Before you do ANYTHING, take this from a fellow musician of 15 years.
After long and strenuous piano/guitar sessions, plus push ups/kettle bell workouts and all the other wonderful things I do at my hung ga school, you NEED a good pair of baoding balls.
These things are AMAZINGLY useful, for musicians, martial artists and pretty much anyone that doesn't want tendonitis. I've let friends borrow them after car accidents and using them prevented one of my friends from needing a heavy surgical procedure done to her wrist. Believe what you want about Chinese medicine and their mindsets, but Baoding balls are SO useful.
You can get them at pretty much any Asian novelty store or other international store, at any local flea markets or even online. They're generally kept in the fancy box like the one in the Wikipedia article, so they aren't hard to find. If you decide to get a pair of these (which I implore you to), I would suggest a pair about a quarter size smaller than a ball on a pool table.
If you would stop playing with pairs of Asian balls, maybe you wouldn't run such a high risk of carpel tunnel syndrome and tendinitis in the first place.
Touche. My humblest apologies.
Thanks all for the replies.
I have a question about Tai Chi. I see that it's a great form for fitness. But is it truly great for self defense? Also, does it have any ground fighting applications?
I don't have any health insurance so I can't afford physical therapy. So I'm trying to find all that I can do on my own to rehab my back and wrists.
I know this may be a dumb question, but how do you post normal replies to threads? The only way the thread would let me reply was to hit someone elses quote then delete their post then post my reply.
Ultimately, for most people, "Don't hang out with drunks" and "Avoid bad areas" is all the self-defense one needs, but you're a gigging musician...
Also, does it have any ground fighting applications?
Southeast Asian arts sometimes teach and utilize drums as part of training/demonstrating; you might be into that.
As a guitar player of 28 years, who has suffered through both tendonitis and carpal tunnel (in addition to neck injuries), I'd say rehab in the gym prior to undertaking any type of contact training; you need to look after your career.
To be honest, you are pretty much screwed. I think the reason Tai Chi would be good, is beacuse it would at least give you a form of martial art to satisfy your curiosity. Self defence? Meh, not much. With the time you will be putting into it, you would most likely learn the Yang 24 form or something like that. You will get to play at martial arts, but don't try to use it on a drunk biker.
Other than Tai Chi, I wouldn't mess around with something that could adversly affect your carreer. Boxing would at least let you shadow box, practice footwork, and get in good shape. Just be careful with your back, and let your coach know that you can't do focus mits or bag work until you get your wrist pain sorted out. Self defence? Boxing would be better.