All right, I’ve got issues with both of these. Not crippling or stopping me playing but in need of care and sorting if possible. The thumb in question is my left – or fretting – hand. It’s a tendon thing probably caused by poor posture / technique over the years. I can avoid pain if I’m careful with stretches or barre chords – especially barre chord with stretches! Some of these that I play need a bit of strength to hold down and it can be easily overdone. So I just need to be aware and take care.
This shoulder thing is probably again caused by poor posture. Think about the picking – for me, the right – arm slumped over the body of the guitar for extended periods and it won’t be a surprise. No wonder it’s caused an issue. I feel it now not just when I’ve been playing but it also affects arm movement and strength generally. So I needed to get it properly diagnosed and see if there was anything to be done to mitigate it. A few days ago I took a trip to a local sports physiotherapist and she concluded that there was no problem with rotator cuff or bursitis (which I was concerned it might be); rather is seemed that there was some “tightness” my rhomboid muscles in my upper back. She prescribed me some exercises and a further appointment in a couple of weeks.
Of course, I know this is a common issue with guitar players and players of other instruments. I know I’m not alone. I guess that apart from the direct cause of playing guitar (with a poor posture!) that it’s also to expected of an ageing body. That said, I have been swimming a lot over the years and almost daily have done other stretching exercises so I am a bit disappointed – I naively thought I might avoid this sort of thing. But, nah! Ho-hum.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress.