Possible overuse injury?

tacobelle

Junior Member
OKAY SO

Last night, I was working with a drum pad and practicing rudiments trying to solidify my speed and strengthen my weak hand-- so I worked my weak hand a lot more than the other one, but all in all, I wasn't practicing for very long.

The next morning I noticed my wrist and forearm of my dominant hand kind of aching and the muscle on the outside of my forearm may have been swollen, so I took some painkillers to reduce any swelling there may have been.

Earlier, though I told myself I would rest tonight, I ended up drumming. I didn't drum for very long, and again, this time, I did most of it with my pedals (strengthening my weaker foot).

When I stopped I noticed that now BOTH of my wrists and forearms and even my elbow joints having the same aching as this morning? I wasn't drumming for that long, and I don't think my grip or posture was bad.....


Should I be concerned? Should I take more painkillers or apply ice? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING ??? PLEASE HELP ME
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

Unfortunately the only way to find out if the drumming is causing your pain is to stop drumming and see if it gets better.
Have you changed the way you play drums?
There are many many questions to be asked.

It could be lots of things causing the pain. It could be some sort of medical condition.
You may need medical help from a doctor.

.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

Please don't think this is rude, but how old are you? As I have gotten older, I have noticed that drumming leaves me with aches that I normally would not have experience when I was younger. If you are working on developing and building muscles to improve your drumming, pushing your limits and aren't a spring chicken, you could be experiencing the typical aches and pains from not being young any more. If not I apologize for even suggesting this as a potential cause.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

A similar thing happened to me about 3 years ago. I did not play for days until the pain disappeared.

Now I take a 10 minute break after every hour of playing. If I hurt then I play only 10 or 20 minutes, slow and easy, maybe just practice a few critical things for my next gig.

I bought a wrist brace at the drug store and sleep with it at night. I think compression helps. Compression may push fluid out of the joint so there is less swelling.

Don't take drugs. The pain is telling you that something is wrong. Learn to manage the problem, not the pain.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

Best advice you can be given it to go see your Dr. Pain or soreness is one thing but if you are having swelling to coincide with it you should get it checked out.
 

dazzlez

Senior Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

This is really common by drummers who ain't stretching and warming up before a long workout without regularly breaks.

Just give your hands a rest for 3-5 days until it's gone. In the future, stretch and warm up your hands before you start your practice and take regularly breaks. Otherwise this will happen again, and again, and again......
Grip and bad technique can make this worse but this happen with people with great relaxed grips as well.
One thing you wanna be careful with is the downstroke, some teachers tell you to grip the stick so hard that you can stop the rebound. That's really bad technique and will cause you serious injuries.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

Simple. Go and see a doctor.

If he tells you it's a result of your drumming, then go and see a teacher because you're doing something wrong.

Diagnosis via internet where no one can see what you're doing in the first place, is a fools errand.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

Simple. Go and see a doctor.

If he tells you it's a result of your drumming, then go and see a teacher because you're doing something wrong.

Diagnosis via internet where no one can see what you're doing in the first place, is a fools errand.
+1000 ^ This.As far as I know,no one here is and MD,and if they were,and gave you medical advice,over the internet,without the benefit of a hands on examination,then they're aren't a very competant MD,and stand to lose their medical license.

Go see a medical professional.Drummers aren't doctors.No offence to anyone here,but we shouldn't be trying to help the OP with our VERY unprofessional medical advice.That's like asking a plumber how to fly an airplane.

Steve B
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

Simple. Go and see a doctor.

If he tells you it's a result of your drumming, then go and see a teacher because you're doing something wrong.

Diagnosis via internet where no one can see what you're doing in the first place, is a fools errand.
100% agree with PFG. Stop playing and go see a doctor.

But I also think it can help to talk to other drummers about this, as many of us get similar pains. It's important to consider the other activities you might be doing (as the drumming may be adding to the stress, not necessarily causing it).

As mentioned above, age or medical conditions, technique, not taking breaks can be a factor. So can other activities (computer work, repetitive lifting of objects, etc).

What helps me is stretching before practice, taking breaks, icing wrist after vigorous sessions... And resting it for 48 hours if needed...
 

WaitForItDrummer

Senior Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

Go see a medical professional.Drummers aren't doctors.No offence to anyone here,but we shouldn't be trying to help the OP with our VERY unprofessional medical advice.That's like asking a plumber how to fly an airplane.

Steve B
Fair point, Steve. I guess drummers are exposed to similar 'occupational health risks' and I think it's ok to exchange experiences peer-to-peer. I'm sure it was in that spirit that the posters commented.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

I would recommend seeing a medical professional.

I actually visited my doctor just this week because of something related to drumming. I recently added a double bass pedal to my set. I've only had it for a few days but used it heavily during a band rehearsal last weekend. We were hitting it hard for a couple hours and I noticed my left knee was feeling stiff. I looked closer and realized I had swelling under my kneecap. The doctor said it was bursitis and just prescribed a strong dose of 600mg ibuprofen. It's already better.

But the bottom line is this: If you introduce new movements and repetitive stress to your body suddenly, it can result in symptoms of pain and swelling. I've been playing drums for a long time and I've been dealing with injuries for over 25 years. In each instance, I adjusted my technique to alleviate whatever pain I was experiencing. But when you do something new or different, it doesn't take much to create inflammation.

Adjusting your grip and technique to reduce the risk of injury is really important. A teacher can help with that.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

Fair point, Steve. I guess drummers are exposed to similar 'occupational health risks' and I think it's ok to exchange experiences peer-to-peer. I'm sure it was in that spirit that the posters commented.
While I get the peer to peer information exchange thing,that should in this case, be limited to giving the OP,the best advice we possibly can.Pain is the bodies way of telling you....there's something wrong.Now it probably is a technique thing,but none of use here,over the internet,are qualified to diagnose that.

This is where you ask Billy Ray,just how to play a second line New Orleans jazz beat,but not where you ask to diagnose a human condition,that none of us here,are qualified to do,especially over the internet..This is where you consult a professional medical doctor,to be properly diagnosed,and to not possibley worsen the condition to a point of possible,perminant damage,which will end a drumming career.

I have no problem answering questions about drums,and do so frequently here,but I"ll direct you to a pilot,if you want to learn how to fly a plane.

Steve B
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

If it hurts in a bad way, you're doing something wrong....assuming that your pain came from drumming. If your stick is mashed against your palm at the moment of impact, your hand, wrists and forearm are absorbing the shock. The stick should be absorbing the vibration, not you. For that to happen you have to get your stick off your palm and let your fingers cradle it with just enough grip. Someone once likened it to holding a baby bird. You don't want to injure the bird by squeezing. Without a video, this is the only thing I can think of that would cause your pain.

How long have you been playing? How do you hold your stick? Are you using a deathgrip or is the stick free to vibrate? (crucial) How do you move the stick primarily, with your elbow, wrist, or fingers? Need more info. A video would be helpful. A crap diet may magnify the problem.

Painkillers are more harm than good, forget them. Something about the way you are handling the stick would seem the most likely cause. I would stop doing what you are doing and learn a healthier way to move your stick, if in fact that is the cause. Meanwhile, let yourself heal for a week or so, before trying anything. Work on your feet if you must practice. Common sense goes a long way.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

For that to happen you have to get your stick off your palm and let your fingers cradle it with just enough grip. Someone once likened it to holding a baby bird. You don't want to injure the bird by squeezing.
I think the bird might come to injury at the point where you whack it against a drum or cymbal, but I digress.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

I just went through something similar. All my doctor said was to cut back on drumming if I had to practice and she prescribed some voltarin (anti-inflammation).

I didn't see a physiotherapist but a massage therapist told me sometimes if you're not using all the muscles in the 'chain', then certain other muscles will do all the work, and eventually those over worked muscles will complain. I have a thread in the 'technique' section, lots of members gave some great feedback. Turns out I don't use my fingers enough, as well as twisting my right wrist a little too far.

I honestly don't know if bad technique was the reason for the pain (might have been lifting stuff or playing squash) but from now on I will stretch before practice, watch my technique and hope these pains don't return.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

Take into account your "normal" environment, because sometimes, a lot of the time it's not the drumming that's killing you, it's the everyday other stuff!

I had been sitting at my desk in a chair lower than it ought to have been, and my elbows were down and wrists bent, as my desktop was higher than usual. That strange posture caused my right arm's radial and ulnar nerve to develop "entrapment" and I began to lose feeling in my right arm. Not much at first, but slightly.

Then in October of last year I went from a 5pc kit w/ one floor tom to a 6pc w/ two floors and that completely exacerbated until I could not even hold a piece of paper in my right hand. Scary stuff indeed!

So the solution was to lower my desk, figure a way to work in those two toms on the right (the 16", the last one on the rack is slightly kicked outward so as to change my flow a little bit) and finally the feeling began to come back. Also, during this whole situation I went to acupuncture with some level of ambivalence towards it (I didn't know if it would or wouldn't work because Chiropractic adjustment and "cold laser" did nil)and lo and behold, it was night and day difference! The acupuncture was just amazing, I could use my arm almost 100%.

At one point in my past when I was driving a lot I had noticed my left pinky getting numb and it traced back to the fact I was resting my left arm in the car window frame and the window gasket was pinching that nerve.

So yeah, check out your immediate environment, habits, posture, etc. before you put the onus of your physical limitations solely on the drums.
 
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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Re: Possible overuse injury?? (PLS HELP!!!!)

There is a lot of great advice in this thread.



Let's see if I can bring the original poster back again.
Based on your forum name, I suggest you stop eating so much Taco Bell food.


.
 

MileHighDrummer

Senior Member
While I don't want to contradict any physicians posting above, I will say that any repetitive motion can cause inflammation and/or pain. That by itself doesn't mean you need to see a doctor. He/she will ask you the same questions you can ask yourself. Does this happen when you drum? Does it only happen when you drum or with other activity? Are you doing anything different than you have done over the past month or year - with different results? Age, as asked above, can cause changes in aches and pains.

All activity related aches can be helped by slowly warming up and cooling down. Try strengthening by resistance training and if it gets worse or causes a decrease in range of motion - then you can see a doctor. It seems that you have already determined that drumming may be causing the pain. Most people when changing activity whether starting to play (or increasing intensity) golf, basketball, kayaking... anything with repetitive motion can and will cause discomfort and pain- if it goes away you're probably okay - or better yet - normal.
 

tacobelle

Junior Member
Re: Possible overuse injury? (UPDATE)

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH :*

i'm going to read all of your replies in a minute, but unfortunately none of them are relevant:

i went for an x-ray, and the doctor found an "abnormality" in the alignment of my wrist bones

:(

he thinks it's something called Madelung Deformity, and will need surgery to correct

i'm seeing a specialist on tuesay

i'll keep you guys updated

love,
samantha
 
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konaboy

Pioneer Member
Re: Possible overuse injury? (UPDATE)

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH :*

i'm going to read all of your replies in a minute, but unfortunately none of them are relevant:

i went for an x-ray, and the doctor found an "abnormality" in the alignment of my wrist bones

:(

he thinks it's something called Madelung Deformity, and will need surgery to correct

i'm seeing a specialist on tuesay

i'll keep you guys updated

love,
samantha
Which is why you should always consult a Dr when you are experiencing pain like that. And this is the perfect example of how we all are not qualified to diagnose or recommend treatment for pain. I hope your visit with the specialist goes well and that surgery isn't needed. Keep us updated.
 
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