Finger Joint Stiffness

Hi all,

I started learning to play the guitar last July using Justins course. So far, I’m at the start of beginner level 2. I did Ok with level 1 except I had great trouble playing the D and C chords. C chord was painful to the index finger joint. D only rings out clean if I press the E string super hard, but that is very painful to the fingertip. All the other level 1 chords I’m ok with.

Sometime around January I started experiencing stiff finger joints in the morning. The stiffness is in both hands but much worse in the fretting hand. Since then, the stiffness has gotten worse. Indeed now I can’t make a tight closed fist with the fretting hand.

I’ll be seeing my PCP in August so I’ll bring it up with him then, though I don’t think he knows anything about guitars. To be honest, playing seems to help loosen up my fingers but the doctors nurse advised me not to play until I see the PCP, so I stopped playing.

I’m not looking for medical advice but I would like to know if anyone has been through something like this.

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Hey John,

Been playing about 2 years.
About 6 months ago I experienced something very similar. Very sore joints across the whole fretting hand, and painful throughout the day. Making a fist was particularly painful. Couldnt even really hold my cup of coffee properly. Not sure why it appeared suddenly, as I’d not had anything like it previously. Was quite concerning for me. Continued playing though, and just as I was thinking about seeking medical advice it just disappeared after 2 weeks , and has not returned.
I suppose every situation and body mechanics are slightly different, but seeking medical advice would be the way to go, as it sounds like you are doing.
Good luck with it mate. :+1:

Cheers, Shane


I get this way when I neglect stretching. Stretch a lot.


Hey Guys, thanks for the help. I actually got an appointment with the PCP today. He ordered a some blood tests so we will see. In the meantime, the PCP actually wants me to continue playing, so it looks like I’m back in the groove for now.


I had trigger finger in my right middle finger , it was stuck curled for a few weeks. Sometimes that joint is still painful.

That said, I’ve played guitar for years so I don’t think it was caused by guitar playing. In fact I think it’s genetic as another family member has that sometimes and they don’t guitar.

I think it’s just something to have a chat with doctor about.


A Little update.
Trigger Finger it was. Nice spot there.
I was given the cortisone shots about 20 days ago and the fingers are a lot better now. I can now play the C chord easily and without pain.

To other folks with something like this I would advise getting it checked out by a Doctor ASAP. There is no reason to put up with this and the fix (in my case) was so simple.


Thanks for sharing your story, John.

Wish you well with health and playing.

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