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Wrist pain (fretting hand)


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  • Wrist pain (fretting hand)

    the title says it all... I've decided to leave the guitar for a few weeks until the tendons and ligaments cool down a bit. The next step will be to work on postures I guess. I have found that thicker necks work better for me, but with lighter strings thinner necks can be ok too.

    I've watched quite a few vids on YouTube about stretching and warming up your hands before playing. Some vids are about carpal tunnel. I'm not sure that it's my problem because it's the outter side of the wrist which hurts.

    My posture needs to be improved because I tend to play with a very angled wrist. Shortening the straps has helped a little. The SG shape works better for me.

    Any experience to share ? Tips or warning are welcome !
    I know it's not the funniest side of our passion, but I'm told it should be taken seriously to prevent durable issues. Thanks

  • #2
    Yep, I only play thick necks now. It helps to keep your wrist/hand at a straight if moderate angle. Don't bend cocking your wrist up, instead, twist your wrist like you are turning a screw driver.

    It will all help, warming up and the like, especially if you haven't played in awhile.
    MIA Fender Strat / Gibson Les Paul Studio / Custom Telecaster / Washburn WI66 / Custom Stratocaster / Martin D15S / Guild D55 / Simon & Patrick Cedar / Martin HD16R LSH​


    • #3
      I had wrist pain from too much practice, my doctor diagnosed it as tendonitis and recommended I take several months off from playing. I took about 2 months off and it got better but it's still not back to 100%. What helped was raising my strap higher, using lighter gauge strings, using a lighter fretting technique, resting more frequently during practice, and icing my wrist after practices. This site http://www.tendonitisexpert.com/guitar-tendonitis.html has some good information on causes, how to ice your wrist, etc. They have a book they try to sell but there's lots of good information on the site itself that's available without buying anything.


      • #4
        [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]I would take a break...I would then work on stretching and strengthening your arm, forearm and hands
        Geezer Brigade Trooper #30
        1st generation Irish


        • #5
          I had some pain in my forearm once that started when I was playing aggressively and it took a few months to really get back to normal. Kind of scary. Oddly in my case lengthening the guitar strap actually helped. I think I had it too high. Also I cut back on computer use and tried to relax my arms and hands when typing and type more calmly and gently. I also just play more carefully and try to recruit more fingers when I bend.

          What really solved the problem was I took a week off from work and went to Florida and didn't touch a keyboard or a guitar the whole time and swam every day.
          Signature is here!


          • #6
            Vitamin B12 & B6 helped me along with wrist extention excersizes...
            > .


            • #7
              Thanks guys. I also found interesting tips on the web, such as putting both hands and wrists in a bucket full of hot water for 3 minutes and then in another one with very cold water for 1 minute. This reduces pain and is incredibly relaxing (I fell asleep after I did it the first time). I understand it brings fresh blood into the damaged tissues and relaxes the muscles. I'm going to do my best to overcome the problem and improve posture after I have recovered. Thanks again.


              • #8
                I've just ordered this to strengthen complementary muscles when I feel better : http://www.handmasterplus.com/index.html
                Plus I bought some vitamins too. And an electrical screwdriver.


                • #9
                  Try the 'thumb over the top' fretting technique to keep your wrist straight instead of strict 'classical' style.

                  Here's a stretch I do sometimes. Stretch your arm out to the side with your palm up. Turn your hand and fingers downward so your palm is now facing out. Lean your head the opposite direction wile trying to stretch your arm out farther.

                  It should feel nice around your traps/shoulders all the way down your biceps to your forearms.
                  Listen to my lo-fi bedroom demos here!!


                  • #10
                    Be extra mindful of how you are typing and holding a mouse as well. Keep your wrist as straight as possible.


                    • #11
                      Yeah, I think it's tendonitis too, and it sucks. If I'm playing on the first couple of frets more than a little bit, I find if I angle the headstock upward (I go as high as I can and probably look like a dork) it really helps.


                      • #12

                        I had Carpal and Cubital Ttunnel syndrome On my freeting hand. I wasn't in any particular pain though, at least not before the surgery. I had just basically lost the functional use of the hand. Surgery took care of that issue, though the hand is not quite as strong as it was before. If I played more often that would probably help but long story short, my chops are pretty good once more whereas before the surgery I literally couldn't properly fret a note, seriously.

                        Now I've been diagnosed Carpal Tunnel on my right (picking) hand. Surgery is recommended I will most likely schedule it for the upcoming holidays when we have our plant shutdown. As I refered to earlier, recovery is quite painful and I am not looking forward to it at all. OTOH, I do want to get the surgery while it's still an option.
                        "Born to Play" MP3 album at iTunes & Amazon.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for sharing. All the best with the new operation.


                          • #14
                            look up eccentric exercises and do them for your wrist. basically you work/strengthen the alt. muscles.

                            get on a glucosamine supplement and give it a few months and see if that helps.

                            use dictation software and look at your computer ergonomics, too.

                            i've had tendonitis for about 15 years, but it can be controlled if you pay attention to what you're doing.
                            musica delenit bestiam feram


                            • #15
                              I have had issues with Cubital Tunnel and a Neuroma on the inside of my fretting thumb joint which is a small tumor like mass of live nerve endings that feels like that shock you get when you bang your funny bone in your elbow. The big problem is that I feel it in my thumb if my joint hits the neck. I need two surgeries but no top surgeons take my insurance and I am not going to roll the dice with some shoemaker! Before playing I run my hands under warm water for a good two minutes which gets the blood flowing especially in a cold environment, I then go through a bunch of arm and hand stretches before warming up for 20 minutes. I have to play with the pad of my thumb dead center of the guitar and really had to work on being able to bend a step and a half or two whole steps without the aid of my thumb for leverage but I got there. I still play tuned to 440 though I dropped from 10's to 9's but that is no big deal. A serious word of advice for everyone, unlike working out the term no pain no gain does not apply to guitar playing! If something seriously hurts stop immediately as nothing will make you as scared ****************less as hearing a doctor tell you that you may never play again, unless he tells you your dying lol. Hopefully I have these issues corrected before the year is out.