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Thread: Guitar Elbow

  1. #1
    On Fire ejmaes67's Avatar
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    Default Guitar Elbow

    Anyone here ever have any problems with tennis elbow, or as I like to call it, "Guitar Elbow?" Mine has been killing me for the last 2 months, but I love playing so much, I can't give it a rest for any significant length of time to let it heal. Any suggestions? I've tried icing it and have been taking glucosamine and chondroitin, but it's been a slow-go.
    “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin

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    Good Enough pickslide's Avatar
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    I've been playing in a garage band all year, playing more than usual, and I have the same problem. Numb fingers, burny tendons in the wrist and a funny sensation in the funny bone. I told my doctor and he located what he called a piece of "gristle" somewhere under my forearm and asked if I was doing repetitive motions. I told him I was playing guitar like crazy and he said that's probably it.

    I use a generic version of Ben Gay (tee hee) on my arm and elbow, and it really helps. Something with methyl salicylate is probably best. Lots of over the counter rubs have it. You'll smell like an old man, but it helps. Icy Hot might work too.

    TK

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    When I was younger and was basically shredding for 3-4 hours a day, I developed a pretty serious case in my left wrist of what my doctor called "Fisherman's Tendon" -- kind of like tennis elbow but fisherman get it from snapping their wrists when casting. It was just below my hand just inside the pinky side of my wrist -- I can still feel that pain if I think about it.

    I got a shot of cortisone and it completely went away after 2-3 weeks. And it is something that acts up on me if I go through a window of playing more than hour or two per day nowadays.

    KBD3

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    My pain is mostly in my elbow and triceps and it gets very stiff, my wrist is fine . I don't know what to do about it . It feels pretty good right now though.
    “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin

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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    On Fire ejmaes67's Avatar
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    Got that right!
    “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin

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    Romeo Delight Ax2grind5150's Avatar
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    Hi besides playing guitar I'm a tennis pro by trade. Is your pain on the inside or outside of your elbow? Of course the best remedy is rest but you gotta play right? Try strengthening the tendon by squeezing a tennis ball. Good luck brother!
    Come on Dave give me a break!

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    I had the same problem with my right elbow starting 5 years ago due to my job (repetitive heavy lifting and repetitive equipment use). It got to the point where I was in horrible pain whenever i had to use it, even lifting a can of soda to drink or brushing teeth was painful.

    I found this in my local drugstore. Tried it, and to my amazement, it not only worked right away, after one day of wearing it at work, the problem was seemingly gone. I didn't use it again for months. I just pulled it out again today to take to work tomorrow actually, its been acting up again. I think in my case it worked so well because I'm constantly in motion at work, so it was almost like getting a massage on that spot all day. Maybe wear it when playing.

    http://www.acebrand.com/wps/portal/3...4605647&rt=rud

    http://www.imakproducts.com/product.php?s=10301

    The Ace brand is the one I first used, it's cheaper than the other, but did the trick. Paid about $10 for it. Cheap enough that i was willing to take a shot. Lost it and now own the 2nd one. which works fine too, just cost more. $15 or so. Good luck if you try it.

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    On Fire ejmaes67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ax2grind5150 View Post
    Hi besides playing guitar I'm a tennis pro by trade. Is your pain on the inside or outside of your elbow? Of course the best remedy is rest but you gotta play right? Try strengthening the tendon by squeezing a tennis ball. Good luck brother!
    The pain is on the outside of the elbow and runs up and down the triceps and the forearm. I'll give the tennis ball a try.
    “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin

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    On Fire ejmaes67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike529 View Post
    I had the same problem with my right elbow starting 5 years ago due to my job (repetitive heavy lifting and repetitive equipment use). It got to the point where I was in horrible pain whenever i had to use it, even lifting a can of soda to drink or brushing teeth was painful.

    I found this in my local drugstore. Tried it, and to my amazement, it not only worked right away, after one day of wearing it at work, the problem was seemingly gone. I didn't use it again for months. I just pulled it out again today to take to work tomorrow actually, its been acting up again. I think in my case it worked so well because I'm constantly in motion at work, so it was almost like getting a massage on that spot all day. Maybe wear it when playing.

    http://www.acebrand.com/wps/portal/3...4605647&rt=rud

    http://www.imakproducts.com/product.php?s=10301

    The Ace brand is the one I first used, it's cheaper than the other, but did the trick. Paid about $10 for it. Cheap enough that i was willing to take a shot. Lost it and now own the 2nd one. which works fine too, just cost more. $15 or so. Good luck if you try it.
    Glad this worked for you and it did work for me a few years ago when I had the same problem. Unfortunately, I tried it again with no results. I think I may have torn something this time, so I think I'm gonna see the doctor. Hope I don't need surgery. It's been over 2 months now and it's getting frustrating.
    “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Old fuckers.
    You damn kids and your Devil-may-care attitudes! Go ahead! Laugh now...but just remember...It's coming for you!

    Seriously though, yes, I had this too a couple years ago in my picking arm. I took my doctors advice and changed my strap length, and wore my guitar a bit higher, and as it eased, I switched it up and went back and forth between lengths every so often. I don't really notice it very much now, though from time to time, I'll still get a twinge of pain...but not like it was.
    My problem now is the cysts I've been developing on my tendons. Again, they think it's from repetative strain. I freaked because when I got checked out they referred to them as tumours. Benign, but nonetheless, not what you want to here. I'm told I could possibly have avoided it if I'd used lighter gauges....Said that I didn't have the developed muscle at the time when I was playing those very heavy strings, and should have been playing 10's at the maximum, and I had basically created a lot of damage and scar tissue along the tendons and ligaments pathways and attachment points on the bone (kind of like little jagged spurs), but now that I'm older, and your joints naturally are not as resilliant, I'm getting abnormal growths of solid tissue on them which are a form of protection that my body is producing. It really sucks.

    So far, I have a large one on my first finger picking hand middle knuckle which I now only have about 40% movement now of, and I have one about the size of a chick pea on the inside of my middle finger's first joint. This ones a problem because it not only affects my guitar playing, but daily activity too as it is very painful if I aggrevate it.
    I was driving back from Home Depot last weekend, and simply allowing my steering wheel to come back to center from a left turn, when I gripped it, it pulled it sideways and swelled up bad. Yesterday was the first day it's felt better, but I know it's there.

    I've developed about 6 or 7 other over the past year that currently don't cause too much grief, but I know they are getting bigger all the time.

    Not to hijack the thread with my own shit, but I think the message is the same, in that you must listen to your body when it's telling you something is wrong. I ignored it for years, and now it's biting me in the ass. I drank my aches and pains away, but every morning, I'm reminded how stupid I was that I didn't change my approach to playing when I started getting signals. Just washing up in the morning, and getting that severe ache from the water temperature change......Not fun. I personally keep Voltaren and Advil in business now!

    Anyway.....I think giving it some rest should help a lot, but the changing your strap length from time to time is a biggie too. It alleviates the strain in one position allowing it to heal quicker instead of being inflamed all the time.

    Hope you feel better soon.
    Last edited by we die young; 10.29.15 at 11:18 AM.

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    On Fire ejmaes67's Avatar
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    Well I went to the doctor fully expecting some kind of damage. He laughed at me and said I'd be in a lot more pain if something was torn. Aleve and rest is the best course of action right now, if it doesn't take care of it, I might need steroid shots. Thanks for the response from those who have. And I'm not that old, 47 is the new 30, didn't you guys know that? Ha!
    “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy.” - Benjamin Franklin

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    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    I thought all of this was from jerking off---who knew it was the guitar all along !!!
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