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 Treating tendinitis
Author: Klarinet 
Date:   2010-10-22 20:22

About 7 months ago I was suffering from tendinitis around both my wrist and my elbow (though only the very ending of the tendon). My doctor prescribed me physiotherapy (at that point I was already a bit better, because I'd been resting a lot). And indeed, after 6 or 7 sessions, I could play clarinet again without any problems, and as much as I wanted.

During the summer, I was on a clarinet course where we had to play in a choir, looking with 2 people on 1 stand and sitting on very uncomfortable chairs. I had to skip 1 rehearsal because I felt that I my arm started hurting again. But I didn't worry. I guess it was just fatigue.

But since last week (when I played A clarinet, which I hadn't done in a while) my tendinitis problems seem to be coming back. The muscle in my forearm is swollen as well as the one between thumb and index finger. My thumb doesn't hurt though, but I do have pain strokes in my wrist and elbow (the whole elbow this time).

I don't know wether to go to the doctor or not. What does he know about playing clarinet? He will just give me a standard treatment again, the pain will be gone for 6 months, and then we will have to start all over again.

I will keeping playing clarinet and making the same movement over and over again. So, my question: is there a long term treatment?

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 Re: Treating tendinitis
Author: kilo 
Date:   2010-10-22 20:27

You might find some useful information here:

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 Re: Treating tendinitis
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2010-10-22 22:09

Get a strap to support the weight, and keep going to your Doctor - you do other things in life than play the Clarinet.

Tendonitis is a long term problem for complete healing.


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 Re: Treating tendinitis
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2010-10-22 22:17

Have you continued to do any of the exercises the therapist showed you during your therapy? Each time I've had physical therapy for any of several problems I've had over the past few years, the recommendation has always been made that I continue certain of parts of the therapy routine on my own to maintain strength and flexibility in the area we'd been working on. My problems haven't been caused by tendinitis (at least not as a primary cause), but rather by stenosis causing pressure on nerves exiting my spine at various points, but I would think the same principal would apply. It sounds as though you may need to generally strengthen the forearm and wrist areas.

The other half of prevention would be to analyze how you're doing whatever seems to trigger or aggravate the problem and find a way to do it that isn't so injury prone.

One other possibility is that there's an underlying problem - compressed nerves either in your elbow or through the carpal tunnel or even in your neck - that's causing you to tense in a way that initiates strain and inflammation in your tendons. Maybe more diagnostic work might turn something up if you tell your doctor the condition seems to be returning.

Just a few thoughts based on personal experience - not meant as medical advice, since I'm not a doctor.


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 Re: Treating tendinitis
Author: alanporter 
Date:   2010-10-22 23:08

From what you describe there is more than tendinitis in your arm. I am a family physician and I strongly recommend that you consult a doctor again.
Good luck.


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 Re: Treating tendinitis
Author: stevesklar 
Date:   2010-10-24 00:07

If my pain crops up I will use a strap as mentioned above to relieve weight.

I also slightly play to my right so my right arm is better positioned - just slightly but enough where the pain goes away. Also, I've learned to position my thumb in the best location for the lower joint.

Stephen Sklar
My YouTube Channel of Clarinet Information

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 Re: Treating tendinitis
Author: EEBaum 
Date:   2010-10-24 03:37

May also be trigger points somewhere in the arm that refer pain to the problem areas.


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 Re: Treating tendinitis
Author: claritoot26 
Date:   2010-10-24 04:22

Several good suggestions here. Do try to keep up with the exercises you learned in physical therapy. Do go to your doctor again. Do use a neckstrap, and try to maintain good posture when playing. I also use wrist splints. I have had problems with tendinitis and carpal tunnel. You may want to also get your thyroid hormone levels and your Vitamin D check with a blood test. I was deficient in both of those things, and they can each contribute to muscle soreness, inflammation and tendinitis. Good luck to you, hope it feels better soon. Ice is also good for the tendinitis, heat for sore muscles. And anti-inflammatories help. The doctor would probably prescribe one that is stronger than over the counter.


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 Re: Treating tendinitis
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2010-10-24 13:20

I would only add one small caveat: try with your doctor to rule out a pinched nerve in your cervical spine area before you try using a neck strap to relieve the stress on your wrist. Given your symptoms and an absence of pain higher up in either your shoulder or your neck, a pinched cervical nerve seems less likely than other causes closer to the pain site, but it's worth at least discussing with the doctor. Using a neck strap could aggravate rather than help any possible problem in your cervical spine.


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 Re: Treating tendinitis
Author: gsurosey 
Date:   2010-10-24 13:31

I've been dealing with similar stuff for a while. I actually ditched my neckstrap on the advice of my teacher since it was messing with my hand position making it worse. I've only been doing that for a couple weeks, but so far I don't notice much of a difference with it or without it. I still play with a (not very) supportive glove on my right hand/wrist, but I think I'll upgrade to something more like a splint (and get one for each hand since the left bothers me too at times).

I was having problems with tingling in my fingers, but that went away and I think that was more of a sleep positioning problem (I'm a restless sleeper and more often than not end up sleeping on my upper arm. When I move off it, it feels 'dead'; I'm not sure how else to describe it (asleep, but not tingling)). I still get soreness in my hands and wrists. Not all the way up to my elbow like I used to, which is good. Generally, the pain doesn't migrate higher than 1/2way up my forearm.

Good luck. I know how frustrating this can be when you just want to play.


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