I've had a guitar for about 4 years now but only begun to get serious about playing it about a year ago.

I've been having a problem recently where I'm having to stop practising due to my fingers hurting. Please note, I'm not talking about the tips of my fingers but the entire fingers. I have decent calluses on my finger tips and they don't hurt at all, but I find after about half an hour of practise that my fingers are hurting and my playing ability decreases. If I practise again later in the day then the problem comes back very quickly and I can only play for another 10 to 15 minutes.

I'm assuming that the problem is that I need to strengthen my fingers but I'm wondering if the best way of doing this is to just go through the pain and carry on playing or if there is some other way. I've found if I stop playing completely for a couple of days then when I come back to it then I'm playing better than I was two days previously and the pain is gone, but then it rears it's ugly head after about a couple of practise sessions.

This is frustrating me incredibly as I have a lot of free time right now and want to spend it playing guitar but I don't want to cause any damage to my fingers or harm my playing in the long term.

Any suggestions?
Maybe do some kind of exercise like tapping your fingers on your desk or something just to warm up beforehand. Also try and keep your fingers relaxed when you play, if your guitar has decent action you should find that you barely need to put any pressure on the strings. I used to have a similar problem where whenever my hands were cold I could barely move them and after practicing for a few minutes they would start to ache as my they were really tense and tended to cramp up often.
Interlock your fingers and push away from your body, stretches your tendons so ya dont get RSI, and you could also push your fingers back ( one at a time) as far as thell go, just hold for a couple of seconds.
Quote by slayerfrk
have fun with arthritis

There's no scientifically proven link between knuckle cracking and arthritis.
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Quote by slayerfrk
have fun with arthritis

"There is no evidence of such an association. In limited studies performed there was no change in occurrence of arthritis between “habitual knuckle crackers” and “non crackers”"
- Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center
Perhaps you could buy yourself a stressball and use that to train your muscles.
You could try something called a grip master. Look it up, it strengthens alot of the muscles in your hand.
Originally Posted by slayerfrk
have fun with arthritis

Thats a myth, there was a scientist who tested it, He cracked the knuckles on one hand while leaving the other hand alone for over forty years and there was no difference between them.

I have a powerball anyway so im safe
I stretch practically anywhere I am when not playing guitar, apparently it will help reduce hand problems in the future. What I do is like this, I make a fist then open my finger (like I'm pointing) as far as it will go then close it. I repeat this ten times per finger then do the same process but start with my hand as stretched out as far as I can and close my finger etc.
Hope it helps
Thanks for all the advice guys, I will begin to incorporate some of these stretches into my daily routine, hopefully it will sort the problem.
You might also consider the possibility of carpal tunnel.
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