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Guitar player's tendinitis (guitar elbow)
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Najamudra



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 209

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:23 am    Post subject: Guitar player's tendinitis (guitar elbow) Reply with quote

Greetings,

I would be interested in knowing if some of you here have/had to cope with this annoying disease for a guitar player.

Personally, i play guitar for quite a long time now and during some songs i play (sometimes above sixteenth notes at 200bpm), i feel a pretty annoying pain in the right elbow.

I keep trying to improve my right hand playing, especially by using my wrist as much as possible for alternate picking.
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frostjunkie



Joined: 10 Jun 2009
Posts: 2333
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had tendonitis in both wrists for a whole summer about 6 years ago, it sucked. Luckily I can still play guitar without too much hassle but they have never felt as strong since...
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W. Helm



Joined: 15 Oct 2013
Posts: 1950
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Through the years I've developed occasional cramps in my hand. My elbow only bothered me a few times.
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The Fallen



Joined: 08 May 2012
Posts: 600

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my friends had this problem and had to stop playing for about a year, while applying cream etc to his elbow.

Myself, I have only had tendinitis in my fret hand/arm/shoulder for a few months after forcing myself to keep practicing the same stretches over and over again. I think it was the 'Beat it' solo by Eddie VH. Still can't play it btw Sad
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Necrologue



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 924
Location: Rhode Island

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the sound of it, it seems you have tennis elbow rather than tendonitis. Perhaps look into solutions for that as well?

I had tendonitis in my fret hand for nearly a year back in 2007. I had to stop playing guitar and lifting weights, do strengthening exercises daily, and ice my wrist just as often. When I started the strenuous activities again, I had to "warm up" my wrist with hot water for around five minutes and do stretches. I still use those therapies to this day to prevent a recurrence. Luckily, I can say that I'm a better player than ever and have since picked up drumming.

Technique had a lot to do with my injury. I played guitar with a 90 degree angle on my wrist. As much as it sucks, it might be better to take a break from playing and let yourself heal. Research ways to strengthen your elbow and perhaps analyze your technique. Don't push yourself to get better sooner than your body wants to. And, of course, contact a physician, since I'm really no expert.

Good luck! Sorry for your injury...
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Bestial Aggressor



Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 636

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there are wrist/forearm pains, make sure sure to regularly massage the forearm muscles and possibly the frontal deltoid in the shoulder. Wrist pain is usually associated with tension higher up the arm. You don't necessarily need expensive physio, have deep push around in the arm with your finger tips and you can usually find a hard tension point/knot. That's the part to massage. It might hurt to begin with, but the pain/tension wares off after a while. Works for me.

As for tennis elbow, I have no idea.
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holy ghost



Joined: 16 Jan 2011
Posts: 7488
Location: HOW'S IT GOIN' EH?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have the elbow issue but I do have a real numbness in my right hand when I'm playing bass. It goes from my hand to the middle of my forearm and flares up occasionally, very unpleasant. It's usually not there when I'm playing but for a while after. I try to really take care of it when that flares up.

I switch between guitar and bass in my band depending on what we're playing so it's not the same potition/movements constantly.

I think a cell phone/mousepad is probably just as bad, all that small movement with those two fingers.... I feel like I'll have a repetitive stress injury by the time I'm 50 between everything....
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goatmolestor



Joined: 15 Aug 2012
Posts: 289
Location: brisbane

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both my wrists are fucked from work, so playing guitar or bass hurts and I usually lose feeling in my ring and pinkie finger on my picking hand every rehearsal or gig, still I refuse to stop playing due to the pain involved (feels like a knife in my wrists afterwards but totally worth it)
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The Prophet Muhammad



Joined: 31 Jul 2012
Posts: 602

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should go to the doctor instead of asking people online. Repetitive stress injuries take a long time to heal. They also usually require abstinence from whatever activity caused them, which fucking sucks, I know.. You shouldn't really be using much elbow when tremolo picking anyway
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hymn of wolves



Joined: 28 Nov 2012
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tennis elbow or lateral epicondilitis is tendinitis of the muscles that originate from the lateral epicondyle (outer elbow, end of the upper arm). The tendon(s) that are irritated attach to muscles that perform wrist extension (and radial deviation). As others have said repetitive stress injuries can take a long time to heal. Try to position your wrist differently and avoid provoking the pain.

I would advise stretching (make a fist, let the hand and wrist relax and then bring the fist with your other hand to the inside of your forearm. all this with extended elbows) and light exercises with the emphasis on the eccentric component. Furthermore, you can try icing on the painful spot and massaging the muscle bellies (from the thumb, follow the muscles to the outer elbow to know which ones).
For gigs you could try a brace but that should be a temporary solution. It's better to have strong wrists than to protect it.
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The Prophet Muhammad



Joined: 31 Jul 2012
Posts: 602

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should just leave Rock Discipline stretches playing on your TV at all times Laughing
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Attic Snake



Joined: 20 May 2014
Posts: 2012
Location: Decommissioned.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No pain from playing but from doing pull-ups I've messed up nerves somewhere that make half of my left hand, ring and pinky, numb and makes playing feel weird. But you get used to it.
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W. Helm



Joined: 15 Oct 2013
Posts: 1950
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What was said about technique is correct. I also play in that 90 degree angle with my frethand that was mentioned.
But I have no problems other than some limitations to my playing. Thankfully I have long and lean fingers.
My picking hand has some problems due to working behind a computer half the day. Surely the years of chugging away also have something to do with it.
I get the occasional cramp when I just reach for some item, like a sharp sting in the center of my hand.
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Last edited by W. Helm on Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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lifeless



Joined: 02 Nov 2008
Posts: 3634
Location: torotten, onterror, cuntnada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

developed some problems like this from having a computer job for over 15 years
agree with the sentiment above, see a doctor, get a referral for physio
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TheDark



Joined: 30 Dec 2014
Posts: 532
Location: Pitts(shits)burgh

PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have said, only use your wrist when tremolo picking. It feels more comfortable and you'll play much faster than if you use your whole arm to do it, much like doing blast beats where you only use your fingers/wrist.

Speaking of drumming, my knees sometimes hurt after I'm done doing double kick, but I suspect that is more my technique than anything.
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