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Apr 24, 2019 - 7:21:50 PM



195 posts since 8/11/2015

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for such a question as I have, but some of it at least comes from playing Scruggs Style banjo. If this is the wrong forum for this, would the Moderator please transfer it to the right forum?
I have fairly severe pain at times with both wrists, and it seems it's becoming chronic. Can any of you relate to this, and if so, what do you do about it?
Some time ago when it was relatively bad, I went to a sports doc, and he said I had only little arthritis. As I recall I rested that wrist for a few days, and it went away for a while. I practice about an hour to an hour and half a day, so I'd like to keep doing that if possible.
My right wrist is a bit worse than the left btw.
Any suggestion will be appreciated.

Apr 24, 2019 - 7:56:59 PM

728 posts since 6/3/2013

I have heard that people are having good results when switching to wooden arm rests. The arm rests are shaped to relieve stress on the wrists.

Apr 24, 2019 - 8:59:47 PM



40094 posts since 10/5/2013

I would try doing stretches of the shoulders, arms, and hands/fingers daily,, preferably before playing the banjo. See if that helps,, not sure, but I’ve been doing that for years and I’m still mostly pain-free at 69.  I also take apple cider vinegar & avocado oil daily. You can also try emu oil that you can rub into the wrists. You might have to wait a couple of weeks before you notice any improvement.  Good luck, Carl.

Edited by - chuckv97 on 04/24/2019 21:03:24

Apr 25, 2019 - 3:54:18 AM

139 posts since 8/13/2018

At 65 years of age, I do a lot of stretches in the mornings.
You might try some hand stretches and see if it's beneficial to you.

Apr 25, 2019 - 4:21:42 AM
Players Union Member



99 posts since 6/10/2017

I agree with Chuck and Doc stretching can help. YouTube is where I go first for aches and pains anymore. Click on the link.

Edited by - 2BUCKS on 04/25/2019 04:23:34

Apr 25, 2019 - 4:49:56 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)


22699 posts since 8/3/2003

I would go to a doctor for medical advice, not us banjo pickers.

If you have arthritis, a doctor can advise you of the best type of medication to take to alleviate the pain or set you up with some physical therapy to help with the pain. I take naproxen at night, 500 milligrams and it's a prescribed medication. It's an anti-inflammatory and calms down the inflammation in the joints so your pain is lessened or alleviated. You might try over the counter Aleve, but again, I'd check with my doctor before trying anything at all.

Apr 25, 2019 - 5:11:47 AM



125 posts since 3/27/2013

I have faced this battle. The solution for me and I am a devoted believer of this practice: make an ice water bath in a sink basin (water and ice). Submerge your affected hand and alternate between that cold water and warm water. Do this for as long as you can stand it (but probably no longer than 15 minutes at a time, which would feel like an eternity). Do this as many times a day as you can. Three times a day would be great. It truly works for me. Read up on it - a lot of professional athletes are using cold treatments for inflammation. It really works amazingly for me.

Apr 25, 2019 - 6:25:29 AM
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5768 posts since 8/28/2013

I agree with Sherry; see a medical professional. Your problem could be anything from arthritis to carpal tunnel syndrome, and if it's the latter, stretching probably won't fix it and may make it worse.

What works for other banjo pickers may be the wrong approach for you and could exacerbate the problem. You need to see an orthopedics specialist to determine the actual cause of your pain and the best way to deal with it, or possibly even to cure it entirely.

Apr 25, 2019 - 6:38:55 AM
Players Union Member



1173 posts since 2/3/2012

When I was going through P.T. in 2011, after shattering my left wrist (and which included a rare nerve disorder that came along with), my therapist dunked my left hand/wrist in a hot paraffin bath.  It was wonderful.   It worked so well, I bought a good one and I still use when needed.  My wrist healed up fine and I now have an equal amount of arthritis in both hands it seems.

I often use the hot wax before I go to a jam.  The benefits seem to last 3 or 4 hours.  After playing at home, I use it on occasion if my wrists/hands are bothering.  An "Advil" seems to work well, too.

I'm going to make a doctor's appointment and look into P.T. as my wrist/hands have started hurting a bit more over the last year or so.  I attribute some of that to playing with a "full tilt, take no prisoner's" old time jam group once a week.  Lots of fun for me but I have to work at it and am pretty beat after 3 hours. The next day, my hands and wrists sure feel it and a dunk in the tank really helps.

Apr 25, 2019 - 7:21:03 AM
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772 posts since 1/21/2004

I had arthritis in my right hip. It was so bad that driving for 20 minutes or more was an ordeal. I went the conventional medical route and had no relief from the pain just some relief from my wallet and significant time consumption.

I also tried the religious method. No relief from the pain that way either.

Then someone suggested I try Golden Raision and Gin. I suggest you google — Golden Raision and Gin for arthritis pain relief and do a little research. There are a lot of sites you can read about people’s results. It is an old folk remedy. It did get relief from the arthritic pain.

A summary is get a box of golden raisins, cover it with gin, let the gin evaporate, eat nine raisins a day. The raisins cost me $3.65 and the gin was $11 even (I bought the cheap stuff).

Hey, the pain relief may be a placebo effect. Or it may be because of continued religious effect. But either way I don’t care. Pain relief is pain relief no matter what. I’m not saying this will help you, but it is a low cost low effort option to try.

As a side note, I stopped my personal alcohol consumption in 1978. At first when I took the raisions in the morning I felt a mini high. I no longer get a mini high. But I’m no longer limping and whining.

Three disclaimers:
1) I’m not a medical doctor or affiliated with the medical profession,
2) I am not affiliated with any revenue related to raisins or Gin,
3) Advise you get for nothing is usually worth about what you pay for it.

I wish you the best of luck.


Apr 25, 2019 - 7:43:32 AM

185 posts since 10/23/2010

I can definitely relate.
For the past couple years, I’ve had pain and stiffness in my hands. Mostly the wrists and thumbs.
Osteoarthritis I assume, inherited from my Dad. I remember him often complaining about his hands and wrists hurting.
Now I know what he meant.

One thing that helps my right hand is wearing a sweat band on my arm for padding where it lays against the arm rest.

Ibuprofen of course helps a lot, but I really don’t like taking too much of that on a regular basis.

I recently read that pineapple is very good for arthritis joint pain, as it removes built up Uric acid.
Figured it couldn’t hurt to try it, so I started eating a serving of fresh pineapple every day or so.
Believe it or not, my hands and wrists have felt better.
Might be psychological, but as long as it helps, I really don’t care.

Apr 29, 2019 - 10:13:32 AM

1922 posts since 4/5/2006

Try all of the cures suggested, starting with the freebies & working your way up. I too was once told I had some arthritis. And when I developed carpel  tunnel, in both hands, I thought I was doomed! Take heart. There are different levels of expertise in the medical field. Having MD after your name isn't a universal qualifier for everything that ails you.

The number one thing, IMHO, is to be relaxed when playing. Not as simple as it seems, not only being physical,  but mentally as well. Check out the thread on Muscle Tension. Study a lot of video's of people's hands while  playing. While doing stretching exercises, make a conscious effort (yoga or whatever) to clear the mind of everything except what is immediately at hand. Be patient, but if all else fails, seek the advise of a specialist, maybe more than one.    

Apr 29, 2019 - 11:57:51 AM



195 posts since 8/11/2015

Thanks to all who gave me advice.
I already had planned to ask my primary doctor when I have my next annual checkup to refer me to a hand specialist regarding my wrist pain if it doesn't improve; however, in the meantime I intend to try some (if not all) of the good hints you all gave me.
It really hasn't been very long since I was told by a sports doctor that I didn't really have much arthritis in my wrists, but at my age, that might've since become worse.
I can easily tell that I have probably no arthritis in my fingers (no aches or pains in fingers and thumbs ever), so maybe that's a good sign.
Much obliged.

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