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Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

This is something that I have not experienced on a constant basis, however it happens about every few months for the last couple years. When I apply preasure to the palm of my hand (as in placing it flat on the floor,wall, or really any surface)a rather sharp pain will travel through the inside of my wrist and sometimes the top of my forearm. This tends to last around 5-7 days and then feels normal again. I've been playing guitar for seven years and I practice atleast 4 hours a day and a minimum of 2 if I have something pressing that I must do. I am fairly certain that this is not a case of carpal tunnel as I have been tested for that. Anyone have this problem or have any useful information on stretching and wrist exercises. Could this possibly be tendonitis? The pain that registers never exceeds a certain level. Any help would be greatly appreciated. _(By the way, I am right predominantly right handed so it's my fretting hand)
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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/12/2007 4:09 AM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

It probably is a mild case of tendinitis. When it improves during
that 5-7 day period, do you play your guitar during this time?
Most tendinitis needs complete rest for best results. This kind of
injury can result from an inefficient technique. You may want to
try and work on lightening the pressure on your left hand. In my
experience, most people press harder than they really need to. If
you can learn to be very light on the strings I think this injury
will probably be less frequent and good for your playing too.
This is especially relevant for somebody and dedicated as you
are, practising 4 hours a day - which is a great effort by the way!

This may sound weird, but another common way people get this
kind of injury is by sleeping on their hands in some way -
whether they put their hands under their head or pillow or
somewhere else. It can put a mild strain for a long time which
causes tendons to stretch and become inflamed.

Hope that helps you a little,

Andy



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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/13/2007 2:41 AM

John Terblanche (607) wrote:

Andy,

Hit the nail on the head with the way we sleep. I do the same thing...tend to ball up during sleep and bring the left hand under my head causing a similar problem that Amanda is having.

Just...John.





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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/13/2007 2:46 AM

Amanda Rowe (357) wrote:

Come to think of... I actually sleep in horrible positions. Most of the time in a rather fetal position with my hands underneath my cheek. I see how this could affect my wrists and forearms. Interesting how easy it is to afflict physical problems unknowingly.





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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/13/2007 8:31 PM

Obee Obier (4521) wrote:

Well, good point, I found my Lhand in trouble and couldn't wake it
up up when I'd sleeped in a uncomfortable position like that. Now I
open my hand before I lay down my head on and it helps.

We always doing grips when we play guitar, so making counter
movements is a also a good thing.

greetz and sleep well :)
obee



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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/13/2007 2:43 AM

Amanda Rowe (357) wrote:

Thanks so much for responding, Andy. I really appreciate your good advice. I tend to try to atleast cut back on my playing when I have those bouts with my wrist, but it is hard to just stop all together. I mean, I just love playing so much that it has become a large capacity of my existence over the last several years. Thanks again. :)



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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/13/2007 6:21 PM

Andy Wood (5136) wrote:

You're welcome Amanda, any time.

I learned about these injuries that hard way - I had a severe bout of
tendinitis and couldn't play for 6 months. Since that episode I
changed my technique and I don't hand-write much if I can help it.
Haven't had any big problems since.

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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/18/2007 10:07 PM

James Walczak (4510) wrote:

Hey Amanda,
As much as this may shock some people, I actually agree with Andy...if you've already been tested for carpel tunnel, it probably is tendonitis. Aside from the already fore mentioned sollutions, here's a few more for ya...

First and foremost work on your technique. As a drummer I had to learn this the hard way when I was in a car accident a few years back. My technique before the accident was pretty basically to hit the damn drums as hard as I could in a more or less rythmic way LOL!!!! After the accident, I pretty much had to re-learn how to play the drums as my neck and shoulders were no longer capable of hitting the drums hard as I used to. Even as a guitar player I find myself slipping into bad habits...wrist cocked at funny angles, holding the neck with a death grip, etc.. Aside from any external issues such as sleeping positions etc., your technique will certainly effect any issues with tendonitis.

While I don't have tendonitis, I do suffer from chronic arthritis...particularly if I haven't played for a while. In a pinch you might wanna try using a product called Flexall 454. The stuff stinks like you wouldn't believe, but it's pretty effective for releaving pain of this nature...temporarily at least. Of course a good analgesic should also help to take the edge off during flair ups. This certainly isn't a "cure"...the best way to fix the problem is to avoid it in the first place, but for the occasional flare ups, Flexall and a couple of Advil's really can make a difference.

Alrighty, just my $.02 worth...hope it helps!
Bright Blessings,
Jim

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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/19/2007 1:49 AM

Amanda Rowe (357) wrote:

Thanks, James. :) I've been really paying attention to my technique lately, and I will be sure to try Flex All. I've also been doing stretches and wrist and forearm workouts with weights and it seems to alleviate the sharp pain. I've found that when I lift the weight(usually 1-3 pounds) my wrist/forearm will pop. It irritates the hell out of me. Lol. I guess issues like these are the price we pay to stay on top of our game.

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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/19/2007 1:30 PM

James Walczak (4510) wrote:

Hey Amanda,
I had meant to mention this last night, but in my state of sleep deprivation, apparently forgot. If the problem persists, it might not be a bad idea to see a physical therapist. It sounds like you're already on the right track...stretches and excersizes will do a world of good, just use common sense (i.e. don't "over-do") so as not to make things worse. After the aforementioned car accident, I did go thru 4 months of phys therapy and it really did make a world of difference. If nothing else a good physical therapist could certainly make some suggestions on specific excersizes to help.

A quick word on therapy excersizes...
Ok, this should be common sense, but it's well worth mentioning; once you find an excersize regeim that helps, make it part of your daily/weekly routine. Very simply, if you stop doing the excersizes, they stop helping (and it's just that much harder to start doing them again later). Like I said, common sense. Nough Said :-)

Again, hope this helps and good luck!
Bright Blessings,
Jim

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Re: Pain in left wrist.. Is this guitar related??

5/19/2007 6:44 PM

Amanda Rowe (357) wrote:

Thanks, James. :)