#1
So I've been playing guitar for about 4 years now, but only started putting proper time into it a few months ago when I finally got my amp!
I should add that I'm left handed, playing right handed, as when I started I just used family/friends guitars - all were right handed so it stuck!

Anyway, my arm just above my wrist starts killing every time I try to play faster, when it's all downstrokes... It's not even fast tbh, but I seem to lock and, pain aside, I feel like I can't play any faster...
What can I do to get rid of the pain, and how can I get past this barrier so I can play faster?

Cheers,
#2
I'm going to have guess a bit, because I can't see you playing.

Like a muscle strain, because you're not used to playing fast?

Are you tensing too much when playing? Does it hurt only with downstrokes?

Are you keeping your wrist straight or bending the wrist when playing?

Does it hurt when you first start playing fast or only when the muscles get tired?

You say left-handed, but playing as right-handed. Your left will naturally be stronger, because its your dominant hand. It may only be a case of training the muscles in your right hand and wrist. There are those training devices for guitarists to build up strength in their hands and fingers, but I've never tried one myself. Hopefully nothing more serious than muscle fatigue.
Last edited by V3n0m777 at Nov 17, 2016,
#3
V3n0m777 Hi, you asked some very detailed questions which makes it sound like you know a few things about wrist injuries. I don't know if you'll see this om an old post but I figured I have to try....

I've been playing on and off for over 12 years now, but playing a lot since mid Feb. May 1st I played for about 5 hrs, which isn't super unusual for me, but part way through my strumming wrist slowly started to become sore. There was no sharp or instant pain, so I just kept playing through it until I couldn't anymore. It was swollen, and I got it looked at a couple days later. They said it was a sprain and sent me home. That was 7 weeks ago and it's still slightly swollen, and sore at times, sometimes I even feel it just from typing.... Do you have any ideas of what could be wrong with it? I'll put a picture of it as my profile pic in case I get lucky and you do see this...
#4
PenrosePirate You can also make a new thread of your own and ask the multiple experienced users currently active on the forums.

And the best way to find out what's wrong with it is going to the doctor. Probably a bad idea to trust a diagnosis made by a stranger on the internet.
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#5
There's getting tired muscles, and then there's pain (maybe during playing, or maybe after (and ongoing)).  Pain is a big clue that something needs attending to (changing technique, or resting).  Carrying on through pain is a really really bad idea ... read that as "can stop you playing for months" (RSI like injuries).

First thing:  doctor
Second thing: do what's recommended
Third thing (once physically recovered): get a teacher who can show you the correct technique.

I've been here, once with RSI (6 months out).  Nerve injury and hand injuries.  4 years out.

Look after yourself.
#6
PenrosePirate Now, I'm not a Doctor, so don't take this as fact.  From your description I am leaning towards Tendonitis or RSI (repetitive strain injury).  The swelling around the joint, as you described, does suggest to me an inflammation of the tendons in your wrist, rather than a sprain of the joint.

- You could try an ice-pack around the wrist to bring the swelling down.
- Avoid things that are going to aggravate the problem for now and see if the pain gets less.  As much as I do hate to tell you not to play guitar for a while...
- Before playing guitar in the future, you might look at doing some warm-up exercises.
- Seek advice from an actual Doctor.
Last edited by V3n0m777 at Jun 21, 2017,
#7
That is definitely good advice, though I can't figure out how to start a thread here.. I thought it was one of those forums where you need t be an active member so so long before you're given that option. Also, I've had of bad experiences with doctors who say nothings wrong and send me home, then I find out anywhere from a week to a few years down the road that there actually is something physically wrong. I have sever anxiety, which A, makes it difficult for me to go anywhere public, B, makes it hard to think when I see the way they look at me, and C, make me look nervous and a little twitchy so they assume I'm just after drugs. I don't need or want pain meds, I just need to know if there's a real problem with my wrist that wont heal on its own without physical therapy or heaven forbid surgery... Omg, if I had to go weeks without playing my guitar at all while healing up from a surgery (( It's like my security blanket and my best friend all rolled up in one... But I'd rather figure it out and do what needs to be done if not means causing more damage making me unable to really play ever again without pain... Grrr!! I feel like I'm 16 and got turned down for a summer dream job and stood up at the prom all at the same time.... ((
#8
V3n0m777 Dude. I was definitely planning on looking into Tendonitis! I saw a couple of posts on here I think that mentioned it and it's one thing I haven't looked into too much. I was thinking it might be a repetitive strain injury, but I can't remember... Something from there lead me to reading about a syndrome of some sort that causes swelling on the thumb side of the wrist, and that's the side it's on. Seeing a doctor again would obviously normally be the only sure way to go, but with my experience in this city I just expect them to treat me like I'm over reacting, especially because my file says I have severe anxiety, but they've done that before a bunch of times when there was something seriously wrong, just took a while to find a doctor who actually listened properly. So, I don't want to torture myself with overcoming my agoraphobia just to not be listened to... It would be easier I think if I could figure out what's wrong before going in, that way I know how to respond to their doubt and snarky comments. 
#9
jerrykramskoy I actually had a great teacher way back... I would hang out in his guitar shop and chill with him in the afternoons 5 days a week, and sort of got free lessons from him. He charged $65 an hour for lessons, which I got to sit in on for free, and the man accepted no less than $5000 to step on stage and play one song! For an unhealthy over weight biker looking dude in his late 60's with the chubbiest little fingers you've ever seen... when he played you're soul was on cloud 9 )) He taught the Stone Temple Pilots, and others, and has played with some of the worlds best.....  .... I miss Joe
#10
 I have problems with my wrists for years .. I no longer practice with a metronome, I do not obsess over scales or technique. I try to relax and play naturally.  I jam along with rhythm tracks alot . I have a Roland BR-80 that is great. It has an eband mode. I also jam along with Albert Collins CD's which are very rhythmic. but the Roland has alot of great stuff for natural minor also (flat 6)

 I also try to take alot of breaks. When I get home, I play the guitar right away. Then after 10 minutes I put the guitar down, brush my teeth, take out the trash or do whatever I have to do. Then I play the guitar again, then after 20 minutes  I do something else, go for a walk etc. Then I come back and play the guitar again. Same thing in the morning. I get up, play the guitar, put it down and do something else then come back to the guitar again. 

 I sound better than I ever have and am able to practice more. It does not matter if I don't measure up to some as far as technique. I realize I have other strengths and alot of my favorite guitarists are not the most technical either ..

 I also recommend exercise, kung fu, canoeing, tai chi, hiking .. it helps relax the whole body and you sleep better which matters alot too but the key is to relax 
Last edited by Bhagavad Guitar at Today