#1
I have a question I would like to ask.

If I play for a while (especially while playing power chords)
the tendon of my left index finger starts to hurt. Also the tendon of my index finger looks a bit swollen on my palm.

I only feel the pain directly under my index finger on my handpalm where the tendon is a bit swollen and if I stop playing, the pain goes away rather fast but it always comes back when I start playing again.

I wonder if this is any serious injury or just a case of weak muscles that needs to be trained.
Should I go to a doctor?

I am afraid this won't go away and will prevent me from learning the guitar.

Here is a picture which shows the location of the swelling and pain.
Attachments:
Palmpain.jpg
#2
Take a break while that pain is hanging on (reappears when you play). Last thing you want is RSI developing properly.

See a doctor to be on the safe side. And get a teacher that can check your mechanical approach to playing. Sounds like your gripping way too hard.

You using heavy-gauge strings, or high action?
#3
There is something wrong with your technique. Analyse your playing and try to determine what is causing the pain. You say power chords flare it up, so how do you finger power chords? Is your wrist severely bent? Do you need to raise the neck up further to reduce wrist bending? Are you holding a lot of tension in your hand, fingers, arm, or shoulder?
#4
If you're getting swelling and pain you need to stop playing NOW. You're going to injure yourself and it will take months of restricted activity all around to recover. Tendonitis is not a problem to take lightly, especially in an appendage you need for things other than guitar.

It sounds like you're trying to keep your index finger perfectly straight or something. Are you play an acoustic guitar by chance?

A photo or video of the sore hand in action would help diagnose the problem.
Last edited by cdgraves at Feb 28, 2016,
#5
I'm guessing you are using a vice like grip and it's causing your muscle to pump up.
When you get the correct technique you really shouldn't have to press too hard.
Try reevaluating your technique with a lighter touch.

I also wouldn't sway you from going to the doctor if you feel the need.
#6
Thank you all for the advice.

I play both the acoustic and electric guitar and I use 0,010 strings and the action isn't high.

I have called my doctor and I have an appointment on wednesday.
At least the doctor said the tendon isn't inflamed.

I think I am going to take a good look at my technique and how hard I am pressing the strings.
#7
Quote by deathroman13
I think I am going to take a good look at my technique and how hard I am pressing the strings.


Try going right back to basics. Fret a single note and keep picking it whilst lowering the pressure to fret. You want to be fretting just enough to make the note clean. Anymore is a waste and will start to sharpen the note.
Then take that pressure to your barre chords. If you are pressing any harder then it's definitely technique and you will need to closely analyse if you have the same pressure on each string, if you finger is slightly curled you could be applying a lot more pressure on some strings than others.
#8
Quote by deathroman13
I have a question I would like to ask.

If I play for a while (especially while playing power chords)
the tendon of my left index finger starts to hurt. Also the tendon of my index finger looks a bit swollen on my palm.

I only feel the pain directly under my index finger on my handpalm where the tendon is a bit swollen and if I stop playing, the pain goes away rather fast but it always comes back when I start playing again.

I wonder if this is any serious injury or just a case of weak muscles that needs to be trained.
Should I go to a doctor?

I am afraid this won't go away and will prevent me from learning the guitar.

Here is a picture which shows the location of the swelling and pain.


Lets assume anyone reading this is smart enough to see a Doctor first! So the Nazi's here can relax.. ok?

Meanwhile you could try this, it just might help.... Well anyway it's something that worked for me...

Get 2 buckets, 1 with warm water (about 42°C) the other with ice water (about 13°C). put your hand in warm water for 3 minutes then cold water for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice, try this at your own risk... because putting your hand in a bucket is really risky...ok? (that is for the Nazi's on here, that jumped on me last time for suggesting this).
Last edited by wiggedy at Mar 1, 2016,
#9
Quote by wiggedy
Lets assume anyone reading this is smart enough to see a Doctor first! So the Nazi's here can relax.. ok?

Meanwhile you could try this, it just might help.... Well anyway it's something that worked for me...

Get 2 buckets, 1 with warm water (about 42°C) the other with ice water (about 13°C). put your hand in warm water for 3 minutes then cold water for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times.

I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice, try this at your own risk... because putting your hand in a bucket is really risky...ok? (that is for the Nazi's on here, that jumped on me last time for suggesting this).


Bit touchy there fella? Not sure that Nazi's were that concerned about peoples welfare to advise them to see a doctor
Last edited by SpiderM at Mar 1, 2016,
#10
Quote by SpiderM
Bit touchy there fella? Not sure that Nazi's were that concerned about peoples welfare to advise them to see a doctor


Yeah well, sometimes you try and share stuff and you get shot down. Nazi's wasn't really the point of my post. More about buckets n stuff
#11
Well medical advice isn't the point, either. Any time music and health intersect, health takes precedence, and only a doctor can give real advice on that. It's ridiculous to suggest that someone experiencing physical symptoms of injury just 'push through' with some hot/cold treatment. This is a hand we're talking about, not some vestigial appendage.

I had wrist injury not too long ago, and it put me out of commission for over 8 months. From August 2014 to May 2015 I hardly played any guitar, and eventually couldn't even type with my left hand. Moving pots and pans around on the stove was painful. I had to literally cease all major usage of my left hand for months before the pain disappeared for good.
Last edited by cdgraves at Mar 2, 2016,
#12
Quote by deathroman13
I have a question I would like to ask.

If I play for a while (especially while playing power chords)
the tendon of my left index finger starts to hurt. Also the tendon of my index finger looks a bit swollen on my palm.

I only feel the pain directly under my index finger on my handpalm where the tendon is a bit swollen and if I stop playing, the pain goes away rather fast but it always comes back when I start playing again.

I wonder if this is any serious injury or just a case of weak muscles that needs to be trained.
Should I go to a doctor?

I am afraid this won't go away and will prevent me from learning the guitar.

Here is a picture which shows the location of the swelling and pain.


Sounds like you have guitar tendonitis I'm afraid. The good news, however, is that you can reverse it. Long term you need to start a regular routine of stretching your hands, forearms, upper arms and shoulders - yes all of them. Short term to get rid of the pain you need to submerge your hands and forearms in a bucket of ice cold water for 15 - 20 secs then massage all over your hands and forearms. Repeat this at least ten times allowing about 5-15 mins between each time. After a while you will start to identify some 'hotspots' of pain. Concentrate on those when you massage (it will hurt btw) as that is where the inflammations are. You will need to repeat this process for two or three days but the pain will start to fade away and eventually disappear.

BUT if you don't start regular stretching it will come back again at some point. Resting your hands won't stop this from happening. The muscles in your arms have shrunk and the shortened length is putting strain on your tendons which can handle it for a while but eventually just give up and then you get the pain. Just the price of playing guitar and either not getting enough rest in between or getting old.

Hope that helps. Good luck with it.
#13
Well I have been to the doctor today and luckily it isn't anything serious.
The tendon isn't inflamed and it also isn't tendonitis.

Apparently the tendon is overworked probably from pressing too hard on the strings as suggested here.

Thank you all for the input. It made me make an appointment with the doctor and finally figure out what is wrong.
#14
Quote by deathroman13
Well I have been to the doctor today and luckily it isn't anything serious.
The tendon isn't inflamed and it also isn't tendonitis.

Apparently the tendon is overworked probably from pressing too hard on the strings as suggested here.

Thank you all for the input. It made me make an appointment with the doctor and finally figure out what is wrong.


Well done fella. Back to the wood shed!
#15
Quote by cdgraves
Well medical advice isn't the point, either. Any time music and health intersect, health takes precedence, and only a doctor can give real advice on that. It's ridiculous to suggest that someone experiencing physical symptoms of injury just 'push through' with some hot/cold treatment. This is a hand we're talking about, not some vestigial appendage.

I had wrist injury not too long ago, and it put me out of commission for over 8 months. From August 2014 to May 2015 I hardly played any guitar, and eventually couldn't even type with my left hand. Moving pots and pans around on the stove was painful. I had to literally cease all major usage of my left hand for months before the pain disappeared for good.


Haha and ... Sieg Heil!
#16
Quote by wiggedy
Haha and ... Sieg Heil!


I can only conclude that you aren't mature enough to understand just how important your health is, or how important music is to people who take it seriously. You try going 6 months without use of your left hand and see if you wouldn't rather have just gone to the doctor. You have to be healthy to play music well.

You gave someone absolutely terrible advice with regard to their health. That's just stupid and irresponsible. Unless you have an MD, other people's health is not about your opinion.
#17
Quote by cdgraves
I can only conclude that you aren't mature enough to understand just how important your health is, or how important music is to people who take it seriously. You try going 6 months without use of your left hand and see if you wouldn't rather have just gone to the doctor. You have to be healthy to play music well.

You gave someone absolutely terrible advice with regard to their health. That's just stupid and irresponsible. Unless you have an MD, other people's health is not about your opinion.


In his defence, he did say to see a doctor at the start of his post (in a round about way) and then offered some other advice for the interim.

I do completely agree about getting to a doc quick though Mr. Graves. If I had seen your advice and taken it, a while back, then I wouldn't have been waiting 2 years for my nerve to heal.