Scared pianist with wrist tendonitis and arm pain

by Aly
(Alabama, USA)

I am a pianist. I started feeling pain before my last recital, but kept practicing for 3 weeks until my recital, then continued, like an idiot, to practice another week for one more hour long recital. Now I have terrible pain. It used to be only after I practiced - like the next day or that night, but now it's all the time.

It stings as I type this question. I have pain in my wrist (stinging pain) and sometimes down my arm or on top of my wrist and into my fingers. I do not have numbness, but lately I have started feeling a lack of strength.

Just picking up a baby wears out my arms and they start feeling limp. I have been ice dipping my arms a LOT but my arms get worse every day. I was on naproxin but as that didn't help, I was put on celebrex.

This doesn't seem to be working either.

WHAT CAN I DO? Will I have this forever and never play again?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Aly.

Yes, playing through pain without doing any effective self care isn't the best thing in the world.....

Will you have it forever? I hate to say it, but unless you reverse the Pain Causing Dynamic, it's unlikely that your tendonitis symptoms are going to go away...unless you quit playing piano.

But even if you do quit, even if you take a year off, if you came back and started playing again, it's
predictable that the pain and other symptoms will return.

There are There Are Two Types Of Tendonitis, with damage and without damage.

It's unlikely that you have any actual damage. But you do have a progressive dynamic of muscles that are TOO TIGHT and connective tissue that is TOO TIGHT and a freaked out nervous system and an acute Process of Inflammation.

All that combines to make your structures both VERY irritable and poor workers.

If you're icing A LOT (what does that mean, exactly?) then that points to one or both of A. You're in an acute inflammatory state and/or B. nutritional deficiency (Vit D, magnesium, protein, good fats, etc).

Naproxin and Celebrex clearly aren't working, and cause problems of their own.

What can you do? Granted, I'm biased, but I think you should get a complete plan, and get my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis program.

Aside from that, see: Magnesium for Tendonitis, get your Vitamin D level checked, increase your protein and good fats intake (Omega 3's, coconut oil, avocado, etc).

More questions, more answers.

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

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May 26, 2011
Thank you!
by: Aly

I bought your e-book and am starting the program. Thank you so much for your help.


Joshua Comments:


Use the contact form if you have any clarification questions. And once you've been following the protocol for at least 10 days, let me know what you've been doing and what results you've gotten, and we'll fine tune as needed.

Apr 23, 2016
Hand Injury
by: Jim Hendricks

Thanks for your post and for seeking help. I know what you're going through.

I've had tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis, and other hand issues over the years. I've been playing professionally since 1990, and I've played a lot of concerts dealing with these issues...but not lately.

First, I recommend to not stop practicing. This will lead to muscle guarding and muscles actually tightening. Please continue to practice, but very lightly and take frequent breaks.

Also, no surgery, no matter how pressured you are by a physician. And no injections.
Ibuprofen is good as a precaution before performance, but not for practice (try 600 or 800 mg).

Also, stretch large muscle groups - your pecs, the muscles in your neck and shoulder, etc. Even stretch your legs. Remember that your body is a whole tool for your performance, not just your hands and forearms. Don't over-stretch the muscles in your forearms to relieve pain.

Lastly, keep in mind that your thumb with the palm down will naturally lie just beneath your second finger. When your thumb is not playing, it should be resting (if possible) very close to the hand, ideally very, very close to second finger, if not slightly beneath it.

You WILL get through this.

Be blessed, and keep playing.
Blessings to you!

Sep 07, 2018
Pianist with returning wrist and elbow pain
by: Charlie

Hi. My name's Charlie. About 8 months ago I had suffered with really bad tendonitis of the wrist and elbow. Initially my doctor said it could be arthritis, possibly rheumatoid, but I had bloods done and got the all clear.

I had physio which, after a 2 month rest period from playing the piano, seemed to address the problem. I play anything from 4-8 hours a day and also really like to go to the gym (this is where my elbow pain originally started, then moved down to my wrists when I would play).

I had been pain free for 8 months, with the very mild and occasional flare up which would last a day / two max. Now I've been in pain when I play for two weeks. Surprisingly I have had no pain in the gym / been working with good form and not overloading, and have had no pain when I play, until now - and have no idea why.

What could be causing this resurgence of pain? How can I prevent it from happening again (I'm going to buy your ebook by the way). Are there any supplements I should be taking (I eat very well).

Stretching seems to momentarily aggravate the symptoms but I expect that's because I'm stretching the tightened tendons.

Anyway, I just wanted to run my situation by you, because it's very frustrating losing money while not being able to play.

Many thanks for this website and your efforts.

Kind regards,


Joshua Comments:

Hi Charlie.

What caused the resurgence? That's a trick question...because the tendonitis dynamic never went away.

You stopped new irritation into the already irritated dynamic via the two months of rest....but the mechanism didn't actually get better (because it doesn't, because rest doesn't fix anything).

Read the pages the links on this thread point to, then come back with any questions you may have.

See Related: 14 Months Of Wrist Tendonitis For Pianist And Music Director

See Related: No More Pain Seriously? Pianist With Pain For 5 Years

See Related:

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