#1
Hey, I've been playing for over a year and never had a problem with wrists or any of that. Recently I had to play less (for the last two months or so) and I practiced alot less, last week I moved back to practicing regularly but now after a session I have a cool ticklish straining sensation along my wrists (sort of like along the veins). Was wondering what might be wrong, it's happening on both hands (more my left).
#2
Well, could be quite a number of things really. Have you done anything outside of playing guitar that would put any strain on your wrists? Have you been sleeping with your hands underneath your body at an unusual angle (this happened to me once without realizing it, caused some massive crampage)? Do you have a history of arthritis in your family? Have you ever had carpal tunnel or are you potentially at risk of having carpal tunnel?
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#3
I had the same problem. I tried putting less pressure on the strings while playing and never happened since.
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#4
I'm eighteen so don't reckon it's arthritis, haven't been sleeping differently or putting strain on my wrists. Don't know much about carpal tunnel.

Ranxston - I'll try that, hopefully it works
#5
Quote by Libertine..
I'm eighteen so don't reckon it's arthritis, haven't been sleeping differently or putting strain on my wrists. Don't know much about carpal tunnel.

Ranxston - I'll try that, hopefully it works


Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can get Arthritis at any age. Study up on Carpal Tunnel as well as Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome and try to keep your wrists straight while playing. It could also be your tendons/muscles reacclimating to playing again, like weightlifters who lift regularly, any break in schedule will bring on soreness once they return to the gym.
#6
Quote by ZanaZulu8070
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can get Arthritis at any age. Study up on Carpal Tunnel as well as Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome and try to keep your wrists straight while playing. It could also be your tendons/muscles reacclimating to playing again, like weightlifters who lift regularly, any break in schedule will bring on soreness once they return to the gym.


You can, though I think it's less likely amongst younger people. Reading up on Carpal and Ulnar now.

I'll try playing again later with a straighter wrist and see what happens.
#7
See a doctor if it persists, but what you describe does sound like the first stages of CTS.
#8
Throughout most of 2007 and a little bit of 2008, I had both CTS and tendonitis in my left wrist from a combination of typing, playing bass, and mountain biking. It sucked and has actually left my wrist permanently weakened to a degree.

The "tickling" sensation is definately an early symptom of CTS. Go to the doctor if it gets worse or changes in any way.

I had to really improve my bass technique to keep the pain from my wrist when playing; I raised my strap up and straightened my wrist, and tried to maintain the 1-finger-per-fret rule so as to minimize twisting and awkward positioning.

BTW, I'm only 20 and was 18-19 when all this happened to my wrist, so these issues can definitely spring up at any age!
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#9
Some very good advice above. The tickling sensation definitely sounds like a nerve issue, and yes it could very well be carpal tunnel entrapment, but your median nerve has to run all the way from your upper torso, over your shoulder and elbow and then down your forearm before passing through the carpel tunnel, so there are plenty of other spots for it to get into trouble.

I've experienced a similar issue recently, more on that below, but first...
as is mentioned in the above posts, I would suggest you analyze your technique first - having your guitar slung too low is probably the best way to put too much strain on your wrist, and when you practice try to be conscious of any muscle tension - when I started doing this I was amazed at how much I tightened up. Staying loose will really help your playing too!

Now about my experience...
I recently posted a thread about some left hand index finger pain I was experiencing over the past few months - my doctor wrote it off to overuse injury and prescribed ibuprofen and rest, neither of which helped - in fact it seemed to just worsen. I also saw a physio-therapist that specializes in hand/arm issues - he told me my muscles are very tight and suggested some very aggressive stretches, which really didn't help either.

What finally did help...

A couple of weeks ago I visited a licensed massage-therapist. She said the muscles/tendons in my forearms were the tightest she's felt on anyone - like they'd all adhered together. At one point she was pressing a spot on the inside of my elbow joint and that caused the pain in my finger to flare-up (referred-pain).

After 40 minutes of deep-tissue massage on my forearms, what a difference!!! It was like I had two new arms! After one visit my finger pain was gone! It will take more visits to really work all the kinks out, but it's so worth it!

Another thing she got me doing at home is contrast baths - alternately soaking my arms and hands in hot, then cold water ( 3 mins hot, 1 min cold X 3). As hot as you can stand without scalding, and the colder the better (ice water). It actually feels amazing and is very good at reducing inflammation and promote healing.

Yes, you could be suffering from CTS, but this is not necessarily the chronic condition that it's made out to be. The truth is that your average doctor isn't well trained in muscular-skeletal-neurological issues so they tend to run home to good ol' ibuprofen or worse, send you to a surgeon who will tell you your only option is to cut your wrist open. OK, got my doctor rant out....

So to make a long story short (too late): work on your technique, visit a licensed massage therapist if you can afford to do so, and try the contrast baths right now!

Good luck with this! I know how much it sucks!
#10
I agree that it sounds like the first stages of CTS
wearing a wrist support can help, try wearing it when you are at the computer or practicing.
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#11
Quote by jswoveland
Good luck with this! I know how much it sucks!


Thanks for that

The tickling is gone and the pain is decreasing day by day, I think it might just be getting used to it again, it's virtually gone now, but if it crops up again I'll go down the local arm/wrist specialist.

Thanks again to everyone
#12
I'll throw in one last word of advice. try playing with a wrist brace on. The kind with the metal piece that keeps your wrist straight. After you've gotten used to playing with it on it should be much easier to play with a straight wrist naturally. Worked for me anyway.
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#14
Quote by Spaz91
No doubt you're wresting your wrist on your bass and cutting off circulation. I suggest just lowering you bass so your arm is straighter.

then this causes problems with the fretting hand.
I think the solution is to get out of the bad habit of bending the wrist and resting it on the bass.
JMHO
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