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Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - The Musician's Nightmare

Updated on January 1, 2015

Technical Prowess and the Effect of Practising on RSI

Demands on Young Players - Poor Practice Technique causes Carpal Tunnel!

In a world where young musicians are judged more on prowess than expression it is all too easy for the young player to develop serious injury that stops their career in its tracks overnight. How do you prevent and cure carpal tunnel syndrome?

What causes repetitive strain? Carpal tunnel is a problem that is completely avoidable and usually treatable - but the best cure is not the easiest one to tolerate - time off playing! How do I know? I know from many years teaching and playing experience, seeing teenage guitarists get into trouble because they wouldn't listen to technical advice from teachers, and a horrible bout of RSI myself. How did I cure carpal tunnel problems? How would I avoid RSI? What do I tell the brightest and the best? Do they listen? Read on! Chances are if you are here you already have the makings of a problem or know someone who has.

Carpal tunnel syndrome creeps up on the unaware and yet can be so easily avoided and simply treated in its earliest stages. I hope this page will help. Or perhaps you have a tip you can pass on? Feel free to add links or tell us about it in the guestbook. This is a place where musicians can share their nightmare and the way out from it!

Carpal Tunnel - The Guitarist's Worst Nightmare

Do you know what causes carpal tunnel syndrome? Do you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome? Perhaps you are looking for a cure for carpal tunnel syndrome? This page is about prevention and cure of carpal tunnel syndrome and RSI.

Image of guitar is from my own collection, please do not copy, please feel free to visit my website though

Prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Is Even Better Than Cure

Carpal Tunnel Problems Are Avoidable

If you are here because you have developed an injury then you can still play your part in educating others to avoid it. If you are here because you are keen to prevent yourself or your friends developing hand problems you are doing yourself a big favour! Avoid developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendinitis, Bursitis, Tenosynovitis or plain old Repetitive Strain Injury in the first instance and you will save yourself months or even years of frustration, pain and inability to perform at your best. Carpal Tunnel sucks bigtime and is not prevented by bravado!

Baoding balls are one way to reduce stress and exercise the hands. I found these helpful.

Avoiding Repetitive Strain Injury and Carpal Tunnel

Wrist Pain and CTS Is Preventable

Ever stopped to think what is the busiest part of the human body? What part of the body needs the biggest brain area? It's not the eyes, ears or the mouth. Not the legs even... It is the human hand! The hand is probably what makes us more special as a species than we even think. Other animals do think and feel, can work things out, do communicate in spoken language and sound - some even use tools - but the sensitive human hand differentiates us from any other species!

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Resources - First Stop For Help With RSI and CTS

Here you can check out resources for help and information and even use the search function to find something more specialized.

Why Guitarists Should Get A Teacher

Teachers are good at spotting poor technique and potential R.S.I. issues

In the world of Classical music even the best players in the world take lessons. They call them Master Classes. Why do they need them? Sometimes you need another skilled musician, a professional player or a professional educator, to give you pointers how you can improve. Nobody is so perfect they can't benefit from advice from an expert. Even if your expertise is Rock or Jazz there will be somebody you can turn to to watch your playing style and point out problem areas. Remember, the old guys might not be trendy, good-looking or fast, but they survived the course and they know the obstacles too....

If you have had a problem with injury and overcome it, please leave a message. You can put tips in the Plexo module too. If you still have a problem I hope this lens will help you find assistance and give hope for the future. If you are just curious, please take your technique and posture seriously and don't strain your hands. Good luck!

© 2009 Lisa Marie Gabriel

Have You Had A Hand Injury? - What did you do to combat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think i have carpal tunnel. I have all the symptoms. Shooting pain that goes from my thumb to my wrist to my elbow plus a tingling sensation in my thumb and index finger. I wish i would have read this sooner. Sucks not having a guitar teacher to watch my technique. Im a self taught guitarist of ten years.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Huge fear of mine as I've seen a number of my musician friends deal with this but I definitely need to do something to help prevent it. Thanks for the info.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I broke my arm this winter, and was in a cast for 10 weeks. I did a similar thing to you, and I think it's done me some wrong. My cast came off, and I played for 5 straight hours in a loud jam setting... . Ever since, (it's been 2 months) the stiffness and pain in my wrist does not let up. I try not to play for more than an hour, but there is slight pain all the time. I don't know whether this is just still pain and stiffness from my 10 weeks in a cast, or if I messed up by overdoing it right away...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have had a few hand injuries -- a few years back, the trunk of my car slammed on my working hand. I was blessed to recover from that injury. And, recently, harvesting sunflower seeds set off symptoms of carpal tunnel in my right hand. It is no laughing matter, for sure!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have cured many a person, including myself, of carpal tunnel with reflexology :) Blessed!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Will I be able to play drumset again the same after having rolled my ankle? This happened coming down the stairs because I already had an injured wrist from weightlifting and couldn't balance. I heard no popping or cracking. I've followed the rice method, used bandage and splint, using baoding balls, taking glucosamine supplement (can I take too many? I'm taking 6 a day, bottle says two) and I'm getting around my house in a wheeled computer chair.



    • TheFalconPress profile image

      The Falcon Press 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Turns out that a professional musician I know quite well, a guitar player in Seattle, one who's skills are often likened to those of Hendrix and Clapton, loves the Hot Flash Pillow for icing his hands, neck, and shoulder after he plays gigs. He recommends the product to other musicians, as well, because, he told me, the icing pillow is both effective and comfortable to use, and he especially loves that he can wrap it easily around his hand and that it holds the cold for so long. Until he told me that, I hadn't even considered the pain musicians experience behind the scenes. I just love the music. Rock on! Thumbs up to this lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens. This is a reminder that we should take care of our body so we can do what we love.

    • TheFalconPress profile image

      The Falcon Press 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      An outstanding guitarist in Seattle recently confessed he uses the Hot Flash Pillow to deal with the pain in his neck, shoulders, and wrists after performing gigs. (his review can be read on Amazon) Excerpt from his review: "I am a professional musician and often deal with the pain in my neck, shoulders and wrists. I tried the Hot Flash Pillow as a substitute for the traditional ice pack, and I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised at how effective and comfortable this thing is. I can wrap the HFP around my wrist, something I wasn't able to do with an ice pack, it adjusts nicely to any part of the body that needs pain relief. Highly recommended!" Just sayin...Love your lens! Rock on...safely! Hot Flash Pillow

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Really a great lens...I just made lens about Rockstars and Chiropractic!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have heard that the exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome make a big difference. There are other methods that can be helpful as well, such as wearing a wrist brace, or even look into the benefits of acupuncture.

    • Craftymarie profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for drawing attention to this. I have suffered with it for years but am controlling it better by using more preventative techniques now.

    • bechand profile image

      K Bechand 

      11 years ago from NY

      I am an occupational therapist and I do hand therapy with people that have carpal tunnel daily ! You are very correct about prevention ! Splinting, Ergo-Breaks, Proper hold and use of musical instruments, Nerve and Tendon Glide exercises as regular prevention are all helpful ! --- I have see my fair share of musicians - and it is all about the teaching ! - GREAT LENS - Thanks for getting the word out there !

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 

      12 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have a violin pupil with tendonitus, this will really help. thanks Lisa 5*

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Great lens! Five stars

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 

      12 years ago

      Yikes! This is something I'm worried about because I type all the time and I'm sewing and knitting and crafting- my hands get a really bad deal. Thanks for making this lens. I'll try to give my hands more of a chance to rest in future! 5*


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