Wrist exercises

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Laura Klein 3 years, 7 months ago.

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    I don’t know if this is the right section for asking this?

    I get pain in my left wrist whenever I practice the guitar. Also when I play the piano, but I think it comes mostly from playing the guitar. I’ve been doing yoga, which helps me to relax quite a bit, and I’m getting more flexible. But the pain’s still there, which is a bit annoying because I need to practice for school.

    Does anyone know any other wrist exercises that might help?


    Ryan P

    Helen, have you seen someone about this? A chiropractor, or massage therapist? In my opinion you should get someone to have a look at it. Where are you based?



    Hi Ryan, my yoga teacher told me that playing the guitar is unnatural, and that’s why it hurts. But you can go ahead and do things which are unnatural as long as you’re doing something which brings your body back into alignment.

    So to answer your question, no I haven’t seen those people, but I am getting it seen to.

    Daren Banarsë
    Daren Banarsë

    Hi Helen, and welcome to the forum!

    Sorry to hear you’ve got some wrist problems. Its always very frustrating when pain gets in the way of being able to enjoy playing!

    I think you have to be careful here. You didn’t say how bad the pain was, or what sort of pain it was, but wrist pain can be indicative of tendinitis.

    You might be wondering what that is. It’s something that’s reasonably common for musicians, and anyone who makes a lot of repetitive movements. Typists also get this, and also sports people. The tendons (the bits that bind the muscles to the bones) are overworked, and become irritated and inflamed.

    From my perspective as an Alexander Technique teacher, many pains can be eliminated with a change in playing technique. There might be something you’re doing while you play the guitar which causes the discomfort. It could be the angle of the wrist. Or the amount of muscular tension in the body. Or even the way you’re sitting. Remember that symptoms showing up in the wrist area could be caused by other factors in the body. That’s why I’m not sure that more wrist exercises will be of benefit.

    Yoga is a great compliment to music making, so that can only help, as long as none of the postures make your condition worse. But I agree with Ryan, you should get someone to have a look at your wrist as soon as you can. And also I advise not playing when you have any sort of pain. If this interferes with school, maybe you could get a doctors letter?


    Laura Klein

    Hi Helen,

    I’m sure your yoga teacher meant well, but I don’t agree with the answer that “playing the guitar is unnatural, and that’s why it hurts”. (After all, yoga is equally “unnatural”)

    There are many guitarist who are able to play without pain, so there has to be a way learn how to do that. Very often wrist pain is caused by twisting and stretching motions.

    I agree with Daren that it can be harmful to play through pain. Medical people often don’t know how to solve these kinds of problems. You may need to find a good guitar teacher who can look at what you’re doing wrong, and correct it. The Alexander Technique is also very helpful in learning to play without unnecessary tension and effort.

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