My flow chart goes like this: never used anything on my right arm except a shirt sleeve or a sock in the summer for decades. Then got hooked on the Abel guitar rest which I just loved, i.e., didn't realize I was "uncomfortable" until I started using it.
I found the Abel rest tedious as you have to take it on and off to put the guitar in the case, it doesn't stay on well for some guitars and now, I suspect, my right shoulder was a bit higher than it should be sitting due to the added height of the rest. Enter the Luva hard arm pad. I was using this for lute playing only (for some reason the lute cuts into my forearm more than the guitar, probably because of added pressure to keep it from slipping).
It was easy then to ditch the Abel support and just use the Luva hard pad for guitar and lute, though it took some adapting. I did this for at least a year or so.
Now I believe during performance or other tense moments the hard pad allowed me to exert more pressure on the guitar than was needed since I didn't feel any discomfort at the contact point. Paying the price now. I've since put that away and being very mindful how much I am pressing on the right arm. I firmly believe this pad is not necessary if you are holding the instrument properly.
Anyone else have an experience like this? If you use the hard pad, take great care with this.
2017 Glen Canin Spruce
2017 Antonius Mueller Cedar