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> Another Long-term Injury Situation
Grmo
post Jun 21 2010, 03:19 AM
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Hey GMC.

I'm new here, and I thought I'd make a post about this and see if we can get something going where we share information or advice.

Here's the deal with me: in around August 2008 (so almost 2 years ago (coincidentally, right after I got out of high school)), I hurt my left wrist playing guitar, which developed into tendinitis, which eventually led to some problems with scar tissue, which led to tension problems, which has now led me in a strange circle of problems that left me more or less unable to play guitar seriously since I first injured myself. I can play slowly for ten or fifteen minutes now, but the muscles get tired easily. I'm working up to it slowly, though I think the main source of the problem is in my neck, where there is a lot of tension, which radiates down to my arms. I am not sure if there is still an injury (which I will hopefully find out in a few days after I see a specialist again), but there is still the problem of tension. If anyone can share some advice on how to alleviate tension and stress, then I would be very grateful.

At this point, despite all the ideas I have about what may be wrong with me, I'm a little exhausted and confused. I really don't know what to do about the problem overall, as I have been more or less stuck for 2 years. I ended up having to drop out of college, where I was using computers a lot (designing video games), because my hands couldn't handle it. A big part of it, I'm sure, is that I kept using the computer and playing video games throughout that time, as well as playing guitar, which may have prevented an injury from healing. The reason for that is because, on many occasions, I thought that it had healed, only to have another problem come back. I have stopped almost all activity now, and I am focusing completely on healing so that I can get back on my feet and start doing things again.

I'm sorry if that sounded all over the place, so here's a tl;dr: I need advice on staying loose while playing, building up forearm muscles, and what to do if there is still an injured part. Perhaps you are experiencing a similar problem, or have overcome an injury in the past, and would like to share your story. If you have any advice at all, I would appreciate it very much.

Thanks

This post has been edited by Grmo: Jun 21 2010, 04:14 AM
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frankdb
post Jun 21 2010, 08:53 AM
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Excuse for my bad english, i'm italian. I understand your situation because I play guitar and piano with tutor due to a big problem to the back because I have been operated for a congenital malformation to the aorta and the intervention, that i made 30 years ago when i was a child, left me a big scar and problems of posture. Last year my back and neck caused me a lot of pain and doctors gave anti-inflammatory medicine but they caused me serious problems to the stomach and liver, for which the sure suggestion that I feel me to address to you is not to assume medicines and to find a good orthopedic.
You can see the only way i can play: While My Guitar Gentley Weeps
Hello, Francesco.
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Rik Veldhuizen
post Jun 21 2010, 09:52 AM
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Is it some form of the Cubital Tunnel Syndrome? It does sound like a nerve problem, which causes tension, loss of strength, etc in your hand. It's operable, but really depends on the case.

How does it feel if you regularly squeeze a soft ball or something similar with your hands? That builds up the power in your hand, and makes sure the muscles in your arms are used somewhat.

Other than that, specific massaging should help, but find a good one.

good luck...!
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Frederik
post Jun 21 2010, 10:23 AM
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I think you must be very aware of your playing position, due to the radiation from the neck you talk about. Try the classical with a little foot-stool. you should also maybe consult a chiropractor who can push your spine so it wont press on to your nerves.
Furthermore it seems you dont do sports (with all that computer-talk smile.gif, correct me if im wrong ) but its essential that you build up core muscles to support your spine, so your dont sit in unsuitable positions for your back, due to weak core muscles.
I do gymnastics, which is the best sport i know for building up overall muscle strenght (also forearm, where i have no issues with stamina for guitar)

so basicly my advice is to get in shape, without stressing your injurie (talk to your doctor, and he will tell you how much you can do)

-Frederik
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Grmo
post Jun 21 2010, 03:56 PM
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QUOTE (frankdb @ Jun 21 2010, 07:53 AM) *
Excuse for my bad english, i'm italian. I understand your situation because I play guitar and piano with tutor due to a big problem to the back because I have been operated for a congenital malformation to the aorta and the intervention, that i made 30 years ago when i was a child, left me a big scar and problems of posture. Last year my back and neck caused me a lot of pain and doctors gave anti-inflammatory medicine but they caused me serious problems to the stomach and liver, for which the sure suggestion that I feel me to address to you is not to assume medicines and to find a good orthopedic.
You can see the only way i can play: While My Guitar Gentley Weeps
Hello, Francesco.

That sounds incredibly painful. I hope you will be able to recover fully some day, Francesco. Thank you also for your advice. I will try to find an orthopedic.
QUOTE (Rik Veldhuizen @ Jun 21 2010, 08:52 AM) *
Is it some form of the Cubital Tunnel Syndrome? It does sound like a nerve problem, which causes tension, loss of strength, etc in your hand. It's operable, but really depends on the case.

How does it feel if you regularly squeeze a soft ball or something similar with your hands? That builds up the power in your hand, and makes sure the muscles in your arms are used somewhat.

Other than that, specific massaging should help, but find a good one.

good luck...!

I don't think it is an issue with nerve pressure, as I do not feel tingling. I am also not sure if lack of strength is even a problem, as I can use any of those stress/squeezing mechanisms very easily. It's just that the muscles either get tired or start to hurt very easily. However, I am finding that massaging specific places that are sore or that radiate pain help a lot to reduce tension. I am going to see a physiotherapist tomorrow, so I will update with how that goes later (so hopefully someone can use that if they are having problems as well).

Thanks for the advice; I'm very grateful.

QUOTE (Frederik @ Jun 21 2010, 09:23 AM) *
I think you must be very aware of your playing position, due to the radiation from the neck you talk about. Try the classical with a little foot-stool. you should also maybe consult a chiropractor who can push your spine so it wont press on to your nerves.
Furthermore it seems you dont do sports (with all that computer-talk smile.gif, correct me if im wrong ) but its essential that you build up core muscles to support your spine, so your dont sit in unsuitable positions for your back, due to weak core muscles.
I do gymnastics, which is the best sport i know for building up overall muscle strenght (also forearm, where i have no issues with stamina for guitar)

so basicly my advice is to get in shape, without stressing your injurie (talk to your doctor, and he will tell you how much you can do)

-Frederik


That's a very good idea, actually. I'm going to start jogging every day, and doing simple muscle excercises so relieve tension and get stronger. Hopefully that will help.

Anyway, thanks everyone. I am so glad that you were willing to share with me, and I feel like I have some ideas now as to how to fix this problem. I wish everyone else luck as well.
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Frederik
post Jun 21 2010, 09:43 PM
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^^ great man. Jogging is brilliant for cardio. remember to build core muscles also (abs, back and sides) to support your stature
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Todd Simpson
post Jun 21 2010, 10:03 PM
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I fell your pain as I gave myself carpal tunnel a few years ago from practicing too much. After some physical rehab, I learned about the importance of stretching. It's important to warm up the muscles and tendons you are about to use. Just like an athlete would stretch before practice, musicians should as well.

Add some light stretches in to your warmup for playing. Roll your hands and wrists gently, stretch your hands/wrists forward and back a bit, and your fingers as well. Don't do it to the point of pain, just warm up the muscles.

Then after playing, get a couple of ice cubes and ice your fore arms down. This helped me when I was recovering. Even after a short practices session my forearms would get agitated and icing for about five minutes total helped them to not get so sore.

Hope this helps smile.gif

Todd


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Grmo
post Jun 22 2010, 05:10 AM
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QUOTE (Frederik @ Jun 21 2010, 08:43 PM) *
^^ great man. Jogging is brilliant for cardio. remember to build core muscles also (abs, back and sides) to support your stature

That's also a good idea. I will start doing more of that.
QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jun 21 2010, 09:03 PM) *
I fell your pain as I gave myself carpal tunnel a few years ago from practicing too much. After some physical rehab, I learned about the importance of stretching. It's important to warm up the muscles and tendons you are about to use. Just like an athlete would stretch before practice, musicians should as well.

Add some light stretches in to your warmup for playing. Roll your hands and wrists gently, stretch your hands/wrists forward and back a bit, and your fingers as well. Don't do it to the point of pain, just warm up the muscles.

Then after playing, get a couple of ice cubes and ice your fore arms down. This helped me when I was recovering. Even after a short practices session my forearms would get agitated and icing for about five minutes total helped them to not get so sore.

Hope this helps smile.gif

Todd

I do tons of stretching still, and you're right. It's definitely one of the most important things, and it's something that I never really used to do. The ice cubes idea seems like it will be very useful as well. Thanks for sharing smile.gif
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maharzan
post Jun 22 2010, 06:48 AM
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Yea, too much computers is really really bad for you. Probably it already started when you were playing video games back then. I have seen at least 3 of my colleagues suffer from right hand /left hand / back pain due to 12-16 hours continuously working on computers. I myself had a back problem. I had it since I was a kid and couldn't even stay for 3 hours watching a movie. But it was gone and came back after my college. Gladly, I replaced my posture and chair which fixed it to some extent. My friends had gone to therapists for healing and now don't use computers so often. Its pretty hard to fully recover.

In terms of guitar, I have practiced a LOT past year and I have had pains all over my arms and fingers. I do remember guitarists recommending to stop if it starts to pain but I have gone a bit far and still practiced a bit after these pains but didn't want to take risks as well. Thankfully, I haven't had any problems until yesterday. I have been practicing at speed for nearly 2 months now and when I thought I can do the lesson without much pain, suddenly I felt the back of my palm (left hand) started cramping as if bones were not reacting. It was okay until I practiced and left my guitar to go shopping when it finally started to show. I was holding my left hand all the time. But thankfully as I came back, it went away and today it feels fine. Hopefully I haven't angered on of my nerves here.

So, yea, I guess all you need is some warm up and then stop if it starts to pain. There is really no other ideas or solutions. Once its damaged, its like impossible to recover. Even if it does, you will not be able to get that in full form just like in football.

So beware!


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jun 22 2010, 02:52 PM
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Sitting in front of computer makes problem for all of us, not very good for music performance either...


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