Switching instruments

KamaK

Platinum Member
Looks like I've overdone it....

Friday: Type on a computer for 8 hours, Guitar for 1h, Bass for 1h, Drums for 1h, Guitar for another 1h.

Saturday: Can't write with my left hand. Can't even reliably hold onto a cup of coffee. No pain, just stiff and weak. Try to grip a guitar neck and my hand trembles...

Will schedule a doctor's appointment for later this week. Has anyone had similar happen? Short term... Ice it? Heat it?
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I would recommend icing it if there's any sign of swelling. An NSAID (ibuprofen) in the recommended dose should help if there is any swelling - which is likely. That certainly won't harm it or you.

Rest it, see the doctor. Do what they say.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
When I play bass for an extended amount of time, I tend to get cramped and tightness in my left hand. Sometimes it lasts for days and if I try to play, it immediately flares-up. I attribute this to age and average sized hands although I'm a big guy. Doctor says its tendinitis. Taking Flexeril helps me.
 

octatonic

Senior Member
I've had problems in the past but they have been sorted with posture and technique.

I play guitar for around 3 hours a day and play drums for around 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, the rest of the time I'm building guitars (so working with my hands).

I rest often- I never do anything in more than 30 min blocks.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I've had problems in the past but they have been sorted with posture and technique.

I play guitar for around 3 hours a day and play drums for around 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, the rest of the time I'm building guitars (so working with my hands).

I rest often- I never do anything in more than 30 min blocks.
Hah! Just looked you up. I remember looking at your quotes for a level and recrowning, just by coincidence...
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Unless you're 80 yo there's no reason there should be a problem if you're using good and propper posture and technique.

I can go all day.

The computer for 8 hours is the more likely culprit.

Getting up doing a good stretch, windmill and shake every hour probably wouldn't hurt.

For extra support: good hydration, fish oil and maybe a high quality protein shake, but really, plenty of water and a good stretch once in a while should do it.

If things persist reevaluate your technique.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Unless you're 80 yo there's no reason there should be a problem if you're using good and propper posture and technique.
It's likely my bass-guitar technique.... I'm a guitarist that tends to "play guitar" on a bass, with no variation in technique to compensate for the larger strings/frets/etc. I definitely need to fix that.

I've overdone it before, but have never experienced a pain-free gimp-hand the following day.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Nearly, All of my secondary instruments are wind instruments(flutes, whistles, trumpet, etc), due to the computer + drumming ergonomics issues. I must say swimming and cycling(mostly swimming) has cured a number of my ills across the board. Sometimes with drumming I will focus on foot work and counting, adding just occasional accents with the right hand, it is a mental game then.

I don't think the proper technique really protects you from all that much, maybe if by proper technique you mean just not using your hands at all.

Also, I think people have different capacities for repetitive hand motions. People with narrow wrists need to be especially careful(including women who are most likely to get carpel tunnel).
 

running

Member
I don't think the proper technique really protects you from all that much, maybe if by proper technique you mean just not using your hands at all
My personal experience is quite to the contrary. I used to have constant injury problems and was always icing and taking NSAIDs to deal with pain. Eventually I developed a debilitating injury that no amount of ice or drugs would fix, made a concerted effort to understand anatomy and technique, and now I can do absolutely whatever I want, for as long as I want, pain free.

Think about it: if you can do a motion one time without experiencing any pain, but it begins to hurt after you do it several times, that tells you that you're something different is happening in your body in the later movements than it was during the initial one. The cause of that difference is usually a combination of muscle weakness and strain. If you can learn how to eliminate weakness (by strengthening the necessary muscles) and strain (by employing proper technique so you can play effortlessly), you'll be able to play for very long periods of time.

Kamak, Do you notice if your grip issues are more prominent in any of the fingers, or are they all similarly weak? Do you notice any muscles that appear to be flexed in your left arm when you move it that aren't in your right? (Forearm and/or below the elbow?)

If you're comfortable with acupuncture a single session with a good practitioner would probably bring it back to life.

I would also use heat here, not ice. Ice may actually exacerbate the issue.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
My personal experience is quite to the contrary.

Kamak, Do you notice if your grip issues are more prominent in any of the fingers, or are they all similarly weak? Do you notice any muscles that appear to be flexed in your left arm when you move it that aren't in your right? (Forearm and/or below the elbow?)
There's probably a world of spectrum between not-using-good-technique and bad-technique. Probably just as many outcomes, which would explain everyones varying anecdotes.

For the most part, it looks like it will be better with a day's rest, good hydration, and a bit of stretching. I was a bit worried this morning, initially having thought I had slept on top of my arm or something, and then having no improvement till well after noon. The feeling is back, a reasonable amount of strength has returned, and I'm able to touch-type again.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Its easy to over do it. The body can get used to most things but it takes time. If you normally practice 2 hours a day, then jump to 6 or 8 hours in one day,you will feel it. Drummers who have built up over a period of time to 6 hour practice sessions will not have a problem, but you have to give the body time to adapt by increasing the workload in small amounts.
 

Galadrm

Senior Member
Could be general overuse?

If I hadn't done those activities with that intensity for a couple of weeks I think my hands would be in a similar condition.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
My personal experience is quite to the contrary. I used to have constant injury problems and was always icing and taking NSAIDs to deal with pain. Eventually I developed a debilitating injury that no amount of ice or drugs would fix, made a concerted effort to understand anatomy and technique, and now I can do absolutely whatever I want, for as long as I want, pain free.

Think about it: if you can do a motion one time without experiencing any pain, but it begins to hurt after you do it several times, that tells you that you're something different is happening in your body in the later movements than it was during the initial one. The cause of that difference is usually a combination of muscle weakness and strain. If you can learn how to eliminate weakness (by strengthening the necessary muscles) and strain (by employing proper technique so you can play effortlessly), you'll be able to play for very long periods of time.

Kamak, Do you notice if your grip issues are more prominent in any of the fingers, or are they all similarly weak? Do you notice any muscles that appear to be flexed in your left arm when you move it that aren't in your right? (Forearm and/or below the elbow?)

If you're comfortable with acupuncture a single session with a good practitioner would probably bring it back to life.

I would also use heat here, not ice. Ice may actually exacerbate the issue.




"Think about it: if you can do a motion one time without experiencing any pain, but it begins to hurt after you do it several times, that tells you that you're something different is happening in your body in the later movements than it was during the initial one. The cause of that difference is usually a combination of muscle weakness and strain. If you can learn how to eliminate weakness (by strengthening the necessary muscles) and strain (by employing proper technique so you can play effortlessly), you'll be able to play for very long periods of time.@

Not strictly true. No matter how good your posture or technique, overuse will still give problems. So you can run for 30 seconds without pain? Without lots of training If you run a marathon, with perfect technique, you will still be in pain the next day and have difficulty walking. Because the body is not used to or trained to do it for that length of time.

"I would also use heat here, not ice. Ice may actually exacerbate the issue.[/QUOTE]"

Initial strains or overuse injuries should ALWAYS be treated with ice, In the first instance, its common physio practice. After a couple of days of this the healing process can be aided by alternate applications of ice, then heat, to speed the blood flow to the injured area.
 

running

Member
[/B]

Not strictly true. No matter how good your posture or technique, overuse will still give problems. So you can run for 30 seconds without pain? Without lots of training If you run a marathon, with perfect technique, you will still be in pain the next day and have difficulty walking. Because the body is not used to or trained to do it for that length of time.
Running is a very different example. Yes, you should expect some kind of soreness after multiple hours of anaerobic activity. (Lactic acid buildup.) That's not playing instruments.

I still guarantee that the top marathon runners all have excellent form and as a result very rarely succumb to overuse injuries.

Initial strains or overuse injuries should ALWAYS be treated with ice, In the first instance, its common physio practice. After a couple of days of this the healing process can be aided by alternate applications of ice, then heat, to speed the blood flow to the injured area.
Ice is NOT the right call for overuse injuries. Ice is for injuries, heat is for overuse. Ice can make tension and spasms worse. Note that OP did not mention any kind of pain or inflammation, and did mention shakiness, which indicates muscle spasm vs. injury to me.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Repeat stress injury will happen with anything. It doesn't take much to avoid, though. Shake it out, stretch use your big muscles, a bit of strenght training.

Generally speaking, "mouse hand" would be the most likely injury by far.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Running is a very different example. Yes, you should expect some kind of soreness after multiple hours of anaerobic activity. (Lactic acid buildup.) That's not playing instruments.

I still guarantee that the top marathon runners all have excellent form and as a result very rarely succumb to overuse injuries.



Ice is NOT the right call for overuse injuries. Ice is for injuries, heat is for overuse. Ice can make tension and spasms worse. Note that OP did not mention any kind of pain or inflammation, and did mention shakiness, which indicates muscle spasm vs. injury to me.
Nothing to do with lactic acid. Lactic acid is formed when you go annerobic,, that is running too fast and going into oxygen debt.

The pain from doing more than you are used to, what the OP is talking about, is muscle fatigue brought on by doing a repetitive action action over and over and over again. Same as drumming. Just cos you can hit a drum with perfect form once, without pain, has no bearing on hitting it thousands of times over a 6 hour session. The discomfort comes from the joint or muscle not being accustomed to doing the action for that prolonged period of time. The muscle fatigues and causes spasms, weakness or pain.

As I say, prolonged practice sessions, like running, need to be worked up to gradually. Its foolish to jump from 1 to 2 hour sessions straight into 6 hour overloads. Asking for trouble.

Sorry to disagree but Ice is the answer. Fatigued muscles need blood supply to recover and Ice is the first call. Thats why endurance athletes, and a 6 hour drumming session is a muscular endurance session, use ice baths to PREVENT muscle stiffness becoming a problem.
 

running

Member
The pain from doing more than you are used to, what the OP is talking about,
[quote="Kamak]No pain, just stiff and weak. Try to grip a guitar neck and my hand trembles...
[/quote]

Please read the thread before responding. Makes everyone's lives easier.

Sorry to disagree but Ice is the answer. Fatigued muscles need blood supply to recover and Ice is the first call. Thats why endurance athletes, and a 6 hour drumming session is a muscular endurance session, use ice baths to PREVENT muscle stiffness becoming a problem.
Again, no. This is not how muscle recovery works. Please read http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/cant-hurry-love

But that's not what the Japanese team, led by Motoi Yamane of Chukyo University, found. Instead, they discovered that at the end of training, the non-ice-bathed limbs had gained more strength, more circulation and more endurance than their ice-bathed counterparts. Even VO2 max (as measured in single-leg tests) had gone up more in the non-ice-bathed legs. The conclusion: Ice baths are counterproductive. "[They] retard rather than support the desired improvement of muscular performance," the scientists wrote in a 2005 online edition of the European Journal of Applied Physiology.
Your knowledge of how the lactate threshold impacts recovery could also use updating, more reading here if you're interested http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26817745
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I've got more experience with this than I can to think about it.

And the answer is don't type on a computer for 8 hours.

And deep tissue massage.
 

running

Member
Ok, you tell Mo Farrah he is doing it all wrong.
Christ. From the article explicitly proving you wrong that you apparently refused to read (along with the rest of this thread)

How has this and related research affected practice among athletes? For one, Nike's Oregon Project athletes no longer do routine ice baths, says Steve Magness, who assists Alberto Salazar as coach and scientific advisor for the group[.
Who was Mo Farrah's coach? Alberto Salazar.

So, Mo himself will tell you that he's doing it wrong. As will his coach. As will anyone who has actually bothered to READ and understand contemporary science instead of posting knowledge passed down from their 8th grade gym teacher like it's gospel.

Exceeding the lactate threshold plays a roll in soreness following any kind of activity where the threshold is exceeded, which includes marathon running. To fully explain this to you apparently requires a lot more text than I think you're prepared to read, so I'm not even going to bother, but you can start with the linked article if you'd like. If you stop being so stubborn you may learn something.
 
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