Bad knee on the high-hat side

TMe

Senior Member
Can anyone offer advice about how to minimize the impact on my knee when playing high-hats?

I have a wonky left knee as a result of an old injury, and it's a pain when I play drums.

I have a relatively busy left foot, and and I tap my left heel to keep time even when I'm not playing the hats.

I tend to have reasonably good posture when playing, but I might be sitting lower than I should. I've looked at articles about throne height, but all the ones I've seen focus on back pain or hip pain issues, which I don't have.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Would a knee brace like this help?

https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=DChcSEwjx2YLxwfXhAhUBi8gKHWFCDmgYABANGgJxdQ&sig=AOD64_0DxzobQqp_Q79jo1atDTJRDbLDaA&ctype=5&q=&ved=0ahUKEwj1wPvwwfXhAhWlm-AKHahIDOkQvhcIdg&adurl=

Some hi-hat stands have a "softer" feel to them. The Tama Iron Cobra I have feels really good -- responsive, but not harsh, when I'm playing it aggressively. And yes, it should help if you raise your throne until your things angle downward somewhat. If your thighs are parallel to the ground, consider raising your seat a few inches. Ultimately, though, you are going to bounce your knee. No way around it.

Also, don't sit too close, or too far away. Your shin bone should be vertical. Don't let your kneecap get past your ankle. You might be fine when you're just sitting there, but if you lean forward when you start to play...
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Good advice from bentcn. Yes make sure your legs are angled down a little. (knees should be a little lower than your butt.)

My only advice would be 3 things.

1. Lower the spring tension. My Tama hi hat has easy access adjustable spring tension.
2. Use 13 inch hi hat cymbals. They are lighter so it would be less work to make the top cymbal move up and down.
3. You could try playing the hi hat with your heal only. Point the hi hat pedal at your bass drum. Plant your toes on the ground and use your heal to work the hi hat pedal. Yeah I know, it would be strange. But I did it for a short time when I hurt my toe.

.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I tore my ACL in my left knee when I was 18. I'm 43 now. Some days, it doesn't matter what I do, it just hurts. Unfortunately, the things we can't control has as much effect on your knee as things you can. Not trying to be discouraging, but I'm in the same boat. Getting old hurts.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I had a left knee injury for a bit and the only thing I changed was the angle od the footboard on my hat stand. Not sure if all stands can do that... I found with a steeper angle I was using less knee bend and could do a little more with my foot alone... Unsure how that will translate to your situation.
 

TMe

Senior Member
Thanks for the advice.

I started sitting higher and was surprised what a difference that makes. I didn't think I was sitting too low, but apparently I was mistaken. I'm trying to use heel-up as my default resting position.

I tried drumming with a knee brace and that helped. I don't why that didn't occur to me before. I use a brace for other activities.

My HH stand won't let me adjust the angle of the foot board, so I'll have to try a different stand.

Unfortunately, big, heavy, sloppy HH's are part of my sound, so I'm reluctant to try thinner 13" HH"s, although that sounds like it would help.

Getting old hurts, indeed, but I'd like to minimize the pain as much as possible. It's too bad there isn't any effective pain killer that isn't intoxicating and/or addictive.
 
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lefty2

Platinum Member
I have a torn meniscus possibly 15 years ago something like that. And my hi hat playing bothers my knee a lot. I think it's from holding them down rather than actually playing them. when I get off the stage at break time I can't hardly walk. I don't think I set very low for my height but definitely not high either. I might try raising my Throne just a little bit
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I started sitting higher and was surprised what a difference that makes. I didn't think I was sitting too low, but apparently I was mistaken. I'm trying to use heel-up as my default resting position.
Butt above knees. Always.

Almost every single ACL injury that I have ever seen occurred mid-squat. People trying to recover from a loss of balance or landing while skiing. Soccer players trying keep their feet after a stumble.

For the minor aches, drink plenty of water, eat fish on occasion, and consider an aspirin or ibuprofen.

Last note: See a doctor that specializes in your ailment. They should be able to take an xray, analyze and describe the nature of your issue, and suggest remedies or mitigations.
 

TMe

Senior Member
Check these out. It's a patch that delivers an anti-inflammatory locally.
I'll definitely try out the Salonpas patches. In Canada cannabis is now legal, and CBD oil is selling like crazy. I'm deeply skeptical. People who've been using Cannabis for years claim the CBD is useless without a certain amount of THC, so it's basically a placebo if you're not getting high. If true, that would make cannabis more like oxy than Aspirin, except it's not addictive. I don't want to be high every day of my life, so that's not an option.

I have a torn meniscus...
That's what I have. I'm going to try setting my throne higher and using "heel up" as my default position for the HH foot. I'll see if that makes a difference.

See a doctor that specializes in your ailment.
It's osteo-arthritis caused by the surgery that corrected a torn meniscus. Apparently there's not much that can be done without side effects that might be worse in the long run. Just have to keep the knee in motion but avoid any high-impact activities.
 
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brentcn

Platinum Member
I'll definitely try out the Salonpas patches. In Canada cannabis is now legal, and CBD oil is selling like crazy. I'm deeply skeptical. People who've been using Cannabis for years claim the CBD is useless without a certain amount of THC, so it's basically a placebo if you're not getting high. If true, that would make cannabis like oxy than Aspirin, except it's not addictive. I don't want to be high every day of my life, so that's not an option.
I wouldn't say placebo. And the THC is not the biochemically active part (although it definitely is the psychoactive part!).

But, after decades of being criminalized, the hype is understandably intense. Cannabinol has been documented in at least one peer-reviewed medical journal as being an effective anti-inflammatory, when treating diverticulitis patients (i.e. digestive/colon issues). But that seems to be the extent of it, so far. NSAIDs all work through the same set of biochemical pathways, and we already have about five that work very well...
 

TMe

Senior Member
NSAIDs all work through the same set of biochemical pathways...
Do you have a source for that info handy? I know someone who's looking at CBD as an alternative to NSAID's. If CBD is basically the same thing, I imagine there would be no compelling reason to switch.

My attitude about all pharmaceuticals is that I'd like to stay away from anything that hasn't been used widely for about 20 years.
 

Chollyred

Senior Member
My HH stand won't let me adjust the angle of the foot board, so I'll have to try a different stand.
Try a piece of wood or something to lift the back of your HH pedal and see if that helps. Doesn't need to be thick. Then you'll know if a flatter angle will help.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Do you have a source for that info handy? I know someone who's looking at CBD as an alternative to NSAID's. If CBD is basically the same thing, I imagine there would be no compelling reason to switch.

My attitude about all pharmaceuticals is that I'd like to stay away from anything that hasn't been used widely for about 20 years.
There is one major important thing y'all are forgetting. CBD comes from a plant, NSAIDS come from a lab. Any drug made in a lab, be it pharmacutical or bathtub, has the potential to kill you.

My wife has a torn Bursa Sac in her left shoulder. She uses CBD for it and says it helps. Before that it was about a bottle of ibuprofen a week.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
It's osteo-arthritis caused by the surgery that corrected a torn meniscus. Apparently there's not much that can be done without side effects that might be worse in the long run. Just have to keep the knee in motion but avoid any high-impact activities.[/QUOTE]

Boy that sounds familiar. I never had surgery though. They told me at that time they could trim it and it would feel a lot better, but it would be bone on bone and when that got bad I would need a new knee. So I just dealt with the pain for a yr or so, and it got a lot better. But only if I didn't run or jump. I think before I retire, hopefully in a couple of yrs. I'll have it replaced.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
There is one major important thing y'all are forgetting. CBD comes from a plant, NSAIDS come from a lab. Any drug made in a lab, be it pharmacutical or bathtub, has the potential to kill you.

My wife has a torn Bursa Sac in her left shoulder. She uses CBD for it and says it helps. Before that it was about a bottle of ibuprofen a week.
There are lots of substances that come from plants that are bad also. Just saying.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
There are lots of substances that come from plants that are bad also. Just saying.
Agreed. Just not this one in particular.

It's those lab created remedies though. It's all chemicals and man made things. I just read an Acetaminophen PM bottle. It has 2 active ingredients, and 20 non-active. Plus let's not forget the chemical structures used to assemble the active ingredients. I just can't do it. Give me natural remedies or I'll deal with it. I'm sure if I drank enough paint, any pain would go away too.

I have a bottle of Excedrin Migraine I keep in my lunchbox just in case. I think I've taken 2 in the past year.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
If you don't already have a hi-hat with a lever cam system, it would definitely help.

I recently got the Tama Speed Cobra Lever Glide hi-hat and it's amazing. Light and fast, very little effort required to operate the pedal. Less effort = less wear and tear on your knee.
 
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