I am a guitarist based in Hastings Sussex England, I teach at Eastbourne Academy of Music and I am getting more famous as a player too! I went though alot of years in pain with RSI but have overcome the problems recently. If you know anyone suffering from these problems maybe my story would help.
I got RSI playing in cold places, and in restaurants in my late teens. It really affected my enjoyment of guitar and troubled me at music college in London. My R/H index finger was most affected, especially after concerts. I took ibruphofen , but long term it mashes the liver. I found glucosomine a much better option, it takes two or three weeks to really get going but it is natural and builds damaged tissue back and is also a pain killer. Best product I have found so far is by Changes Twinlab its called 'Relief'
I had to cancel an important sell out recital ar the Battle Festival in 1999 due to my left wrist going, I woke up the morning of the concert with a sprained wrist! I think I went too athletic with some exercises and the wrist could not take it. I was lucky Paul Gregory was around to do the concert, I called him at midday!
The physio the doc sent me to found that the muscles on my forarm were tighter than some athletes leg muscles. She worked on my forarm muscles to loosen them up and stretch them again. Look at the muscles on your forarm as you move your fingers and you will see the affected muscles groups that need work. Give them a rub to warm them up, then work up the muscles with some oil with your thumb to unlock them. Do this routine before you play, start with ten minutes, then gradually increase times to reach half an hour. Never play for longer than half an hour. Repeat after playing
The runners who warm and stretch their leg muscles BEFORE AND AFTER a run will keep running. Those who do not warm up have problems, the muscle needs stretching out to release the build up of toxins and blood in the muscle. Same thing in the arms of musicians. If you do not warm up then the muscles just get tighter and tighter this makes the tendons joining the muscle get pulled more and more, and will in extreme cases snap. In the hand Carpel tunnel is more likely.
So the more you warm with 6 hours of scales etc, the more damage you do. I am passionate about this as my ignorance cost me years of pain and frusration, so I hope this helps. Check out www.changesinternational.com as a few nutritional suppliments will help. You can buy direct if you quote my id#424442354 on the form. I would recommend Changes Relief, Noni Plus, and Power Nutrient Plus part of your recovery. The products are optimum synergistic formulas, with the exercises should sort the problem.