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Help! Carpal Tunnel???

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by MauriLii, Apr 13, 2003.


  1. MauriLii

    MauriLii

    Jan 19, 2003
    Kent, England
    Okay, I need some advice. Lately I've been getting a numbness in my right hand (I play right handed) extending from my wrist down through the palm of my hand and down my middle and ring fingers. It usually starts during fast, aggressive playing and gets worse from there. Normally it doesn't come along until I've been playing 2-3 hours (that should read: in the third of three one hour sets). If there's anyone out there that has experienced anything like this please let me know what was the outcome and what was the solution. I'm concerned that it may be carpal tunnel syndrome, but perhaps I'm just being a hypochondriac. Any advice/suggestions? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    run, do not walk, to a doctor.

    you might consider bringing your bass, so he or she can see what your body looks like when you play.

    Don't take this lightly, it could end your bass playing forever.
     
  3. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Pacman is as right as someone can be. Go to a doctor immediately.

    And, everybody, please, stretch and warmup before you play. It's for your own good.
     
  4. What do you recommend? I'm starting to get scared here! My right hand does sometimes feel stiff and tired after playing. If I haven't played for some time, or I haven't used my hands during the day (in other words, I've been lazy), I get tired very quickly, and my muscles really freeze. I'm going to start stretching before every time I play. Are there any good techniques I can pick up? I'll probably go see a doctor soon as well, just in case.
     
  5. turn your hand into a fist, then stretch out slowly, and controlled into a star shape (all fingers stretched out as far as they allow).

    Do this for about 10 mins, both hands, and gently put put some pressure as you go along.

    After the stretching, play scales, in a standard pattern so that your not moving all over the board straight away. Start off slowly, with hole notes, then quarters, and so on.

    You should do your scales for say.. 30mins? and just ebcuase this is your warmup, doesnt mean you cna't learn anything new!

    hope that helps, i'm no expert, but I am suffering from tendonitus, and this is my routine.
    see a docter, asap.

    :) :bassist:
     
  6. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    the most important thing is to take your bass with you while you sprint (don't just run).

    a great musician (kyle keener, drummer - Pacman knows him) had a problem with an arm. the doctor checked him out at a gig. the doctor told him to play his ride cymbal another way and it worked! although swinging on a ride is a little diff from playing on the bass, the more you give your doctor to work with, the easier it is for he/she to help you.
     
  7. I've found that using "Chinese Iron Balls"
    to helps my carpal tunnel symptoms.

    By developing large groups of muscles, rather then
    just a few; hands can gain strenght without over
    stressing.

    Great for warming up before playing too.

    The Production of these iron balls dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The inside is hollow and each ball has a sounding plate inside. One emits a high tone, the other a low tone. According to the Chinese traditional medical theory of “Jingluo”, the hand contains a network of channels which circulate vital energy. Acupuncture points are distributed along these channels. Rotating the iron balls within our hand stimulates the acupuncture points- leading to better circulation (and unlocking vital energy). The Balls are placed in the palm and then rotated in a circular manner. In China, it is common to see a person using the them while taking a walk.



    [​IMG]
     
  8. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Another good stretch is to put your arm straight out in front of you, palm forward and fingers up, as if you were sayin "stop". With your other hand, pull back on your fingers gently, so that you feel it in your forearm. Do this with both wrists.

    As for warming up, try simple patterns, like 1-5-8 on the major scale, (in one position), and then 1-3-5-8 and such.
     
  9. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Sounds like it could well be the beginning of CTS.

    I had a similar thing a few years ago - my hands would really cramp up during gigs and sometimes my hands would go numb for no reason (not while I was playing, but still). I didn't go to a doctor, but my mother, who is an OT, said it could be either CTS or a pinched nerve.

    Some technique adjustment and developing a better warmup regimen helped to get rid of the problem, but as Pacman said, this is definitely not something you should take lightly. At times my hands were so numb I couldn't even hold a pen.
     
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    NOLO-

    Yeah, I know Kyle! You play with him? I ran into him and Polly in Toronto this January....

    We ought to hook up sometime for a beer or two. Next time my group is playing out, I'll try to post here.
     
  11. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i have know them for about ten or so years - good people!

    i would really like to go check you out. i figured you did that really cool thing at the verizon a few weeks ago for the armed services salute, but my lady and i were not able to attend

    maybe you can go check me out at swig the next time i play there (you can give me some pointers - i'm a trumpet player that plays bass!! i need help)



    :)
     
  12. check how your right arm touches the body of the bass- a lot of players rest their right arm on the bass at the arm contour area.
    however, the pressure may restrict blood flow and cause discomfort.

    I wear my bass quite low on a strap so this isn't a problem usually, but when playing sitting down I have to watch I keep my right arm clear of the bass.

    my Hohner B2A (Steinberger-style cricket-bat mini body) is comfortable to play sitting down as the body is so small my right arm is always clear of it.
     
  13. Also always get a second Doctors view.
    I was told I had CTS, ended up being a pinched nerve in my spine not my wrist.

    The cure for me. Dont slouch in front of the computer.
     
  14. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Man, that'd be cool! Who do you play with?
     
  15. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Yeahhh! that was fun, remember the time when,,,,wait....i wasent there.... OH,,,not me... Got ya.

    I would recomend playing bass, just ignore the doc.
    I am, of course, completly stupid.

    Run to doc.
     
  16. MauriLii

    MauriLii

    Jan 19, 2003
    Kent, England
    hahahahahahah!!!!!
     
  17. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    right now, a small group called claudette and the afterhours

    when i'm not too lazy, i'll get out and do a lot of freelancing on trumpet.

    did you even know sparky or ron wilkens? how about steve begnoche?
     
  18. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I know Ron - who's sparky?


    Ron got out and went back to Philly.
     
  19. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    sparky was there in the early 90's

    are you talking about bone playing ron or trumpet playing ron?
     
  20. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    So Maurii, here's what we've established:

    - Go see a doctor immediately.
    - Go see a doctor immediately.
    - Bring your bass, so that the doctor can see what is creating the problem.
    - Get a second doctor's opinion.

    I would like to add:

    - Acupuncture has proven results for Carpal Tunnel that are simply outstanding. Regular acupuncture treatments are an amazing supplement to western medicine.