Sore forearm from playing guitar. What's the cure?

DugT

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I hope someone here knows how to solve this problem. After playing guitar, my forearm is stiff and sore. It hurts to straighten my arm fully and to twist my left hand to the left. It doesn't hurt bad but a month of physical therapy hasn't helped much.

Here is a list of possible culprits:
*Since February my favorite guitar has a very thin neck.
*I've never had this problem before last July when I abused the arm by spending too much time with a weed wacker.
*I'm 71 years old and have played guitar on and off for 55 years but mostlyacoustics with bigger necks and bigger strings.
*I was using 10 gauge strings and switching to 9's has helped.

Thanks for any suggestions!
 

fretWalkr

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I'm just a few years younger than you and I can relate. I have repetitive stress probs from time to time. S

It sounds like to stressed your arm with the weed wacker. I would take an Ibruprofin to get the inflamation down. I also try to remember to stop and stretch my arms a bit. Nothing fancy just range of motion a bit. When I'm playing the arms are in one position for a long period so the stretches just limber things up and gets the blood circulating.

Hey, I love Truckee. Great town. I used to gig in Reno and Tahoe so I was thru there a lot going to N. Shore.
 

bottlenecker

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I hope someone here knows how to solve this problem. After playing guitar, my forearm is stiff and sore. It hurts to straighten my arm fully and to twist my left hand to the left. It doesn't hurt bad but a month of physical therapy hasn't helped much.

Here is a list of possible culprits:
*Since February my favorite guitar has a very thin neck.
*I've never had this problem before last July when I abused the arm by spending too much time with a weed wacker.
*I'm 71 years old and have played guitar on and off for 55 years but mostlyacoustics with bigger necks and bigger strings.
*I was using 10 gauge strings and switching to 9's has helped.

Thanks for any suggestions!

What kind of pt? Are they doing Astym? That's been helping with my picking hand.
 

MilwMark

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Sounds like a bit of tennis elbow brewing up.

I had tennis elbow. Bad. Wore one of those tennis elbow braces for about 6 weeks and it cleared right up. Pulls the tendon into the right position which relieves the pressure/pain I was skeptical. But it stopped the pain went right away and over time the pain went away altogether. I think there's one other kind of "elbow" (golf maybe?) and you have to know which because that brace pulls the tendon the other way. Or something like that.
 

Happy Enchilada

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DavidP

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Sounds like tennis elbow to me -- get to a physio ASAP for treatment and an exercise regime. I've use high-strength Voltaren emugel -applied to the sore spot - better than pills, IMHO.
Be forewarned -- this will not disappear overnight. However, it can be resolved -- at this point you don't want to aggravate it further!
 

VintageSG

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Try raising the guitar until there is no wrist bend when forming a barre chord.
Can't teach an old dogs new tricks?, used to a baseball bat neck?, maybe find one?
If it's carpal or tennis elbow, take a break for a month, do physio.
 

Dano-caster

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Is it your fretting hand or picking hand?I wasn't clear on that.I have had bouts of tendonitis on my picking elbow on and off for years.Just comes and goes.Like you said other activities may worsen the condition... Ice and rest.
 

schmee

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Tennis or Luggage elbow does that with my picking arm. Tendonitis. I'm 73.
But not my fretting arm usually.
You may be onto something with the neck shape though.... a sharp V neck does that to me. There's no shoulder on those neck profiles and it makes me grip funny I think.

One of those bands around your forearm actually works.
 

DugT

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Thanks for all the good info!

My physical therapy has included mostly finger, hand and wrist strengthening and also stretching like in the photo below. My therapist said I have "Tennis elbow" but she didn't elaborate. I will google tennis elbow.

About fifty years ago I had tennis elbow from playing tennis. Back then, when I was young, it went away on its own fast enough. Since then I have done a lot of windsurfing, kitesurfing, and then mt biking almost daily with no arm issues so I am surprised that playing guitar has caused my tennis elbow.

maxresdefault.jpg


I've been playing with the guitar head higher, and the body lower, and that helps.

I should have seen a therapist earlier but it was months before I realized that playing guitar has kept the weed wacker induced tennis elbow from healing.

Thanks again for all of the tips.
 

JL_LI

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Left arm pain that neither NSAIDs nor physical therapy help may be indicative of a heart condition. See a cardiologist if your insurance permits it or see your primary care physician for a referral. I’m not giving medical advice beyond see your doctor and make a point of telling him that the pain isn’t lessened by treatments that should provide relief.
 

DugT

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Tennis or luggage elbow does that with my picking arm. But not my fretting arm.
You may be onto something with the neck shape.... a sharp V neck does that to me. There's no shoulder on those neck profiles and it makes me grip funny I think.

It is my fretting arm.

I mentioned the skinny neck because many guitarists have said that skinny necks make them tire much faster. I can't imagine why and my arm doesn't feel tired after I play but apparently it is getting stressed.

My therapist has recommended a heating pad instead of ice. The heating pad puts me to sleep within minutes. Hopefully it is helping my arm.
 

41144

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Well there's a lesson learned... Don't spend too much time weed whacking :lol: (Mind boggles if that's a technical term over there ;))

Seriously, RSI/tendonitis, whilst keeping it mobile - you've just got to rest it,
 

DugT

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Left arm pain that neither NSAIDs nor physical therapy help may be indicative of a heart condition. See a cardiologist if your insurance permits it or see your primary care physician for a referral. I’m not giving medical advice beyond see your doctor and make a point of telling him that the pain isn’t lessened by treatments that should provide relief.

Thanks, JL_LI. I have had heart related left arm pain and a stent solved that problem. This is definately tennis elbow and not heart related. I think physical therapy is helping but it is taking longer than I expected.
 




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