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Hand Going Numb

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  • Hand Going Numb

    So about 2-3 weeks ago, I started getting tingling in my right hand. Slowly it's become difficult to play faster beats and even hang on to my sticks. It turns out I strained a ligament and the inflammation is of course part of the issue. Has anyone ever experienced such a thing? It sucks and I would love to hear treatment options.

    I'm doing acupuncture and lots of stretching/icing which is helping, but it's not completely fixed it yet. Rest is key but between work, being a dad, owning a house and drumming, that's not really an option.

    Thanks for any advice you may have.
    TD50 Digital Pack, TD30 and TD9 Modules, custom made pads, Gen16 crashes, and hats plus a few other things that I'm not sure what to do with or why they're still in my kit. Bands: Espada http://www.musicaespada.com/ and JamCo https://www.facebook.com/JamcoEntertainment, https://www.jamcoband.com/

  • #2
    I am old, have weak wrists in both arms from too much mouse use (guess what I do for a living).
    I switch off wrists for the mouse because neither one of them is strong enough for me to work full time.
    I learned to move the mouse with my fingers and very little wrist (upping mouse sensitivity helped).
    I alternate hands and fingers as needed, if it hurts I stop using it until it doesn't (wrists, fingers, whatever).

    RSI's are special, permanent injuries are easy to get, and hard to live with, avoidance is the best option.
    No pain no gain is not the idea, the adage "if it hurts, don't do it", is the right one for RSI's.

    I had the same thing back in the day as a keyboard player, my wrists and fingers got to where they couldn't take
    my playing. I like to play loud, bang on those keys. In the end I had to switch to an unweighted keyboard for
    most of my practice time and bang, all is good, although I still perform mostly on weighted boards.
    I did a lot tuning on those boards to reduce strain too. Diddling with sensitivies and curves.

    And after all that I decided to take up drumming, in retrospect it seems crazy, but hey I went from young and stupid to old and...
    well some things don't change...

    Within a week my right wrist hurt a lot, from drumming. I thought my "career" as a drummer was over as soon as it began,
    and my teacher was threatening to stop teaching me if it resulted in injury.

    But...

    Bottom line is I did 2 things, kinda what I did before:

    - if it started to hurt I layed off until it stopped, several months of this on-again off-again and my wrists got stronger. I was able to play 2 to three days a week, and then 3-4 days off. The result was worth it. Drumming (in moderation) actually strengthened my wrists. I could now drum as much as I wanted, and I could play more computer games too. Remember I am old and...

    - I examined how I played a lot and adjusted to reduce strain, got lighter sticks, upped sensitivity on the rubber pads so I don't have to hit them as hard, I learned to rely on the bounce to survive as a drummer. I became more of a finger player than a wrist player, same as the mouse.

    Anytime I learn a new genre of music I have to go though this again, because it strains some new body part in my drumming. I started big band a few months ago, and it has that fast "ding ding da-ding" ride pattern through most of it, and sure enough, my wrist started hurting again. Turned out the ride sensitivity was too low, I upped it so I can hit it lightly, relying on bounce to do all the work, almost a double stroke on the da-ding part, and things are back to normal.

    Good luck, your mileage may vary. I wish you the best with your injuries.
    Last edited by kurth83; 02-24-14, 10:36 PM.
    Mini-kit: TD-9 + Alesis Control Pad + Alesis Sample Pad + PDX-6 snare
    Micro-kit: Handsonic HPD-20 + an old pair of hands.
    Speakers: QSC-K10 "thumper", DBR-10 "little thumper"

    Comment


    • BWaj
      BWaj commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks so much, lots of great ideas! Mine is a combo of drumming, building a drum riser and rack for my gear in a very short time. I was cramming to learn songs for a gig and build all the stuff I needed. Add to that the computer uses and there it is.

      I'll try adjusting sensitivity and playing softer, especially at practice. That's a really good idea.

  • #3
    I have issues caused by mouse and keyboard use too. When my wrist is really bad I'm in a brace for everything, I can't drum, I struggle with work, (graphic design), I even struggle scrolling on my phone. I made mine significantly worse by not resting, but it happens when I work long hours, and my work is not going to do itself.

    Mine is not a strained ligament, it's something along the lines of RSI. I don't know if what I do will help at all (maybe Kurth83 though!), but I have a supplement calledNagestic Forte that does make a noticeable difference. If I start taking that and using a brace as soon as I start to hurt it sometimes stops it from getting bad altogether.

    I find accupressure is a temporary fix that I can do myself, ask them to show you where the pressure point for it is, it's no good pushing on the area itself, and I don't need to wait for an appointment to stick needles in it (plus I hate needles). I have tried ice gels, heat gels, pain killers, all kinds of things, but the real thing for any of these injuries seems to be rest. Rest, that supplement, the wrist brace and an anti-inflammatory gel or tablets help me. I try to avoid the anti-inflammatory tablets as much as possible though, I often have this for long periods of time and they're not good for extended use.
    Kaiju
    Roland TD-15KV module and cymbals, Gen 16 AE rack, Gen 16 AE cymbals, Diamond Electronic Drums, Tama HP300 single pedal, Lectric Moo, Carmichael throne

    Comment


    • kurth83
      kurth83 commented
      Editing a comment
      Some recent studies are coming out the anti-inflammatories accellerate joint damage and things like knee replacements are needed sooner. The inflamation has two beneficial properties that anti-inflamatories defeat:
      - blood rushes to the area to aid in repair, anti-inflamatories slow the repair process down.
      - the swelling also acts as a partial immobilizer discouraging further damage from use.

      My take is address the root cause, change the ergononics of what you do to avoid damage,
      if you are living with braces and stuff, it will only get worse if you continue.

      If I hadn't learned to make the mouse work (by using fingers instead of wrists),
      I would have switched to a trackball long ago like perceval.

      Since I took up drumming, I don't have wrist pain anymore (except the recent big-band bout),
      I still think of my wrists as weak though, better safe than sorry.
      For me even the slightest tingling is the sign I need to lay off or change something, I don't wait for pain.

    • BWaj
      BWaj commented
      Editing a comment
      On the anti's primarily icing the area and large doses of booze! I kid. Ice and just recently an herb supplement that was recommended to me. I'm on the fence on if it works but I don't like to take stuff the big boys make unless there is not other choice. I've been a part of too many pharma meetings to trust those guys. Hearing a CEO say they are doubling the recommended dose of a anti-depressant because there do not seem to be any negative or positive effects but they will double their profits opened my eyes.

      The supplement is called Xiao Huo Luo Pian.

      That said, the use was only for the first several days in conjunction with rest. It was not to mask symptoms so I could carry on, it was to help heal the area before I began rehabbing it back.

      The brace again is not so I can go on abusing the area. It's so that when life demands that I can't rest and let it heal, I take as much stress as possible off it. I did not play for two weeks and avoided as much use as possible. But I can't just not work until it's healed so the brace helps when I have to work.

    • Oenone
      Oenone commented
      Editing a comment
      I very rarely use anti-inflammatories, they can have some nasty immediate side effects too. For me it's a matter of surviving a couple of days until other things start working. Not a long term solution, and it is my last resort.

      For me it's nor just the mouse, it's typing too, the trackball will only help to some extent. It starts with my right wrist and hand but as I type more with my left to rest the right that gets bad too. As much as rest is the solution, I do know it, there are still bills to pay so taking the time off work is just not an option. Now I jump straight to the brace and the supplement that I use at the first hint of trouble. Normally that's enough to stop it.

      If that doesn't help then it's time for booze and ice!

  • #4
    If you can't rest it completely definitely get a brace for every day use. My daughter strained a tendon or ligament in her knee and had to do that, and someone else I know had the same thing in his elbow and needed one, so I know they do help! My wrist one doesn't stop me using my hand or anything, it just holds it in a position that allows it to heal.
    Kaiju
    Roland TD-15KV module and cymbals, Gen 16 AE rack, Gen 16 AE cymbals, Diamond Electronic Drums, Tama HP300 single pedal, Lectric Moo, Carmichael throne

    Comment


    • BWaj
      BWaj commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, I will definitely give that a try. I have a strap that goes just below the forearm to take pressure off and it makes a big difference. But I can certainly tell where a wrist brace will help, especially with the computer time.

      I appreciate it guys and hope ya'll continue to find relief with your issues.

  • #5
    For you guys (and gals) with wrist problems associated with mouse use, I have a very good solution that saved my right wrist so far: the Kensington Expert Mouse trackball.

    My wrist rests on a pad and never moves. Only my fingers doing all the work, from rolling the ball to pressing the 4 programmable buttons.

    It may feel awkward at first, but within a week, you will never be able to go back to a mouse, the Expert Mouse is so accurate and precise. I have been working as a designer, print and web, (and a bunch of other computer related work) and I have never had any wrist problem. I have used the mouse since my 2nd year of computer work, and never turned back. Wrists have been going strong for over 25 years now.

    DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
    Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

    My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

    Comment


    • perceval
      perceval commented
      Editing a comment
      I have always been surprised that the trackball has never been so popular. It is amazingly precise and comfortable for long hours. I guess it's a mind game. When you can buy a cheap $10 mouse, why spend ten times that amount? Believe me, it is worth it.

    • BWaj
      BWaj commented
      Editing a comment
      For me it's because I used to be a gamer and when I first tried one, it was incredibly difficult to use in gaming. For day to day stuff I think you are on to something, but when speed counts and you need all sorts of buttons that allow you to blow stuff up, they fall short. I have a 70 dollar mouse so it's not a cheapo thing, just I could not game with it well, lol.

      I do plan to give it a try though.

    • Oenone
      Oenone commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't use a cheap mouse either. I use an expensive ergonomic one that is the right size for my hand. It's a work expense and for me it's the difference between being able to work or not work. I will try the trackball while work is a bit quieter and I have some time to get used to it.

  • #6
    Some things I have found that it helped me with similar issues, as it one time I was completely crippled and bed ridden, and could not play, actually was close to dying, I bought myself back with a long story but I'm not going to tell here, nor is any need for violins, however, for my hands wrists forearms etc., which had some similar issues to you, and much worse, their something called the Powerball, which is kind of like a Gyro-ball, which I found immensely effective. You can find this on Amazon.

    Also, doing wrist curls, both up with back of hand up, and then up with palms up, with light weights, can help.

    Also, a risk-roller, which you can make it home by taking that say a PVC pipe drilling a hole in it and then tying a rope through the hole, then tie the end of the rope to a light weight, then put your hands directly out in front of you with your palms down to the floor, and one hand at a time, roll the weights up until all the rope is taken up, then slowly release one hand at a time. This is an immense strengthening exercise for your fingers hands wrists forearms elbows shoulders biceps triceps, everything involved in drumming.

    Also there are handgrips that have individual finger gripping ability, which I have found to be amazingly beneficial for a lot of muscles, nerves, and also finger control of the sticks.

    I cannot express strongly enough, as others, to learn to play more loosely as well. One of the golden aspects of electronic drums to me, which is why I went to them originally, as my damage hands cannot handle acoustic drums any longer, is that you can allow not just the pad to handle most of the rebound, which one should do anyway, in my opinion, but, you may also allow the electronic triggering to do 99% of the work instead of you pounding hard on an acoustic skin to make as much noise.

    I actually am going to put out a video series, amongst others, on instructional techniques for handicapped drummers. I will not self-promote here, I would just say if you want to find it, it will be up in a month or two, just Google it, and you will find it. I am not doing this for the money, 99%, I am doing it for the benefit of those who are handicapped, missing fingers hands feet toes arms legs, whatever, or cannot use any of the following or aforementioned, any part of the body, to help those in need who still want to play, which will hopefully help alleviate the suffering they are ready have, as it has been for me. Just so anybody here who was reading this knows, you think you cannot do it because you are limited, it is very hard to be as sick and have a body as riddled with disease as mine was, yet I still drum professionally today. I also studied teach and am about to get into low-level and then a fighting even with all of the conditions I had, which took a long time to overcome, but for me to step into a ring after all of that, is really an amazing feat to defeat what doctors told me. If I did it you can do it. At least you can try. And that's all I could do was well.

    If you have any further questions ask your, or private message me, I will be glad to help you.
    TD-9 Module Gen 2; TMC-6 Slave Module; PD-105BK; PD-85BK x 3; CY-13R x 1; CY-12C x 3; Kit Toy China 15" x 1; Kit Toy Splash 10" x 2; KD-9; CY-5 x 2; FD-9-; Pintech Dinbat used as Cowbell; TDA-700 & Roland KCW-1 Sub Woofer; Pearl 902 Double Pedal; ROC-N-SOC V- Stool with Back Rest

    Comment


    • BWaj
      BWaj commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow, thanks guru! The toughest part for me as I age and battle joint issues is to lighten up at anything. But your advice on playing lighter is good advice. I was in a glam band for most of my professional playing life and image was more important than anything. You had to put on a show or you had no show.

      But we just played a gig a few weeks ago that was recorded and I realize at 45 with short hair, one tends to look like an idiot hitting hard and rock faces sure don't look the same without hair covering half your face, lol. What used to look cool and intense now looks like constipation or a heart attack

      Ah well, half the fun in life is figuring out how to do stuff. Might as well enjoy re-learning how to play and save my joints!

  • #7
    Wise words BW
    TD-9 Module Gen 2; TMC-6 Slave Module; PD-105BK; PD-85BK x 3; CY-13R x 1; CY-12C x 3; Kit Toy China 15" x 1; Kit Toy Splash 10" x 2; KD-9; CY-5 x 2; FD-9-; Pintech Dinbat used as Cowbell; TDA-700 & Roland KCW-1 Sub Woofer; Pearl 902 Double Pedal; ROC-N-SOC V- Stool with Back Rest

    Comment


    • #8
      As a new drummer I developed a pretty bad tendonitis issue in my right wrist, which has thankfully cleared up. One thing I did which I know helped was switching to dipped sticks. I can hold them much more loosely without them flying out of my hands. With plain wooden sticks, I had to keep a death grip on them, which was locking my wrists.

      Comment


      • BWaj
        BWaj commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Johnny. I am messing around with different sizes to see if that helps, never thought of dipped. Drumming is not the cause of my issue, but it does aggravate it and it's difficult to play at the moment. I told my wife the Doctor said the only cure is sex every day and she gave me the number of an escort service

        Can't blame a guy for trying!

    • #9
      Originally posted by TNJohnny View Post
      As a new drummer I developed a pretty bad tendonitis issue in my right wrist, which has thankfully cleared up. One thing I did which I know helped was switching to dipped sticks. I can hold them much more loosely without them flying out of my hands. With plain wooden sticks, I had to keep a death grip on them, which was locking my wrists.
      Loose loose and looser
      TD-9 Module Gen 2; TMC-6 Slave Module; PD-105BK; PD-85BK x 3; CY-13R x 1; CY-12C x 3; Kit Toy China 15" x 1; Kit Toy Splash 10" x 2; KD-9; CY-5 x 2; FD-9-; Pintech Dinbat used as Cowbell; TDA-700 & Roland KCW-1 Sub Woofer; Pearl 902 Double Pedal; ROC-N-SOC V- Stool with Back Rest

      Comment

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