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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 12
Tendonitis...or not?

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...

intrsoul is offline  
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 12
Re: Tendonitis...or not?

"Today, I play a PRS Custom 22..." OH and an Ibanez RG 760 ;-) The fine tuners don't seem to bother the new 'straight wrist' approach.

intrsoul is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: UK
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Re: Tendonitis...or not?

I would say continue with your practicing time but go easy on the picking for now. It sounds like you could picking everything and straining your wrist, whether it's serious damage or not. Lay off the picking exercises and play something else
Guitarist-Jonny is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2010, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 365
Re: Tendonitis...or not?

Sounds like you have made a big change to your technique and your pain is a signal that your body needs time to adapt to the new wrist position. Not to mention you say you haven't played for a long time.

Go easy - it's a marathon not a sprint.

It's probably nothing more than a bit of over-exertion (coupled with the change in technique) like when you over do it at the gym.
MattyG is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 09:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 31
Re: Tendonitis...or not?

Do you do any stretching before playing? I got into it several years ago and I've never had any problems with my arms or hands.

Here's a link to some stretches...hope it helps!

Chopsession is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 11:26 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Lima, Peru
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Re: Tendonitis...or not?

Originally Posted by Chopsession View Post
Do you do any stretching before playing? I got into it several years ago and I've never had any problems with my arms or hands.

I do the stretches Petrucci shows in his rock discipline dvd. Always do it before picking up the guitar, no matter how many songs I play, I always stretch. So far never had tendonitis or muscular problems.

If problems persist, revise your technique. If they still persist, go see a doctor.
Mr. Killer is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 03:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bucharest, RO
Posts: 44
Reviews: 2
Re: Tendonitis...or not?

I honestly doubt you have tendonitis, as that would incur quite a bit of carelessness on your part. And tendonitis is actually painful enough that you would go see a doctor immediately; I assume it's just soreness.

You should be careful in choosing your hand position, because you can seriously damage your tendons, and tendon surgery is hit and miss most of the time. Find a position that's natural, feels natural, where you don't tense up any extra muscles, and most certainly one that DOESN'T fold your hand into awkward shapes. You'd be surprised just how easily you can irritate your tendons with odd positions for playing.
DanteGuitar is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2010, 05:25 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hilversum, The Netherlands
Posts: 3,274
Re: Tendonitis...or not?

+1 on stretching and warmup
Ibateur is offline  

picking , tendonitis

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