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  #1  
Old 07-08-2007, 05:36 AM
Turbo6 Turbo6 is offline
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Default Numb fingers??

Ive been into marching drumline and teaching for a while so I play just about every day for an hour. Well lately Ive been getting into playing on the set and after 40-60 minutes my fingers go a little numb. Im sure I have some amount of nerve damage lol. Ive been doing this stuff too long to not have any. But I wondered if the style/size stick Im using had anything to do with it because other times I didnt notice this sensation in my finger tips. So I was curious if anyone else has come across this and what kind of sticks you used to get past it. Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2007, 05:50 AM
fourstringdrums
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

If you're using large marching sticks, and using them for long periods of time, they very well could be causing the numbness in your fingers. I would stick to smaller sticks if you can or atleast heavily cut back on the amount of time that you're using the larger sticks, atleast in one sitting.

You could have the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, if you don't have it already. I would talk to a doctor as well just to make sure. I got CTS from all my years of using crutches, had surgery, and it still didn't make a difference. I'm now at the point where I can't work, and you don't want to get there. Thankfully the drums are more of a therapy for me, so it doesn't stop me from that.

I actually wrote an article about my experiences with CTS:

http://www.handidrummed.com/articles/tv2ct_part1.php
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2007, 04:45 PM
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That Guy That Guy is offline
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

I agree with Rob. Since you play in drumline I'm going to rule out that your grip technique is not the problem, though it could be. Are you a hard hitter? Since you are 26 years old, I would drop back on playing time until you figure out whats going on. Your too young to be damaging your hands with CTS.

Get it checked out.
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Old 07-08-2007, 05:22 PM
fourstringdrums
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
I agree with Rob. Since you play in drumline I'm going to rule out that your grip technique is not the problem, though it could be. Are you a hard hitter? Since you are 26 years old, I would drop back on playing time until you figure out whats going on. Your too young to be damaging your hands with CTS.

Get it checked out.
You're never too young. I'm 26 and my hands are stopping me from working, but for a different reason not related to drums.
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2007, 06:03 PM
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Garvin Garvin is offline
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

Get one of those rubber bands that comes around a head of broccoli, put it around your fingers and open your hand about 25 times. Do this on each hand every day. It works the muscles that open your carpal tunnel. I had that same problem a while ago and was taught this exercise. It seriously helps. PM me if you have any questions.
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2007, 06:17 PM
fourstringdrums
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

There are also stretches called Nerve Glides.

1) Take your left hand for example, and hold it straight up in the air at your side with your palm facing right.

2) Tilt your hand back so your palm is facing up.

3) Rotate your hand so now your fingers are facing forward but your palm is still facing up.

4) Lightly pull down on your fingers with your other hand, a few times, for a count of 3.

5) Repeat with the other hand.
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2007, 07:19 PM
Turbo6 Turbo6 is offline
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

I never did a great deal of research on carpel tunnel but I supposed I should have years ago. I was into drumming bigtime all through highschool and got into drum corps afterwards so I always had very good technique. Ive seen a lot of my collegues have surgery on their wrists and get CTS but Ive managed to avoid it with good technique.

I think I may have described the numb sensation too. When I bought my drum set about a month ago I started playing an hour at a time just working on music and never had the numb thing with the sticks I was using at the time. When I switched to a nylon tip stick (they are cheapos) I noticed the pads on my right hand were a tad numb. It seems like the more a stick vibrates or hums when you hit a hard surface the more I get the numb feeling in the pads of my fingers. Almost like the blood was drove out the ends of my fingers from playing. I dont have any wrist pains at all or any tension while I play. Im not a hard beater by any stretch so Im assuming this is from the style sticks Im using. Im gonna try playing for an hour or two with some better sticks and see what happens.
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

I must say, that Carpal Tunnel is one of the only things in the world that scares me....
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:08 PM
fourstringdrums
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

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Originally Posted by fijjibo View Post
I must say, that Carpal Tunnel is one of the only things in the world that scares me....
It really shouldn't scare you. If you know how to prevent it, or treat it once it happens, it's not the end of your drumming. Fortunately for me it wasn't, in fact it's a help. I can have a really bad day pain wise, and as soon as I play it goes away, and as soon as I stop, it comes back. Unfortunately though it is keeping me from working, which is good because I have more time for drums, but bad for all the other problems that opens up.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2007, 09:29 PM
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Steady Freddy Steady Freddy is offline
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

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Originally Posted by fourstringdrums View Post
It really shouldn't scare you. If you know how to prevent it, or treat it once it happens, it's not the end of your drumming. Fortunately for me it wasn't, in fact it's a help. I can have a really bad day pain wise, and as soon as I play it goes away, and as soon as I stop, it comes back. Unfortunately though it is keeping me from working, which is good because I have more time for drums, but bad for all the other problems that opens up.
I've had some numbness in my left hand for a while now. Playing drums seems to lessen it if I take it easy warming up. Same goes for working out on a practice pad.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2007, 08:00 AM
Buhaina_X Buhaina_X is offline
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

I recommend that you get examined by an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in the hands. The Dr may order a nerve conduction study which will determine if you actually have CTS and the extent of it. At that point you will have a good idea what your options will be. Physical or Occupational therapy may be an option or you may have to consider surgery. Don't let the condition worsen to the point where you may suffer permanent nerve damage!!!

I suffered with ever increasing numbness and pain until I had carpal tunnel release surgery in each hand. I have had a 100% percent recovery and only wish that I opted for the surgery a lot sooner.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2007, 03:30 PM
Turbo6 Turbo6 is offline
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buhaina_X View Post
I recommend that you get examined by an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in the hands. The Dr may order a nerve conduction study which will determine if you actually have CTS and the extent of it. At that point you will have a good idea what your options will be. Physical or Occupational therapy may be an option or you may have to consider surgery. Don't let the condition worsen to the point where you may suffer permanent nerve damage!!!

I suffered with ever increasing numbness and pain until I had carpal tunnel release surgery in each hand. I have had a 100% percent recovery and only wish that I opted for the surgery a lot sooner.
I dont need surgery, seriously. I dont have any pain in my wrist. The only time Ive ever felt pain there was once when I tried to open a jelly jar and I think I may have pulled a tendon/muscle. My wrists dont hurt. I just get numb fingers when I use sticks that vibrate a lot. I've established its the sticks because it didnt happen when I changed sticks.
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2007, 11:39 PM
Buhaina_X Buhaina_X is offline
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Default Re: Numb fingers??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo6 View Post
I dont need surgery, seriously. I dont have any pain in my wrist. The only time Ive ever felt pain there was once when I tried to open a jelly jar and I think I may have pulled a tendon/muscle. My wrists dont hurt. I just get numb fingers when I use sticks that vibrate a lot. I've established its the sticks because it didnt happen when I changed sticks.
It is possible to only have symptoms in your fingers without wrist pain too. When I had it I was getting numb fingers, sometimes sore wrists and frequent pain in my arms which really puzzled the doctors. Not all symptoms happened at the same time but they were all gone after surgery. Hopefully for you simply changing sticks will end the numbness and you won't go through the misery that I went through.

Which fingers go numb when you play?

Here is an easy test that you can try on your own that MAY help to determine your condition:

Phalen test

Hold your elbows at shoulder level and place the backs of your hands together with your wrists bent at 90 degrees.

Hold this position for 60 seconds.

This position increases the pressure in the carpal tunnel and on the median nerve.

If the test reproduces or worsens your symptoms (pain and tingling in your hands), you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
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