I had terrible problems 12 years ago and went through more than a year of effort to deal with it. In my case it was the right arm; more specifically, picking
hand all the way up to shoulder. I had started playing classical guitar again too soon after shattering my right wrist – I thought I had healed completely, but I was wrong. My hand started to hurt and I had elbow pain too. I had a classic case of “dreadnought
disease” – look it up, read for example about what happened to Kottke.
I had hand therapy for about 4 months, once a week. It took a while to show results, but I got better. The therapy consisted of focused massage and joint manipulation,
electrical current, and ice. I did not play at all for these 4 months. When I was better and insurance was no longer going to pick up the tab, I still didn’t play for a month or so, and focused on yoga, shiatsu and ICE.
After I started to play again I developed tendonitis, with symptoms similar to yours. More therapy coupled with ICE dealt with that.
I keep capitalizing ice because, for me at least, it was key to recovery. My family doc says, “Ice always, heat never.” I put an ice pack on my arm for the
drive to work. I iced my arm for a half hour when I arrived back from work. I went to sleep with an ice pack under the affected area. I developed a high tolerance for the pain of freezing; maybe I’m just lucky I never got an ice burn.
Being mindful of where I put stress, taking breaks from practice, and icing as needed has kept me in good shape for many years now. I also had a guitar made
with a Manzer wedge and a Ryan bevel (they were not called that then), both ergonomic features that address some of the underlying causes for MY problems.
Your left hand problem, assuming you are not a lefty, is different in some regards. Maybe all you can take away from my tale is the assurance that it can heal,
that ice is your friend, and that good PT is valuable.
From: Luis Angulo [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, December 09, 2012 4:10 AM
Subject: Tennis Elbow
since august i stated having pains im my left arm,specially around my elbow and wrist.
I have problems gripping anything,specially the fretboard of the gutiar or even holding a glass full of water
this seems to be a common problem not only with tennis players or golfers but also with guitarrists,celloists,vilolinists,drummers etc.
im currently doing a therapy but i question its effectiveness
Has anybody suffered from this? what kind of solutions did you find or would recommend?