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> Wrist/elbow Injury
Mudbone
post Aug 6 2012, 04:00 AM
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So I think I practiced tremolo picking too much and maybe with too much tension. I now have difficulty turning the key in the ignition to start the car. For a while I actually had to use my left hand to do it. I took a week off from playing and it has gotten a bit better. My right hand has very little rotating strength, but my grip strength is okay. I do work out at the gym about four times a week, and it doesn't bother me when I'm there. In fact, it only bothers me when I want to rotate my wrist.

Should I just take a long break from playing? Or should I play stuff that isn't right hand intensive?


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snackajacks
post Aug 6 2012, 11:33 AM
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I had same issues with my knuckles that had overtensed. I would recommend you that you find a doctor to be sure
that it's nothing bad that could grow worse. Hope your wrist recovers fast


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 6 2012, 11:49 AM
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I always find it so strange when guitarists encounter wrist problems with picking because I've never had any pain or anything there. With me it was always the elbow. I guess it's different for each of us. Especially if we have a weak point that is more prone to it and also if we pick differently.

I'd be tempted to suggest that it could be the combination of some other activity that might have caused it, rather than just guitar. Do you have to do a lot of computer work ?

Also, didn't you say you started Krav Maga a while back ? Possible you jarred your wrist without noticing it ? I jarred my wrist before and it's not until after that you think 'What the hell ?'

EDIT: Duh, I just noticed 'elbow' in the title too. When my troubles flared up, I would notice pain from wrist / forearm rotation too. Annoyingly, regardless of the origin of the injury or regardless of what it is, resting it is the only way of letting it calm down.

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Aug 6 2012, 11:52 AM


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snackajacks
post Aug 6 2012, 11:50 AM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 6 2012, 10:49 AM) *
I'd be tempted to suggest that it could be the combination of some other activity that might have caused it, rather than just guitar


this made me laugh a little bit smile.gif. But I think Ben is right


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 6 2012, 11:53 AM
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QUOTE (snackajacks @ Aug 6 2012, 11:50 AM) *
this made me laugh a little bit smile.gif. But I think Ben is right


huh, yeah I realised it could have sounded like that.. but in a moment of rarity, I was not making an innuendo this time ! biggrin.gif


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Nihilist1
post Aug 6 2012, 02:47 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Aug 6 2012, 03:00 AM) *
So I think I practiced tremolo picking too much and maybe with too much tension. I now have difficulty turning the key in the ignition to start the car. For a while I actually had to use my left hand to do it. I took a week off from playing and it has gotten a bit better. My right hand has very little rotating strength, but my grip strength is okay. I do work out at the gym about four times a week, and it doesn't bother me when I'm there. In fact, it only bothers me when I want to rotate my wrist.

Should I just take a long break from playing? Or should I play stuff that isn't right hand intensive?


I actually had that issue this past week from tremolo picking(I play Black Metal more often than anything, so it was a surprise) -- and I decided to take a break from guitar and go on a fishing trip. I would just stop playing until it gets better. Ice it often, take some anti-inflammatories(ibuprofen, motrin, aleve, etc.) and use Heat Pads often as well. My pain went away after about 4 days and I am finallly going to start playing guitar again today.

I can't honestly say that it was from the tremolo picking itself. Maybe you were attempting too tremolo pick too fast? That is how I did it to myself. I can tremolo pick at about 140 all day long, but when I tried pushing for 180-200 as often as I did, it just got out of hand(no pun intended).

EDIT: The great thing about this, though, is it actually shows you that there is a lot of tension in your playing. Might I recommend this book for rehab? It also helps destroy and prevent any nasty bad habits that you have.

http://www.guitarprinciples.com/shop/index...p;products_id=1

This post has been edited by Nihilist1: Aug 6 2012, 02:49 PM


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 6 2012, 06:53 PM
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Oh, one thing that totally gives me a painful elbow... reading. Holding a book open for long periods of time !

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Aug 6 2012, 06:54 PM


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Mudbone
post Aug 6 2012, 06:59 PM
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QUOTE (snackajacks @ Aug 6 2012, 06:33 AM) *
I had same issues with my knuckles that had overtensed. I would recommend you that you find a doctor to be sure
that it's nothing bad that could grow worse. Hope your wrist recovers fast


Thanks my friend biggrin.gif Unfortunately at the moment, going to the doctor is not an option mad.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 6 2012, 07:00 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Aug 6 2012, 06:59 PM) *
Unfortunately at the moment, going to the doctor is not an option mad.gif


Have you managed to p** off all the doctors in your surrounding area ? laugh.gif


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Mudbone
post Aug 6 2012, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 6 2012, 06:49 AM) *
I always find it so strange when guitarists encounter wrist problems with picking because I've never had any pain or anything there. With me it was always the elbow. I guess it's different for each of us. Especially if we have a weak point that is more prone to it and also if we pick differently.

I'd be tempted to suggest that it could be the combination of some other activity that might have caused it, rather than just guitar. Do you have to do a lot of computer work ?

Also, didn't you say you started Krav Maga a while back ? Possible you jarred your wrist without noticing it ? I jarred my wrist before and it's not until after that you think 'What the hell ?'

EDIT: Duh, I just noticed 'elbow' in the title too. When my troubles flared up, I would notice pain from wrist / forearm rotation too. Annoyingly, regardless of the origin of the injury or regardless of what it is, resting it is the only way of letting it calm down.


The tension actually goes from my elbow to my wrist. Its not really the joints in my wrist, but the muscles and tendons in my upper forearm. It started of as a tingly feeling in the nerves of my elbow. That has now subsided a bit but now its just mostly tension, a bit of pain, and weakness.

I did bust my thumb in Krav Maga, so I guess that could be part of the problem. From what I understand, the muscles of the thumb go all the way down to the elbow. I do spend a lot of time at the computer, maybe I should spend more time having my arm in an extended position.

So I guess I do have to rest it mad.gif How long did you rest when you experienced the ailment?

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 6 2012, 06:53 AM) *
huh, yeah I realised it could have sounded like that.. but in a moment of rarity, I was not making an innuendo this time ! biggrin.gif


I'm left handed, so its not that haha laugh.gif laugh.gif

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 6 2012, 02:00 PM) *
Have you managed to p** off all the doctors in your surrounding area ? laugh.gif


Well, not all, but certainly some of them laugh.gif Health insurance in the US is super expensive, and going to a doctor without it will cost a couple of grand probably.


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"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens


Gear:

Guitars: Uncle Rufus' Twanger Classic
Amps: Mississippi Boom Box
Mojo: Hammer of Odin and a pair of Ox gonads
Inspiration: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Zero to Hero: 1,387/10,000

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derper
post Aug 6 2012, 07:20 PM
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For me, I only get pain from geetahrin' when I'm also computerin' too much as well.

Then, I lay off of the computer, ease up on geetahr just a bit/make certain not to overdue it. I also try to stretch and excersice more, and it all seems to eventually go away.


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Nihilist1
post Aug 6 2012, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Aug 6 2012, 06:12 PM) *
So I guess I do have to rest it mad.gif How long did you rest when you experienced the ailment?


This question wasn't aimed at me, but 3-5 days has worked for me the few times I have experienced this issue from guitar.

The pain usually dissipates after 2-3 days, and the tension usually dissipates within 4 or 5. If you still have pain after a week of complete rest, I would seriously recommend seeing a doctor. There should be some relatively cheap Free Clinics in your area.

I have to reinforce the complete rest option. The two times I tore my elbow muscles from playing baseball growing up, my doctor told me to not use my right arm at all. It is a shame that the same arm happens to be my picking arm. mad.gif

I didn't heed his advice the first time and it took forever to recover. The second time(when I actually took my doctor's advice) it healed much faster.

The advice also carried over into the healing process of my guitar related injuries as well.



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Mudbone
post Aug 6 2012, 07:46 PM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Aug 6 2012, 02:41 PM) *
This question wasn't aimed at me, but 3-5 days has worked for me the few times I have experienced this issue from guitar.

The pain usually dissipates after 2-3 days, and the tension usually dissipates within 4 or 5. If you still have pain after a week of complete rest, I would seriously recommend seeing a doctor. There should be some relatively cheap Free Clinics in your area.

I have to reinforce the complete rest option. The two times I tore my elbow muscles from playing baseball growing up, my doctor told me to not use my right arm at all. It is a shame that the same arm happens to be my picking arm. mad.gif

I didn't heed his advice the first time and it took forever to recover. The second time(when I actually took my doctor's advice) it healed much faster.

The advice also carried over into the healing process of my guitar related injuries as well.


I think I will take it easy on the guitar playing, and will definitely spend less time on the computer. biggrin.gif


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"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens


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SirJamsalot
post Aug 6 2012, 09:07 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 6 2012, 10:53 AM) *
Oh, one thing that totally gives me a painful elbow... reading. Holding a book open for long periods of time !


huh.gif
"I hurt myself reading."
that just doesn't sound possible biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 7 2012, 06:02 AM
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Sadly I see this sort of thing quite a bit. It,s usually a variety of factors but the big culprit is usually caused by simply being to tense when you play. Ive watched as a student tried to make up for precision with brute force. It's not just you. I see it routinely in students who are just trying to practice hard and get better. Here is a fix list. A very short one.

1.)tremolo pick fast and note if you are picking from the elbow. Forearm stiff and hand barely moving from rigidity.

If you are doing this you will injure yourself. Stop doing it. I gave myself carpal tunnel that way. Focus on picking from the wrist and find how little instead of how much force you can use.

You'll get to "fast", don't burn in bad habits along the way and risk permanent injury. If you feel yourself tensing stop playing. Relax and reset.

Todd


QUOTE (Mudbone @ Aug 5 2012, 11:00 PM) *
So I think I practiced tremolo picking too much and maybe with too much tension. I now have difficulty turning the key in the ignition to start the car. For a while I actually had to use my left hand to do it. I took a week off from playing and it has gotten a bit better. My right hand has very little rotating strength, but my grip strength is okay. I do work out at the gym about four times a week, and it doesn't bother me when I'm there. In fact, it only bothers me when I want to rotate my wrist.

Should I just take a long break from playing? Or should I play stuff that isn't right hand intensive?


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Aug 7 2012, 06:08 AM


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Ben Higgins
post Aug 7 2012, 08:43 AM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Aug 6 2012, 07:12 PM) *
So I guess I do have to rest it mad.gif How long did you rest when you experienced the ailment?


I experienced it on and off over the years and it can still flare up now and again due to activity. What I did to let it really heal was lay off completely for 2 weeks. Then I picked up the guitar and played for 5 mins a day only, then after a few days it became 10.. then more and so on. I'd get away with what I thought was good and if I felt any discomfort I'd stop.

I did this after my girlfriend showed me some medical text about rehabilitating horses which had damaged their tendons. After giving them box rest (putting them in stables, no exercise, bandaged up) for a period they would start walking them for like 5 mins a day to get them using the tendons again. So after the initial rest they would start making them use their bits and pieces rather than let them just heal with no activity whatsoever. Massage helps too, but not intense and after it's had some time to heal because tendon fibres are really delicate.


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Mudbone
post Aug 7 2012, 04:03 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Aug 7 2012, 03:43 AM) *
I experienced it on and off over the years and it can still flare up now and again due to activity. What I did to let it really heal was lay off completely for 2 weeks. Then I picked up the guitar and played for 5 mins a day only, then after a few days it became 10.. then more and so on. I'd get away with what I thought was good and if I felt any discomfort I'd stop.

I did this after my girlfriend showed me some medical text about rehabilitating horses which had damaged their tendons. After giving them box rest (putting them in stables, no exercise, bandaged up) for a period they would start walking them for like 5 mins a day to get them using the tendons again. So after the initial rest they would start making them use their bits and pieces rather than let them just heal with no activity whatsoever. Massage helps too, but not intense and after it's had some time to heal because tendon fibres are really delicate.


Thanks for the advice Ben, two weeks without playing is going to be rough sad.gif

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Aug 7 2012, 01:02 AM) *
Sadly I see this sort of thing quite a bit. It,s usually a variety of factors but the big culprit is usually caused by simply being to tense when you play. Ive watched as a student tried to make up for precision with brute force. It's not just you. I see it routinely in students who are just trying to practice hard and get better. Here is a fix list. A very short one.

1.)tremolo pick fast and note if you are picking from the elbow. Forearm stiff and hand barely moving from rigidity.

If you are doing this you will injure yourself. Stop doing it. I gave myself carpal tunnel that way. Focus on picking from the wrist and find how little instead of how much force you can use.

You'll get to "fast", don't burn in bad habits along the way and risk permanent injury. If you feel yourself tensing stop playing. Relax and reset.

Todd


You're right, I think I ingrained some tension into my playing. Now I have to work on getting it out of my system biggrin.gif


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He who laughs last thinks slowest.

"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens


Gear:

Guitars: Uncle Rufus' Twanger Classic
Amps: Mississippi Boom Box
Mojo: Hammer of Odin and a pair of Ox gonads
Inspiration: Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Zero to Hero: 1,387/10,000

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Todd Simpson
post Aug 8 2012, 08:44 AM
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QUOTE (Mudbone @ Aug 7 2012, 11:03 AM) *
Thanks for the advice Ben, two weeks without playing is going to be rough sad.gif



You're right, I think I ingrained some tension into my playing. Now I have to work on getting it out of my system biggrin.gif


It happens wink.gif I did it myself for a while! The good news is, you can fix it! smile.gif Play slow, keep control over the tension. Don't let it take over.


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Nihilist1
post Aug 8 2012, 02:41 PM
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This is really helping me out.

http://www.guitarprinciples.com/shop/index...p;products_id=1

Also, check into the Alexander Technique. I have been discovering that having perfect posture is a great way to remove all the tension from my playing. Plus, as an added bonus, my playing has become more fluid and natural.


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Heal her now...

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Light the fires!

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Todd Simpson
post Aug 8 2012, 04:07 PM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Aug 8 2012, 09:41 AM) *
This is really helping me out.

http://www.guitarprinciples.com/shop/index...p;products_id=1

Also, check into the Alexander Technique. I have been discovering that having perfect posture is a great way to remove all the tension from my playing. Plus, as an added bonus, my playing has become more fluid and natural.



Well said! POSTURE IS CRITICAL! I"m always banging on about this in chat.

1.)Sit up straight, avoid "Side saddle" playing if possible and sit in proper classical position with the guitar between your legs (This isn't about preference, it's about physics and avoiding injury)

2.)Put your left foot on a guitar foot rest/stack of books/something to raise it up and increase the neck angle.

3.)Try to keep your left thumb in the middle of the neck with fingers arched. (Again, physics not preference/it will help you not get injured during intense practice sessions)


While I"m not a fan of "RULES" in general, I am a fan of GOOD FORM! It can mean the difference between progress and injury.

Practice!
Todd

Todd


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