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Thread: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

  1. #1
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    Default Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    Hi everyone. I am new to these forums but I've noticed how helpful everyone is and I'm hoping I can get some answers. I'm 20 years old and I've been playing mandolin for 10 years. I've grown up playing just about every day and I never experienced any hand pain other than the usual sore fingers and such. Recently I've been playing much more trying to learn new stuff, maybe around 2 hours a day. One evening I played for around 3 hours and ever since then, I've had this pain in my left wrist. It's all around where one would wear a watch. The pain is slight shooting pain but mostly feels stiff and swollen. At times it works it's way up to the back of my hand to where I can't close my hand because of the pain. I've tried to cut down on the playing since this started, but it keeps flaring up. It's now starting to hurt constantly. Just wondering if anyone has had an experience like this or would have any ideas on what I should do. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    You may have tendinitis which can develop from playing a lot. You may need to get a doctor's advice, but usually the only cure is rest and refraining from the play for a little while. The other thing I would look at is your posture when playing, and hand position, specifically the left hand. I have found that I have to hold the mandolin such that I don't have to have my left wrist in a bent position, otherwise I have tension.

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  4. #3
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    I haven’t had that specifically, but I do have a few words of advice. Stretch, before and after. Check your method and ergonomics of grip technique. Be careful and don’t work through the pain, use it as a guide. I have had success with forcing myself to take time off to recover from use related pain. Good luck. I look forward to reading others experience. Also check out current carpal tunnel thread.
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  6. #4
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    Two or three hours of playing is not that much for someone with 10 years of experience. At age 20, wear & tear arthritis is unlikely.
    If possible, I'd get a professional medical evaluation to rule out less common causes of joint pain. There are many.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    In addition with what is said above, my first suspicion is always hand position.

    Might not be bad to show your hand position to your doctor or a physical therapist.

    In the end I would take Dr. advice before internet advice. Mine included!

    C

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    Yup …. check your hand position and see a Dr. If you are not relaxed and you are over gripping , unlikely as you are a ten year veteran, that will cause wrist hand problems ….. Pete Martin has a good book on mandolin ergonomics that is downloadable. Check it out. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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  12. #7
    Registered User Kay Kirkpatrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    My one "mandolin injury" forced me into a slight obsession with ukuleles during my rest period, so be careful and get medical advice soon. Good luck for a speedy recovery.

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  14. #8
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by UsuallyPickin View Post
    Yup …. check your hand position and see a Dr. If you are not relaxed and you are over gripping , unlikely as you are a ten year veteran, that will cause wrist hand problems ….. Pete Martin has a good book on mandolin ergonomics that is downloadable. Check it out. R/
    Just because you've done it that way, doesn't mean you're doing it right. Many people are self taught, and few instructors know less than the self. Ergonomics are not intuitive.
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
    2017 Ratliff R5 Custom #1148
    Several nice old Fiddles
    2007 Martin 000-15S 12 fret Auditorium-slot head
    Deering Classic Open Back
    Too many microphones

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  16. #9
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    Watch my basic ergonomics videos on holding the instrument and the left hand.

    http://www.petimarpress.com/mandolin...%20videos.html
    -----------
    Pete Martin
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    Private lessons in Seattle and Issaquah WA, Skype lessons to anywhere
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    http://www.jazz-mandolin.com/PetePlaysWes.xht

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  18. #10

    Default Re: Pain in left wrist after playing mandolin

    The critical thing for me is that the wrist is not bent at too sharp an angle, so there is as little tension as possible. If necessary, adjust the mandolin up or down to find the best position.

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