#1
I'm 16 years old and playing guitar is pretty much my life. I have been playing for about 2 and half years but never started taking my playing serious until this year. I have been able to practice everyday for about an hour with no issues up until last night. My fretting hand wrist started to hurt so I took a break and eventually stopped. I woke up this morning and my wrist seems the same, but I have also had random pains throughout my arm, mostly my wrist though. There has been some numbness occasionally, and some tingling throughout my arm and hand. I thought that I might have injured my wrist from my technique, but everything looks normal. (Arm in a still position, proper thumb placement, fingers at an angle on the fret board) I've decided to take about a week off of practice hoping my wrist gets better. I hope that it's nothing serious and I can start playing here again soon. I have also been icing and stretching my wrist occasionally. Does anyone have any stories/thoughts of what might have happened?
Thanks!
Last edited by nickw1999 at Nov 23, 2015,
#2
Maybe you are holding the guitar incorrectly. Try positioning the guitar so that your wrist is straight, and see how that feels. I've been experimenting with my posture/positioning as I battle barre chords, I've learned that wrist position is critical.

Generally injuries of this sort are just inflammation. Put some ICY HOT on it, wrap it in an ACE bandage. Rinse/repeat until it feels better. If it persists more than a few days probably best to see a doctor.
#3
Quote by TobusRex
Maybe you are holding the guitar incorrectly. Try positioning the guitar so that your wrist is straight, and see how that feels. I've been experimenting with my posture/positioning as I battle barre chords, I've learned that wrist position is critical.

Generally injuries of this sort are just inflammation. Put some ICY HOT on it, wrap it in an ACE bandage. Rinse/repeat until it feels better. If it persists more than a few days probably best to see a doctor.

Thanks. My wrist is straight when I play it's just turned to the side a bit because of the angle of my fingers.
#4
Quote by TobusRex
Maybe you are holding the guitar incorrectly. Try positioning the guitar so that your wrist is straight, and see how that feels. I've been experimenting with my posture/positioning as I battle barre chords, I've learned that wrist position is critical.

Generally injuries of this sort are just inflammation. Put some ICY HOT on it, wrap it in an ACE bandage. Rinse/repeat until it feels better. If it persists more than a few days probably best to see a doctor.

I took a look at my wrist position when playing barre and power chords and noticed that my wrist was a bit bent. I never noticed that. It's weird because I've been playing them like that ever since I started.
#5
I've got carpal tunnel, mostly from work. I actually had surgery on one hand and was supposed to have the right done. One of the over-looked posture issues has nothing to do with your arms or hand, it's your neck. Ensure that your back is straight when you're playing. When you have symptoms, often tucking in your chin, holding your neck straight and doing some stretches can make them go away.

Hope that helps, cheers!
#6
Before you freak out and assume it's carpal tunnel check your forearm, bicep, shoulder and neck for any tense muscles or soreness. I've had some problems with my neck/shoulder from practising in the same position for 4-5 hours a day and it's travelled right down to my hand before. Think of your body as a frame held together with rubber bands, if ones too tight it's going to start pulling other ones out down the line. I'd suggest seeing a physiotherapist and asking about some stretches and different exercises to help you out.
#7
Pain and numbness are the hallmarks of something encroaching upon a nerve. It's either inflammation (tendinitis) or poor posture. If you are getting pain when not playing guitar, I'm inclined to say it's inflammation.

Having had a repetitive stress problem in my left wrist just last year, I'd say definitely take a week off. You're 16, you're not playing guitar for a living, you don't have gig... take the time while you have it. Give your arm rest and do a little bit of stretching for a week or two and then do some very light playing. Inflammation can take a long time to go away completely, so if you notice any discomfort don't hesitate to just keep resting for another week.

You should also consider lessons whenever you are back in shape. It's valuable to have someone actually watch you play and notice things that you don't.
#8
I've never been injured from playing guitar.

When I was typing up my thesis, I developed tendinitis in both wrists (though thankfully at different times). My forearm muscles were under constant tension while working due to my poor technique and posture when typing.

Ironically, my technique and posture while playing guitar is excellent. I just never thought to apply the same principles when typing.

Tendinitis refers to pain and inflammation of the tendons. This is a screaming, burning pain. Thankfully, it usually relatively short lived and is easily treatable.

This is usually caused by excess tension in the opposing muscles and can be relieved by massaging those muscles (or by dry-needling, in severe cases). Tendinitis is usually responsive to icing, as this will help reduce the inflammation.

I had acute tendinitis in my right wrist (flexor carpus radialis tendon) first and it was one of the most severe pains I ever experienced. I had severe pain for a week which diminished greatly after icing the tendon. The pain disappeared completely after I visited a physiotherapist who performed dry-needling on my forearm muscles.

Tendinosis is a long-term, chronic condition. The pain of tendinosis is a dull, constant ache that builds during activity. This pain is caused by damage to the tendon and a build up of scar tissue. Again, the cause is excess tension in the opposing muscles. This takes a long time to heal even if treated properly.

I had tendinitis and then tendinosis in my left wrist (palmaris longus and flexor carpus radialis tendons) which lasted for nearly six months. I had to heat and ice my wrists daily, massage my arms every two days and visit a physiotherapist weekly for more than three months before I recovered.

Tendinosis is not inflammation, and as a result, anti-inflammatory drugs and long icing sessions will not help. If anything, they'll slow the recovery process by reducing bloodflow to to the affected area.

The heating/icing routine I followed was based on putting your arms into a container full of the hottest water you can stand for 3-4 minutes and then immediately putting them into a container full of the coldest water you can stand for only 1 minute. The hot water brings blood from your core to the arms and helps to break down scar tissue. The cold water pulls that blood back to your core and carries the the broken down scar tissue with it. The cold water will also provide temporary pain relief. I would do this complete process a total of four times.

I never had carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes numbness in the hands due to pressure on the median nerve.

If the problem persists, visit a physiotherapist.
My name is Tom, feel free to use it.
#9
I had "tennis elbow" once. Although it would probably be more aptly named, "racquetball elbow".

I'm not really either diligent or obsessive enough to hurt myself badly with a guitar.

I will say something about getting older, the warm ups get longer, while the sessions get shorter...
#10
It is an extremely good idea to stretch before and after practise, and take a 5 minute break every 30 minutes or so during practise. Closely watch out for tension while playing (have you lifted a shoulder? Holding your breath? Clenching your jaw? Gripping too hard? ...)

Stretch your hands, wrists, forearms, shoulders, neck.

Probably should take a short break from playing till symptoms are gone.
#11
i got "carpel tunnel" from squeezing the neck too hard to make difficult chords on my 2nd hand ibanez (by "difficult" i mean.... g minor barre, Bb barre)

my thumb went pins n needles ish for 20+ hours

after that i was careful to not squeeze like a maniac ever again

made my action easier and stopped giving a single shit about fret buzz

and looked for an "easy to play" guitar

now i got a mim strat and its a breeze


as a beginner its almost impossible to know sometimes what is or isn't "normal" so you can end up straining yourself easily/randomly
Last edited by percydw at Nov 26, 2015,
#12
I developed tendonosis about ten years ago. As has been mentioned before, it's not the same as tendonitis. Tenonosis, or "golfers elbow". The pain is on the outside of the elbow.

When I first started playing 3 1/2 years ago, I'd get pain in the elbow of my fretting hand, as well as in my wrist. I started paying attention to how I was bending my wrist, and adjusted my stance so I wasn't bending as much. I don't have any pain in the wrist or elbow now.
#13
I had carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel and tendon problems for a long time and I fixed it by taking a look at my posture and how much tension I was playing with. Turns out I had loads of unnecessary tension that I wasn't aware of.
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#14
Just replying to this thread after a few weeks. I went to the doctor's today and he checked out my wrist, added pressure in different spots, tested my strength, and said everything was good. Said I didn't have carpal tunnel or tendonitis. He thinks it just might have been from overuse and having my wrist bent so much, and said the tingling and stiffness should eventually go away.
#15
Quote by nickw1999
Just replying to this thread after a few weeks. I went to the doctor's today and he checked out my wrist, added pressure in different spots, tested my strength, and said everything was good. Said I didn't have carpal tunnel or tendonitis. He thinks it just might have been from overuse and having my wrist bent so much, and said the tingling and stiffness should eventually go away.


I'd take that as a warning and check your posture.
#16
Quote by SpiderM
I'd take that as a warning and check your posture.


Yeah I'm going back to lessons to correct it after the New Year.
#17
Quote by nickw1999
Yeah I'm going back to lessons to correct it after the New Year.


Onya fella, better safe than sorry.