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Thread: Tendonitis!

  1. #1

    Default Tendonitis!

    I developed tendonitis on my gosh dang right thumb over the summer and nothing has made it better. Almost 2 months in a brace (only taking it off to shower and wash the brace), daily maloxicam, and ZERO mandolin playing! Going to the orthopedic surgeon next week for cortisone injections. Hoping that's the little push my tendon needs to heal. I plan on still babying my thumb for a couple weeks after the injection in hopes of making sure it's healed right.

    Has anyone had experience with this? Thoughts? Recommendations? Has anyone tried physical therapy? There seems to be a divide of doctors who say it won't do anything because the tendon is inflamed and using it more will continue to inflame it (makes sense to me), but others swear that it works.

    Hoping to pick again soon:/

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    I had tendonitis in my left wrist and it took forever to get over (maybe 4-5 months?) So much for the idea that it would take 6 weeks to heal. It did get better in that time, but not to the point of me feeling I could play an instrument safely - without more flare ups, pain etc. It wasn't until I finally got a cortisone shot that I could start playing music again. And at that point, I had to pace myself - could play only for an hour - then up to 2 hours, with enough breaks, etc.
    I did not try physical therapy. F
    or what it's worth, that was 4-5 years ago, and I don't think about it now... although I do have to watch myself, that I don't over stretch the tendon, or ignore the "that's enough for now" signs.
    Sheryl --- Me

  3. #3
    Troy Shellhamer 9lbShellhamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    I had DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis for about two months pretty badly... couldn't pick during those two months. When I started picking again I changed my form for the better and realized there was a lot of tension in my wrist and forearm that needed to be addressed. This was about 2 years ago and I've been able to play daily since then and I'm pain free.
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    Registered User LindyHopper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    I cannot highly enough recommend taking an Alexander Technique lesson. Go to http://www.amsatonline.org/ and find a local teacher, many specialize in helping musicians. Let me know if you need more advice, I am an in-training teacher and it has totally changed the way I play violin and mandolin and is quickly removing all pain I have from playing. It is specifically designed to help people like you and me.

  5. #5
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    Quote Originally Posted by hippieNug View Post
    Has anyone had experience with this? Thoughts? Recommendations? Has anyone tried physical therapy?
    There are often physical/occupational therapists attached to major orchestras and college orchestras, who take private clients. They understand the musicians plight and how "well just don't do that anymore" is not a good answer.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Jim Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    I injured my right thumb on a cancer pledge bicycle ride July 9 of this year…three months ago. Have done physical therapy, Cortizone injections, medication, ice, heat, stretching, etc., and I'm just now starting to pick up the mandolin again but usually it only takes 30 minutes or so for the thumb pain to flare up again. Some days I cannot play at all yet. There is a surgical option but I've seen the videos of the procedure and it is brutal. This past summer after my incident I missed an incredible festival/jamming season all over the Pacific Northwest. Hard to imagine, but very limited bicycling is the total bummer. Thank God I can still drink beer left-handed! I received an email from an acquaintance in Seattle and he said he missed three years due to an injury so I am not giving up hope on the mandolin yet! I guess it's true…you don't miss your water till the well runs dry.
    Last edited by Jim Roberts; Oct-14-2016 at 11:22pm.

  7. #7
    Registered User Jim Roberts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    Also, if your medical doctor says you have arthritis, maybe consider asking him/her about PRP injections. Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    I had a bad tendonitis in both wrists 10 years ago and I didnt't do physiotherapy then, just braces. Took almost a year for it to heal. I think Vitamin E helped in the end. Now I have it again plus Tennis elbow (from too much Jerusalem Ridge! ) and I did physiotherapy and stretching exercises from the start - and it heals so much faster! I stopped playing for about a week, then started again with braces on and stretching before, in between and after. Now after six weeks it's almost gone. ... Well, it's still there but I can play and live with it. ... I would really recommend seeing a doctor and a physiothetapist and google stretching exercises!
    Get well soon!
    Malin

  9. #9
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    I've been a tattoo artist most of my life.its much more a physical job than I think most people realize.about 18 years ago I got Tendonitis in both of my forearms, so severe at one point I couldn't pick up a cup of coffee. I had to cease doing everything, and went to therapy and electro shock therapy..really did nothing,I rehabbed myself through stretching and weight lifting, probably took at least a year to be able to work and play again.i still have problems,as I was told I might even have scar tissue in my forearms from it.lifting weights slowly,building up strength over a period of time is really the answer......

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    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    Have you tried acupuncture? I've never had thumb issues, but my left elbow is well acquainted with mandolin-induced tendinitis. When it flairs up badly --- which pressure pad elbow braces have prevented for the past few years, I do four treatments of acupuncture over a 2-4 week period, which help a lot.
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  11. #11
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    This might be of interest
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

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  12. #12

    Default Re: Tendonitis!

    I had tendinitis in my left wrist quite recently, and was unable to play mandolin. When I first discovered it, I was unable even to open doors with my left hand. Even steering a car lefthanded was uncomfortable. My doctor told me to rest it, and I therefore didn't play mandolin for about 2 months (I tried a few times and felt some pain so stopped). I also wore a brace for a little while. I did however start playing fiddle after a couple of weeks, and when that seemed okay, a little tenor banjo. Mandolin just takes so much more finger pressure (especially for chords).

    Perhaps I'm lucky, but it seems to have completely gone now. So my guess is that there's a fair bit of variation from person to person - maybe it even depends on how you got it in the first place (I don't know how I got it). If you do get it, I hope yours will be a short period of being careful, and, like me, it'll clear up pretty quickly. For those of you who've already had it longer or if it's chronic, I'm sorry and hope you find some way of being able to play.

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