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  1. #1

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    Hey all,

    I did something this summer maybe overuse but getting some bad pain in upper right forearm near elbow. If I play for a bit it gets almost locked in position and when I go to twist my wrist (open a door, say) it hurts like hell, especially after fingerpicking. Also hurts doing dumbell curls, chinups etc

    Planning on seeing a physiotherapist asap but wondering if anyone has had any similar experiences or has any leads on some good guitar specific stretches.

    Thanks in advance.

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  3. #2

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    Stop playing! Stop using dumbbells and opening doors, stop anything that causes pain and get yourself to a doctor asap. Toughing it out is doing a terrible disservice to yourself and delaying recovery. Good luck.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02 View Post
    Stop playing! Stop using dumbbells and opening doors, stop anything that causes pain and get yourself to a doctor asap. Toughing it out is doing a terrible disservice to yourself and delaying recovery. Good luck.
    This bears repeating, as it is the truth. Stop before you incur permanent damage. Please.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02 View Post
    Stop playing! Stop using dumbbells and opening doors, stop anything that causes pain and get yourself to a doctor asap. Toughing it out is doing a terrible disservice to yourself and delaying recovery. Good luck.
    Good advice there. Rest it, and get it looked at.

  6. #5

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    I had carpal tunnel in my wrist and tennis elbow from overplaying. It was a painful problem for over a year. After seeing a few specialists, I was finally given this advice:

    Hold your right arm out straight in front of you, palm down. With your left hand pull back at the fingertips of your right hand until you feel your tendons and muscles being stretched. Then flip the right hand palm up and push the fingertips back, again with a straight elbow. You should feel pain in the parts of your muscles and tendons that are being cramped by over playing. Stretching these muscles/tendons in the opposite way they get used in playing will lengthen them back to where they should be. I still do it for 15 secs every 10 or so minutes of playing. It definitely stopped my problems and I've been pain free for 5 years. Try it?

  7. #6

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    Yeah start with a good orthopedic doc specializing in hand/arm. He will have a connection to therapists who specialize in same, but you will need his diagnosis first.

    Therapists aren’t qualified to provide a diagnosis, although could likely guess better than a layman. That’s still not good enough.

    Generally speaking of course, we all know that moderate stretching and exercise are good for you, as long as your baseline health is good. But if you are injured or have a degenerative condition or disease you need to know about it.

  8. #7

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    I had something similar when I was younger. It ended up being referred pain from my shoulders and upper back. Check with a chiropractor or osteopath.

  9. #8

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    Is the pain in on the outside of your elbow or on the inside (= against your body)?

    If the former, you have a tennis elbow (most likely) if the latter, a golfer's elbow.

    This can take a very long time to get rid of, but the good news is that complete rest is largely counter productive. That said, if you suspect that guitar playing is the culprit, try to take a 2 week break from it at least if you can. OTOH if your symptoms act up now when you play, it may not hurt to see what positions minimise the pain, as a reference for later.

    Getting a doctor's appointment is always good, possibly schedule some physiotherapy sessions, but I'd stay away from chiropracticiens and the like. At least until the pain is largely gone.

    There are a few good videos on YouTube with useful stretching exercises, and you ought to get yourself a Theraband which is probably the single most effective exercising tool. And diclofenac balm (Voltaren; I use the 500ml pump conditioning by Sandoz). Lots of it, 3x a day. Oral anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprophen, naproxen) don't have much effect on this condition so best avoid them because of their side-effects. There are also compression bands that you wear around the painful spot and that apply pressure on it. Curiously enough that helps with the pain, and they also help by making the worst bad movements harder.
    (I now wear one of them around my left wrist when I play, also to prevent me from adopting bad postures.)

    This condition develops when you apply long-lasting effort esp. in the ring and pinky fingers with the wrist bent too much. As an example: golfer's elbow often develops in touring motorcyclists who hold the throttle open with force rather than the weight of their hand and arm (which suggests that tennis elbow develops when you bend your wrist palm-wards, which fits with personal observations).

    So when you go back to playing, observe what you do and compare to what you probably should be doing. I have a habit of clenching RH fingers I don't use for a longer period of time, esp. during faster runs. Those are typically my ring and pinky fingers, which could be a recipe for disaster if I also started to bend my wrist more than I do.

  10. #9

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    Hi! How are you doing? It seems you have trendonitis. As far as I know, the best treatment is resting the sore area as much as possible and avoiding the activity that caused the injury. Rest will calm the inflammation and help relieve the pain. Icing can also be effective. You can apply ice packs for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours to reduce inflammation and pain. If the pain is unbearable, you can take painkillers, but it is better to check the description on the online pharmacy sites or ask a doctor.
    Last edited by Rachel444; 01-11-2022 at 09:04 AM.

  11. #10

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    Hand pain usually originates from two areas:
    1. overplaying/overuse of hands
    2. poor technique
    Solution: rest for two weeks and start with 15 minutes play time twice a day when you return for a couple of weeks. If rest doesn't help, consult a doctor that specializes in hand pain. Good luck!
    Marinero

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew42 View Post
    Hey all,

    I did something this summer maybe overuse but getting some bad pain in upper right forearm near elbow. If I play for a bit it gets almost locked in position and when I go to twist my wrist (open a door, say) it hurts like hell, especially after fingerpicking. Also hurts doing dumbell curls, chinups etc

    Planning on seeing a physiotherapist asap but wondering if anyone has had any similar experiences or has any leads on some good guitar specific stretches.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sorry to hear of your problem.
    I had the same issue years ago. It started after a long run of gigs. Believe it or not, I think it was caused from gripping the pick too firmly for hours. The pain lasted for months until my pharmacist recommended a ten day course of a popular over the counter anti-inflammatory, which fixed the problem. No booze while on the anti-inflammatory by the way.