Tennis elbow, anyone?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by secretdonkey, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I first really noticed some pain in my left forearm a few weeks ago while recording on my computer, trying to play some chords up above the 12th fret that required some stretching I wasn't used to. Weeks later the discomfort is still there, and a bit of research has led me to believe I have a classic case of tennis elbow (pain on the outside of the forearm, right below the elbow). I have been gigging a fair amount, 6-8 per month lately, and I don't know if this arose from playing or from lugging equipment (my rig as well as PA gear). In any event, playing seems like it *can* aggravate it a bit, although my alt. country gig doesn't demand any of the real stretchy chord stuff that made me notice the problem originally.

    Anyway... anyone else experience this? Opinions on whether it's playing related or gear-toting related, and if it was initially caused by gear toting, whether playing is a significant aggravating factor?

    I am scaling back my home practice routine right now because I also have what I believe to be tendonitis issues in my right (plucking) fingers. Comments on my approach of taking it easy, along with regular doses of OTC anti-inflammatory meds?

    Thanky thanky!

  2. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX

    and maybe I should ask a simpler question... has anyone ever gotten tennis elbow from playing bass?
  3. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    Yes, I had it badly in my right elbow.I called it bass players elbow because I was practicing alot at the time.I tried alot of different things to eliminate it, so I don't know if I can be of great help, but here goes.
    First, I lowered the bass (while standing).This gave my arm a little more relaxed position to play from, I feel a little more natural.Experiment with it.
    Second. I exercised a little more.push ups are good, and so is any tricep movement.It doesn't have to be heavy, but you should extend the arm all the was.
    Third. I took Glucosamine sufite with condroiten, and please excuse my spelling on that one.This is a good suppliment to help rebuild cartilage throughout the body (I was also suffering with knee problems at the time)
    Fourth. Check any suppliments you might be taking.I take alot of vitamins and minerals, and I found I was taking too many minerals.
    Calcium, magnesium and zinc.Mostly the metals.They were giving my joints alot of problems, but I was taking alot at the time.
    And if that doesn't work, take two aspirin and call me in the morning.
    Good luck. Tony
  4. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Yes Me! :( Right arm. I thought I was getting over it but it seems to have taken over again. I may be mistaken but it seems like the more I use my arm the better it feels. I was working on my wrist shot(hockey) and really over used it for a few days in a row. It was the best I felt in a while.
    This morning at work I was missing some of my sorters so I had to jump in and sort freight and now my elbow hurts like a MF. I don't think I fully understand this tennis elbow thing but I do know it really sucks.
  5. GrooveSlave


    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I'm going through left arm and hand pain as we speak. At first I thought it was since I got my Rosoce (35" scale 5 string). But I also took up guitar out of frustration with all players of "picalo(sp) bass". I think I overstressed the back of my left hand and forearm doing barre chords. I also program for a living, so it's tough to lay off.

    What I did:
    - Ice down the area
    - Stopped playing for a whole week!!!!!
    - Stopped playing guitar all together (at least for a while)
    - Resumed practice slowly.
    - I'm working on my recording engineer skills right now

    Honestly, it still hurts some, but I've decided that they will get my Roscoe when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers!! :eyebrow:

    I'm going tomorrow to buy one of those MS keyboards that splits the keys to a different angle. Frankly, I've asked myself what I would do if this is permanent. The only answer I could come up with would be to take up drums again and be one of a very few drummers who knew anything about theory!!

    Donkey, I don't think this is from moving gear. You've got to rest it to heal it.

    On a really sad note....
    A friend of mine was a wicked guitarist and was in his 3rd year at North Texas when he got tendonitis and had to quit totally. He's now a talented SW engineer, but what a DRAG! Overall, I think it's imperitive to listen to your body. Pain is a warning and damage can be done before it hurts.

    Take it easy - really.
  6. My other half got tennis elbow in his left elbow, brought on by guitar playing. For him it was cured by regular visits to a physiotherapist. She gave ultrasound treatment and 'rubbed' it. Bend your arm and then try and find the tender spot with the thumb of your other hand. Then make small circular movements. It hurts but you have to keep at it, a little and often.

    I also developed tennis elbow, playing tennis would you believe? Mine was resolved by rest and I now wear a splint when I play tennis. My coach told me to try and stretch it... extend the arm fully and then try to rotate your arm in one direction as far as it will go and then in the other direction - it hurts!

    I don't think its from moving gear, but it definitely won't help. I still get twinges in my elbow when I lift gear.

    Recovery seems to take a long time - you have my sympathy!
  7. I've got it as well. Sucks getting it at 17, but thats life.

    One thing my doctor told me was that playing music doesn't cause it, it only aggravates for thought.

    Lay off computer and bass for a bit and you should be set.

    This keyboard helps out my cts/tennis elbow tremendously. I couldn't recomend anything else at this point
  8. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    "Donk"head, as told you, on email, a doctor's diagnois is appropriate here.

    For a real case of 'tennis elbow', that is a muscle tear that requires
    a forearm brace to divert the muscle action to heal the tear.

    If it is tendonitis or inflammation, other treatments would be
    more approriate.

    NJL and I would be happy to prescribe beer and brisket, those are
    as appropriate as the crapshizzle I just read.

    Go see your doctor, medical advice on TB is worth the same as
    love and relationship advice.

    On TB.

    unharmed, tell them that forearm pain in OZ is only because they don't wank enough.

  9. That's a bit like tendonitis, I believe. I use to get that. Ice the area after practicing for 15 minutes, to make sure the tendon itself is cooled down.

    If it doesn't go away, think about seeing a doctor. Or atleast do some research. I know Bass Player mag did a big article on it months ago.
  10. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Thanks, everyone!

    At the moment, I'm feeling encouraged. I know, one weekend does not a trend towards recovery make, but I bought a brace for the elbow, tried to stay conscious about playing with a lighter touch, and generally tried to avoid anything I thought would aggravate things. Also have been sticking to my regimen of Aleve. After Friday and Saturday gigs and the accompanying load in/out, the left arm and right fingers are both feeling better rather than worse.

    The issues in both appendages are mild at present. If they do not improve, I will visit a doctor.

    Thanks, all!!!

    :) :bassist: