Both of my wrists are in pain?

November 19, 2012 at 06:32 PM · Recently both of my wrists are hurting. This especially when I have an arm wrestle with someone, a lot of force is being exerted on my wrists and I don't know what to do.

Replies (20)

November 19, 2012 at 07:09 PM · Nimesh, I thought that might have been a picture of you playing the violin but then I realized it was only the young model in the Kennedy Violins ad that is placed annoyingly in the content area of this discussion. It sounds to me like you need rest, and you need to build up your stamina more slowly. You can injure yourself and then it takes a long time to come back from that.

November 20, 2012 at 01:35 AM · It feels like my wrist is about to pop or break when I put pressure on it.

November 20, 2012 at 01:54 AM · I have had a lot of problems with tendonitis of the left wrist in the past so I will give you some advice as to what has helped me :

1. HEAT : bathe your wrists in a dish of hot water for 20 minutes until the skin turns nice and pink. I have found that ice makes the problem worse.

2. STRETCHES : there sre some good internet sites that show yoga stretches to help the wrists.

3. MAGNETS : I often wear a strap on my wrist with 6 small magnets. I know it sounds a bit silly and 'new age' but I have found that it helps and it does not cost much to try. I usually sleep with it at night and take it off in the morning. Who cares if it is only a placebo works !

4. MASSAGE : a good massage therapist is worth her weight in gold. This will help a lot !

5. TECHNIQUE : What are you doing wrong ? If there is pain then you must be exerting too much force and creating tension in your body. Please buy and read Simon Fischer's book on the violin ' Basics' to help you eliminate tension.

6. REDUCE your daily practise for a few weeks but do not stop completely. Do two 45 minute sessions per day. No long sessions without breaks and stretches.

November 20, 2012 at 03:19 AM · This is one of those things that should really be checked out by a doctor, and then possibly with a physiotherapist. Don't mess around with folk remedies until you can rule out the most serious stuff.

November 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM · If you suddenly went from a couple hours to six, you have overdone it. AS with any physical activity or sport, you need to warm up, pay attention to warning signs of pain and tiredness, and gradually increase practice time, not jump up. Pay attention to other things that use the same muscles/joints. For instance, the huge amounts of video games or texting some kids do could affect how long & how well you can play your violin w/o symptoms.

November 20, 2012 at 12:52 PM · I agree with the recommendation to see a doctor. I would also recommend seeing a good acupuncturist. If it is a tendon issue, there is a good chance that acupuncture will help.

November 20, 2012 at 01:19 PM · Itzhak Perlman has suggested that one should practice 50 minutes then rest for 10 minutes, with no more than 5 hours of practicing per day.

If you are hurting right now, you have to see your doctor, rest, apply ice and / or anti-inflamatory drugs.

Once you stop hurting, it is essential to warm up before and stretch after playing.

Here is what I do before:

Thera-Band Flexbar "Tyler Twist" exercise for Tennis Elbow

and after:

Thera-Band FlexBar "Reverse Tyler Twist" for Golfers Elbow

Only if your doctor and physiotherapist agree, start with the red bar.

November 20, 2012 at 01:28 PM · I agree with both Sue and've done too much too quickly, and you should probably be checked out before you do more damage. Young, you'll heal pretty fast, but only if you stop doing whatever is damaging you.

I think you are the poster who wrote on another thread about tension in the shoulders and about's all the same thing--you have ONE body; what affects one part will eventually affect all.

I don't know why your teacher isn't helping you. You should discuss these problems in your lessons.

If it's available in your area, I STRONGLY suggest you find and work with a good Alexander Technique teacher who can help you find how to use your body well under all circumstances.

November 20, 2012 at 01:46 PM · Good luck with the doctor approach. Where I live, their only suggestion is painkillers ! I have found that when it comes to problems such as this then you are on your own. But perhaps things are better where you live.

November 20, 2012 at 11:37 PM · @ Brian, seems to depend on the specialty. Most gps are pill pushers, but osteopaths, sports medicine guys and the like are more apt to be open to requests for physical therapy and 'responsible' choices. Takes being proactive...

November 21, 2012 at 01:33 AM · Marjory : yes, I take your point but I would definitely rule out physiotherapists. I have found them to be totally useless where I live. A well trained massage therapist will get to the heart of the problem and begin to put things right.

But the violinist must still change something about the way they play ; there is too much tension somewhere and this has to rectified.

November 21, 2012 at 01:53 AM · Once you've seen a doctor and got some help with the actual injury, you need to have a serious talk with your teacher. Playing shouldn't "HURT". I agree wholeheartedly with the Alexander Technique suggestion from another poster. I've been lucky to have several violin teachers who incorporated elements of AT into their teaching and (touch wood) I seem to have avoided the usual aches and pains.

If you are practising and it starts hurting: STOP!!! Take a break, listen to the music instead, read over your music, watch some videos of other people playing the same piece, but take a break as your body is telling you it has had enough, at least for a while.

November 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM · if its both wrists the problem is usually located in the neck. It can be a nerve wich is inflamed or a muscle wich is stiff. Also problems with the spine can be the case, but they usually come from weak muscles around it.

A break is vital! Also start carefully and rethink the way you practice. More is not always better. Practicing mentally is not only a good supplement, but in my opinion also necessary to get to a higher level.

November 21, 2012 at 08:26 PM · You're probably not arm wrestling correctly. Most people don't know how and there is such a thing as proper arm wrestling form.

November 21, 2012 at 09:59 PM · "Arm wrestle with something"

What is this "SOMTHING"? What are you trying to do?

November 22, 2012 at 04:49 AM · Many people don't realize that there are healthcare practitioners who specialize in the needs of musicians. If you visit and go to "Referrals", you can search for your area's members of the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Even if you don't find someone in your area, there are Alexander technique teachers (who are not medical, but educational) who can sometimes work with you over Skype to help you learn better ways to move with and without your instrument to decrease your pain.

I'm a musicians' physical therapist as a well as an Alexander technique teacher in Washington, DC (, and I find myself fielding questions from people all over the world because the information isn't out there. I wish you the best of luck with finding out about what's happening with your wrist pain and changing things so it doesn't get chronic!

November 22, 2012 at 05:50 AM · It is too bad your about 150 miles from all the resources here in Austin, especially at UT.

But if you’re living where your profile says you live then you're less than 30 miles from central Houston.

If you are a young student and it sounds like you are, your school should have a nurse that can advise you on what is available in your area.

I know in Austin the schools are very aware of health issues in sports and the arts, your school should have resources for musicians.

Good luck and take it easy.

Pat T

November 23, 2012 at 01:24 AM · Nimesh, it appears from your post that arm wrestling may very well be the cause of your problem. It confirms my suspicion that arm wrestling is not compatible with playing the violin, or most other instruments either. The risk of injury is there because you do not have full control over the forces being exerted on your arm in this competitive activity.

If developing arm strength is the aim then there are other and safer ways of doing it, such as weight training where you are always in control of the loading on your muscles, and the loading can be safely increased as your strength increases with training.

Weight training should always be done, at any rate in the earlier stages, under the supervision and guidance of a qualified instructor in order to achieve the best results. It is an unfortunate fact of life that competent weight training instructors are much easier to find than good violin teachers!

November 28, 2012 at 06:06 PM · Further to my previous post concerning the potential dangers inherent in arm wrestling (i.e. competitors not having full control over the forces applied to their arms) here is an instance where a competitor had their humerus (upper arm bone) broken during a match. Some of the imagery may be disturbing.

November 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM · See a doctor. Don't armwrestle.

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