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Does shaking your hand actually relieve pain?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tupac, Jan 5, 2014.


  1. Tupac

    Tupac

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    I've seen Flea do that a lot between songs. Does that actually relieve anything? When my wrist starts to hurt after playing something with a large finger spread (like a scale), the most comfortable thing is to keep them straight out. Any bending hurts, I'd imagine shaking them would suck.
     
  2. lowfreq33

    lowfreq33

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    Jan 27, 2010
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    Nashville
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    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Increases circulation.
     
  3. elgecko

    elgecko

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    Apr 30, 2007
    Location:
    Anasleim, CA
    Exactly, it promotes blood/oxygen flow which counteracts the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles.
     
  4. winegamd

    winegamd

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    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Why shake your hand? Why not fix the improper technique that caused the pain in the first place?
     
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  6. sharpbass

    sharpbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    I guess it could. There is a pain theory called the "pain gate theory". This theory basically says that pain nerves go through a gate at a junction. Also passing through that junction are nerves that sense feelings such as rubbing. If the nerves carrying rubbing signals (or shaking signals) overpower the pain nerves, it essentially closes the gate. This closing of the gate stops the pain, or diminishes it. This is why a dog will lick a cut or sore ankle. It's not to clean the wound, its that the sensation from the licking masks the pain.

    So I would say that for some, shaking could mask pain. On the other hand Flea may just be shaking out the stiffness to loosen up. That cat plays with some serious furry.
     
  7. porterbass

    porterbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago
    It can also be helpful for nerve issues (which is what I've read Flea deals with). I have had nerve damage including dealing with carpal tunnel, and the shaking helps a ton to reduce the numbness, tingling, and burning.
     
  8. porterbass

    porterbass Supporting Member

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    Jul 11, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago
    Wait...should I lick my hand instead of shaking it? :)
     
  9. fearceol

    fearceol Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Location:
    Ireland

    +1. Prevention is better than cure.
     
  10. cnltb

    cnltb

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    May 28, 2005
    +1
     
  11. Nashrakh

    Nashrakh

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    Aug 16, 2008
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    Also my first thought when I read the OP. Pain is usually a good sign you're doing something wrong. It's a plane crash waiting to happen.
     
  12. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

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    Nov 22, 2008
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    Retrovibe Artist rota
    This is the first stop, be proactive rather than reactive in such matters.

    Pain is not the issue as pain is an emotion, and as such is tied in to the pyscologicol way we view it, if we think its going to hurt then more than likely it will as out brain accomodates our thoughts, as will telling ourselves it does not....justification for pain helps endure it.
    My pain is not your pain, so how it is quantified is a personal thing, pain has its use, but it also has its draw backs.

    Shaking out the hands, as mentiond, is not so much relieving pain as relieveing muscular tension via increasing blood flow to and through muscles. This shaking also vibrates the muscle, so vibrates the nerve and nerve sheaths, so it helps relive the sensation of pain that we could associate with such tension.

    Stretches do the same thing, the help relieve muscle tension by stretching the muscles, as well as stritching the main nerve branches.
    Many people do not associate that as muscles contract and elongate, then so must the nerves that service them.
    The nerves run inside protective sheaths so they do not tear. If this movment is inhibited then we say they nerve is 'trapped'.
    The neve is being held and stretched rather than moving freely within the sheath, so we feel the effects more because the pain is not assosiate with a nerve ending response of a singe area, but along the length of the nerve as it is being over stretched due to the addition of a 'new fixed point'....which is what an entrapment is.

    I teach that is you shake out your hands you help shake out problems. Learn to use them before and after playing, or as flea does inbetween songs if needed. Use them with stretches and warm up and help keep your hands healthy....or at least give them a better chance to remain so. :)
     
  13. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    It's not always improper technique that causes pain. Sometimes it due to other problems such as repetitive motion, tendinitis, etc. I have been playing since 1978 and every so often, I get pain and tingling. Definitely not due to technique, otherwise it would happen all the time.
     
  14. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

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    Location:
    N.H.
    When I studied Double Bass my teacher John Repucc i/Berklee
    would consistently tell me to loosen my playing hand
    by shaking it. Worked all the time.
     
  15. Humbled

    Humbled Supporting Member

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    East of the Sun
    I suspect my improper technique is called "aging".
     
  16. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Supporting Member

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    Nashville, TN
    No, it's not……….:rolleyes:
     
  17. Tupac

    Tupac

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    May 5, 2011
    What have you read about Flea? I've seen him have his hand massaged between songs.
     
  18. Jensby design

    Jensby design

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    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Hastings, NE
    Do any of you stretch before playing? I started doing this about 10 years ago and now I have problems if I don't.
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2005
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    Nothing wrong with shaking your hand when you have a rest. Even if it's not in pain, it gets the blood flowing again, especially if you hold your hand up for a long period of time.
     
  20. DrJKO

    DrJKO

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    Sep 21, 2010
    I do stretch/warm up my hands only and no other bodyparts
     
  21. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

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    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I will shake my hand when I've been having to repeat a particular motion for a long period. It's not because my technique is bad, it's because my hand isn't getting a break by changing its motion.
     

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