Author Topic: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain  (Read 1091 times)

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Offline NedStarksGhost

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Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« on: August 08, 2021, 11:06:04 pm »
Hey everyone, I'm new to this forum, but I've been doing Justin's course for about 4 weeks now.

I've started getting a bit of pain in my forearm on my fretting hand side. I've decided to take the next week off practising as a precaution. A couple of weeks ago I had to take a few days break due to some minor wrist pain too.

Is this normal at all?

I have at times probably over practised. I'm hoping it's just down to using new muscles and getting more flexibility, and the body just needs time to adjust.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Offline Jamolay

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2021, 11:15:13 pm »
Where in your forearm? Can be nerves (not so good, needs more rest) or muscle (not as bad, stretch and less rest).

It’s a new sport for your hand muscles (which live mostly in your forearm) so it requires an appropriate measured approach and a good stretching regimen.

Good to take some time of from hard fretting, but there is a lot you can still work on.  Just off the top of my head:

Strumming
Timing
Rhythm
Finger picking
Individual string picking
Air changes (no pressure on frets, but work on finger position and changes)
Notes on the fretboard
So much! Keep a practice schedule, keep the enthusiasm!

I have had a few bouts of these kinds of issues over the past 7 months. I bet most of us do.


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Offline NedStarksGhost

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2021, 11:22:02 pm »
Hi Jamolay,

Thanks for the reply.

In the forearm it's at the top, which I think might make it muscular?

Thanks for the tips on how to continue practising. I really should just spend the time working on my strumming, as I have just started that lesson. I didn't even consider it to be honest! I think I will do that if it doesn't hurt my arm.

Offline Jamolay

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2021, 12:52:22 am »
Hmmmm…top…

I will assume that means the ventral forearm (same side as the palm) and not in the wrist.

That is where the finger flexing muscles (well most of them) are, so probably muscle. But if it is sharp and severe or anything gets numb or weak, get it looked at. It is rare, but you can entrap the interosseous branch of the median nerve. It hurts and makes the pincer (index/thumb) movement weak.

Carpal tunnel is at the wrist and also can make grip weak and hurt in the back of the hand on the thumb side, make the hand numb and radiate pain up the arm.

Ulnar tunnel syndrome is entrapment of the “funny bone” which is really a nerve. Mostly numb along the ring and pinky finger, up that side of the arm a bit and rarely causes weakness.  Oh, it also hurts.

Stretch a lot, fingers, wrist and thumb.

You can always just mute the stings and strum away to a metronome. Super useful practice. Especially for the rhythmically limited, like me!


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Offline NedStarksGhost

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2021, 08:25:27 am »
Ah when I say top I mean back of the hand side... Realising now how that wasn't very useful.

It's about two thirds of the way up from the hand. It's the part where it bulges up if you make a fist, if that helps?

Online tobyjenner

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2021, 12:23:34 pm »
Ned

As Jamolay says lots of new movements, especially micro movements. Have you been gripping really hard over those first few weeks ? It sounds a bit like forearm pump but I'd expect that more on the palm side.
When you feel ready to fret again, try and uses as little pressure as possible. I see you have an electric which should make things easier. But fret a chord as you have been doing and be aware of how hard you are gripping, for just a second, then gradually relax until the chord sounds muffled. The gently increase the pressure until the chord sounds clean. From there relax to muffled the add the pressure back on. Do that a few times to find the sweet spot. Think we all start out using a Vulcan Death grip and by experience find very little pressure is need to make these puppies sing.

Cheers

Toby
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Offline NedStarksGhost

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2021, 12:58:47 pm »
Hey Toby

Appreciate the post and advice. I probably am pressing quite hard at times. I will do as you say and add some practise on each chord to learn the pressure needed.

Maybe I can put it down to enthusiasm to get the best sounding chord possible  :D

I can feel the area that's not sitting right and it feels very tense at the moment so I'm just icing it, I've bought a compression sleeve in case I have managed to give myself tendonitis.

I probably need to experiment a bit more as well with the position of the guitar, I think I need to start angling the neck out a bit more and angling it up to put my wrist in a better position.

Who knew this guitar stuff was so complicated  :)

Offline Jamolay

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2021, 01:23:45 pm »
Ah when I say top I mean back of the hand side... Realising now how that wasn't very useful.

It's about two thirds of the way up from the hand. It's the part where it bulges up if you make a fist, if that helps?
If it is the dorsal (back) of the forearm you are possibly getting “tennis elbow”, which is a tendinitis where the extensors of the wrist and fingers attach at the elbow, a few inches down.

You should not be getting this playing guitar, so it probably means you are too flexed and straining at the wrist. Also a risk to develop carpal tunnel in this position. Your wrist should be nearly straight, most of the time, to just lightly flexed.

Can you take a short video of your fretting hand while playing?


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Offline NedStarksGhost

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2021, 01:43:44 pm »
If it is the dorsal (back) of the forearm you are possibly getting “tennis elbow”, which is a tendinitis where the extensors of the wrist and fingers attach at the elbow, a few inches down.

You should not be getting this playing guitar, so it probably means you are too flexed and straining at the wrist. Also a risk to develop carpal tunnel in this position. Your wrist should be nearly straight, most of the time, to just lightly flexed.

Can you take a short video of your fretting hand while playing?


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Once my arm feels better I'll get you that video. Thinking on it now, I feel I may be rotating my arm too much to get the wrist in the right position for fretting. I also noticed before I had a bad tendancy to place my thumb too high.

I suspect, as you say, it's tendonitits or getting to that stage so for now I'm just resting, putting an ice pack on every so often and I've bought a compression sleeve.

Sounds like this is down to guitar posture and form? I'm wonder if I play with the guitar neck too close to the body and I'm rotating my arm/wrist to compensate.

Offline Jamolay

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2021, 02:41:24 pm »

Sounds like this is down to guitar posture and form? I'm wonder if I play with the guitar neck too close to the body and I'm rotating my arm/wrist to compensate.

I did the same. Eventually I realized that the head of the guitar neck can almost be over your left knee (if you are a righty). Maybe not quite that far, but that type of angle. Up a little helps, too.

Over supination can strain muscles in that area, maybe that is it. I do stretch the rotators of my forearm by twisting at the wrist, just don’t hurt your wrist.


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Offline NedStarksGhost

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2021, 02:52:30 pm »
I did the same. Eventually I realized that the head of the guitar neck can almost be over your left knee (if you are a righty). Maybe not quite that far, but that type of angle. Up a little helps, too.

Over supination can strain muscles in that area, maybe that is it. I do stretch the rotators of my forearm by twisting at the wrist, just don’t hurt your wrist.


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I began to notice that a lot of guitarists on YouTube sit an an angle in videos and have the guitar straight. I think it may be I've been playing the guitar almost parallel to the body. I'll work on stretching and stuff and hopefully I haven't caused any major damage for now!

Thanks (again) for the help and advice.

Online tobyjenner

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2021, 03:04:12 pm »
I did the same. Eventually I realized that the head of the guitar neck can almost be over your left knee (if you are a righty). Maybe not quite that far, but that type of angle. Up a little helps, too.

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Was just about to jump in and asked about neck angle, good pick up. Videos frequently do not show that hip to knee position. I posted this in a similar thread a while back. Well one of Nili's vids.





Another point missed on tutorials which are showing relative position, is raising the headstock. If tutorials were recorded in those positions we'd all be off the the chiropractor! But watch all the pros Slash a prime example. It aint show it makes life a whole lot easier. 

Get you head up and out. Takes a lot of pressure of the fretting hand.

Cheers

Toby
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Offline Jamolay

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2021, 03:08:27 pm »
I had to google pictures of guitar players taken from above…


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Offline NedStarksGhost

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2021, 03:24:30 pm »
I've just looked at that video you shared Toby and it really does show how the guitar is angled. It's one common thing I've not seen in posture videos is allowing the guitar neck to angle out towards the knee, so I think this may be the solution!

I also checked out a video of Slash playing Sweet Child O Mine sat down on acoustic and you can see again, guitar neck is angled out.

Thanks both for your help, think this may have found the problem and the solution (once the arm is better) :)

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Online tobyjenner

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2021, 03:49:09 pm »
Here to help Ned, get better soon.  8)
Here since Mar 2013 Completed BC, RUST 1 & 2, IM, MTMS Still on Blues Rhythm and Blues Lead
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Offline stackpop

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2021, 02:29:35 am »
I was having similar pain, at one point I even had to take two weeks off. Found this guy on YT (see link below) and have been doing some of these stretches and massages daily, to great effect.

Now I know to play with the neck pushed away just slightly too. Great info in this thread. Good luck and I hope you feel well enough to get back at it soon :)

https://www.diyjointpainrelief.com/guitar-tendonitis-treatment.html

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Offline NedStarksGhost

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Re: Fretting Hand Wrist/Forearm Pain
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2021, 12:07:01 pm »
I was having similar pain, at one point I even had to take two weeks off. Found this guy on YT (see link below) and have been doing some of these stretches and massages daily, to great effect.

Now I know to play with the neck pushed away just slightly too. Great info in this thread. Good luck and I hope you feel well enough to get back at it soon :)

https://www.diyjointpainrelief.com/guitar-tendonitis-treatment.html

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Thank you Stackpop I'll check that out. Good to know it can improve, it would be devastating to stop now as I have been loving this so much!

 

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