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Back pain......HELP

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by masterinprogres, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Any ideas on what I may be doing wrong? Back kills me for hours after a gig.
  2. rhett


    Dec 23, 2004
    Austin TX
    is this the only time it hurts?
    tried lighter basses?
    different straps; wider and ones that distribute weight more evenly/differently?
    paying attention to good posture and full breathing?
    tension/stress especially can really aggravate any pain.
    not to simplify, but really give a great deal of thought to what you're doing differently as opposed to other times (that you're playing especially.) sometimes a few slight variations can matter alot.
    some simple stretches designed to alleviate back pain before and after can make a huge difference.
    is moving equipment the problem? make sure to get help, or switch to lighter gear, or (hardest but best) ask others to move your heaviest gear. you can offer to make up for it by making more trips or doing more setup/breakdown.
    let me know if any these general suggestions help.
    i could write a book on this topic, so i have a couple dozen more tips if these don't help.
  3. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I don't have a very strong/healthy back and purchasing a Moody's leather strap cured it for me. Comfort Strapp didn't do a thing for me. Moody's distributes the weight equally imo
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I suggest you consult a professional about such matters. There's really not much we could say, especially since we don't know WHERE and HOW it hurts, much less WHY. Not to be rude, but you should have it checked out.
  5. Tingly


    Jul 16, 2005
    Yonkers, NY
    Yeah, pro help might be the best.

    I noticed that I had problems after hours of playing. I realized what I needed was to stretch by bending forward. Helped a lot. You can stretch before you go on, but how do you stretch while you're up on stage? I got myself a bottle of Poland Spring water and put it on the floor directly in front of me. Not on an amp, or a shelf or a table nearby - the floor. Then I would bend right over and pick it up, sometimes just move it, other times take a drink, put it back down slowly. Voila! I felt A LOT better and had much more gig stamina.

    Other suggestions: lose weight, if necessary. The worst thing for mens' backs is that belly we put on as we get older, it actually pulls on the spine. Strengthening stomach muscles helps, too.

    Laying with your back on a hard flat floor for a few HOURS (yes, hours), heels touching the base of your butt may help, too, after a gig.

    Warm compresses or cold wraps on the affected areas also help some people.

    There are linaments and chemical products, like Biofreeze, that some people swear by. Some of them smell strongly, though.

    The newest things are these patches that you stick on, like a big band aid, and they get hot and stay hot (increasing blood flow) for hours.
  6. rhett


    Dec 23, 2004
    Austin TX
    all of the above are great suggestions, and i do them all except for the floor thing, which could aggravate some conditions. lying on your side with a pillow between your curled legs is generally considered safer.
    first and foremost, if you can't absolutely rule out that it could be a structural or disc problem, see an orthopedist/spine specialist asap and insist on multi angle x-rays and MRIs to follow up, if necessary. DO NOT trust anyone's opinion that it is not serious; I had several Dr.'s and a chiro that missed the opportunity for years for me to start practicing preventative regenerative exercises and nutritional supplements
    i would trade every material possesions and then some (and i've got some nice stuff :smug: ) to have caught my problem 15 yrs ago when i first started having sporadic pain.
    i could've done alot of things a whole lot differently for a lot of years to not have sped up the damage. not to unnecessarily alarm anyone, but chronic pain so bad you wanna kill yourself to make it stop ain't no fun!!! if i could help even one person avoid that .... !!
    i thank god every day that it's now bearable and getting better all the time.
    the bright side is that most folks will do just fine with a little exercise and aspirin. it's said now that bed rest is the worst treatment 98% of the time.
  7. Tingly


    Jul 16, 2005
    Yonkers, NY
    Oh, and one other simple thing I forgot to mention. You might try playing while sitting down, in a chair, with proper back support. Although my band does it, too, I really don't understand the whole "we all gotta stand up to look cool" thing...
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've suffered from back pain and playing bass is always a problem when it's bad - two thing you can do -

    Firstly - get as light a bass as possible, play it as high as possible and stand up straight when playing - no reaching over forwards !

    Secondly - play EUB or Double Bass. My EUB stands up on its own - no weight on my back - play for ever with no problem!! :)
  9. Nirvana4ever


    Aug 2, 2005
    Some suggestions:
    1) more comfortable strap
    2) try to develop better posture
    3) do not apply too much pressure on your back
    4) consult a doctor about it

    Try some of those things. It is a common problem, which many players face. Good luck. Rock on.
  10. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    Do you use a strap when you're practicing, sitting down? I found this to be a real mistake, my back went nuts and I do have a strong back. Went back to practicing without the strap and no more problems. Another thing can be if you're a foot tapper, you're putting most of your weight on one leg. Could be enough to upset your back?
  11. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL

    I found this thread on a search because I'm now experiencing back pain!!

    Really started two weeks ago when we had Friday and Saturday night gigs (gigs two nights in a row suck ass IMO). I think the problem is lifting amps and speakers not the actual playing part.

    When I lift something off the ground, I use proper lifting technique, but I find this harder to do when I'm pulling a cab out of the backseat or my rack out of the trunk. These times I can't use my legs and I can feel the strain on my lower back. It sucks and I'm not sure what to do for this. Maybe stretching will help?