Wrist pain and tendonitis

Hi there, I am struggeling with wrist pain and tendonitis singe September Last year. I was already at any medical without progress. Everybody tells me anything from stopping for 3 month to continouing with a wrist bracelet. And I tried everything with moderate sucess.
I observe no probleme during playing instead 2 or days later pain in the wrist and arm. I warm up for 10 mins do Stretching etc… I have the Feeling that if I do technical excersises with repeating licks the pain gets worse. I I play freely it seems to be ok. But so I am limited to get better Techniquwise. I play guitar for almist 25 years and never had this Problem and die not Chance anything. Are there any Problem here with similar probleme or had this Problem and share their experiences? I realy want to get back to nomal to train.
Thanks in advance


If you look through some of my old posts, you will be able to see that I had some issues with my fingers, which at the end happened to be tendonitis.

It took me more than half year to heal to the point I will not feel pain at all.

Here is what I can recommend to you:

-Continue warming up before playing/practicing.
-Take 5 min breaks after 20 mins playing.
-Submerge your hand in a bowl with hot water (comfortable hot) while you take your break and at the end of your session.
-Be conscious on how much time you play/practice and how much effort you are putting on it. The doctor explained to me that there is a thin line between rehabilitating and causing more damage.
-Do stretching exercises at least twice a day, it is important for your rehabilitation.
-Eat nice, lots of veggies! Also include turmeric in your diet. Can be as a food complement, in a drink or Turmeric pills. It helps with the inflamation.
-Wear a wrist compression sleeve while you sleep.

You need patience. Sometimes it seems things are not improving, but they are!


Hi Aram,
Thanks for your suggestions.

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I have had pain in wrist and below the shoulderblade. For me , the most important think is to play relaxed and do some exercises that helps the blood flow in the zone. Doing a warm up playing at slow motion has helped me a lot , and avoid playing repertoire that has not been learned relaxed from start. Sometimes we need to learn things fast because we have a gig we cant say no to buy this learning set our health at risk.
Take care,


With tendonitis my doctor did not recommend to do exercises when using compression sleeves. He said you increase the resistance and, for instance, damage your tendons even more.

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Thanks for the advices. I will try to do a combination of still playing but not at high speed, avoiding many repetions and shorter overall time of 30 mins. Additionaly I am going to wear a wrist lovers during the day an doing Stretching exercises. I was also adviced to take Magnesium and Kalzium an some Enzyme.
Lets See where this road will lead.

I believe 100% in this solution. The sad thing is that it would help 100% of everyone reading it if they believed, but probably only 10% of people have the right outlook to help themselves.

Look up Dr. Sarno on Amazon. He’s got 5 or 6 books, all under $20 each. Don’t let the titles fool you, the info you need is in the books…even if you think they are unrelated, read them ALL.

The info in these books is the only real cure. What have you got to lose? A few dollars and a few hours and you can fix yourself.

Like I said, most won’t believe. That’s been my experience anyway. Sad, as I believe this is the only thing that will save you from a lifetime of aches and pains. So this is all I will say on the subject.

Hope it helps and good luck.

PS. Sorry to those that may be offended by my statements of fact with what will be looked at as opinion. I just feel very strongly about the information.


Hi, using Stretching, massaging, etc. And only playing for 15 top 20 Minutes it is getting netter slowly. I train some legato hammer on pull of technique but I have the Feeling that this Stresses the tendonitis mich more than alternate picking. What is your expirience or suggestions? Should I maybe neglect legato up to now and train just alternate picking and maybe sweeping at moderate speed? Thanks

Hey - I’m so sorry that you’re having issues with your wrist and tendonitis. I had and ignored this for YEARS until it grew so bad I got surgery. I only had surgery on my right wrist, but had issues with both hands. I managed to heal my left one on my own.

I am absolutely NOT a doctor and you should consult with a hand specialist. These are few things that helped, and continue to help, me:

Try to eliminate any movement that has your wrist bending forward (towards your inner forearm). That’s the position that tightens up the muscles around your carpal nerves.

Try wearing a wrist brace while you sleep. This will help keep the wrist from bending as described above. Many of us aggravate our wrists by putting them under our heads/pillows etc while we sleep, so this will help keep it neutral. Also, make sure the brace is one of the ones with metal ( :metal:t4:) support strips, not the cloth ones.

Take a look at what else you’re doing that might be aggravating your wrists. Keyboard/mouse hand positions are a big one. For me, it was keyboard/mouse and lifting weights. I felt better once I adjusted my approach to those things.

Do your shoulders/neck hurt as well? If so, it may be related as the nerves run all through there. Adjusting shoulder position/posture can help.

Strengthening the muscles in your forearms, shoulders, back will help too. Just make sure you’re not aggravating the pain by doing so. If you feel a sharp pain or tightness, then adjust your approach.

Adjust your position while playing guitar. Maybe your strap needs to be higher or, while sitting, the guitar needs to be in between your legs instead of across your thigh. Also check where your forearm is resting on the guitar, you might be repeatedly pressing into a nerve or limiting the support your forearm can give your picking.

For fretting, I changed the type of necks I play. Thicker and wider ‘C-shaped’ necks hurt my fretting hand less. Might want to experiment with different guitars and see if that works.

I hope you feel better soon!

Well, it seems he is a real doctor and this is his area of expertise.

I see nothing wrong with the titles, TBH.

Thanks for the heads up!

Hi everyone - sad to hear so many of us have this problem. I have just finished steroid injections from my doctor but the most helpful so far has been stretching/ compression sleeves all day / and pop up braces at night. Changing my posture and playing angle has also helped. I used to play a bit of a low-rider at belt level but recently playing again at mid chest, with the guitar neck almost straight up.
I highly recommend speaking to a sports medicine doctor. Everything I did for technique was pinching nerves, and making the problem worse.
Hope this helps someone head in a lesser pain direction.

I’ve been wondering about this for years. I tried changing my habits but it just ended up in lack of sleep.
I luckily don’t have wrist pain but I often feel like pins and needles in my left hand in the morning (especially if I’ve made serious practicing the night before that).
So I’m wondering if this wrist bracelet could be used preventively. Did some of you try this?

I observed that mostly I played with my thumb over the fretboard like you do when aplying bends. While now moving to faster legato licks or faster and more stretched scales where I need to place the thumb behind and in the middle of the fretboard I recognize significantly more wrist pain. Anybody the same experience? Any suggestions how I can faster adapter to playing with the thumb behind the fretboard? Or should I just Stick with my bluesy thumb playing which makes no pain to my wrist but prevents playing some techniques?

Yeah whenever I adjusted my hand posture, I felt some “discomfort”. To a certain extent this is normal I think since you are using your muscles and tendons in a way that they are not used to. It’ll go away with time, just make sure you don’t overdo it, warm up and stretch properly and stop when it fatigue and discomfort turns into pain.


Yeah, being aware of the moment we’re overdoing it is the key really… :roll_eyes:

New result…today I tryed a different guitar with a slightly thicker neck (ibanez Wizard 2) and had the impression that I have less pain afterwards. Especially the thumb is much better. My New guitar I played always has a thinner neck (super Wizard hp). My Problems with the wrist occured some month after using it. Anybody the same experience with small neck?
I will play with the other guitar for the next week and examine if this is the cause for my problems.

I work as personal trainer and phisiotherapys and i can tell you that the pain you feel can be related to the tickness of the neck but also to that factor related on how you hold the guitar, thry to hold it al little bit highe or lover and see what happen.

Most of the time we put our focus on the painfull area but sometime the source of it is far above. many problem of wrist, hands and even elbow can be relatad to issue in the shoulder, neck of chest.

playing guitar can be a nightmare for posture specially if you are not in good fitness shape. i would suggest everybody to have a look at the video kiko posted in the course about stretching since it can be really helpfull to prevent such problems and also help the healing process when they occurs.

As general rule of thumb every player should everyday:
-stretch chest, forearm, biceps, lats and hip flexors
-workout shoulderblade adduction muscles and posterior chain muscles.
-be respectuful of pain, if something give you pain stop doing it.
this is the minimum to try to prevent problems.

I don’t know what are the community rules about that but if @Giorgio confirm me it’s ok i can put some basic stretching and workout video to try to help.


Oh yes, this is more than okay! It’s so great when members can help each other!
Please post these!
Thank you @captkeep


i will make some tutorial then!!! thanks giorgio!


Can’t wait! After finishing the collab video, I got back to normal practice routine on Monday. I have a logbook for practice, to scribble down observations and progess regarding every exercise of every day. As per that logbook, I was out of regular practice for exactly 2 months because I overpracticed/pushed too hard and strained my picking hand. And it’s still not 100%. Of course I did the legato training in the meantime and the above mentioned collab, but I was so frustrated by the fact that I can’t do alternate picking that I didn’t even take notes of those practices… I guess it was/is tennis and golf elbow and a mild tendonitis as I experienced pain not only in the lateral and medial epicondyles but along the length of my lower arm too. Having to sign a shitload of papers in work every day didn’t help the healing process, but tried to give it as much rest as I could, icepacks, NSAID (strictly after playing in order to avoid masking the pain an causing further damage) and even went to a body builder food supplement store and got a box of pills designed to help the regeneration of connective tissues and joints. Might be snake oil, but at least it didn’t make it worse and I felt like I did something. :slight_smile:But the one thing I was lazy to look after/not willing to pay for was proper physiotherapy, which I am sure would’ve skyrocketed my recovery… So the day has come to return the favor to the Family, Paisano! :rofl:

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