Injured woodwinds musician who needs help with shooting wrist and arm pain!
I am a professional woodwinds player looking for a proper diagnosis for the shooting arm pain and symptoms I am experiencing. I typically play saxophone but about three months ago I accepted a job playing in the orchestra for a musical that requires me to play multiple flutes as well as clarinet.
Saxophone requires a neck strap resulting in little to no weight supported by the thumb (right arm in particular) compared to flute and clarinet in which both are played with the weight of the instrument almost entirely supported by the thumb on the right hand.
When rehearsals began for the show I suddenly started playing clarinet and flute for about eight hours a day and by the second and third day into rehearsals I started to experience some shooting pain along the tendons of my right arm starting at the wrist and ending at the halfway point to the elbow.
The pain feels like an electric shock and is very sharp and painful. The pain is always on the inside of the right arm never the knuckle side. I only feel it when I extend my arm out whether I'm flipping the page on the stand in front of me or I reach down to grab or set down and instrument (to the right of my chair). It doesn't matter if I reach up, down, forward or out to the side.
Extending out that right arm while playing clarinet and flute will cause it. It'll be fine and won't occur unless I've played recently. No pain in the mornings or if it's been an hour or so since I've played.
I was to take three weeks off for our holiday break and didn't play at all which I thought would help. I've been taking Aleve to reduce inflammation since thanksgiving and thought that surely after taking three weeks off I'd be better.
Two days back into the show the shooting pain has came back with a vengeance it seems. I've started holding the bell of the clarinet between my knees to play and take the weight off my thumb but that hasn't seemed to help because playing it still aggravates and causes that shooting pain. Since the pain has started up again I am now feeling it run up
into my thumb as well as up my arm. Extending out my arm will cause the shock to permeate on both sides of the wrist.
I am afraid that this is becoming more of a serious problem that will be very difficult to recover from and or reverse. I am not sure what the correct diagnosis is or what else I can do to counter the problem.
Have you ever come across people with these symptoms? Any help would be highly appreciated.
Hello Pain Causing Dynamic
Ok, so, you were fine and never had any similar problem in the area, then you started playing flutes and clarinet a lot more than usual and now have tendon pain that starts at the wrist and goes halfway up to the elbow. And it occurs as a shooting pain.
Sounds like Wrist Tendonitis
to me. Would I call that a diagnosis? No, since I can't diagnose, plus, it doesn't really matter what you call it. You have Wrist Tendonitis Symptoms
, and symptoms show up for specific reasons.
I suspect the 'shooting pain' is a combination of nutritional deficiency (see: Magnesium for Tendonitis
) and intense spasm of the forearm muscles (spacticity). Which basically means that your muscles are locked TOO TIGHT and can't work very well and that results in pain and problem.Questions:
1. What else does the pain feel like? Just shooting pain, or is there constant ache or pain? Details details details.
2. What have you done about this so far aside from adjusting how you play?Joshua Answers:----------------------
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expertwww.TendonitisExpert.com