Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Anyone have experience?
    Now I feel pain with playing chromatic scale.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    There are so many different causes from tendonitis to arthritis, etc. Probably best to go see a doctor. I've have had tendonitis in right arm when I was in my 20s. Now in my 60s and probably have arthritis.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I suffered a bad repetitive strain injury (RSI) years ago - a combination of computer use and guitar playing. It took a long time to recover. Recovery from RSIs typically require 2 to 2.5x as long as the time over which the injury accumulated. You must listen to your body. Seek competent medical advice. Don’t try to play through pain. You could exacerbate the injury. There are many paths forward to wellness - keep a positive attitude! I tried several modalities before discovering the Alexander Technique. It saved my hands and my ability to play guitar and do my job free of pain.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz
    I suffered a bad repetitive strain injury (RSI) years ago - a combination of computer use and guitar playing. It took a long time to recover. Recovery from RSIs typically require 2 to 2.5x as long as the time over which the injury accumulated. You must listen to your body. Seek competent medical advice. Don’t try to play through pain. You could exacerbate the injury. There are many paths forward to wellness - keep a positive attitude! I tried several modalities before discovering the Alexander Technique. It saved my hands and my ability to play guitar and do my job free of pain.
    thank you luk.
    You help me today.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    This is a great piece of advice, lukmanohnz! Thanks for sharing your experience! So you didn't take any pain killers at all, did you? I've recently faced a similar issue as my wrist hurts from time to time. I'm thinking about trying CBD products. But they can relieve pain, and I want to solve the problem. I'll try the suggested technique for sure. And I agree that it is important to think positive (not only in this case, but in general), it makes life easier.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Kate888
    This is a great piece of advice, lukmanohnz! Thanks for sharing your experience! So you didn't take any pain killers at all, did you? I've recently faced a similar issue as my wrist hurts from time to time. I'm thinking about trying CBD products. But they can relieve pain, and I want to solve the problem. I'll try the suggested technique for sure. And I agree that it is important to think positive (not only in this case, but in general), it makes life easier.
    I took NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for quite a while early in my recovery. It was impossible to function without them. I did alternating hot and cold packs. I did topical rubs and creams. I did everything possible to control the pain. But I didn’t really get a handle on things until I started body work, getting insight in my body (not intellectual understanding - but rather, deep internal body intuition) of the extra, unnecessary tension I was holding *as I moved and played and worked* and found pathways to deeply release that tension and avoid letting it build up again. Another thing that’s really important to understand is that the root cause of the pain is often not in the hands, wrists or forearms. It’s often a result of extra tension in the neck, shoulder, back (especially in the area under and around the shoulder blade) and rib cage. This tension conspires to restrict blood flow and nerve signals to the arm and hand. That in turn leads to poor oxygenation, poor circulation, leading to inflammation.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Do not play through pain. Get thee to an MD.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Back story: as a kid playing metal, it was a requirement that I sling the guitar as low as possible for the tone (or looks, can’t remember which) and I made a bad habit of also strangling the neck like it owed me money.

    A couple decades of that and I suddenly wasn’t able to play acoustics.

    Then I wasn’t able to play electrics.

    I went to the doc and asked them about it. One said it was the beginnings of carpal tunnel and told me to sleep with a brace. But that did nothing. Another doc said it was arthritis and I’ll just have to live with it.

    Finally, another doctor referred me to a physical therapist and they had me do all sorts of weird things. I had to roll and tear apart play-doh. I had to squeeze stress balls. They dipped my hand in paraffin wax and then did heat therapy for 20 minutes at a time.

    Honestly, I don’t think this did anything either.

    But around this time, I got a manual typewriter and started writing a lot of letters. I also started paying WAY more attention to my grip on the fretboard, going out of my way to lighten up.

    It may have been lightening my grip and relaxing quite a bit, but I think the minute exercise required to actually type out letters was beneficial. Almost like those finger springs you can buy at GC, only lighter. Lighter weight, more repetitions.

    Now I just have to keep my grip in mind.

    Ah, but now my right shoulder is acting up from tons of running and playing my ES125 is starting to be uncomfortable.

    I think I’m just falling apart. ;-)

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz
    I took NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) for quite a while early in my recovery. It was impossible to function without them. I did alternating hot and cold packs. I did topical rubs and creams. I did everything possible to control the pain. But I didn’t really get a handle on things until I started body work, getting insight in my body (not intellectual understanding - but rather, deep internal body intuition) of the extra, unnecessary tension I was holding *as I moved and played and worked* and found pathways to deeply release that tension and avoid letting it build up again. Another thing that’s really important to understand is that the root cause of the pain is often not in the hands, wrists or forearms. It’s often a result of extra tension in the neck, shoulder, back (especially in the area under and around the shoulder blade) and rib cage. This tension conspires to restrict blood flow and nerve signals to the arm and hand. That in turn leads to poor oxygenation, poor circulation, leading to inflammation.
    Same here; in my early 30s I had a day job in Silicon Valley, practiced 3-4 hours per night, and gigged on weekends. One day my arm hurt as if it had been broken; REALLY bad pain in my right forearm. The MD diagnosed it as referred pain from tendinitis in my right shoulder. Probably the result of mousing all day long. The tendon was swollen up, making it too big to pass through the narrow passage in my shoulder without irritation. I felt the pain in my forearm (referred pain) but the injury, the source of the problem, was actually in my shoulder.

    I wound up doing most of what lukmanohnz did: ice packs and heat packs on the shoulder, physical therapy, ultrasound, and HUGE prescription-strength doses of naproxen sodium (Aleve), like double the OTC dose twice a day for a few weeks. Be sure to involve a doctor if you go this route, as you can do permanent damage to your liver or kidneys (I forget which, maybe both) if you take too much of this stuff for too long.

    I also got a complete ergonomic assessment and refit of my workspace at the office. Most of the issue was caused by mousing and typing in an ergonomically incorrect workspace. I got a keyboard tray and learned how to adjust it so that I wasn't typing in "preying mantis" position all day. Similarly, mousing at a tabletop that was too high was racking my shoulder. I adjusted monitor height so that I was looking straight ahead and slightly down. Also got my eyes checked; craning your neck because you can't quite see the screen puts your neck, shoulders, and back out of alignment, which can also contribute to tendinitis.

    The physical therapist used HUGE icepacks, like filling a 30 gal garbage bag halfway full of ice. You want to ice the entire shoulder and upper quarter of your back at once, not just a little spot. They used to wrap the icepack in a towel that had been soaked in hot water. This did two things, it eased the shock of putting the ice on your skin, and it also acted like starting out with a heat pack and transitioning to a cold pack.

    The PT was daily for a couple weeks, then stopped. The high doses of NS were maybe 2-3 weeks, then I went to a normal over-the-counter dose. After a couple months, the immediate problem was resolved, but I still had recurrences till I learned not to do certain things that were exacerbating it. One of these was to lift my LP in hard case at arm's length as I pulled it out of the closet (just weighed it at 22.1 lbs.)This was a hard habit to break but I got very consistent and painful reminders almost immediately from my shoulder every time I did it. Eventually I learned not to do this with guitars or anything else. I always pull my arm close to my shoulder when lifting something heavy, so as not to "lever" the tendon and stretch it further than it wants to go.

    I also found a massage therapist that had ways to help to relieve flareups before they got too bad. It's pretty hard to describe here, but if you feel the outside edge of your shoulder, just above where the ball joint is, you'll find this little crevice where the tendon from your arm passes through the shoulder on its way to wherever it attaches in your upper back. As part of a larger session releasing all the tension in my back and neck, she would have me drop my shoulder towards the floor while she would press the tendon back down into its proper pathway, then she would have me raise my hand towards the ceiling till my arm was straight vertical, then drop my elbow towards the floor so that the arm would be folded up, still straight vertical all the time. Often, I'd hear a click from my shoulder as the tendon dropped back into its proper pathway through the shoulder. I would get this back- and neck-work once a week.

    Nowadays, I rarely have tendinitis issues. I still get body work every couple weeks (unfortunately, on hold due to the coronavirus shelter-in-place order) and on occasion, I'll take naproxen sodium in the over-the-counter dose. As I've aged, I've developed other back and shoulder issues, but so far I'm managing to keep them in check with a combination of paying attention to signals from my body and maintenance work with the same massage therapist I've been going to for decades now. I look at body work like changing the oil in the car: do it as maintenance, and you may avoid more serious problems down the road.

    As others have suggested, you may also want to examine your mechanical technique to see whether it's contributing to the problem.

    I hope this helps, and I wish you well with this difficult problem.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    I had once in my early 50's Broke my Thumb on the Fretting hand. I had to totally stop playing for over a year because I could not put pressure enough to play two notes at once, and when I started playing again it was for only 5 min before my thumb would ache. took me six more months to play for a half hour, now I can play for about 45min to a hour before my hand gets too tired I am 66 yrs old now. See a MD

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Been managing tendonitis for many decades under a doctors supervision.
    Rest, ice, anti- inflammatories. Warm and ice back and forth is ok but not hot!
    No physical practice or very short gentle ones. Avoid pressing or speed. Don't bend the wrists, but keep them loose and flexible. Avoid lifting heavy objects or opening heavy doors, don't wrench anything with your hands.
    Mental practice instead of physical practice.
    .08 strings, low as possible action, light touch, avoid big chords.

    Surgery is an option.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by busujiujitsu
    Anyone have experience?
    Now I feel pain with playing chromatic scale.
    Best to get a diagnosis from a Hand Surgeon. Not just an orthopedist who does hands. It's an additional training.

    A couple of things you can do which are unlikely to make it worse, but can help:

    1. Easy to play guitar. Consider, for example, the Yamaha Pacifica 012. Dirt cheap, plentiful used, and have a very small neck. The scale length is Fender, but it's smaller than usual in every other dimension.

    2. Wrist brace at night. People have a tendency to curl their wrists when they sleep. Wear it loose -- that's probably all you need to do.

    3. If you can find a surgeon who sees musicians that can help. Major cities will have one or more.

    4. If surgery is recommended, get some more opinions.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by busujiujitsu
    Anyone have experience?
    Now I feel pain with playing chromatic scale.
    is your left wrist bent?

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    I am not a MD but I have experience with this injury. I had debilitating RSI around 2010/2011. It lasted for a year or so. It was mostly in my left hand, so I took up trumpet for that year (which basically doesn't use the left hand). The number 1 thing I had to do was REST. I repeat REST. As in I stopped playing guitar. I put my guitars in a closet and locked the door, hid the key.

    The advice from starjasmine and lukmanohnz is pretty consistent with what I would recommend, except I didn't take any medication, and I would also recommend the wrist brace for sleeping. Contrast baths (hot/cold) are great. But I reiterate that REST was more helpful than anything. I am typing this on the ergonomic keyboard I purchased as part of my recovery all those years ago (Kinesis Advantage - highly recommended). REST will also help you in a subtle way - you'll hopefully stop thinking about the pain/discomfort all the time. A sports med doctor at one point about 6 months into my injury told me that I had to stop thinking about it all the time - that was a big turning point in my recovery.

    When I came back to guitar I took it super slow and I started playing with a completely straight wrist (and still do). Too much typing, too much stress, too much practice with a bent wrist...those are what got me in the first place. Eventually I worked up to 3 - 4 hours a day with no issues.

    Surgery is a last resort sort of thing you look at if after 1 year of rest you are still having issues. Don't even think about that now. For now, unless this is a fleeting sort of condition that goes away immediately, Rest is the best thing. When in doubt, err on the side of rest. Don't worry about the lost practice time.