The Woodshed

Guitendonitis? GuitElbow?

26

Check that it's not carpel tunnel (google Phalen's sign). If that's eliminated then it can be one of several issues relating to the elbow joint. You really do need a correct diagnosis, but in the meantime don't play through pain, limit your exposure time, and try an icepack on the joint after playing. Have a look for wrist flexor/extensor stretches, but don't overdo them as they can flare things up.

Lastly, don't take medical advice from the internet!

27

By the way, ibruprofen is contraindicated with high blood pressure.

28

Tennis Elbow - properly known as Lateral Epicondylitis (as opposed to Medial Epicondylitis/Golfer's Elbow) - is a drag. You lose the ability to make a fist and/or lift things up. I contracted in about 6 years ago, just after we moved house. The good news is it it self-limiting and will clear up on its own. The bad news is it takes a while and there's nothing you can really do to speed it up. Don't over tax it, keep the strap around it you bought, these things will help with the symptoms, but you just gotta knuckle down and let it get better. Expect a good 6 months, maybe longer.

As a side note, it may be called Tennis Elbow, but only around 6% of cases are caused by playing tennis.

29

Oh yes, and another vote up for the Glucosamine, although I use Hydrochloride (early onset arthritis).

30

This is a great thread, unfortunately at Tim’s expense. So many good responses to a common problem with players. Duane has had issues with his hands over the last few years, but he’s older than anybody here!

Tim, take a break for a while. Ask your pharmacist about drug interactions with the heart meds. Speaking of which, there seem to be a number of those with turmeric. It’s very popular at the moment, but I fear it’s used without enough knowledge beforehand.

I hope all y’all feel better.

31

I'm having troubles with my left elbow too at the moment. It's not the first time though and I believe it will go away as it has done before. Acupuncture seems to work well for me, but it's not an alternative at the moment (my acupuncturists tend to move, get old and retire or stop practicing for other reasons).

For now I'm using an elbow brace called Back on track. What it does is reflect your body heat back and stimulate the blood flow thanks to ceramic particles inside the textile. A golfer gave me the tip. I think it has helped me when I tried it before. I have another brace for the wrist and gloves for the hand and fingers. It's a Swedish invention and I don't know if it's available on your side of the Atlantic. But it might be worth an internet search to find out.

For tense muscles I have recently discovered a very interesting method called Hanna Somatics. From what I understand it's based on the Feldenkreis method. Very fascinating and effective. I've done a work shop and will receive a two hour private lesson in a couple of weeks to learn some movements directed at my specific problems. There are clips on Youtube to watch.

Conclusion: no reason to give up or despair. There are a lot of things out there to try, you just need to find the thing that works for you. Good luck!

32

I'm 68, best guess from my 52 years of playing has me over the 8,000 gig mark, so I would think I should be experiencing what ever maladies that guitar players typically get. A few months back I was experience severe pain in my left wrist, especially while playing, and REALLY when I bent the wrist to work up the guitar neck. I got worried about my future. Assuming Carpal Tunnel, I went to an Orthopeadic Surgeon (hand specialist) who took x-rays, asked me lots of questions and poked and prodded for 30 minutes. He ruled out Carpal Tunnel, ruled out arthritis, and suggested I had simply bruised the tissue in the small bones in my wrist and with immobilization (and NSAIDS) over time it would get better. The more immobilized I could keep it, the faster it should heal. So, I bought a hard wrist brace ($20) for daytime when I'm NOT playing (and sleeping) and a soft brace ($7) for when I'm out and about, active and even while playing (little bigger than a wrist guard). 4 months later ... all better. A happy camper I am ...

33

I saw an old pianist go through stuff with the wrist. He had a thing where tendons were meeting nerves, maybe what you are having. He had a physiotherapist give him massages, collagen [or was it cortizone?] injections. The last cure he had was to cut out a piece of bone or cartilage.

I have a weird bump on one wrist, I'm keeping an eye on it.

I'm really worried about tendons, especially with a newer technique I'm considering continuing developing.

Working on a keyboard can't help. I remember all the data entry operators had problems. Wresting arms on tables made it worse.

My guitar teacher said to use the minimum possible force, which I think is very good advice, also for typing.

– hammerhands

That weird bump is something I've seen on others on the same spot on their wrist. I remember my brother had it in his late teens to late 20s. For all of them it was the same thing....a ganglion cyst.

No one know what causes it but it grows between the joints or on the lining of the tendon.

34

This is a great thread, unfortunately at Tim’s expense. So many good responses to a common problem with players. Duane has had issues with his hands over the last few years, but he’s older than anybody here!

Tim, take a break for a while. Ask your pharmacist about drug interactions with the heart meds. Speaking of which, there seem to be a number of those with turmeric. It’s very popular at the moment, but I fear it’s used without enough knowledge beforehand.

I hope all y’all feel better.

– Deed Eddy

I am a big fan/user of turmeric. It is a very effective anti-inflammatory and faster acting vs. Omega 3 fats (good fats). Like Omega 3, it reduces inflammation everywhere in the body and very healthy for blood vessels. I cook with it regularly, even adding some to things like beef stew and chicken soup.......not to the whole pot but rather just my portion. It has greatly reduced the pain from my tendonitis in my left ankle.

35

Hi all

I've had it since March. After 6 years of mostly playing sitting down, I got back with the old band in France (I'm in the UK) for a gig. A friend had asked us to reform for a big evening (great venue etc), so I started walking around the house playing the old tunes to get them back into my fingers.

Changing the position apparently triggered the inflammation. The gig was great, but I've been suffering since... Had a cortisone injection, no result. It's all very painful and frustrating, and I've been advised to stop playing for a while. It can take a whole year to go away, but it does not always.

I'm on the right in that pic.

36

I sympathize, man!!!! At one point, I was extremely busy drumgigwise and at the same time, I was teaching defensive pistol classes during the days. My right elbow got to where I had to go to a pistol with a shorter, lighter trigger stroke than I normally preferred because I could barely hold one at the time. That busy stretch culminated in 12 gigs in 6 days that year during Bike Week in Myrtle Beach and just laying in bed, my hands had an “angry numbness”.

Stay on NSAID’s and just ride out the tendinitis. It’s been my experience that it WILL work itself out. No fun in the process, though.

Tim, I figured that in your line of work, you’d more likely be a candidate for carpal tunnel. But if you’re getting numbness in your thumb and forefinger.....

37

My tennis elbow was caused by wearing the wrist braces they gave me for my carpul tunnel, which I've struggled with since 1985. That and my arthritis and tendonitis used to be really bad. I kept working, and eventually my body gave in and it all moved down to my knees. It took about ten years though.

38

I live with constant tendinitis in my wrists and elbows and the new place is my left shoulder. Stop playing offset guitars for a few weeks and stay away from all bass guitars.

I use this stuff, it works.

39

I live with constant tendinitis in my wrists and elbows and the new place is my left shoulder. Stop playing offset guitars for a few weeks and stay away from all bass guitars.

I use this stuff, it works.

– Curt Wilson

Big user of turmeric, but what's in the Arnicare and Zeel?

40

I'm still watching and appreciating all the responses. My wife swears by turmeric for her arthritis, and I've been put off by the taste and the foul brews she stirs it into - but I can probably find a more palatable way to take it.

I haven't had time to deal with it definitively - but for a month or so I simply took the most basic doctor advice going: if it hurts when you do that, don't do that. That meant pretty much not playing at all - or for very short stints at only a subset of the hack techniques I deploy. Also, I've been wearing the silly armband, which looks and feels and sounds like superstition. But the combination of relative inactivity and the sub-elbow brace have combined to improve the situation.

NOT playing has proved pretty unhealthy mentally, though, and in the last couple of weeks I've started playing more again - mostly with no ill effects on the arm (that is, it doesn't feel worse after playing than it did before), and I still seem to be gradually improving.

I'm always surprised when old guys heal, is all, and fear that whatever malady I now develop will be chronic and permanent. But I do have hope that this one will resolve. I'll certainly be trying some of the suggestions here to hurry that along.

And yeah, you'd expect carpal with my (typing) keyboarding - but that's only frenzied and concentrated for short bursts, generally with time to rest the hands between. So far, so maybe kinda good enough.

42

Thanks Billy. Blieve I'll order that right up.

43

I know that it's been mentioned already, but I've had great results with Voltaren Gel. It's an odorless prescription NSAIDS topical goo that drys quickly and colorless. It may be worth a try, you might ask your physician for it, the next time you go in.

44

Or make a good Curry!

Turmeric and Fenugreek = Good Eats

45

Wade, I'm certainly inclined to take seriously anything you say about pain relief.


Twang, no Indian food for this boy. You've heard the simile about grain through a goose. Add fire. Curry = hurry.

Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Greek, Turkish, all OK. No Indian. The subcontinent is forever barred to me.

46

I make something Indian every week...and those others, too!

Especially fond of Turkish and Lebanese, that whole general area - Eastern Med

Easy to put Turmeric in Rice with a few Onion Flakes...Yellow Rice.

47

careful of too much turmeric, it causes excessive body hair growth. Look what it did to me

48

Tune to open G and get a slide.

Or just break down and get a Panda Rickenbacker lap steel, like the girl in Larkin Poe and learn to master that!

(...I'm only kidding of course ...but, in all seriousness...hope you find some relief. Sadly, we are all on our way down that path.)

49

Try icing your elbow and the inside of your forearm. That helps me.

50

Just seeing this thread now. My background is in biomechanics. You would be surprised I think about the forces exerted on joints and tissues (tendons and ligaments) when doing basic everyday movements, simple mechanical analysis. If you add to that fast repetitive movements, or extreme joint angles, those forces will cause some damage.


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