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Thread: Hand & Back Pain

  1. #1

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    Hi
    i sometimes get a pain in my right hand (high hat hand) just down my thumb going up to my forearm, i have to change the way i hold the stick in that hand for 10sec's or so just to make the pain go, it stops me playing quick, and the other day i had a terrible pain in my lower back after playing for a couple of hours, i don't think i'm to far away from my drums my snare is the same height as my belt buckle and just over a hand width away from me, i do try to sit up straight but sometimes slouch, any advise would be a help.
    Cheers MARK
    Have you got you're ticket for the rock train? You gotta earn that Ticket!!

    Premier Genista - Pearl Masters - Primus custom snare - Zildjian A Custom- DW 5000 pedal - Zildjian Zack Starkey sticks

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  2. #2

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    The hand thing will be a technique issue or perhaps a conditioning issue - but probably the first. I don't know how long you've been playing for, if you get lessons or what, but almost any problem like this is purely because of the way you hold the sticks and/or play. This is of course ruling out RSI or something like that. Without watching you play it would be hard to say how to change your style though so a teacher would be a better bet here - or post a vid or something with a closeup on your playing then maybe we could advise better

    As for lower back pain - most likely because you slouch - at the same time a higher quality throne may be of benefit - one that actually supports you. You can even get ergonomic thrones designed with this purpose in mind to get good posture while still enabling you to play properly.

    Thats all i got for now
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  3. #3

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    it may not be from playing drums. You have to take into account other things you do, including work, etc. RSIs (Repetitive Strain injuries) you get from work can affect you when you're playing. I have all kinds of RSIs due to the factories i used to work in, and between my current job, and drums, they can get aggrivated.

  4. #4

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    Mark, your description of the thumb pain running toward the forearm suggests a probable tendonitis. If it subsides when you stop playing, then it is just at a begginning level. As CMWP suggests, it could be the way you're holding the sticks, or if your technique is aggravating a job related RSI, you might have to alter your technique slightly to accomodate. As to the low back pain, simple slouching on the throne shouldn't produce pain, but if there is a problem in the lower back, then slouching willl aggravate it. As a former chiropractor, might I suggest that you have a chiropractor examine you?
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.


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  5. #5

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    Obviously you should get it checked out by trained professionals (no disrespect to the folks who have responded here ). Edit: Since PB used to be a chiropractor, he really is a trained professional .

    As PB suggested, a chiropractor is a GREAT place to start. I've been going to one for 4 or 5 years now and he's the FIRST guy I talk to about ANYTHING, before any MD's. And Chiropractors can adjust any joint, not just backs and necks.
    Last edited by bruarm; 01-13-2009 at 08:13 AM.
    bruarm - Mapex Mafia
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  6. #6

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    im thinking technique with regards to the thumb issue. my back is jacked up from years of drumline but it doesnt bother me when im on the kit. could be a number of things. good luck!

  7. #7

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    Great advice PB!!!

    I also want to add really watch what you are doing with your body. Try to relax your muscles. If you are gripping the sticks too tight, you are doing a number of "bad" things. One is over exertion and the second comes from your hands absorbing the shock from playing.
    Like PTD said, factories can do you a lot of harm. Repetition can have some pretty nasty effects. I was a spot welder for 5 years. I learned how to use less pressure with my hands, and my tendonitis did go away, but it took a good year of chiropractic care. I would recommend a chiropractor over a doctor for this. Doctors like to prescribe pills, which really doesn't do much, except numb the pain. That can be worse.

  8. #8

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    Just hit up a doctor soon. God forbid but if it is a health problem you'll want to find out right away so you can take the proper steps to treat it/manage it and keep playing the drums. I get the same pains every now and then but I'm pretty sure its a mix of office work and just poor technique. I'm pretty sure I grip the sticks the right way but it might be other things I do incorrectly.
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  9. #9

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    Another possibility is the type of stick. I used to use those Zildjian dips and found the vibration was way higher than a lot of others. My hands and thumbs would hurt after using them. Once I switched, problem went away.
    bruarm - Mapex Mafia
    Mapex Pro M fusion kit natural finish
    Zildjians:
    14" K Custom Dark hats
    14" K Heavy Ride
    10" & 12" A fast splashes
    14", 16" & 18" A fast crashes
    Pearl Eliminator double kick
    Pearl free-floater brass snare (the deep one!!)
    not one, but 2 cowbells!!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruarm View Post
    Another possibility is the type of stick. I used to use those Zildjian dips and found the vibration was way higher than a lot of others. My hands and thumbs would hurt after using them. Once I switched, problem went away.
    That's a good piece of information there Bruarm. I just got a pair of the Dips, so I'll definitely have to pay attention to any possible problems.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.


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  11. #11

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    I might recommend stretching or warm up exercises before hitting the drums hard.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    That's a good piece of information there Bruarm. I just got a pair of the Dips, so I'll definitely have to pay attention to any possible problems.
    Maybe a crappy pair, but they just didn't seem very dense, thus the vibration problem.
    bruarm - Mapex Mafia
    Mapex Pro M fusion kit natural finish
    Zildjians:
    14" K Custom Dark hats
    14" K Heavy Ride
    10" & 12" A fast splashes
    14", 16" & 18" A fast crashes
    Pearl Eliminator double kick
    Pearl free-floater brass snare (the deep one!!)
    not one, but 2 cowbells!!

  13. #13

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    Yes. I have back problems too. When I sit up straight for too long it hurts my lower back.

    Perhaps it's because I'm constantly slouching, that my bones just kind of set into that position? I think the reason I slouch so much is because I'm tall (6'3").
    - Zack

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazymanwithaplunger View Post
    The hand thing will be a technique issue or perhaps a conditioning issue - but probably the first. I don't know how long you've been playing for, if you get lessons or what, but almost any problem like this is purely because of the way you hold the sticks and/or play. This is of course ruling out RSI or something like that. Without watching you play it would be hard to say how to change your style though so a teacher would be a better bet here - or post a vid or something with a closeup on your playing then maybe we could advise better

    As for lower back pain - most likely because you slouch - at the same time a higher quality throne may be of benefit - one that actually supports you. You can even get ergonomic thrones designed with this purpose in mind to get good posture while still enabling you to play properly.

    Thats all i got for now
    well i completely agree with the technique thing on the hand, go ask a proffesional what your doing wrong. show him how your holding it and ask what you need to change about it.

    as for the lower backi found my back hurting before. so i was told that it was because my lower back was alot weaker then my abs. if your working out, cut down one your crunches and ab workouts. Then add a lower back workout, and only do half of what you are doing for your lower back in crunches. if you have any questions i can give you more detail, but i am positive that if you work out, then that is your issue

    my back has not hurt since i changed the way i was working out, and i added stretching as part of my work out.
    -Steven

  15. #15

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    Try and sit up straight on the kit to stop the lower back pain.

    I have had lower back pain and neck pain from medical issues and i know what it feels like. Some days the pain was horible. Turning my neck was a mission.
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  16. #16

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    Yeah I should point out my advice was excluding medical problems. Generally speaking, any back pain is the result of something more serious, not just slouching at a drum kit.

    The advice about your core strength (abs) would be of benefit also as stronger stomach muscles will always improve back pain. But overall as suggested a doctor woudl be of benefit just to be safe. My tips were more about helping. I also figured others on here would see things differnelty to myself. Great thing about this place.
    "What consumes your mind, controls your life" - So, what consumes your mind?

  17. #17

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    Don't risk somthing in the future dude go get it looked at straight away. Better to be safe then sorry.
    Our weapons were our instruments
    Made from timber and steel
    We never yielded to conformity
    But stood like kings
    In a chariot that's riding on a
    Record wheel

  18. #18

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    WAIT!, please before you take the advice of going to see a doctor, go see a physical therapist, PREFERABLY a medical massage therapist. they will be able to tell you if it is just unbalanced muscles like i said about your core probably just being stronger then your back. I have nothing but respect for doctors, but you do not want to take medication that has nothing to do with your situation.

    Try doing "supermans" for a few days (get on hands and knees, extend right leg and left arm, bring back in, then left leg and right arm, repeat.)

    If your core is stronger then your back, then your lower back is having trouble holding your body, which will cause the feeling of tension or excesive strain.

    Sorry, my mom is a personal trainer so i have been pointed in the right direction, and i visit a medical message therapist every so often, and my back has not hurt since i have been working on my lower back much more.
    -Steven

  19. #19

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    Prioritize, make sure that there are no significant underlying medical problems before you start looking at technique, equipment, etc. It seems like your backpain is disproportionate to the activity.

    I used to experience tendinitis when my hihat is set too low because of overflexing my hand. Raising the hihat solved the problem.

  20. #20

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    Not to poo-poo on everyone's advice, but Mark, (the original poster) looks like a healthy young kid in his avatar. I think his problem is more bad technique than a physical ailment.

    Mark, do a search here for "blisters". I started a thread about it and was linked to a Dave Weckl video on stick holding, specifically his take on the moeller method.

    Perhaps a 10 minute free video would solve the problem rather than getting a diagnosis from a pill-pusher that's probably not necessary.

    I'm just sayin.....
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  21. #21

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    I have to agree with CD - you seem to be a robust young man. Check your technique, and also whether you're playing tense. I can get some cramping in my hands sometimes when I pay all tensed up. I'm probably gripping the sticks harder.

    And I also agree that the key to relieving back symptoms can be good core strength. I say that as someone who has been working out all his life. Many of my frieinds have back pains that are not really related to their work or anything. I think it's really important to maintain a healthy core. I do crunches and other abdominal exercises, and when I haven't done those things, I have had some back strain....nothing major, but just enough to let me know I need to do something about it. Back to the ab exercises and the problem quickly disappears.
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  22. #22

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    seems to be ok now, i've loosened my seat so it swivels round and spread out my kit a bit..all good
    Have you got you're ticket for the rock train? You gotta earn that Ticket!!

    Premier Genista - Pearl Masters - Primus custom snare - Zildjian A Custom- DW 5000 pedal - Zildjian Zack Starkey sticks

    I play lead Drums

  23. #23

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    I had noticed some hand and back pain after a practice session or long gig. I DVD'd last few practice sessions as well as the gig last week. I noticed that I was leaning forward towards my drums more than I should and that the snare wasn't as tilted as I used have it. I also noticed that I was switching from a traditional grip to a matched grip. Given that, I made a couple of simple changes: 1. Lowered my throne 1 turn. 2. Spread out the legs of the snare stand a bit more so I could tilt the snare downward from L to R a bit more, which has the effect of raising the left side up to meet my LH. 3. Took of the bass drum mounted cymbal holder and put the Ride on a boom stand and reset its position for optimal comfort. I think that we are not supposed to "Lock" ourselves into a single set-up. Some slight alterations may be all we need to do.
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  24. #24

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    Nice to ear its gone.
    My only advice is to ALWAYS warm up. I didnt warm up before a gig once and I had hand pain for a week!

  25. #25

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    time to hit up the doctors office yeah?

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