Tales of My Picking Demise were Greatly Exaggerated

I didn’t realize until a friend told me the other day, that I have left people in the Blogosphere hanging indefinitely in regards to my banjo-injured arm.

Long story short: it’s back to normal!

Long story long: As you may recall, I had started to develop some sort of inflammation of the tendon in my right forearm, right where I rest my arm on the armrest. I had always kept my arm down pretty hard on the armrest, so after so many years, it must have caused a repetitive motion injury.

So I put a piece of pipe insulation over the armrest, causing it to give me some padding for my forearm and also causing me to remember not to bear down so hard with my forearm. I also did the same pipe insulation solution on my mandolin, as my arm rested in exactly the same place on the mandolin.

Such injuries take a long time to heal, apparently. Over the next 3 to 6 months, it gradually got better.

Today, I am pretty much free of any symptoms. However, if I go back to playing without that insulation over the armrest, sure enough, in a little while, I will start feeling that icy-hot sensation starting to come back. It’s a small price to pay, and I don’t mind it, but it is a little awkward to keep my arm above the armrest when playing other folks’ instruments.

So the take-home here is simply not to bear down so hard on the armrest. It may happen to you in your middle or late years.

Pipe insulation on the armrest

About Phill Gibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Systems Engineer and part-time banjo and mandolin instructor. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play Scruggs and melodic and am working on becoming more advanced with single string. I'm also working on 4-finger banjo, which is way off the beaten path. I would like to see more jazz techniques integrated into bluegrass situations; counterpoint, especially. So long-term, that's what I'm doing. I'm also very keen on astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, christian homeschooling, martial arts, organic gardening and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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