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SoundGround >> Elbow Issues


1/3/11 12:12 AM
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Hillbilly
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The last couple of years I`ve had a horrible "Tennis Elbow" (bursitis) issue on my fretting arm that is really putting a damper on my playing. I`ve had cortisone shots (2) use a brace and ice when it really hurts. I try to be very careful about not having a death grip and I warm up before playing hard.

It started when I bought my D 18 and started working hard on flatpicking fiddle tunes. I basically over-did it by playing lots of gigs and practicing too much (yes there is such a thing).. I use light gauge (12-52) strings btw.

Anyone else had this? What did you do? I took a break from playing gigs this summer and it isn`t quite as bad as it was but when I play it hurts every time..
1/3/11 2:47 PM
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whaledog
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 Nope, never played enough to have that problem.  Hopefully, someone can give you good advice.
1/13/11 9:58 AM
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sreiter
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i got carpal tunnel from playing too much.....switch to lap steel see if that helps
1/16/11 8:55 PM
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Hillbilly
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I took the whole summer off and though it helped it wasn`t exactly what I wanted to do seeing in how I am a serious wood-shedding mode right now.. The thing that works is when I do those 6-10 hour playing sessions I have to make myself take breaks and not just play continuously.

2 summers ago I just flat out played to much. Besides long gigs I would put on backing tracks at night and just play for hours with occasional coffee/bong hit breaks..
1/17/11 8:30 PM
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BarkLikeADog
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I tore a levator recording a synth guitar too long. Your options are

A. quit playing that way altogether
B. heal the injury, then build up the muscle groups supporting the injured area, & hope for the best.
C. Figure out a different less dangerous method to get close to what you want, e.g. Leo Kottke learning classical after his injury, but expect something somewhat different than what you had before.
1/20/11 3:34 PM
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Hillbilly
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BarkLikeADog - I tore a levator recording a synth guitar too long. Your options are

A. quit playing that way altogether
B. heal the injury, then build up the muscle groups supporting the injured area, & hope for the best.
C. Figure out a different less dangerous method to get close to what you want, e.g. Leo Kottke learning classical after his injury, but expect something somewhat different than what you had before.


Kind of the same conclusions I`ve drawn. At least I can hold a cup of coffee now without extreme pai. I`ve been doing concentration curls with fairly light weight to try and build the muscles, but it`s slow going.

I`ve been dealing with this for several years now. It was in my right arm mainly from swinging a 4lb stone hammer all those years, but then it switched to my left arm...weird I know. For a while BOTH elbows were wrecked.. Talk about feeling useless..

I play my tele much more now and try to be careful about how much grip I use. It really doesn`t take that much pressure to fret a clear note..
1/23/11 9:10 PM
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wiley
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Tune down half a step? Maybe the lesser tension will help out, and why not switch to 10's?

Also try playing a parlor, maybe the smaller size will help out as well. I've heard some folks can get sore shoulders etc..., from having their arms slung over the larger body sized guitars.....
2/5/11 12:11 PM
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Hillbilly
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wiley - Tune down half a step? Maybe the lesser tension will help out, and why not switch to 10's?

Also try playing a parlor, maybe the smaller size will help out as well. I've heard some folks can get sore shoulders etc..., from having their arms slung over the larger body sized guitars.....


I have a parlor guitar which I love for fingerpicking blues. It`s my left (fretting) arm. I play for a bit and it hurts like hell and makes my whole arm stiff. Dr said it was bursitis. 2 cortisone shots haven`t helped all that much nor has stepping up the dumbell curls.
2/11/11 11:25 PM
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Hillbilly
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ttt for *jman, *moke, and the other SG shredders to tell me wtf I`m doing wrong to deserve this terrible bursitis in my fretting elbow..lol.. I try to use as economical moves as possible (fret hand flailing) but is there a certain way I should hold my wrist?

Granted I`m playing a D18 with 12-52 pb strings , but I also play a django/selmer copy (silk & Steel) and a tele (12-46).. ALL of them make my friggin elbow hurt and I have a busy schedule coming up..I really hate the idea of using lighter strings as the tone suffers imo..

Should I start jackin` with my left hand to build the hand/forearm muscles? lol (j/k)
2/12/11 5:20 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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Not for nothin but if your health & long term well-being is taking a back seat to tone, there's a serious disconnect with reality here.

I'd again point to Leo Kottke & ask you if you think he made any compromises?
2/13/11 8:26 PM
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Hillbilly
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BarkLikeADog - Not for nothin but if your health & long term well-being is taking a back seat to tone, there's a serious disconnect with reality here.

I'd again point to Leo Kottke & ask you if you think he made any compromises?


Me have issues?? naaaa.;)

I was a stonemason for 25 years. That is the main reason I`m so beat-up.. I`m not the first human being to hurt himself trying to make money.


2/15/11 2:53 PM
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jman
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Bummer man, I can only speak to the two injuries that I've had, I've never had an elbow injury.

One my left fretting hand the ring and pinky finger started going numb. Fucking weird, couldn't even feel the frets that well. It lasted for maybe 6 weeks, then went away. I went to a doctor, got an MRI and everything. I honestly think it was from putting too high tension strings on my acoustic guitar 13-56 I think.

The last injury has just healed about 95% after being hurt for the past 6 months. I think I got it from trying to pick shaking my wrist up and down quickly (instead of rotating it - like opening a doorknob) then I was moving and lifted a lot of heavy shit. Basically my picking hand thumb went numb as well as the top of my thumb and inside palm. I inflamed and damaged the tendon in my wrist, which was pushing against my nerve (de quervain syndrome).

I tried EVERYTHING to heal it. Rest, Ice, Heat, Anti-imflamitories (lotion and Advil pills). After 4 monts, still no help. So I was afraid to look up on it on the internet, but I finally did and found some YouTube videos on how to help.

Basically the only thing that helped was actually the opposite of resting...to actually stretch out the tendon, in a few days it was so much better. Crazy shit.

I don't think it really relates to your problem, but maybe look on Youtube for solutions to people with similar problems (many guitar players on there have medical problems and post about their recoveries).

This is the guy that helped me out with his video and advice. It looks like he is an BJJ fan, so maybe you can contact him and see if he has any advice:

http://www.youtube.com/user/URehab#p/u

Doctors know how to cut open and do surgeries (I was thinking about it, or at least injections) but really the Physical/Occupational Therapy guys are the ones who really know what works best because every day they work with people for months and months to find out what can really help heal your body.

Good luck man, it sucks so bad to have injuries that won't let you play. I thought I would completely lose feeling in my hands from my injuries, but luckily I'm almost 100% in both hands afer a few months.
2/22/11 1:32 AM
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Hillbilly
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Great post and thanks jman! I haven`t played a gig in months, but I was getting very, very burned out.. The lay-off seems to be helping, but I`m in a position to do lots of woodshedding right now and need to practice.. It is getting better, but not as fast as I`d like. ;)

You are without a doubt correct about it sucking not being able to play..

Glad you healed. I had a similar issue 15-20 years ago. I had to play a gig on the Homefront Radio Show.which was a live show on NPR with a 40,000 listening audience and 600 in the crowd. At least it was only one set, but I had to play with my left hand numb.. The show was taped and though I didn`t play as horrible as I thought, it definitely was not up to par.. One of those gigs I get to kick myself in the ass for the rest of my life..lol
2/22/11 1:34 AM
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Hillbilly
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I see my Dr in a couple of weeks I`m going to ask for a physical therapy referral.
2/22/11 1:38 AM
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Hillbilly
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BarkLikeADog - Not for nothin but if your health & long term well-being is taking a back seat to tone, there's a serious disconnect with reality here.

I'd again point to Leo Kottke & ask you if you think he made any compromises?


Kotke had issues with his picking hand, basically threw away his thumb-pick and changed his picking style. I think he had to lay off for a year or so though..
2/22/11 8:23 PM
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5th Dan Aikido Man
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ttt

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