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Thread: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

  1. #1

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    Default I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    So the dr says I have a mild version of cubital tunnel syndrome (it sure dont feel mild). The dr said it MAY go away ( I also read that but I have more reading to do on the subject) but I could not pin him down about vigorous and repititous activity i.e. drumming, when will I be able to get back at it and so on. Does anyone have any personal experience with this and if so how are you dealing with it and if you've been cured or it has gone away on it's own like mild cases can how did you do it? I can't stop playing..I can't, I gotta get back playing again.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by FIDDLEHEADSTEW View Post
    So the dr says I have a mild version of cubital tunnel syndrome (it sure dont feel mild). The dr said it MAY go away ( I also read that but I have more reading to do on the subject) but I could not pin him down about vigorous and repititous activity i.e. drumming, when will I be able to get back at it and so on. Does anyone have any personal experience with this and if so how are you dealing with it and if you've been cured or it has gone away on it's own like mild cases can how did you do it? I can't stop playing..I can't, I gotta get back playing again.

    Most of the drummers that I have seen with hand problems, and there have been a few over the years, have come from gripping the sticks way too tight.

    Bad technique can, of course, cause hand problems, but, and let me emphasize, in MY experiences with other drummers, the ones with hand problems came from too tight a grip on the sticks.

    I have a friend that is going through something similar. I have watched him play countless times and his hands would get red from the grip he plays with.

    You are going to have to take a break for a while. How long will be up to you and your doctor.

    When you can go back, work on holding the stick as loose as you can.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Cubital? You mean carpal tunnel? Or is that really what the doc is calling it?
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    Most of the drummers that I have seen with hand problems, and there have been a few over the years, have come from gripping the sticks way too tight.

    Bad technique can, of course, cause hand problems, but, and let me emphasize, in MY experiences with other drummers, the ones with hand problems came from too tight a grip on the sticks.

    I have a friend that is going through something similar. I have watched him play countless times and his hands would get red from the grip he plays with.

    You are going to have to take a break for a while. How long will be up to you and your doctor.

    When you can go back, work on holding the stick as loose as you can.
    Thread done. Nothing more needs to be said.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    If you have a classic case of Cubital tunnel syndrome, numbing of the little finger and the ring finger, I doubt it was caused by bad grip technique or death gripping the sticks. This is the explanation straight from Wikipedia about this syndrome, which you probably already know from the info your doc gave you, and I quote.

    "Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve is obstructed during its path along the cubital tunnel, the outer edge of the elbow. This compression of the nerve often leads to a tingling or 'pins and needles' sensation in the little and ring fingers. Most cases will be minor and tend to come and go with time. Common causes are sleeping with the arm folded up, so the hand is at the person's neck and the elbow is sharply bent. These people frequently wake up with tingling in the fingers, because the nerve has been pinched or squeezed while asleep. Treatment of these types of causes are easy to remedy and can involve simply altering sleeping positions to avoid aggravating the elbow area. In more extreme cases however where tingling is persistent, surgery is an option to move the nerve away from the area."

    "Although the nerve can be entrapped in several places near the elbow, the cubital tunnel is the most common." Identifying which of the three hand nerves is impinged is usually quite simple. The ulnar nerve innervates the fourth and fifth fingers, and symptoms such as numbness, weakness, and tingling appear there. The ulnar nerve also innervates the intrinsic muscles of the hand, which on paralysis lead to a characteristic clumsiness in ulnar nerve palsy. Clinical tests, like card test, Froment sign, can be easily performed for assessment of ulnar nerve. However, a complete diagnosis should identify the source of the impingement, and further testing may be necessary to determine which of many possible underlying causes is relevant."

    "Cubital tunnel syndrome is more common in people who spend long periods of time with their elbows bent, such as when holding a telephone to the head. Flexing the elbow while the arm is pressed against a hard surface, such as leaning against the edge of a table, is a significant risk factor. The use of vibrating tools at work or other causes of repetitive activities increase the risk, including throwing a baseball."

    ""
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  6. #6

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Ah, should have thought (slaps self), silly me... 'cubital' from the word cubit....the ancient measurement using the forearm. And obviously the whole deal of nerve entrapment around the ulnar bone towards the elbow, not towards the wrist where the ulnar and radius bones meet and join there. That would make sense if you've got numbness in the ring finger and pinky. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome seems to affect more the thumb, index and middle fingers before it aggravates the other fingers, if they haven't been affected by it or a different condition already. Again, medical professionals have to take it on a case by case basis, and not surprisingly there can be misdiagnoses at times.

    I'm glad that your doctor seems to have pinpointed the condition. Please heed all the advice he gives you. Even if that means you have to cease drumming for a while, or any recreational activity such as sports where you have to swing a bat or racquet for the time being until you recover or they can say it could be seen to by medical means. Your health is important if you want to continue to play.
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  7. #7

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Thanks guys...hopefully it will go away. The hand specialist I went to told me to take 200 mg of b6 vitamin for 6 weeks then 100 mg for another 6 weeks and Alleve for about 6 weeks. It SEEMS to be helping..numbness greatly subsided and the strength is returning to my grip but I still have bad days. And as for stick grip pressure perhaps I had been holding the sticks too tight..I like to play hard and with power to get a loud thundering sound..I dont play super fast like Tim Yeung or that style of music. I need to get instructed on how to play period. I didnt know playing drums could be so hazardous!! Posture..kit setup..grip technique..foot techniques all so important. Keep all the good advice coming guys and thanks.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by FIDDLEHEADSTEW View Post
    Thanks guys...hopefully it will go away. The hand specialist I went to told me to take 200 mg of b6 vitamin for 6 weeks then 100 mg for another 6 weeks and Alleve for about 6 weeks. It SEEMS to be helping..numbness greatly subsided and the strength is returning to my grip but I still have bad days. And as for stick grip pressure perhaps I had been holding the sticks too tight..I like to play hard and with power to get a loud thundering sound..I dont play super fast like Tim Yeung or that style of music. I need to get instructed on how to play period. I didnt know playing drums could be so hazardous!! Posture..kit setup..grip technique..foot techniques all so important. Keep all the good advice coming guys and thanks.
    ..great to hear your doing a bit better....playing drums themselves isn't the hazardous piece...it is the repetitive action that causes things to wear out. Posture grip, technique, etc, if done improperly....makes things wear out even faster

  9. #9

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Here, these might help your grip situation. They helped me to strengthen my hand and at the same time helped develop a nice loose, but firm grip on the stick. And allowed me to keep on playing through my rehabilitation. There called Gig Grips. Just google it.



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  10. #10

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by FIDDLEHEADSTEW View Post
    Thanks guys...hopefully it will go away. The hand specialist I went to told me to take 200 mg of b6 vitamin for 6 weeks then 100 mg for another 6 weeks and Alleve for about 6 weeks. It SEEMS to be helping..numbness greatly subsided and the strength is returning to my grip but I still have bad days. And as for stick grip pressure perhaps I had been holding the sticks too tight..I like to play hard and with power to get a loud thundering sound..I dont play super fast like Tim Yeung or that style of music. I need to get instructed on how to play period. I didnt know playing drums could be so hazardous!! Posture..kit setup..grip technique..foot techniques all so important. Keep all the good advice coming guys and thanks.
    Another tip you can try is to really focus on what is going on when you play, work, or relax. You may be straining muscles and are not aware of it. Seeing a chiropractor, in my opinion, is a better choice than a doctor.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    I also suffer from this, and I can tell you from experience that it has nothing to do with muscles or grip, and probably isnt somethintg that was even caused by drumming.

    This condition is a condition of the *nerves*, and not something you can easily avoid as a drummer. We constantly play with our arms bent, which exacerbates the problem.
    It's unlikely that having a break from the drums will improve the situation, since we also sit with our elbow folded at a desk, or sleeping, or driving, or using a computer.... just about everything we do puts our arms in a position that is detrimental to your recovery.

    Having said that, remember that the ulnar nerve comes out from your neck/spine/shoulder area, so make sure when you're sitting at your kit that you are not bent over with your shoulders drooping forwards. Keep them back, and sit upright. When you sleep, wear some elbow pads (similar to what you'd use for protection while skating) but spin them backward so you're unable to bend your elbow during sleep.
    None of these things alone are a cure, but in my experience it all helps.

    A friend of mine actually had the surgery (im considering it) and apparently it isnt a large or very risky operation. There are a few ways they can do it. One is called a transposition, where they actually remove the pinched nerve and place it in a different place in your arm (!!!)
    Recovery time is about 8 weeks. If you are really struggling with it, Id sggest looking into the surgery. Damaged nerves dont recover like muscle does, so the longer you go without fixing the issue, the more permanent damage youll likely be doing.

    Hope this helps.

  12. #12

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    and old thread but a tough topic for drummers.
    I wonder how many drummers really suffer from playing over all the years
    I have a feeling since I play so aggressive I'll be in for a world of hurt myself.
    That and I snapped my arm in half and had four corrective surgeries lol
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    That and I snapped my arm in half and had four corrective surgeries lol
    Spaz, I'd ask you how that happened, but I might end up with nightmares for a while. Have you had to alter your technique in order to continue playing, or has there been a complete recovery?
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    and old thread but a tough topic for drummers.
    I wonder how many drummers really suffer from playing over all the years
    I have a feeling since I play so aggressive I'll be in for a world of hurt myself.
    That and I snapped my arm in half and had four corrective surgeries lol
    Wow Zach , I have seen you're playing and I would never have guessed you had broken an arm. All I will say is that as you age old injuries sort of come back. So enjoy while you are young .

  15. #15

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    and old thread but a tough topic for drummers.
    I wonder how many drummers really suffer from playing over all the years
    I have a feeling since I play so aggressive I'll be in for a world of hurt myself.
    That and I snapped my arm in half and had four corrective surgeries lol
    I have to ask. How in the hell did you snap your arm in half.

    Personally, I think that Cailyn smacked you around after the 30th snare drum. If you make it to 60 snare drums, she may break the other arm.
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  16. #16

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Well, at least you didn't have cubital tunnel LOL

  17. #17

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    why did you delete my post drummer?

  18. #18

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    Default Re: I have cubital tunnel syndrome YAY!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by itchie View Post
    why did you delete my post drummer?
    Hi Itchie,
    I don't recall deleting it. I'm not the only one that moderates this forum. If your post included language that's not permitted, something political or counter to any rules of the forum, that should be the only reason it would be removed. Check the forum rules to be sure.
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