Alternative instrument while recovering from tendinitis

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by carlthegroover, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Hey folks,

    I'm sad to say I have had something resembling tendinitis for a while now (maybe a couple months). It was actually diagnosed as such by a general practitioner, but I'm intending to have an opinion from an expert. First off, i'd like to ask if anyone know if there is such a thing like a "musician's doctor", any physician who specializes in injuries developed from playing an instrument. If not, which would be the closest alternative? Maybe a sports doctor or something like that? I'd like to know exactly what I have, how long it will take to heal, and how to help it heal.

    Aside of that, I intend to rest from playing bass for a couple months until the damn tendinitis (or whatever the ailment of my left arm is) is healed, but I'd like to try an alternative instrument during that period: my main choices are keyboard or electronic drums. I'm also intending on working on my singing, but I'd like to play an instrument as well.

    So, anyone has been there? If so, which instrument you think will be the most gentle with my arm? I don't want to give up bass at all, but I also don't want my ailment to develop further so I need to stop playing bass for a while. And I know I won't be able to stop playing music altogether for two months. I just can't, my urge to play is now pretty evident.

    Thanks in advance! Peace.
  2. Sexyjazz69


    May 31, 2013
    Maybe Mandolin or Ukulele? Whatever your choice is.... get well soon!
  3. I actually do have an ukulele, but I haven't really played it for a while. Maybe I should learn to play it, but to be honest I'd like to try more drumming, or learn the basics of the keys. Not sure if any of those would keep my injury from healing, though.
  4. Ok, so any other recommendations on which doctor to go to? Instruments to play while healing?

    Thanks for the reply, Sexyjazz, by the way.
  5. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    An orthopaedic surgeon would be familiar with sports or work-related repetitive motion injuries.

    Well, there are music instruments where you aren't moving your arm, but using your arm. Brass and woodwind instruments.
  6. noiseguy


    Apr 1, 2013
    Talk with your doctor about this... My personal recommendation is that you lay off everything as much as possible... Instruments and computer keyboards included. Wrap your wrist to isolate it, and remind you not to use it.

    I get tendonitis that flares up now and again. I deal with it by icing area and moving it as little as I can.
  7. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderators Local A440 Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    Probably some orthopedist in the sports medicine field could be of assistance.

    As others have said, you may be better off doing as little as possible (including computer keyboard) during your recovery time. I got extremely acute tendinitis 20 years ago from kayaking gone bad. I couldn't move my wrists for two weeks. Guess what? They still hurt. Tendinitis is nothing to mess around with. Make the sacrifice now and get better for good - being off instruments for the next couple of months is *nothing* compared to 20 years or more of pain.
  8. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    How 'bout a harmonica? Cheap and fun...
  9. verycoolname


    Jan 28, 2013
    I'd see an orthopedic surgeon, as that's what I did when I developed tendonitis. It was a consequence of bass playing, basketball, and left wrist was pretty much done in. Since I was (and still am) young, and the tendonitis was in early stages, I didn't get surgery or anything, but the doctor did give me a brace and told me to cut back on playing bass, as well as to sit out at sports practices whenever it started bothering me.

    As for another instrument, try a ukulele. I picked mine up for like $20, and might get a better one when I see it's worth it. It's a fun little instrument.
  10. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    Voice - work on solfeggio (do, re, mi, etc) and other voice practice routines. Sing the bass lines to the songs you do and the ones you want to do.
  11. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderators Local A440 Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    GREAT suggestion. Work on sightsinging, intervals, all that.

    And none of this "I am not a singer and my voice sounds like crap" argument. ;) Nobody cares!
  12. Baer


    Jul 8, 2008
    When I was preparing for ulnar nerve surgery, I picked up a keyboard since I was going to have only one hand available for a couple weeks. Used it to improve my recognition of chord transitions and progressions, worked out some vocal harmonies, learned the right hand parts to some songs, etc. I'm glad I did that. And now I have a keyboard in the house for friends dropping by for a little jamming.
  13. Try learning to play left-handed.
  14. Some good suggestions so far, guys, thanks! I just went to a traumatologist (a bass teacher recommended him) and he told me I was in the very beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome, and that it could be treated and reversed with some laser therapy. I just hope it goes well and it heals.

    As for the instrument, I'm all for improving my singing. I think I might also try the keyboards (even if I can only play with the right hand at the moment). The harmonica sounds fun too.

    As for learning to play left-handed, that's exactly what my mother suggested. I'm not kidding.
  15. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Maybe a good excuse to try one of those bass-ukeles lots of folks are raving about.

    Less drastic would be a shortscale bass with light gauge strings.

    I sometimes struggle with tendonitis, but it's mostly under control now that I perform several contrary exercises with my hands and fingers that my doctor recommended (example, placing hands under desk, palms down, and pushing UP against desk with fingers)

    Of course Carpal Tunnel is a bit different, regardless here's hoping you get relief and back to making music!
  16. Very true. Right now I'm kinda doing the next best thing, which is tuning my basses DGCF and using a capo on the 2nd fret (or just play it like that and I have that lower D and D#). It does feel like a short scale that way and the strings are very, very loose (action high enough to prevent most unwanted fret buzz). No investment needed, although I'd use the excuse to get one of those gorgeous higher end Ibanez soundgears... if only I had the cash. Or, as you said, I should try the uke bass.

    Thanks for the best wishes and I hope you too can keep your injuries under control and keep rocking it!