It's actually been about 8 years since I last played guitar due to pain in my fretting hand below my thumb where my hand meets my wrist. I attached a picture to help pinpoint the tendon. I've searched everywhere for someone with the same problem but it always seems to be in a slightly different spot than mine. Anyone had pain in this area? I notice bar chords are the worst and the same pain develops if i play video games when my thumb is moving around a lot. If anyone might know a possible diagnosis and maybe some stretches I would be incredibly grateful, I really miss the guitar.

Wrist-pain - low res.jpg
Try to keep your wrist as straight as possible. Avoid curling your wrist too much when playing or holding your hand in a position 90 degrees or greater to your forearm.

Try to fret with the least amount of pressure on the string while still allowing the string ring completely.

Try not to press down on the neck with your thumb, use your finger tips.

When you start to feel pain, take a break.

If you want to stretch, put your arm out straight forward and pull your finger tips towards you with your opposite hand, fingers facing straight up and then straight down.
Last edited by spicyfourpiece at Oct 2, 2014,
Not my specialty but it sounds like flexor carpi radialis tenosynovitis. Probably caused by repeated wrist flexion.Seriously, get proper face-to-face medical advice from a rheumatologist/hand surgeon/orthopaedic surgeon. Not one to self treat after 8 years of trouble.
I'll second Alt-V's point. You need professional help as its a chronic condition.

I've been through the wringer too, which stopped me playing for around 1 and 1/2 years.

What style where you playing? Was it classical guitar?
Sounds like flexor carpi radialis tenosynovitis to me. I'm with Alt-V in saying you need to see a professional.

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Hey guys, thanks for the reply. I did a bunch of research on the flexor carpi radialis and that's definitely sounding like the right tendon. I'm seeing a doctor next week. I'll keep you posted if I find a solution so hopefully someone else out there can avoid this. For some reason the internet has almost no info on this one.

Jerry, what did you end up doing to solve your problems?

I was just playing some chili peppers on a strat when it all started, at the time it sounded too good to stop! Didn't know what I was in for.
I agree with Alt-V, talk to a doctor. Sounds a lot like carpal tunnel syndrome and that whatever I can't pronounce he posted...

I had a problem years ago and had to go from .010 gauge strings to .009, the tendon in my left ring finger was cut in half when I was 12, had to be surgically reconnected, and I think they tied it into the tendon to the middle finger, they both move to some degree when I move either one.

After 30 years of playing with that limitation, learning to make some chords differently because my fingers just won't do it, and 8 years of playing 5 and 6 nights a week for a living, I started having trouble with my left hand getting really sore after a couple of hours onstage. I can't make some chords at all that are not even a second thought to most guitar players. I've also had to play lots of slide some nights...Switching to lighter gauge strings worked, but it sounds like you have a different problem.

I'm not shabby considering what I've had to deal with, I can still duplicate the leads in Dire Straits "Sultans Of Swing", except for the last 10 seconds, and lots of other tough songs to play. Try the Eagles "Life in the Fast Lane" sometime...I can just about nail it except for a couple of places in the leads I've never exactly figured out. "Oh well" by Fleetwood Mac...been doing it since it was brand new and still can. so I don't do too bad, but I do have to watch it these days, I'm 59 in a couple of weeks and have been torturing my left hand for 54 years...about 45 years of it since damaging that tendon. I've learned to work around it, and manage to play some pretty tough guitar parts, including a lot of acoustic, but I have to make sure I take time to warm up first, I can't just pick it up and wail away.

So I'd say it might be in your better interest to switch to lighter gauge strings too.