Hi - I've been playing for over 20 years and I used to practice 2-6 hours a day. The only time I ever had *pain* afterwards was when I took classical guitar lessons and my right wrist developed tendonitis from all of the finger picking.
I've recently ramped-up my practicing again, focusing on my right hand and alternate picking - something I was always pretty good at - but not great.
For years I played a Jackson soloist, and settled on a wrist placement where my hand and wrist was sort of 'folded', forming an "L" shape like a hockey stick pointing down, and also anchoring my pinky. I'm convinced the "L" was a result of the Floyd Rose, trying to keep my palm out of the way of the fine tuners.
Today, I play a PRS Custom 22 with an unobtrusive bridge and found that my picking is *much* smoother and faster if I keep my wrist straight and don't anchor. It's 100x more comfortable as well. The only issue now is that I'm experiencing considerable wrist pain the day after a good long practice session. Ironic that the straight, relaxed wrist is causing pain, while years of 'folding' my wrist never did.
My Question - for those players who have 'closeted' the guitar for a few years then returned to regular practicing - how do you tell what is just a little stiffness that will work itself out vs. tendonitis?
I'd hate to ease-up the practicing - I'm better than I've been in years - but tendonitis was PITA the last time...