Carpel tunnel - How do you avoid it?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by NickInMesa, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. I am starting to get carpal tunnel in my fretting hand from practicing long hours (sometimes 3 in a row, until my fingers hurt, actually, but in a good way).

    What can I do to avoid it?

  2. Hmm ok for some weird reason I thought I was the only one to have it :)

    I will read ...
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Try some of these exercises.

  4. Les Izmor

    Les Izmor Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2008
    Western Mass
    Adam Nitti describes proper wrist position very well at the bottom of the page in the following link. He also provides great pictures of what not to do in the section titled "Avoid Sharp Wrist Angles":

    The above link shows the technique to use if you want to play bass for a long time to come (practicing shouldn't hurt after you build up your initial calluses, and finger muscles). "Easy does it" should be your mantra.
  5. BLDavis

    BLDavis May the Tort be with you.

    May 21, 2009
    Ellenboro, NC
    I've delt with it for years. Arthritis too. It sidelined me for a while and I took about a year off from playing to have neck surgery. Started back playing just a few minutes at a time and worked up to 30 min practice after 5 min warm-ups. After 5 years I still limit practice to no more than 45 min, (the length of a "normal" set) then take at least a 15 min break, re-warm-up and repeat. It works for me.
    Good luck, B.
  6. Rudreax


    Jun 14, 2008
    New York, NY
    What I do is making sure I fret very lightly. I should be able to figuratively "glide" my hand up and down the next without having to apply any pressure (or very, very little).
  7. It came from playing while sitting for long hours at the computer, and just when I switched from a Foundation, which has a flat neck, to the P bass, which has a rounder neck. I believe the neck shape has its importance in the matter.
  8. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
  9. TOOL460002


    Nov 4, 2004
    Santa Cruz
    your body is a machine (kind of). think of nerves as being elastic (they are). i dont mean to talk down to you, so i hope im not coming off as such, but the less you bend your joints, the less nerve tension there is. tension means friction, which means inflammation, and repetitive use of an inflamed nerve leads to carpal tunnel.

    thats my understanding of it. i have never gotten carpal tunnel from playing bass, but i have gotten it from computer use on 3 or 4 or 5 occasions, and the only remedy is to cease whatever motion youre doing. for me, 5 days means a complete heal. eat healthy, dont drink, dont use restricted chemicals, give your body the ideal recovery conditions.

    i think of most bass playing as being fingers flat on the fret board. guitar peoples arch their fingers to let notes ring through (ie- chords). my elbow is bent, but my wrist is nearly straight. i dont know if that helps.
  10. I just barely played yesterday and let the hand get a rest. Good thing the band practice was cancelled.

    Weirdly, as soon as I ditched the P bass, I got the groove back :)