guitarist from Florida

Joshua is a genius, I had similar problems with my guitar playing, and I iced dip my arm like crazy and the pain is gone.

I still have difficulties with playing my instrument, I am not as precised as I used to be with my picking hand due to my tendonitis/maybe carpal tunnel.

Follow Josh' advise, it will do you very good, also remember to stretch the right way before playing, play free of stress and take breaks in between.

Now, those are great news, is Josh coming with a book for guitarists? That would be great! NOBODY in the internet or even any doctor knows how to treat the guitar playing tendon injuries issue; I think a book that addresses guitarist would be great and would sell very good, I would be thankful to see it happen, and maybe Joshua could even start an e-book series for different musicians.

I wish you the best all. Everything will be ok once you start taking care of it.



Joshua Comments:

Yep, it will definitely be done by the end of the month.


Happy New Year to you too!

Jan 10, 2010
PART 3 - on the right track - Guitar Players Tendonitis and is Tendonopolos right?
by: Sean Kelly

Hey there. Thanks for the advice all.

I've been using the magnesium about a week now and ice dipping as much as possible. I've definitely experienced reduced pain, however it does come back periodically. I will continue with these steps and if there is anything else i should be trying at this point, please let me know. Thanks!


Joshua Comments:

Remember, it's a process.

Your structure is either going towards tighter and more painful, or the opposite direction.

There are lots of factors at play. Expect it to come back some, and try to go back down as you play guiter/use the computer.

In a perfectd world there would be a magic pill, but for now we just have self care to help your body up the Upward Spiral.

Jan 12, 2010
by: Sean Kelly

Thanks:) I really appreciate the help. It's nice to receive fresh information that feels a bit more concrete.

Jan 13, 2010
by: Anonymous

Glad it is all working, now just waiting on the guitarist dvd hehehehe :)


Joshua Comments:

Well, it's ebook now, but will be out by the end of the month.

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