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I've noticed my injury has been "damaged" somehow... quite possibly from over-practicing ( 3 hours a day - something I'm not used to ), or persisting with some ff passages that were beyond my technique. Some background info: I've had a similar injury a few years ago...back then I stopped practicing altogether for 3 months... thinking that would help "heal" the tendons, only to have my physio tell me that "not using your wrist is not gonna help you heal it". The injury resurfaced a couple more times without me doing anything particularly harmful, and I visited a specialist who told me I might need some surgery ( damaged ligaments or something along those lines ), but had my try some cortisone injection first. The cortisone did help, the pain went away , and I could even use regain full use of my wrist again, lifting mild weights - something I couldn't do before without discomfort. A few years later the injury resurfaced once more ( I did try to lift something relatively heavy for a few seconds ) and got worse through over-practicing. The pain is quite bad now if I twist or turn the wrist , or try to lift something ( even if it's not heavy ) and sometimes in certain passages that involve wrist rotation. I stopped practicing for a couple of days, trying massages and heat on my wrist, but the pain and discomfort is still there. What should I do? Stop playing for a few weeks? few months ?
Sidenote: I heard of a pianist who had a similar injury, but from practicing 9 or 10 hours a day a difficult concert piece ... his doctor told him to stop for 9 months and he'd be fine again. He did just that... and when he came back after 9 months... the pain came back as well ! ( this example was part of a video to show the benefits of the Taubmann Technique, even if you had injured yourself through bad habits )
I strongly suggest you visit your doctor again, provided you can get an appointment in these Covid19 times. The doctor might want to do some imaging to see if you have damaged your wrist further. A hand/arm/wrist specialist is the best person to determine if you need surgery, therapy or another cortisone shot. In the meantime, don't do anything that hurts, rest your wrist as much as possible, alternate ice and heat and keep it quiet.
Once you have recovered, you should consult with a teacher or movement specialist to find out why playing the piano is causing you pain.
On a side note, I tore the TFCC ligament in my right wrist. It was repaired surgically but the pain persisted for more than a year. After months of therapy and a cortisone shot I finally saw a highly recommended acupuncturist. She helped me a great deal and now I am 99% pain free.
You definitely need to stop playing until the pain goes away completely in your everyday life. Don't do anything that causes pain. A brace may also be required initially for a week or two to promote healing.
I had a very positive experience with kinesio taping to help heal joint traumas, but taping must be done every day for a couple of months in order to take effect.
Most importantly you need to learn to relax your wrists when playing. A good teacher would be very helpful.
I truly feel for you since both my hands have been injured for about two years. I've been to eight or ten doctors, two acupuncturists which were extremely painful, three EMGs, physical therapy, hand therapy, I'm on my forth neurologist, 2 MRI's, surgery on one of my hands and probably some other things. For a few months I studied with a fellow by the name of Andrew Kraus who helped me tremendously to change the way I play. He's on this site and you can do a search of him and he teaches via Zoom so you can record the lessons.
Since I'm not playing right now while I recover, I'm sitting in a class every other week with a teacher by the name of Genia and she has a book called "Piano Yoga" and covers many topics. She's from the Ukraine and is the grand niece of Vladimer Horowitz and she teaches professionals and teachers and she's also a composer who rapidly up and coming. Check her out here: https://www.piano-yoga.com/ Oh, and the class, with other people, is only twelve bucks! Feel free to contact me if you'd like to know more. BTW, doctors don't know squat. My current neurologist even said so. Good luck!
I will say that when I had tendinitis some years ago, many months of resting did not help me get back to playing, but a Taubman teacher showed me how to move at the piano in ways that did not hurt and actually made things feel better. The Taubman teachers at the Golandsky Institute may be able to help when you are ready to get back to piano; I know they offer remote lessons if you are not near a teacher (and also during the pandemic).
Wow, some great suggestions there.. thanks ! Stretching and massage was recommended by my physio ( he showed me exactly how to do it ). I think the idea of physical therapy is to try to restore full range of motion to the damaged muscle. So if you do it properly, it should work over the long run. I've been looking to get a good Taubman teacher ( or similar ) but I'm a little skeptical about doing this via Skype.
Some pianists talking about injuries from piano playing:
For the record, my wrist was already damaged ( from a lifting incident ) a few years ago, and the pain resurfaces from time to time, so I believe that contributed to my problem ( on top of incorrect practice habits )
I took a lesson from John Bloomfield from the Golandsky Institute but it was too far for me to travel and he recommended lessons on a regular basis and at the time wouldn't do skype but he was helpful but pricey.
Update on my wrist problem: Pain is still there, but feeling better. To my surprise I discovered playing the piano was less difficult and painful than simple everyday tasks, such as doing the dishes and turning a door knob. Picking up a load also quite hard sometimes, depending on the angle. Basically anything that involves rotating the wrist or grabbing something at an angle is painful right now. I deliberately make an effort to play the piano with a super relaxed wrist now, and avoid twisting and fortissimos ( especially with big chords and staccatos ) I think this has made my playing more natural and given me a more pleasant musical sound , an unexpected result of my wrist injury. Physio has recommended exercises to strengthen my wrist.