Pinched nerve complaint: lost gigs/rehearsals

Hi all,

I'm a weekend-warrior/amateur level drummer, so it's not like I'm missing out on a bunch of money or anything. But I'm still bummed.

Something "tweaked" in my shoulder/neck area when I was working out two weeks ago, resulting in a ton o' pain in my right arm. I went ahead and played a whole Saturday night with my cover band, but I've had to skip rehearsals, find subs, etc. since then.

On prescriptions and physical therapy now ... next time I'm gonna try performing is a 45-minute show Sunday night with my originals band ... figure that's pretty low-risk.

Any injury stories from you all? I'll bet having something amiss with your body is probably a very bad thing for those of you that are pros ...



Platinum Member
Don't play if you're hurting. It will cause much more damage and be more prolonged, sometimes indefinitely. Your body is telling you that something isn't right and you need to avoid whatever movements cause pain while it heals.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Agree with the Dr, you need to let the problem heal before resuming playing.

I've had a couple of problems on the road, where not playing wasn't an option. Those problems did not improve while I continued to play, and only after the tour did they begin to heal.


Anthony Amodeo

I to had problems that I did not deal with and toured with them in much pain ....stupid mistake but I had no choice at the time

it took therapy in the form of chiropractic care , and about a month away from the drums to rid me of this issue .....which has not returned

I do have a bit of a ritual of preventative steps that I run through for about a half hour before playing......and I do see my chiropractor probably 2 or 3 times a year ......mostly for my own mind because I do not want to feel pain like that again.....

pain in my body and also pain in my heart for fear of my bodily pain affecting my drumming it short or long term

see someone you trust

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Hi all,

Something "tweaked" in my shoulder/neck area when I was working out two weeks ago, resulting in a ton o' pain in my right arm. .

While I was doing a heavy routine of kettlebell swings I pushed too hard and herniated two discs in my neck which resulted in a TON of pain instantly and for weeks afterwards until I received a cortisone injection in my cervical spine.

Get yourself looked at by an osteopath or sports medicine specialist in the neck/shoulder.

Only an MRI will tell you if you have a herniated disc or not. Hopefully not.
Good luck


Platinum Member
Just think for a moment about what is likely causing your pain. This could be something like a nerve between two bones that is grinding when you make certain movements. Every time you do something that hurts, you've further damaged both the nerve, and whatever is grinding against it.

Every time I stop practicing for the evening because my hand or wrist or shoulder is starting to complain, it really bums me out that I have to stop, but I know I'm going to live and drum another day.
DED: Thanks for the link to that older thread.

Jeff A.: I've asked about an MRI -- docs and PT don't seem to think it's necessary, but I'll keep asking. Physical therapist said mostly likely a nerve from C5 or C6 got pinched and it's still really "angry" now.

Anthony: would be curious about your "preventative steps" ritual, if it's not a "trade secret" :)

My wife's tip is that as long as I'm having to miss time away from my "real job," I should be staying away from the drums. But it's actually more difficult to type and drive a mouse than it is to do a money beat :)

Appreciate everyone's help -- off to more PT this afternoon.



Platinum Member
I had bursitis in my elbow and shoulder (at different times) a few years ago. They were aggravated by both working out at the gym and playing drums. I had to curtail both, and went through PT with my shoulder. Eventually it got better, but I remember the pain well, and it took several months to run its course. It's really tough to just stop what you are doing, but it is the best course of action.


Platinum Member
I have had trouble with my neck pinching a nerve before. It is painful and it last for a long time. I have had to learn how to be careful and mindful of my neck being able to slip a disc.
I slowly get up in the morning and I loosen up my neck and lower back which I also have similar problems with.
You will recover in time but you will have to make some changes to prevent it from happening again.
Best wishes to you.