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Thread: Drumming with a back injury

  1. #1

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    Default Drumming with a back injury

    Hey guys! I didn't see a specific thread for injuries so I'm posting this here. I injured my lower back about 9 years ago lifting something (improperly), but it hasn't bothered me too seriously until recently. My gf and I moved this past summer and I really did a number on it. Ended up going to the hospital in an ambulance. Turns out the problem is in my L5S1 joint at the bottom of my spine. There is too much movement forwards and backwards (and possibly rotationally) in the joint and when it "goes out" my back seizes up with spasms. I'm in physio trying to strengthen the small muscles around the joint to try to keep it from happening again. I was fiddling around on my practice pad the other night and was experiencing some discomfort during the practice and the next day.

    My question is (finally, sorry!) does anyone else here have this injury? And/or do you think that sitting higher or lower on the drum stool would be better? I love drumming and would hate to have to give it up after almost 30 years. I know we're drummers not doctors, but I thought someone here might have some experience with this.

    Any advice? Thanks for reading and have a great night!
    A repo man spends his life getting into tense situations.

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  2. #2

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    Default Re: Drumming with a back injury

    Have you thought about getting a throne with a back rest? It would definitely prevent movement backward. I used to sit high and found that I had a pretty bad posture. I now sit with my legs at a 90 degree angle. Completely flat. Now the drums are around me instead of under me and I'm not leaning down.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Drumming with a back injury

    I have no real injury, but I've had lower back pain issues when drumming for the last few years. "Had" is the key word. I found that a GOOD throne is worth a lot. My old throne was loose and wobbled at the seat, which caused my lower back muscles to constantly be tense in order to maintain stability. I also learned that a thick, soft, round seat did not provide proper support for my hips. I purchased a new throne with a firm, ergonomic, motorcycle seat and adjustable lower back rest. No more "wobble" at the hips when I shift my weight around and I sit clear back so the backrest keeps me from slouching. The motorcycle style seat supports my hips and still allows my legs to move freely without shifting my weight. I make sure I set the kit up so I can sit up straight and reach everything with my arms to keep me planted in the seat.

    My lower back pain is gone and I can play a 4hr gig without issue.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Drumming with a back injury

    I have a really nice, almost new Gibraltar throne. It's quite soft and comfortable, but it isn't a motorcycle seat and it doesn't have a back on it. I don't sit too high, but maybe lowering it the seat might help a little. I don't want to have to spend another $200 on a new stool, the one I have is practically new. I do think that the motorcycle seat with a back might help, though. I'll keep at my exercises and see how things progress. Thanks for the replies, guys!
    A repo man spends his life getting into tense situations.

    Premier Cabria Jazz: 10/12/14/20
    Mapex Dillinger Snare
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Drumming with a back injury

    I also have lower back problems. Doctors have told me I have two degenerated disks L4 & L5. Started sitting alittle lower and that seems to help.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Drumming with a back injury

    Quote Originally Posted by creepshow View Post
    I have a really nice, almost new Gibraltar throne. It's quite soft and comfortable, but it isn't a motorcycle seat and it doesn't have a back on it. I don't sit too high, but maybe lowering it the seat might help a little. I don't want to have to spend another $200 on a new stool, the one I have is practically new. I do think that the motorcycle seat with a back might help, though. I'll keep at my exercises and see how things progress. Thanks for the replies, guys!
    I bought a brand new Gibraltar round top (9600). Great throne, but it was too soft. Didn't offer enough hip support. 2hrs into a gig, I would still get lower back pain. A few months later I bought their 9608MB...same base but with motorcycle seat and backrest. It took care of the problem instantly. I still use the 9600 for practice, but the 9608MB stays in the gig bag.

    I would have someone watch you play to see if your sitting upright or slouching over the drums. I've always tried to position my drums low, but I'm learning that I'm better off if they're high enough that I can sit up straight.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Drumming with a back injury

    Hey guys! Last night I was doing a bit of air drumming (I live in an apartment, so no real drumming for me), but I was sitting in my computer chair sitting lower than my drum stool is. I also had a pillow behind my lower back to try to simulate what sitting it a motorcycle seat throne with a back rest would be like. I sat up very straight, keeping the support on my lower back. I think it may have helped a little bit. I'll see how it goes and keep up with my strength exercises. My physiotherapist isn't sure about any discs bulging, but definitely seems confident about the weakened/injured small muscles around my L5S1 leading to the loose movement down there. My knees were pretty much at a 90 degree angle whilst in the chair, and the back support seemed to help a little. Thanks again for the advice, guys! Much appreciated!
    A repo man spends his life getting into tense situations.

    Premier Cabria Jazz: 10/12/14/20
    Mapex Dillinger Snare
    Sabian:
    AA 14" Regular Hats
    AAX 18" X-Plosion Crash
    AAX 20" Studio Ride
    HHX 18" X-Plosion Crash
    Paragon 19" Chinese
    Evans
    Vater Stewart Copeland Drumsticks

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Drumming with a back injury

    I can't afford it right now, but this is a throne I've been looking at. It looks to be good for what I need for my back. http://aheaddrumsticks.com/drum-thro...l#.WHmMTBR0MXc
    A repo man spends his life getting into tense situations.

    Premier Cabria Jazz: 10/12/14/20
    Mapex Dillinger Snare
    Sabian:
    AA 14" Regular Hats
    AAX 18" X-Plosion Crash
    AAX 20" Studio Ride
    HHX 18" X-Plosion Crash
    Paragon 19" Chinese
    Evans
    Vater Stewart Copeland Drumsticks

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Drumming with a back injury

    I'd like to try a split seat too someday
    RED DIRT MOUNTAIN
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  10. #10

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    Default Re: Drumming with a back injury

    The back issues that I have are muscular. Only time it becomes a problem is after playing double kick. Having both feet off the ground at the same time really stresses out my back muscles.

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