First off, I wasn't sure where to post this - I hope I didn't choose wrong. I don't mind if this thread gets moved to somewhere more "appropriate" but I really do need help with this I'm sure you hear this a lot here (I did do a search) but I'm having wrist pain. Both my wrists (right below the palm and spanning about 2 inches at most down my forearm) have a bit of pain that occurs in sharp spurts (not too painful) when I do certain things like button my jeans or try to play for more than like 30 seconds. There's no swelling, no redness, no numbness, and I can still feel and co-ordinate all my fingers - both hands. It's just that I'll get the occasional twinge of pain that feels like it's the tendons on the inside when I do something to annoy them or rarely just randomly.

^ Hope that wasn't too confusing. As you can see, it's not that much of a problem since it's just a occasional bit of hurt but it's pretty scary since I know what CTS can do to a guitar playing career. I called my stepmother (a doctor) and she got me some Voltaren tablets and had me pick up a wrist support thingy for both of hands. She basically told me to give a couple weeks of not playing (while taking the tablets and wearing the supports) and see what happens. She seemed pretty optimistic given the lack of more serious symptoms beyond the occasional spurts of mild pain.

Anyways! What I wanted to ask you guys is - as fellow guitarists/musicians - what do you think the chances are that this will just go away and I'll be able to play normally? What's the typical outcome of something like this?

P.S. Sorry for making this post so long - I just wanted to make sure I didn't leave out anything important! Thanks in advance for your help!
Ibanez GRG170DX
Line 6 Spider IV 15
Well, if it is a tendon problem, then it's probably an overuse related injury and you probably have some sort of tendinopathy, which basically means there's a problem with your tendons in the area.

In that case, if it's not too serious there are a couple of different things you can do...

- avoid movements that aggravate the pain
- take NSAIDs (such as naproxen, ibuprofen, lodine, etc) to reduce swelling around the tendon and reduce pain
- gently massage the area to help increase bloodflow as well as generate heat in the area
- try contrasting hot and cold treatments, although since it's been awhile I imagine that you're past the time for cold and just heat would be better (a moist heat)

Tendon problems are absolute nightmares. I have pretty significant tendon damage (supposedly) around both of my elbows, and I've pain for more than 3 months now, even after significantly stopping my exercise routine, including not doing any upper body exercises at all.

I hope this isn't your problem
My God, it's full of stars!
I think I'm developing crippling RSI. It rarely hurts when I play, but it does hurt while do other simple but delicate movements (like doing up a button, as you mentioned.) It doesn't help that I dig holes and lift heavy things for a job. Smashing stones with a shovel and moving around trailers by hand doesn't do wonders on the wrists.

If it does hurt while I'm playing I stop immediately and rest it.
I had a similar problem about two months ago. I stopped playing guitar for probably two weeks and tried to not do anything to aggravate my wrists. It went away soon enough and hasn't been a problem since.

Hopefully yours will stop soon enough.

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First off, I wasn't sure where to post this
Your local clinic or the nearest doctor covered by your insurance plan are a good place to start


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Wrist pain is worse pain. You don't realize how much you use your hands until every thing you do with them hurts. I have carpel tunnel which has managed to remain somewhat minor, I've played guitar/bass for 13 years as well as piano on the side, and I weightlift usually 3-5 times a week, so shit gets complicated. My dad had carpel tunnel from painting so i guess I was genetically susceptible, too. I broke my left wrist after it that it was never the same.

If I could give you advice from your standpoint right now is first take a week or two off. Don't do shit all, no guitar no heavy lifting, limit lifting anything heavy, or typing, video games etc to an absolute minimum. Once you see relief then this might sound weird but you got to start using it more. I listed the many things I do with my wrist an oddly enough the more I use it the better it feels, I long as I usually it wisely.

You should start strengthening your forearm muscles, or at least their endurance. get a stress ball and squeeze it while watching tv. or alternatively grab your womans tits a lot.
Also get one of these ****ers:

They can help a lot. The stronger you may your forearms the more it takes to aggravate the ligaments, tendons, bones, etc. because there's more support, as long as you don't overload them during the strengthening process. If you have dumbbells start doing some writs curls. Work in reps of 10-15, and if you have access to more weights gradually the increase the weight over time. When I broke my wrist I was starting off with 5 lbs moved up to 10 by the end of physio and now when I do wrist curls at the gym I'm using 45. Not much is gonna but your wrist if the muscles can support that much weight. Just something to think about, good luck brah

Edit: also don't rely on the wrist the experiences less pain. It will just leave the other completely useless and wont heal at the same speed and you can become unbalanced and develop some bad habits
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Last edited by Wiegenlied at Jan 19, 2012,
Thanks to everyone for all the feedback! And I wasn't seeking medical advice so much as just hearing about other people's experiences - I've already had Voltaren tablets prescribed by a doctor and got wrist supports wearing.
Ibanez GRG170DX
Line 6 Spider IV 15