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Thread: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

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    Default How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    I've recently taken a break from playing guitar to focus more on other things, but now that I've gotten back to it I've noticed that my joints are starting to hurt from playing a lot more than they used to. I assume this will go away with time as I get reconditioned to the extreme hand positions of a guitar, but in the meantime are there any tricks to minimize the discomfort associated with playing?

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    BadHairDayologist Empty Pockets's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    All I do is play guitar, play video games, cook and type and my hands were starting to give out about a year ago. I bought a bunch of compression gloves and used them for a while without slowing down and after like 3 months I found myself needing them less often.
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    tonewood instigator
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    When you're not playing, stretch your hands. There are plenty of online sources for good hand stretches, if you can't find them under "guitar hand stretches", try looking using search terms related to typing/keyboarding.
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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Yep stretching

    That's the ticket

    My wrist and the center of my palm were what got me when I restarted playing
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    If your discomfort is caused by arthritis, like mine is, a good over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen can really help.

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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Stretching, acupuncture, and massages as I can get them helps a lot. You might want to go to someone who can look at how you are standing, the angles of your wrists, etc and make suggestions as how to modify your approach.
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    Senior Member PAPADON's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    I've found this relieves may aches and pains quite well. Purely for medicinal purposes of course.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker NecroPolo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Keep your hands warm and try to avoid extreme heat changes in general and always warm up / stretch before put a tense on fingers / wrists. I hope your pain will go soon.

    I learned to live with it. I've been suffering from polyarthritis since '95. It has phases, from sublime slow foggy pain through ice picky to paralysing but it's always on. I took everything from legal to illegal, I tried every method, I visited all sort of docs, specialists, shamans and whomsoever said he can help. They couldn't.

    The only way solving this was to accept this is what it is and to say **** pain, I want to play and I won't let pain to stop this. Anger helped me a lot. After a time it is possible to get used to both pain and anger and to channel them to good things and from that point focus on good things only.

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    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    you probably dont, but if you do, dont wear a watch..

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Adjust your guitar strap. It looks cool to have your guitar dangling below your balls, but it's murder on your wrists. :P
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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    Adjust your guitar strap. It looks cool to have your guitar dangling below your balls, but it's murder on your wrists. :P
    I must be one of the few who don't think that it looks cool.
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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Stretch and warm up. To go in running Malmsteen and Vai licks off the bat. You'll kill your hands that way. Warm up with some scale patterns at a slow pace. Slowly increase the speed. Do chord changes up and down the neck. Pick a song that works as a good warmup and run through it a bit by yourself. I know if I don't warm up before rehearsal or a gig, my hands will let me know about it later.

  13. #13
    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Actually, one stupid thing that took me forever to unlearn was to relax. I used to try playing something fast on the guitar and my whole shoulder/arm/wrist would tense up. Then I'd try to power through it which would increase tension everywhere and after a while everything would start to hurt.

    Relax. Shake out your hands a bit. Consciously force yourself to loosen up if you feel tension building. You'll play faster and more smoothly once you figure out whatever method works to do this for you.
    Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
    This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Dave Locher's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Try a different guitar. Seriously. I have owned guitars that hurt my hand and/or wrist and some that don't. It is all about the shape of the neck, width of the neck, curved the fretboard, and the position the guitar hangs when you stand and/or sits on your legs when you sit.
    Try some other guitars. It's all individual: if I play a wide, thin neck for long I will cramp and my wrist will hurt later. A narrow, round neck I can play for hours. Etc.

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    I use Capsaicin in one form or another. I still hurt, but at least I can move.

  16. #16
    Ultimate Tone Member Lovegun's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Playing guitar is like a sport. If I've not been playing for some time, then I get back to playing the guitar gradually. Going to the "deep end" straight away will hurt more than getting fit in small dosages. Streching allways helps.

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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Not to thread highjack but I started playing guitar last year and practice 2-3 hours a day. They didn't hurt for the first 3 months or so, but now, the joints of my fingers on my left hand really start to hurt . If you were to extend your finger, coming back from the nail, the second "joint" or "knuckle" or whatever. If I try to make a fist with the fingers they hurt a ton lol.

    If I take a 2-3 day break the pain goes away but once I start playing again it just comes back. I'm 29 too I don't feel that old!

  18. #18
    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Locher View Post
    Try a different guitar. Seriously. I have owned guitars that hurt my hand and/or wrist and some that don't. It is all about the shape of the neck, width of the neck, curved the fretboard, and the position the guitar hangs when you stand and/or sits on your legs when you sit.
    Try some other guitars. It's all individual: if I play a wide, thin neck for long I will cramp and my wrist will hurt later. A narrow, round neck I can play for hours. Etc.
    This is a exactly what made me look at a Warmoth neck closer that I sold a few weeks ago. It's the boatneck contour, and I thought the nut width was the same as my #1, same neck profile, but turns out I was wrong about my #1. I thought it was 1 11/16" when it's really 1 5/8". Last night I finished the setup on the the guitar with the replacement neck and it feels so much better. The wider nut width on that fat a neck was bothering me some. Not a ton but I always wondered why it didn't feel quite the same. Now, with a thinner neck, like the Gibson 60's or Fender Am. Standard profile, the 1 11/16" nut is fine. Too thin a neck (Wizard and most Jacksons), they will bother me, not enough shoulder.

  19. #19
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    I've got Arthritis in my Thumb and 2 broken fingers on my riff hand and aside from daily stretching, PT etc. I've been using CBD oil and damn if it doesn't kill the pain. I didn't want to believe, but after my mom's arthritis inflammation in her finger joints disappeared totally -I couldn't just say it was the placebo effect anymore.

    I don't like Advil or Diclofenac or anti-inflammitory or OTC pain pills in general so this seems to be the best thing going.

    BUT, you need to exercise your hands and do warm ups and rest them before anything else.
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  20. #20
    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to stop joints from aching from playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by '59 View Post
    extreme hand positions of a guitar
    Here is your problem. You're young and don't have any physical ailments right? You should never contort your body to play an instrument. Every movement and posture should be ergonomic and not stressful. If you experience pain or discomfort, stop and make sure you aren't beginning to injure yourself. If you have injured yourself, stop playing until you are healed. Assess your posture or excess tension and correct it so that you can play for at least 2 hours without discomfort.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 01-15-2020 at 08:46 PM.
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