Can You Get Nerve Damage From Playing Guitar?

Can You Get Nerve Damage From Playing Guitar

Injuries caused by playing the guitar are a common problem among guitarists. These include tendonitis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome and more.


Guitar players are at high risk of developing tendonitis due to the repetitive stress they put on their wrists. This can result in a dull ache and stiffness. This is an issue that can be treated with exercises that strengthen the tendons in your wrist.

It can also be prevented by warming up and stretching before playing. If you have a reoccurring issue, contact your physician to discuss treatment options.

Symptoms of this condition include pain, numbness or tingling in the thumb, index finger and middle fingers. If left untreated, this condition can progress to severe symptoms such as weakness and numbness in the hand.

The most important thing to remember is that if you start feeling these symptoms, don’t ignore them. See your physician within the first few days or weeks of them starting to appear and they’ll be able to quickly determine the cause.

Focal Dystonia

Musicians often experience focal dystonia, where several fingers on their hands curl up and stop responding. This condition is often the result of a combination of overuse and bad technique when playing the guitar.

Once this condition is diagnosed, treatment should begin immediately to prevent long-term disability and the recurrence of the symptoms. The goal is to regain full strength and flexibility so that the musician can perform without pain and discomfort.

If you develop calluses on your fingertips as a result of your guitar playing, it’s important to let them heal between practice sessions to avoid soft tissue damage to the fingers. This can take a few days to a week or so, but you should be able to play your guitar again once they have healed.

Blisters on the fingertips are another common problem for guitarists. They are caused by the repeated pressure of bending your fingertips down against the fretboard as you play. This can cause irritation to the delicate skin on your fingertips and may lead to blisters if you are not careful.

This injury is more likely to occur if you use a heavier-gauge string or when your fingertips are wet, so allowing your hands to dry between practice sessions will minimize the risk of these injuries. It’s also a good idea to play your guitar with nylon strings if you can to minimize the risk of tearing the fragile calluses on your fingertips.

It’s also a good idea to change the strings on your guitar periodically to help the calluses on your fingertips stay intact. This will also reduce the chances of them rupturing and bleeding out during your practice sessions.

In most cases, a patient’s symptoms start to show up in the mild stage and will only worsen with continued use of their affected hand. If the symptoms are caught and treated during this stage, they will usually resolve 50% of the time with simple rest and night bracing.