Title says it all. Back in July I was obsessing over some Nashville guitarists, got lazy with the warm ups, and then woke up one day with my left wrist too sore to hold my hand up to the neck. After about 2 months of only intermittent practice and lots of wrist rest, the pain has pretty much all gone (despite a few flare ups), and it looks like I can start playing regularly again.

So, I thought I'd see if anyone here has been on the long road of tendinitis recovery. For me, it's the back of my wrist, specifically the abductor tendons between the thumb and index finger. I have fortunately had no swelling or redness, just pain with use. I think it was caused by some overzealous stretching while learning a bunch of Brent Mason licks, which basically use all of the techniques, all the time. Too much athletic playing with too little rest and warm up.

Right now, I'm limiting left hand usage to about 15 minutes a day, and spending other time on RH and ear stuff. Everything I've read indicates about a 3 month recovery even in the best cases, so at this point I'm prepared to take it slow for a while.

Has anyone else had to ramp back up from tendinitis? Any specific routine suggestions? What might I expect long term?
I'm not too experienced with this to be honest, but i did get a slight case of it once for a few days from doing this string skipping alternate picking exercise way way way too long. I let my hand rest for a few days and it was fine.
I think in most cases though tendinitis arises from bad technique. Anchoring of many sorts can cause this and i suppose general bad left hand technique too.
Hopefully someone here can give you better advice man. It must suck. Best of luck!
Hey man, sounds like your having a rough time. I was in a similar position a while ago and it wasn't until a physical therapist started mentioning trigger points (myofascial pain syndrome) that I got permanent relief.

These are the two best books on the subject I've found, clear illustrations and easy to use for self-massage:



These are just suggestions obviously and your case might be different, but it's worth a shot nonetheless. Hope everything works out for you.
Talk to a physiotherapist. For the love of all that is good and right talk to a qualified professional. Do not take chances with your health.

*reported* because asking for health advice here is a bad idea and it's irresponsible to give it out.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”

I've been there a few times. First time from overplaying, the next couple of times from injury unrelated to guitar.

I went through a period where I was really into technique, practising around 8-9 hours a day. One day I made the huge mistake of doing this, playing 1/16th notes at around 180/190 bpm for the day. My hand hurt that night, and next day was like a Tom and Jerry cartoon bashed up mitt.

I could barely move my fingers for the first few months, literally. Bye byte guitar for awhile. After 6 months, I was sort of ok. The next time was a gym accident ... my ulnar nerve came loose and I caught 2 inches of nerve in my elbow joint. That gradually wrecked my playing. 7 years later, they discovered this, operatedm and then I could play again.

As it happened, it was a blessing in disguise, as I was then forced to become much more musical, since I couldn't rely on flash and widdle. My hand is still not brilliant, but I've learned how to totally minimise the mechanical effort in my playing, so it doesn't matter.

Get help. The advice I got from physio, after the problem was finally sorted, was to warm up / stretch the wrist /forearms / shoulders / neck and chest before playing; not to play more than 30 minutes without a break when practising. And repeat stretches afterwards. I still do this, religously, when I practise.

As it happens, I haven't played for around 9 months now, as I nearly snapped both thumbs off helping my daughter smash up some unwanted furniture. It's all Bruce Lee's fault :-)

Hope your recovery goes well. Maybe take the time to study music?
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 3, 2014,