Hand Injury Problems

Max Mentzer

Junior Member
I've been playing drums for almost 15 years and have good technique and never had any hand problems till now. Long story short I usually practiced 8 hours a day working on various things and playing with groups. Took a bit of a break to focus on school for a few months and came back to playing and felt just fine. One morning after a show from the previous night i woke up to a lot of pain and swelling from my neck down both arms. I didn't think much of it and popped some Advil thinking it would go away. Well the pain did, but not the swelling and it got worse from there.

The symptoms I had was nerve tightness, abducted elbow, tightness in my thumb and ring and pinky finger, and the obvious swelling in all fingers. It's only in my right hand and not in the left.

I've seen a hand specialist and all of the above has been fixed except the finger swelling. The doc said it most likely has nothing to do with my playing, but maybe my diabetes. He said what happened was proteins and minerals got into my fingers and crystallized, which is basically like glue on the tendons. So I got some tendon glide exercises and it helped, fixed the nerve tightness by popping my elbow and wrist back in place and stretching, tighter control of my blood sugars and working on the weight issue :p, and had a cortisone shot in my carpal tunnel (this seemed to help a lot). I'm still able to play decently well with it, but lack the finesse and chops I had around the set.

The cortisone shot permanently got rid of the swelling, until I met up with some old high school friends and got pretty drunk and then it came back. Now it seems to come and go and has been completely holding me back from progression for a few months now. I just go to the necessary rehearsals and shows and don't even practice to see if it will get better and lay off of it.

I attached some photos of what my normal left hand and my swelled up right hand just look at the knuckle difference and would love some input if maybe someone has gone through something like this or has suggestions.
 

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bigiainw

Gold Member
That sounds awful, however, I think you can rule out carpal tunnel as all of your symptoms are nearly opposite to the symptoms of CTS. It sounds like the alcohol might be a causal factor- it's not that uncommon for it to cause localised swelling and I would have thought with the diabetes it's a recipe for early death!

With something like this, it's really important to let the proper medics deal with it and not follow any advice from nutters like me on drumming websites. That said, as someone who once played a 2 1/2 hr gig with a severed tendon in their thumb, should I really be advising anyone on anything?
 

Max Mentzer

Junior Member
Ya, it is really not that bad. The swelling is just uncomfortable and i would love to have it gone for good since everything else is working fine. I notice sometimes when I go to a rehearsal or gig that afterwards the swelling disappears...so weird.
 

larryz

Platinum Member
Doctors only want to mask the symptoms are rarely do anyuthing towards fixing the problem. Your story is just another example. Cortisone shots work for a day or two, and sure enough the problem comes back. Amazes me how they can in good conscience inject people with chemicals knowing full well it does nothing - ZERO - to fix your condition. Do some research and see a reputable chiropractor or naturopath in your area. And they can also do something to get rid of your diabetes as well. Changes in nutritional habits + natural supplements usually work. Stay away from from doctors and hospitals at all costs :) Sorry about your problems. Get better soon. Keep rocking. (or jazzing or whatever genre you prefer...)
 

johnnylaw

Senior Member
I have been there. Drugs, massage, accupuncture, chiropractics, etc., dead ends.

Try eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Change your consumption to foods that will push your metabolism to the alkaline side. For reference, see The Acid Alkaline Diet Food Guide by Dr. Susan E. Brown and Larry Trivieri, Jr., or some other such resource.

Its alot to manage, but I got tired of being a cripple, tried it, and after six months, I experienced RADICAL changes for the better. Almost unbelievable.

If you're anything like me, music is too important to screw up by eating things that limit your abilities/enjoyment.

It has been SO worth the adjustment, words fail.
 

conchrandy

Senior Member
Been there, all the above, chiro, massage, and a quack. You need a neurologist to conduct a nerve teat. Not much fun, but in my case she revealed CTS which was corrected with surgery. Different, is your numbness in the little finger indicates something else.

She said it was the two hour daily pad pounding, Sorry, best...
 
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Anthony Amodeo

Guest
Been there, all the above, chiro, massage, and a quack. You need a neurologist to conduct a nerve teat. Not much fun, but in my case she revealed CTS which was corrected with surgery. Different, is your numbness in the little finger indicates something else.

She said it was the two hour daily pad pounding, Sorry, best...
if pad practice gave you carpal tunnel it was your technique not the fact that you were playing on a pad
 

borischad

Junior Member
No matter how old you are or what you do for a living, you are always using your hands. When there is something wrong with them, you may not be able to do your regular activities.
For any of such injuries you should definitely consult a personal injury lawyer who would seek compensation on your behalf.
 
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