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Wrist Pain

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  • Wrist Pain

    Hello all,
    Can anyone help me? I have just started playing drums again after a break of about a year and a half and I am getting the old tendonitis back. Its in the thumb tendon, aggravated by doing presses. Is there any cure/thing I can do to alleviate the pain a bit.
    I've stopped playing on the Playstation 'cos that really makes it bad, but I won't give up drumming and cycling. It's really annoying because I only got the TD10 last week and I'm in pain already.
    Is there such a thing as a wrist support or a different way of doing presses that doesn't put so much pressure on the thumb?

    Thanks, Alex.

  • #2
    I can't explain this because English is not my mother language (certainly not for medical or biological things) but do you move your hands while keeping them with the top side up or with the thumb side up? This makes a difference for the stress on the muscles


    • #3
      If I'm playing some double hits or presses (sorry don't know the technical terms), then I play sort of top side up. When I play normal hits I play thumb side up.

      I think that the pain comes because I have to grip more tightly when I press. Could this be bad technique?

      Thanks for replying by the way.


      • #4
        In a word WARM UP,ICE DOWN.try putting your arms stright out in front of you, then squeezing a fist,then open your hands full.(to be done as fast as you can)when your playing if you start to hurt STOP,then ice down.DO NOT USE METAL STICKS OR WEIGHTS FOR STICKS,EVER,EVER.in the past when ive had problens chinese herbs have helped,but i have not had this problem (thank god),and chinese herb places are only in large citys so that could be problem as well,hope this helps.


        • #5
          wait I just saw your from hong kong,so that should not be a problem. try a chinese herb dr. or acupuncture---clay


          • #6
            The first thing I can tell you is , don't grip the sticks too tightly. The second thing is, find a good teacher who can help you play correctly, there is no reason on earth that your hands should hurt if you're gripping the sticks properly. Don't pound, you should get enough power if your fulcrum is in the proper position. Hold your elbows in a natural position, down, the stick should be in a straight line following the direction on your forearm.
            Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......


            • #7
              Thanks for the advice. You're right I should have no problem finding a Chinese doctor and I'll try the exercises. I think I've had a bad wrist for years, not from drumming but obviously drumming doesn't help. Does anyone else have this sort of problem?


              • #8
                Technique is everthing. I used to have similar problems. I searched for a good teacher, learned new techniques (Moellar,Stone). After learning these techniques my playing reached a new level. If you cannot find a good instructor,(2) video tapes explain these methods. (Moellar method) check out Jim Chapin SPEED,POWER,ENDURANCE. For the (Stone method) check out Joe Morello A NATURAL APPROACH TO DRUMS Vol.1. Both are good videos, but they do not substitute for a good instructor. Good luck. BZ


                • #9
                  Besides the recommendations to see a teacher and let him/her show you proper stick technique as well as good warm-up excersizes, a good book I'd like to recommend is UNDERSTANDING DRUM TECHNIQUES by Dave Hughlett, which goes into great detail with good illustrations of stick grip basics. Plus, I'll second bz's recommendation of the Morello and Chapin material, it's great!

                  "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"


                  • #10
                    I'll see whether I can get those vids and books in HK. Thank you.

                    I did a search and there doesn't seem to be much about the subject on this web page but it does seem to be a common complaint for a lot of drummers.

                    I guess we just do what we can to improve things and try to enjoy the music.


                    • #11
                      You come from HK also???


                      • #12
                        I come from England but I've been here about a year and a half. V-Drums seemed like the ideal solution to the noise/appartment problem, (I live on Lamma).
                        What's your story? And shouldn't you be working, 'cos I know I should.


                        • #13
                          I am also experiencing wrist pain from playing...not in my thumb muscles however, but actually in my wrist joints. I have been recently playing with a band and playing a lot more than I usually did, but it pretty painful - mostly the day after. I am playing SpaceMuffins with an acoustic snare and acoustic cymbals so I know it is not related to playing rubber pads....

                          Any further tips other than some technique changes???



                          • #14
                            Wrist pain...used to get it a lot, until I got the vdrums. Oddly, they have IMPROVED my playing technique. I found when I first got them and started playing out with the band, my wrists hurt BAD by the end of the night. I was also getting cramps in the palms of my hands. Not good...must fix.

                            Started concentrating on RELAXING and not digging into the pads, but playing off of them, like in good cymbal technique, and it made ALL the difference. I know my technique is less than model, as I've taken about 3 weeks of lessons in my life, but I also know what is definitely the WRONG way to do it.

                            I've now found that my wrists don't hurt and I don't get cramps, unless I've not been practicing and try to do a twenty-minute medly or such.

                            I watched the Dave Weckl videos (2 of them) and he spends quite a bit of time in one of them about positioning yourself properly and holding your sticks right. Also goes into fast single rolls techniques, which I see the benefit of but still cannot perform very well .

                            Last idea: Switch grip positions in tunes that seem to have the most rote repetition. For example, we do a medly of "What I like about you" and "Saw her standing there", both of which are just constant, non-accented, hi-hat eighths. We also do them both pretty up tempo and at the end of the night. I know that I will have issues with this if I don't think ahead. So every 8 measures or so, I switch from palm-down to thumb-on-top position. This also keeps the eighths from sounding as stressed as I would be feeling if I were doing it all one way...fatigue kills a good beat.

                            Hope that helps.
                            My Updated Website: https://blades.technology


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sepdrums:
                              I am also experiencing wrist pain from playing...not in my thumb muscles however, but actually in my wrist joints. I have been recently playing with a band and playing a lot more than I usually did, but it pretty painful - mostly the day after. I am playing SpaceMuffins with an acoustic snare and acoustic cymbals so I know it is not related to playing rubber pads....

                              Any further tips other than some technique changes???


                              For the past couple years I’ve been experiencing wrist pain (right side only) from playing the drums. Chaulk it up to my 43 year old skinny wrists. Make sure yours isn’t early signs of carpal tunnel, because the treatment and prognosis is quite different from that of tendonitis. Mine seems to be tendonitis, as I’ve got none of the classical symptoms of carpal tunnel.

                              Because of my wrist pain, I now treat playing the drums like an athlete with a nagging injury would approach a work-out. In other words, I warm up, cool down and (most importantly) ice down my wrist after I play. Here’s what I do:

                              WARM-UP: My warm-up consists of wrist raises for 5 – 10 minutes followed by stretching. The wrist raises are done with no weights. With your arm out in front of you and your wrist drooped toward the floor with your fingers pointing toward the floor, raise your wrist as high as it will go, then lower it back down to starting position. To stretch the wrist, put your arm straight out in front of you and allow your wrist to droop down toward the floor with your fingers pointing at the floor. Grab your fingers with your other hand and GENTLY pull them toward you until you feel a stretch (but NO PAIN). I stretch 3 – 5 times for about 60 seconds per stretch.

                              COOL DOWN: My cool down consists of wrist stretches alone. For icing, I use those reusable Ace gel ice pads and keep a half dozen of them in my freezer at any one time. I ice the wrist for 30 – 60 minutes after playing. I just rubber band one to my wrist and go about my business. I generally use 2 – 3 per icing session. Be careful not to get frostbite as those gel pads can easily do it. I have a friend who got frostbit like this once… (o.k. it was really me and the black dead skin patch that resulted was quite unsightly…)

                              WRIST STRENGTHENING: In addition, just as an athlete would do, I do strengthening exercises for my wrist. I’m not a physician (nor do I play one on t.v.), but a physical therapist (who is also a drummer) gave me some good advice that has allowed to keep playing. He told me to start out by doing 100 wrist raises (with no added weight) twice a day. Do them just as described above. When I could do these without pain, I was told to GRADUALLY add some weight and when I could do the wrist raises without pain, then add a bit more. The initial weightless wrist raises don’t building strength, but do give the wrist muscles some endurance so that when weight-bearing exercises begin they are somewhat conditioned. If wrist pain occurs after wrist raises, ice as above. Keep gradually adding weight until wrist strength increases sufficiently.

                              If pain continues, I’d go see a doctor as there might be structural abnormalites or other types of pathological processes going on. In addition, if there is much pain and swelling, a doc might perscribe NSAIDS to knock it out. Then rehabilitation can start. Hope this helps. I know it has helped me to keep playing at my normal mediocre (but incredibly fun) level.