So after 30 years of playing guitar I ended up with Carpal tunnel in both hands. Initially I thought it was from using heavy gauge strings for a few years but I was wrong. I found it was really just hereditary and a combination of years lifting weights, guitar playing, and typing at work. Not really one thing or another. I had been trying to gain muscle and doing a heavy weight lifting routine for about 4 months when it began to flare up. I changed strings and went down to 9 gauge but even playing XBOX flared up the pain in my wrists and forearms. I decided to do my left wrist first and then a month later the right after my dotor said he wouldnt do both at the same time. As he put it, “how will you wipe your ass?”, I said “thats why I have a wife!” . She wasnt amused. 😀
So the pain was gone pretty much the day after surgery but of course having your wrist cut open was uncomfortable of course. Within 3 days I didnt need pain killers at all and went back to the gym for very lift workouts. Any type of press exercise impossible since the bar was laying right on the cut. Now guitar playing was my worry of course and I knew it would be a while until I could play again. Still I wanted to try and even with a wrapped up hand I attempted to play. I was surprised I didnt have any pain and things were normal except for some open chords. I tend to lay my thumb over the neck so it was more of the same stinging feeling in the cut. I continued to play lightly and just noodle with some 9’s on my tele since it has a thin neck.
After a day I took off the wrap and this is what it looked like.
I found I had a loose feeling in the wrist and a ball of scar tissue under the cut. The wiggly loose feeling lasted for about a month or so but its getting tighter now and the ball has shrunk to a little bump. I only feel it when I lay anything across the cut like a barbell or trying to do a pushup. Im sure in more time it will be completely gone.
So the good news is after another surgery on my right hand too, I am back to playing full time. Ive restrung the old Strat with 11’s and playing like the old days. I have a little discomfort in my forearm but thats from age and not using heavier strings for a few years now. I just have to take it slow and detune to Eb for practice.
Below are some pics of the day after , then couple weeks, and now 3 months. If you unfortunately get to go through this I would suggest be patient and trust the process. It will heal and youll be back to playing faster then you think.