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My wrists hurt!!!

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  • My wrists hurt!!!

    After playing with my band for about 2 hours my wrists start to hurt. and ache. I guess this is from the rubber cymbal pads on my V-custom. Anyone else have this problem? any suggestions? I guess it's back to real cymbals Cuz this is just too painful.

    Ostrich Hat

  • #2

    I have no suggestions, but a similar experience. I am a programmer and suffer from a mouse wrist. (is this the proper english for it?) It has affected my right arm, which happens to be the one used most in drumming. The good news is that the movements used playing the drums are different than using the mouse. The bad news is that I now have two types of ache in my wrist. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle this. I love my V's and don't want to use acoustic cymbals, because of the volume.



    • #3

      Originally posted by Pleiadian:
      I am a programmer and suffer from a mouse wrist. (is this the proper english for it?) It has affected my right arm, which happens to be the one used most in drumming. The bad news is that I now have two types of ache in my wrist.
      , Ouch! The condition is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, whereby the nerves routed through the wrist become enflamed to the extent that the inflamation can't subside. A common overuse/repetitive motion injury.

      It sounds to me like both of you need to develop and use your fingers/fulcrum more, as opposed to flexing your wrists to move your drumsticks all the time. I used to have the same problem, a decade ago. Are you both playing matched grip (pinkie, ring, & middle Finger Pads All In Aligned Contact w/Drumstick. Index&thumb provide stability uptop. Both hands identical), I hope? I would guess you're hitting too hard(!) all the time! Use fingers most of the time for a mid-dynamic volume level.

      Hope this helps.

      Thank Ye,
      Thanx. Alex & me V's! http://photos.yahoo.com/flexapr


      • #4
        Alexander. Your definition of CTS is a good one, very accurate. But telling people that repetive motion of the wrist is what you need to stay away from makes me think about something:

        Ever watch the old jazz guys play? Buddy, Ed, Gene... nothing but wrist. And those guys hit HARD too...

        I think it has more to do with technique and strength of the individual. I play (for example) matched grip and I hit pretty hard... most of my movementand speed comes from my wrists... I have never suffered from it... and I've been playing the same way for over 17 years.

        On a slightly related note: In the summer months I wear wrestling shoes. I don't know if you've seen them before, but they are basically thick socks with a thin rubber sole on them... they don't offer much in the way of ankle support. Coaches and wrestlers always told me I'd get tendon problems because of it... Now after 10 or more years of wearing them, I never have had any pain.

        And what about American Indians wearing moccassins all their lives? (Man, I'm out on a limb here! ) Men and women who wore leather on their feet and around their ankles ALL THEIR LIVES... no support at all. Few would argue that the joints of American Indians were most likely stronger than yours and mine because they DIDN'T have the support of modern shoes... Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, I guess.

        am I making any sense?
        \oo/_ :mad: _\oo/


        • #5
          This topic (sore wrists!) was discussed somewhere else here very recently. The bottom line is, V-cymbals (particularly PD-7/9 pads) are NOT acoustic cymbals, and they should NOT be played the same way!!! They are a separate instrument, capable of a fair bit of technique and dynamic range, but they should not (and need not) be banged at like acoustic cymbals. Plus, you can get a lot more out of them by playing them as cymbal PADS, and not pretending that they are actually cymbals.

          The other conclusion of the previous discussion is to address this problem ASAP before it gets worse, and becomes harder to heal. I would suggest practicing and experimenting with the cymbal pads, focusing on what you're actually doing. It is a good thing to learn new techniques, IMO. ANd if you absolutely don't want to do that, then it would be better to switch to acoustic cymbals than to damage your wrists.

          Good luck!


          • #6
            I suffer from wrist problems too. I have a friend who is a therapist for an acclaimed group in CA. They argue that the these problems result from decreased functionality and that certain exercises can alleviate symptoms and aid in avoiding surgery. I can obtain you the names of some books if you like.

            Also, you're not too far from me. Hazelton, PA? I'm in State College, PA. Are you gigging with your V's?


            • #7
              I would also be interested in any helpful wrist exercises. Anything to help strengthen and aliviate pain from hitting those rubbers!


              • #8
                Originally posted by drmoze:
                The bottom line is, V-cymbals (particularly PD-7/9 pads) are NOT acoustic cymbals, ... but they should not (and need not) be banged at like acoustic cymbals....It is a good thing to learn new techniques...
                All of you, listen to doc, he knoweth of what he speaketh, after all, he IS a real doctor. Also, I might add that this adjustment in technique is not only physical but mental as well. At first, for me, it was hard, but gets easier and eventually natural as time passes.

                I should also point out that there ARE e-cymbals out there that are "supposed" to react like real(?) cymbals, e.g. visualites, pintechs, etc.

                Happy Learning,


                • #9
                  Hello all,

                  Sorry to evoke the 'use the search function' clause, but this subject has been the subject of at least two earlier threads. Search with the word 'carpal' and you should find them. It seems there's a different opinion for every drummer regarding how to deal with this problem, but the consesus leads to the following:

                  If you are having pain, stop playing. Do not keep playing with the attitude that it will go away on its own, or 'no pain, no gain'. This kind of damage gets worse over time if ignored.

                  If left untreated, the condition gets more difficult to get rid of. The worse case scenario leads to surgery, which will lay your wrist up for at least six weeks, after which is a period of therapy (not sure how long). So we're talking at least two months off of playing. And there's no guarantee that the condition won't return. You definitely don't want it to go that far.

                  The most common opinions -- medical and otherwise -- on prevention and treatment (that I've found, anyway):

                  1) Warm up your wrists before playing. Try stretches; my favorite is to bend back one hand with the other -- slowly, gradually. Then bend it forward, I can get it so the thumb's entire length is pressing against the under-forearm (is there a word for this area?). I do this with both hands, but mostly the right hand(ride cymbal). I also do exercises with the rest of my arm, shoulder and back - it's all related. Do slow warm-ups on the drums -- slow rolls on the snare, for example -- gradually increasing speed. Don't just sit down cold at the set and start going all Neil Peart on the kit all at once. Give ten minutes for warming up, to loosen up.

                  2) Change your technique. I'm still trying to get used to a looser -- less 'pinchy' -- grip on the cymbal stick. Those rubbery pads yield a fair amount of bounce, and controlling that bounce, I think, is key to developing a riding technique with less stress to the wrist.

                  3) Add support to your wrists. A therapist will give you splint-supports of some kind, but you can't wear them while playing drums. I've used velcro athletic wrist bands. There's also this sticky gauze-like tape whose name escapes me -- 'cobal', something similar to that -- which a physical therapist gave to me. You take a strip and wrap it around your wrist, supposedly providing additional support. I'm still not yet convinced that this does anything, but it may work for you.

                  4) Taking steps to reduce wrist fatigue outside of drumming. Do you type, use a mouse, operate machinery (drills, etc.)? Find ways to reduce stress during these tasks; i.e. taking breaks, wearing splints, changing equipment. I've used a trackball unit instead of a mouse for computer use and I think it's much easier on the fingers, wrist and forearm.

                  5) Some say vitamin supplements or herbal supplements have helped. I'm not sure which ones specifically; again, try the search function on this site, research the Internet, ask a doctor, ask an herbalist.

                  6) Taking anti-imflammator drugs before heavy wrist use. Ibuprofin-based over-the-counter drugs, or prescription NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Celebrex or Daypro. The prescription stuff is expensive, plus anti-inflammatories can create stomach problems if taken over a long period of time.

                  7) As stated before, wrist exercises performed occasionally during the day (not just warm-up exercises).

                  8) General good health, good diet, exercise, stress management. Remember, the sum is greater than the parts, and an unhealthy condition in one area affects many others.

                  Hope this helps. Good luck. It may be inspirational to know that Dave Abruzzese (sp?), former Pearl Jam drummer, suffers from CTS and is still able to play (the 25th Anniversary Modern Drummer issue has a Q&A section in which Dave addresses his problem).



                  • #10
                    Just gotta pipe in and confess that I'm not a 'real' doctor (medical), but I *am* a doctor (Ph.D. in engineering/science!) I'm pretty thoroughly grounded and well-read in all the basic sciences, including biology, mechanics, etc. Does that count? $^)


                    • #11
                      Is cracking your knuckles good or bad for your joints?


                      • #12
                        I spoke to 2 doctors that told me there's never been any proof that cracking knuckles or your neck (which I do incessantly) is BAD for you, as all it is is air in your joints.

                        Although as a caveat, one doctor told me, although it hasn't been proven, maybe it's something you want to stay away from....

                        BUT LISTEN!

                        as far as the wrist pain goes, I had the same thing, and it definately went away when I started playing differently.

                        The pain I'm talking about got so bad that I'd play for 10 minutes and it would hurt so much I couldn't hold the stick. I tried a brace....didn't work.

                        It was my right hand on the Hihat, and I was playing it just like I did with the acoustics. Once I realized that what was happening was that hitting the pad the way I was hitting it caused my hand, and most importantly my wrists, to vibrate slightly when I struck the pad.

                        THIS IS A VERY, VERY BAD THING.

                        It's hard, sitting here now, to describe how I hit the pads, but like Djourge mentioned, try and play "looser."
                        Specifically, when you hit the pad, try not stopping the rebound as much as maybe trying to control it. Pay extra-special attention to control of the stick - don't lose control, but don't fight to maintain the grip, so when stick meets pad, your wrist isn't getting a vibration.

                        Finger control is the key here, I think.
                        Play as much with your fingers and as little with your wrists/arms as possible. Years ago, my drum teacher told me that this was what I should be striving for anyway, but suddenly the rough edges were doing me damage.

                        I sincerely hope this helps.


                        [This message has been edited by BINARY (edited December 29, 2000).]


                        • #13
                          Well I was planning to start using my Zildjians again. I kinda miss 'em anyway. So next time I jam it will be with a real HH. I'll see if that works. Cuz this never happened before I started to play the Vdrums.

                          I'll also try to play looser when I do use the pads.

                          to SIM: Yep your about 2 hrs from me. I spent a LOT of time at State College. Esp. Beaver Terrace. I just started playing Vdrums around 2 1/2 months ago and I love 'em. except the small problem I'm having with the hard rubber cymbal pads. But I'll figure something out. And I just got into Yet another band... It seems like this is what fate has handed to me. Go from band to band. anywayz in about 3 months or so I hope to be playing the Vcustom live in clubs around North East PA and hopefully hit out to State College and play at the Crowbar or the Saloon or the 'Skeller.

                          Ostrich Hat


                          • #14
                            Let me know if your band gets to State College Jeff. I'd love to hear someone else gigging with V's. My band played at the Skellar last night. The Saloon was our house gig for the last 10 years, but it looks like we're starting to play out of town more often now. If you like reggae and soca, come and check us out. We're called "The Earthtones".

                            My aches and pains seems to be isolated to my left side, from my shoulder down to my wrists. I have to play an acoustic hi-hat or I'd be in misery from the rubber pads. If these exercises do the trick, I'll pass on the information for everyone.


                            • #15
                              You have to realise something about electronic percussion, there is a celing to the ammount of volume that is generated by playing force. You don't get louder by playing with more force, but by having a more than adequate sound system. Just like a modern keyboardist would not try to become louder by playing the keys harder, he/she would simply turn up. The tendncy is to hit the pads harder, this will cause alot of physical problems.
                              Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......