Fretting Hand Health

What’s the chiropractic treatment that is helping?

Standard chiropractic adjustment i.e. “cracking your back” or similar?

As Justin says, if you experience pain while playing, STOP. Should you not, you could end up with not playing guitar for a long time.

Yes, standard adjustment.

About the other comment:

Obviously, I would not have bothered writing anything if it were obvious. My post is for adult beginners, primarily. When I was 20 yo I could do all sorts of crap and be just fine. Those days are eventually over.


When I did the car repair and got so much worse, it was also painless in the neck or elsewhere and it was a single application of force from an awkward position (that would have likely caused no issues had I not developed an issue already; this was not my first cv axle replacement).

Stop if pain, keep going if sore really does not begin to cover the various scenarios.

Absolutely correct. I suffered through a year of pain with tennis elbow because I practiced barre chords with bad technique and too much tension.

In my case, the solution was Trigger Point therapy - deep massage of specific arm muscles with a hard rubber ball.

Glad to hear the chiropractor is helping you!

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Thanks for the reply and for sharing your experience!

Incidentally, I had no further adjustments today but I did have a deep massage!

Well, my forearms and the triceps areas were prefect. I had worked on them for months using a tennis ball as one of the ways.

BUT my neck, the areas on my back, some spots in the armpit, Oh My, were those TIGHT.

Apparently, my main exercises 1 set of 50 pushups 2-3 times per week over 10+ years was very lopsided (same as guitar playing) and without coupling it with something like rowing it caused over time a lot of tightness in various places.

Add all the countless hours of work on a desk and…even more tight muscles.

I keep practicing without looking and maintaining close to perfect posture and yeah Justin is of course right: it is not as scary as it seems to play without looking, at least the things I know.

I found a video offering an extremely effective way of releasing tight muscles, but I do not know if we are allowed to post such links.

Are we?

Absolutely! As long as it does not directly compete with one of Justin;s videos it should be fine.

IME, tennis balls are good for really sore muscles, but too soft to really dig in deep…especially for bigger muscles.

Here’s my self treatment kit:

  1. Trigger Point workbook. Tells you where to massage…which is sometimes quite far from where the pain is felt.

  2. Backknobber for difficult to reach places like the back

  3. Lacrosse ball and small hard toy store ball

  4. Sharper Image massage gun from Costco. My latest purchase, only $100 Cdn. I’m using it in preference to the rubber balls more and more.

With these, I can get almost instant pain reduction whenever I need it.

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That’s great! Yeah the tennis ball is light duty.

Here is what helped me fix the left elbow, the tight spot was on the triceps (two of them):

I don’t think this is the elbow video but same principles:

Interesting. He calls it tendinitis, but he’s basically describing trigger point massage, which treats the muscles, not the tendons.

The “press-hold-move” technique was new to me, however.

Yeah, that’s a good one. My massagist today also said it is really helpful.

One thing I am happy about is that regular guitar practice with good posture does not aggravate the problem. It took me 6 months to be sure.

But now, I can keep going with a decent routine. Except we are going to British Columbia for a month on vacation and then I am off to Italy for work/family reunion and so it will be August before I set into hopefully a long-term routine.

I will take my 23.5" travel guitar to Invermere, BC though :slight_smile: I have the Justin metronome on my phone :slight_smile:

Whether the morning stiffness remains with me or eventually goes way, things are looking up for a change.

This is important. More than how to work out injuries, prevention is key.

If you are developing pain from playing, then you are either playing too much for your endurance level (overuse), or using incorrect mechanics (posture and hand position).

Paying close attention to these things and, most importantly, being willing and able to make changes, is the best option.