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Fret hand wrist pain (de quervain's tenosynovitis)

Kent Schilling

New Student
Nov 11, 2019
Has anyone else experienced wrist pain from playing? This most likely won’t apply to the majority of the community here because most of you are young and bullet proof, but for someone who receives regular mailings from AARP wanting to recruit another member I think I developed de quervain’s tenosynovitis and it sucks. Wearing a brace to isolate thumb and wrist but not healing very fast. Just wondering if anyone has had it and what did you do for it. Thanks in advance.

Ed Seith

Supreme Galactic Overlord
Staff member
  • Nov 11, 2019
    Marana, AZ USA
    Hey Kent – AARP will be knocking on my mailbox in a few years. I’ve never had de Quervains’s, but I did battle some carpal tunnel some years ago, and unfortunately it came down to rest and the brace.
    Being no longer bulletproof, shit like “healing” takes longer for us. It sucks, but thankfully, with age comes a little patience, right?

    Jake Young

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
    I’m 31..been playing 18 years and I too experience some pain/uncomfortable wrists..and it terrifies the shit out of me!! Lately, I’ve been working on staying as relaxed as possible while playing..it actually seems to help. I also do a number of wrist and hand stretches before I grab my guitar and throughout the day. Seems to help a bit too

    Jak Angelescu

    I’m sorry to hear about your struggles as I’m sure that can be extremely discouraging. I’ll talk to my friend about your condition because she’s an experienced massage therapist who has worked in clinical settings and has dealt with all SORTS of hand issues. I posted a video on here that was a routine she demonstrated on me, that you can do on yourself, for carpal tunnel. Not sure if it could help your condition but I’ve had some people messaging me telling me that the routine they performed on themselves at least helped improve the soreness and the pain. On the other hand, check your setup on your guitar to see if you’re making it more difficult on yourself.
    Things like neck shape, neck width, string height and string gauge can make a WORLD of difference. My dad has arthritis and he had to move down to 8 gauge strings. I’ll talk to my friend and see if there’s anything she can recommend for you 🙂

    Kent Schilling

    New Student
    Nov 11, 2019
    Appreciate the replies. I will start the stretching routine since that is something I never do and will check out the massage routine as well. Pretty sure the guitar is setup OK, action is about as close as I can get without buzzing, on a Schecter Hellraiser Hybrid so it has a decent neck. After trying to practice with a brace on, I am thinking I might not be keeping my thumb in the proper position when doing position changes and putting extra stress on the thumb and wrist. We’ll see in time.
    Thanks again.
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