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Recurring Repetitive Motion Injury problems
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Recurring Repetitive Motion Injury problems

My questions come from 2 years of having to deal with general daily limitations due to tendinitis/RSI. I am now 20 years old, but my initial diagnosis of tendinitis happened when I was 18. I used to be a very active guitar player throughout high school, playing in bands both in school and outside of school at parties and such. I was proficient with the instrument and played A LOT. A lot meaning 8+ hours a day, every day. I had to give up playing after the pain in my forearms and elbows became too much. In each arm I experienced sharp pains in the tendons that extend down from the palm side of my hands and pain in my elbows also. It got to the point where I drove my car mostly by holding the wheel steady with my knees and I couldn't extend my arms fully.

To remedy this I took ibuprofen and wore tennis elbow straps on my elbows almost all the time. I iced my forearms three or four times a day.

After 6 months I was cleared to start playing again and play through whatever pain I experienced, to a point at least, and to start slow. After my injuries 'healed,' noticeable scar tissue built up in places on tendons in the form of somewhat-hard bumps and my right elbow (picking hand side, lots of up and down motions) does not extend straight very comfortably. The elbow often pops and feels like its rolling over a bunch of, well, junk. I played guitar on an off for awhile, but never anything close to what I did in high school.

For the first time in 2 years I've made an effort to fully start playing again. So I started practicing again, only for about an hour a day, but the last time I played I had to stop because of discomfort in my right elbow and painful contractions in my left forearms on the palm side. This was probably my tenth time playing in 2 weeks time. I had felt just fine all the other time I'd played before, and I was told by a doctor to work back into it slowly, so I Iimited myself to about an hour at a time playing wise. But the pain came back anyways!

I have been careful to not play through the pain like I did before, but I want to know what I can do to make it go away for good. I recently saw a doctor who said there is nothing surgically that can be done, but if I rest, it will go away. I rested for two years!  So he gave me two braces to wear at night that keep my wrists straight, and I also use the tennis elbow strap for my right elbow. He said to take 600mg of Ibuprofen twice a day. I've been using an excercise device called a 'dyna-flex' that provides gyro propelled, low resistence forearm workout. I've also been working another thing called 'therapuddy' or something close to that, and I just work it with my hands, trying to build up the strength in those muscles again.

I've researched a little bit and I've heard good things about glucosamine with chondroitin and MSM for things like this.

So, given this information, with the wrist braces, the tennis elbow straps, the forearm workouts, the ibuprofen, the other supplements, and general rest, what else can I do to help to heal my forearms, elbows, and tendons? Playing guitar is a huge passion in my life I don't want to give up, but I feel like I may have to sometimes.

The thing that keeps my head up is that the Doctor I saw said that it will go away, but what else can I do?
Tags: musician
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