DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-05-2011, 03:19 AM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,517
Default Pain in the lower back

Hi Folks

Well this is my first thread.

I’ve been playing drums for 30 years; I’m 53 now (I know I started the drums late, but had a try at guitar before that), music and drumming are the love of my life.

About two years ago, I noticed that I started to feel pain in my lower back and knees, especially the right knee, at the beginning I ignored it, but it never stopped, so I went for medical advice and an X-ray. The Fact is that I have two worn out collapsed discs in my spine.

I felt quite bad about that, but given the fact that I wasn’t feeling any pain when I was not playing, I thought that maybe I’ll find a solution.

I did research on the web, read magazines and gathered as much information as possible. I even found an article about drummer’s pains in the French “Batterie Magazine”.

So, armed with my infos and facts, I started the process that could eventually stop or minimise my pain.

Body and drums position are the most important factor when playing the kit. There is only one rule to follow: eliminate all sources of tension.

You need to seat correctly on the throne with a straight spine and a straight head, if you curve your back while playing; the shoulders are curving forward restricting arms movements.

Adjust the height of the seat so that your legs are not bending more than an angle of 90° minimum.

Then I started to position the drum elements, one by one starting with the snare, then the bass and Hi-hat. The rest of the kit is build in a manner that I don’t have to turn my body while playing, everything is within easy reach and the highest elements being the crash cymbals and the china just below eye level.

The kit is build like a three storey building:

On the “ground floor”: the pedals (that was easy…)
On the “first floor”: the snare and the floor toms, same height and same angle
On the “second floor”: the two hi-hats (L&R), rack tom, ride cymbal, same height, tom and cymbal same angle
On the “third floor”: the two crashes and the china, same height same angle (except for the china)

I also replaced the Tama Camco bass drum pedal after 22 years of faithful playing (worned out spring and bearings) with a Mapex Falcon to give a new lease of life to my foot and knee.

The good thing about it: it’s working… no pain anywhere, even after 3-4 hours on the drums.

That has taught me a lesson (a bit late, you might say) about the importance of the body position in relation of the instrument.

NB: If you’re reading music while playing, place the sheets in front of you if possible, not on the side, long play with your head turned to left or right is creating torsion in the spine.
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-07-2011, 03:49 PM
MemphisBeat MemphisBeat is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

The ergonomics of drumming are one of the most important issues. You have to set up to accommodate your own size, height, reach of arms and legs.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-07-2011, 06:52 PM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,517
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by MemphisBeat View Post
The ergonomics of drumming are one of the most important issues. You have to set up to accommodate your own size, height, reach of arms and legs.
Agreed, I thought I did that during all these years, but with the "new" conditions with my collapsed discs in the spine, I had to review, not only the set up of the kit, but also my approach to playing, no other choice (or stop playing altogether, not really an option)
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-08-2011, 05:24 AM
MemphisBeat MemphisBeat is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 5
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Just like Olympic cyclists. They get the frames of their bikes sized to their body. The more drums you use the more complicated settting up can be. That's why I prefer to play with one rack tom. Although it's alot of fun to set up with three rack toms. Less is more on most situations
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-02-2012, 09:50 AM
triumvirate triumvirate is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 16
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

That is so true. Bad posture often leads to back problems. We often have to slouch to get the right position instead of adjusting the instruments. It may lead to sclerosis and scoliosis. You should try to maintain a proper posture and also physiotherapy is a miracle worker.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-02-2012, 03:36 PM
marko138's Avatar
marko138 marko138 is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 552
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

My back hurt too...until I got a quality throne. I wish I'd gotten one sooner. I waited almost 6 years to get a good throne.
__________________
-Mark


MeetAtSundown.com
MAS on facebook
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-02-2012, 03:45 PM
bonzolead's Avatar
bonzolead bonzolead is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Clarkston,MI.
Posts: 2,210
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Exactly what I was going to say what kind of throne....my roc-n-soc nitro saved my back i'm 41 & been playing since I was 4 so I understand where you're coming from.

good luck,
Bonzolead
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-02-2012, 03:51 PM
marko138's Avatar
marko138 marko138 is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 552
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
Exactly what I was going to say what kind of throne....my roc-n-soc nitro saved my back i'm 41 & been playing since I was 4 so I understand where you're coming from.

good luck,
Bonzolead
That's the throne I bought just after Christmas this year.
__________________
-Mark


MeetAtSundown.com
MAS on facebook
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-02-2012, 04:04 PM
bonzolead's Avatar
bonzolead bonzolead is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Clarkston,MI.
Posts: 2,210
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
That's the throne I bought just after Christmas this year.
My dumb-ass sat on a old 71' Rogers throne that my dad gave me for years..lol then I got the roc-n-soc & pops liked it so much that's what he uses now..lmao

Bonzolead
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-02-2012, 07:52 PM
rjvsmb's Avatar
rjvsmb rjvsmb is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 309
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

It's also helpful to incorporate an execise routine that promotes flexibility, joint stability and mobility, strength and conditioning.

The more conditioned the body, the more capable it is in avoiding injuries,doing work, and handling stress.

Cheers,
-r
__________________
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Last edited by rjvsmb; 03-02-2012 at 10:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-02-2012, 09:33 PM
Otto Otto is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,131
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Makes me wish Phil Collins would stop by and share his experience...bet we would all benifit!...especially at his medical budget level...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-03-2012, 01:51 AM
DrWorm DrWorm is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 37
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Sorry to hear about your back pain, I hope you find a fix that alleviates it for you. Pain can suck the fun out what would otherwise be a tremendously enjoyable experience.

For me, I noticed I was leaning into my hats ever so slightly and this was causing me a fair amount of pain. My back feels much better when I get up from the kit when I make a conscience effort to sit up straight while playing.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-03-2012, 02:08 AM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,517
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrWorm View Post
Sorry to hear about your back pain, I hope you find a fix that alleviates it for you. Pain can suck the fun out what would otherwise be a tremendously enjoyable experience.

For me, I noticed I was leaning into my hats ever so slightly and this was causing me a fair amount of pain. My back feels much better when I get up from the kit when I make a conscience effort to sit up straight while playing.
Thanks Doc, but since working on my new setting for my drumkit I do not feel anymore pain while playing, and because I'm aware of my back's condition, I take precautions when I have to undertake physical effort. :)

Yes, sorry to hear about your back, bad habits and bad postures can be very damaging, I'm glad that you're conscious of having a good posture while playing. :)
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-03-2012, 02:41 AM
J4X's Avatar
J4X J4X is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Kent, England
Posts: 7
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
About two years ago, I noticed that I started to feel pain in my lower back and knees, especially the right knee, at the beginning I ignored it, but it never stopped, so I went for medical advice and an X-ray. The Fact is that I have two worn out collapsed discs in my spine.
My drum tutor, who is about 62 now (and still capable of playing the drums amazingly) had something like this a few years ago.

I think he had to have an operation or something, i cant really remember, but i do know it can get quite serious if nothing is done about it.

I used to get pain in my coccyx (tailbone) from bad posture, and suffered for about a year of pain when sitting and pain when standing after sitting for long periods of time. Its sorted itself out now though. But i could never practice the drums for longer then 30 minutes, as i would get these painful shocks and cramps from sitting down too long in the same position.

Hope your better now though, I wouldn't wish back pain on anyone.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:35 PM
resohead's Avatar
resohead resohead is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 521
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Happy you figured it out, Henri. I used to have a cheap throne and after a 45 minute set I had very sore lower back. I looked over the throne at practice and noticed the slightest wiggle where the seat attached. It doesn't take much of that to mess with your back. I replaced it, no prob.

I just recently started looking at my set and noticed that my hi-hat was way left. I moved it in and forward as much as feasible. Anything I could do to look forward. I'd like to have hats on the right also.

I used to see a massage therapist every two weeks as a gift to myself. She was very holistic and had many years experience. She taught me more about mechanics and what to do to avoid or fix problems. I think she had more knowledge than most doctors or chiropractors

Finally I might work on open handed playing. We;ll see how far I get..
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:45 PM
GRUNTERSDAD's Avatar
GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: God's Waiting Room
Posts: 15,371
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Another reason to rid your self of the flat rack toms where you have to reach or lift off of your seat to hit them properly. Looking cool will not be cool down the road when you too are aching.
__________________
Thank you for sharing my day.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-03-2012, 04:51 PM
LukeSnyder's Avatar
LukeSnyder LukeSnyder is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: York, PA
Posts: 1,170
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Henri, I'm very glad that you've been able to relieve your back pain. An injured back sucks, I've torn muscles in mine before! Posture and ergonomics are definitely vital aspects of the drumset for me, because I value my health. I try to instill those ideas in my students very early, and the steps you've listed are essentially the same ones I take for myself.

As an aside, this is your first thread? How have you never created a thread before!
__________________
"Bermuda is a jerk"
Check out my drumming blog and my youtube channel!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-03-2012, 05:03 PM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,517
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeSnyder View Post
Henri, I'm very glad that you've been able to relieve your back pain. An injured back sucks, I've torn muscles in mine before! Posture and ergonomics are definitely vital aspects of the drumset for me, because I value my health. I try to instill those ideas in my students very early, and the steps you've listed are essentially the same ones I take for myself.

As an aside, this is your first thread? How have you never created a thread before!
Yes, posture and ergonomics are essential... however, I don't think my back problems are related to drumming, it's more bad posture when carrying physical efforts in the many day jobs I had which required such tasks, either lifting heavy goods or standing for very long hours.

Haha, this was my first thread about a week after I joined the forum last year, I have created a few more threads: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...archid=7994121
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-03-2012, 05:19 PM
LukeSnyder's Avatar
LukeSnyder LukeSnyder is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: York, PA
Posts: 1,170
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
Yes, posture and ergonomics are essential... however, I don't think my back problems are related to drumming, it's more bad posture when carrying physical efforts in the many day jobs I had which required such tasks, either lifting heavy goods or standing for very long hours.

Haha, this was my first thread about a week after I joined the forum last year, I have created a few more threads: http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...archid=7994121
Well, that shows you how carefully I check dates on posts! Now it makes more sense, lol. I feel a tad dense right now.
__________________
"Bermuda is a jerk"
Check out my drumming blog and my youtube channel!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-09-2012, 07:07 PM
resohead's Avatar
resohead resohead is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 521
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Update. I stay online almost all day. More often than not my posture is terrible. I tend to put a lot of pressure on the left armrest, lean to the left, and type with my right hand. Pitiful.

I don't sit up straight on the drums and turn to the left. My lower back on the left side now makes playing uncomfortable. So I'm getting an adjustment from a chiropractor today and then commit myself to good posture.

This stuff just catches up with you.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-09-2012, 08:23 PM
Arky's Avatar
Arky Arky is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 3,052
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

resohead,
are you familiar with basic stretching exercises? You should really do some stretching or at least do some relaxation stuff in-between when sitting for a long time. Take care of yourself!!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-10-2012, 12:36 AM
resohead's Avatar
resohead resohead is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 521
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Arky, I used to do yoga but have not been doing anything at all lately. I'll take your advise.

I saw two chiropractors and all I could think was to ask if they were actually out of high school yet. I'm really getting old.

So, they did some physical testing(hold your arm straight out, now push up on my hand, etc)
None of that hurt my back.

They said my muscles on the left side of my back were extremely tight. They took xrays, 10 minutes of electro-stim and a minor adjustment. The doc said if he did a full adjustment with my muscles like that, that I would have hated his guts this weekend.

I go back Tue or Wed for xray results and adjustment. Hopefully it won't get too complicated.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-10-2012, 12:53 AM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Henri, good OP and good thread. One of the big things is strengthening supporting muscles, mostly the abs.

Reso, I agree about trying to get the hats more close in forward. At times I'm like the bloody leaning tower of Pisa as I hover over the hats, and I've been trying to straighten up.
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-10-2012, 06:14 AM
Midnite Zephyr's Avatar
Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Surf City, CA
Posts: 3,175
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

I didn't have much to say on this thread on the first go around. I've never really had a back problem even though all the rest of the guys in my family have.

I just started jamming with these guys the past few weeks and one of the guys has a drumset already there. It's a 5-piece Tama set-up on a rack. Thing is, I get shoulder pain from playing the way I set my drums up, but with this rack I haven't experienced any discomfort whatsoever after playing. So....yeah....I need to make some adjustments for my shoulder's sake. Now that I think about it, I had a nasty cramp last night in my big toe that woke me out of a deep sleep. I ran to the bathroom and soaked it under hot water from the tub's faucet. I guess I should have ate a banana afterward. Gotta make that 7-11 stop and get a banana on the way home next time.
__________________
5A Sticks--Coated Heads--Acoustic Drums--Cast Bronze Cymbals--Heavy-Duty Hardware
Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2012, 12:55 PM
Woz.275
This message has been deleted by Woz.275.
  #25  
Old 03-10-2012, 01:25 PM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,517
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by resohead View Post
More often than not my posture is terrible...
...I don't sit up straight on the drums and turn to the left. My lower back on the left side now makes playing uncomfortable....
Self awarness upon position and posture at the instrument (or in every day's life) is important, as long as you're aware of it and take remedial action. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
At times I'm like the bloody leaning tower of Pisa as I hover over the hats, and I've been trying to straighten up.
Yep Polly, no good, and that's another thing us multi tasking drummer have to thing about when playing, good postures. :)

I've read somewhere you had knee troubles, is it any better now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Thing is, I get shoulder pain from playing the way I set my drums up, but with this rack I haven't experienced any discomfort whatsoever after playing. So....yeah....I need to make some adjustments for my shoulder's sake...
Bon, I've read an article about positioning our percussive elements within the kit, they said that if you have to raise you shoulder in order to play an instrument on the kit it will lead to shoulder discomfort and eventually pain, placement is the key, eliminate all sources of tension and discomfort in the kit :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woz.275 View Post
...plus i use a Roc and Soc stool with back rest, which i have found to be the best thing that i have bought that helps my back.
The throne is probaly the most important piece of hardware accessory on a drumkit, it has to support the heavier piece of the drumset, the drummer, I'm amazed to find drumkit that has extremely expensive cymbal stands and a wobbly and unstable throne, any so-so cymbal stands will do the work, a bad stool will only lead to trouble :)
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 03-10-2012, 01:48 PM
Pollyanna's Avatar
Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyberspace, Sydney connection
Posts: 10,000
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
Yep Polly, no good, and that's another thing us multi tasking drummer have to thing about when playing, good postures. :)

I've read somewhere you had knee troubles, is it any better now?
Very observant, Henri. Yep, knee is good now. Just slowly chipping away at my lame aspects - no rush, since I only get to play once a week for a few hours (at this stage of my life).
__________________
.
Polly's rhythms
.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-30-2012, 06:06 PM
Steelydad Steelydad is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 13
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Great advice. Thanks. I am having lower back pain and I think it has to do with my posture.. I will try your remedy.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-30-2012, 08:45 PM
Mad About Drums's Avatar
Mad About Drums Mad About Drums is offline
Pollyanna's Agent
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Shropshire, UK
Posts: 5,517
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelydad View Post
Great advice. Thanks. I am having lower back pain and I think it has to do with my posture.. I will try your remedy.
Thank you, I'm glad I was of some help for you, sorry to hear about your lower back pain, I know how you're feeling and I hope that good posture, suitable ergonomics and positioning the elements of your kit will stop or at least minimise your pain, good luck.
__________________
Keep On Drumming
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 01-09-2013, 01:18 PM
henry88 henry88 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Due to continuously sitting in the same posture there may be pain in the lower back. Try some back exercises or take some pain relievers. I think it will cure.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01-09-2013, 02:06 PM
OrangeAgent27's Avatar
OrangeAgent27 OrangeAgent27 is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Marylandistan
Posts: 514
Default Re: Pain in the lower back

Best post I've seen in quite awhile. You have my sympathies for your pain, but your experience is beneficial to others. I for one am guilty of the "curling" and quite honestly, too much torso movement to begin with. This post will stay with me.
__________________
OA27
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com