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Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jimmeyer176, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. jimmeyer176


    Oct 2, 2012
    Experiencing some moderate tendinitis in the forearm of my pick hand, I play with my fingers and very quick (think Steve Harris but far less talented).

    I've dealt with this before but it's been a while...how do I minimise this? Other than rest and try to minimise rehearsals, any other tricks? Arm strap? Ice? Anti- inflammatory gel? Advil, ? Stretching?

    I have a tour coming up in 5 days and we will only play 45-55 mins per night, but I want to do everything I can now! I've stopped playing completely at this stage to rest.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    Arm strap to start with. Raise your pick ups, and turn up your amp so that you don't have to play too hard to be heard. Lighten your touch it's about finesse not strength.
  3. :rolleyes: You forgot the best one, liquor.
  4. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    Sorry to hear that!

    I've had that, it lasted several months. I believe only a couple of things can be done.

    1 The most important is resting, and resting means no bass for a while...when you go back to the bass play lighter gauge strings and with a lighter touch!

    2 Keep your hands warm (winter was specially bad for me), I used to apply arnica cream to relax my hands.
  5. Mister_argentum


    Aug 30, 2011
    Another thing, try not to blend your pulse. I hope it is not too bad and that you can do the tour. Have you seen a specialist?
  6. jimmeyer176


    Oct 2, 2012
    No specialist...just started up again...I can't rest forever so wondering if I test it or just leave it be and hope for the best when I land? I have 2 more days before I go, then a day in transit before first rehearsal, thoughts? Try a few songs or wait?
  7. jimmeyer176


    Oct 2, 2012
    Today was day 2 of rest FYI
  8. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
  9. bass_case

    bass_case Maintain low tones. Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2013
    Miami, FL
    I have it in my elbow mainly from computer mouse use.

    My doctor put me on 2 naproxen (Aleve) 3x daily. This an anti-inflammatory dose as opposed to a pain relief dose. Can also do 3x3 ibuprofen. Either one can cause stomach upset, fyi. I didn't have much problem with it.

    It helped me a lot, I thought I had carpal tunnel, turns out it was mainly due to inflammation

    Ice after heavy use (if you can't rest)

    Gentle stretches that open the joint (ask a yoga instructor)

    Figure out what causes it/makes it worse. Where is there a combo of tension and twisting. A lot of folks play with the bass down low. Looks cool but it can put more stress on your joints.

    Maybe play some tunes finger style, or try holding your pick differently, even a different shape/thickness pick could help.

    Good luck, see a Dr. or chiro if it continues to be a problem.
  10. -ice
    -anti inflammation meds.
  11. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Great advice.

    I also suffer from tendonitus, and in addition to what has already been said I will share what has helped me the most.

    Determine what SPECIFIC motion is causing your tendonitis, in your case grasping pick and/or wrist movement.

    Then carefully work out what OPPOSITE direction movement (ie, if pain when pinching pick, then find a resistance or exercise to develop opening those fingers in the opposite direction, etc) and develop some simple resistance exercies to work this opposite direction.

    The key, working out in the OPPOSITE direction of the problem motion.

    In my case, my tendonitus was primarily from grasping (as I work with tools and often heavy lifting as an industrial electrician), and computer usage (typical). My doctor and I worked out resistance exercises where I extend my fingers against resistance, and another where I push my arms up against the bottom of my desk for a few minutes each day.

    I'm here to say whatever happens when I do this (balancing the load or tendons or muscles or whatever) has made my tendonitus all but disappear and has worked for several years going on now.

    Good luck. :)
  12. Kragnorak


    Sep 20, 2008
    At one point when I was in college, I was playing upright bass 7 hours a day on some days, and I got tendonitis so bad (probably due to crappy bow grip) that I was only able to play quarter or eighth notes on electric bass. This hit me hard over winter break, so for a while I stopped playing upright until I healed.

    But what really did the trick was stretching. You have to picture your tendons in the forearm as a sleeve, and when "your sleeves are rolled up too tight" your hand loses all strength and flexibility. Before even picking up your bass, you should do those exercises where you hold your arm out straight as if pushing against a wall and then gently pull your fingers back. You should stretch ideally at least 5 minutes before you play.

    Now I don't stretch anymore (probably dumb) but if I feel tension I will do these exercises in between songs (which I recommend doing to get through those 45 minute sets).

    Here is a long video, but I never bothered icing and only used the exercises from 0:40 - 1:15 or so to fix my issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqppWAN9pJE