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How to avoid harming myself?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Dragen, Jan 23, 2001.

  1. Dragen


    Aug 31, 2000
    Is there any usual illness connected to bassplaying (by playing wrong, for example)? Is there anything I should not do? I don't want to harm my hands or wrists so that I would not be able to play the bass :)
  2. Ummm not really. i guess neck pain and sore shoulders from having the bass slung wrong. Some ppl suffer from RSI in the wrist, if you're working the wrists and fingers too hard.

    In some rare cases i have heard of arthritis in the knuckles but when you're 65 you'll be glad to just get through the night without going to the loo! lolol

  3. Actually, whilst I don't like to disagree with merlin, the answer to this question is a resounding: YES!

    Check out the thread entitled "Low Rider" for more detail, but there are things that you can do, particularly in relation to poor technique, that will cause you pain. The big thing is to try to keep your wrists straight as possible, particularly your left one (this usually means wearing your bass a bit higher than is "cool" :rolleyes: ).

    Possibly we'll get lucky and our resident physician will stop in with some commentary...you out there Dr. Mike? :D

  4. Ok, yes good point, never really take my word for it! hell no wonder the chiropractor is so rough.. "hmmm you've had band pracitce last night didn't you??" "why YYEEEEAAAUUUUUGGHHHHHH!!!!"


    If you're gonna do anything i do, or like many ppl do, then get yourself the following:

    1) Medicare
    2) A chiropractor
    3) lots and lots of anti inflammitories......


  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I agree that the wrist problems are most commonly associated with bass playing. But there are also many opportunities to injure your back. Basses and bass amps are generally heavier than guitars, for example. The way to avoid inury is to make sure that you always keep your back straight when playing or lifting anything. Bend at the knees rather than from your waist.
  6. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    My left arm has been aching last couple weeks, and playing bass gives me odd feeling on my chest, might be because that hard flu I got couple weeks ago - I'm still in poor shape. Oh well, I'll ask my doc next time I see her.
  7. Dragen


    Aug 31, 2000
    I hurt a bit in my wrists.......not much, but uncomfortable. I was afraid that it was something...not that good (i wanna play bass). Is it something that happens regularly or is it rare? Finally: is it serious/ hard to get rid of?
  8. Well, you can give yourself head injuries. If your strap comes off with the headstock anywhere near you, expect to bleed. Ive been hit in the side of the face and head a few times by my big goofy tuning knobs. Got bleedy. And you might injure yourself trying to play sometihng hard, messing up, and punching yerself. I hurt the woodwork in my house with that big goofy Fender headstock too. Bassplaying is dangerous!
  9. ..o...k...that's very unusual, as that has never happened to me, ever. not even close. you must be holding your bass vertical?? if you are, that sounds very hard and uncomfortable to do. ALSO, a 15 watt amp and 2 effects pedals? jeebus..
  10. "..o...k...that's very unusual, as that has never happened to me, ever. not even close. you must be holding your bass vertical?? if you are, that sounds very hard and uncomfortable to do. ALSO, a 15 watt amp and 2 effects pedals? jeebus.."

    Actually, I was tuning my G string (teehee that sounds dirty) With a Fender, the G string tuner is kinda far away. And the dang strap fell off. Clocked me in the side of the head.

    Yes, all I have is 15 watts at home. For now. Currently saving for a bigger one. But at my place of band-ness, I have access to a 50 and a 400. The pedals were for Christmas. My parents refused to give me money and didnt trust me with a bigger amp. And stuff.

    Now could someone explain how to make those Quote things instead of copy and paste?
  11. Dragen


    Aug 31, 2000
    I'm scared about this CTS-thing. It hurts in my wrists today, but I don't think that I keep my bass positioned low (people said that was the reason for pains in the wrists). I have played a lot the last days, though. Anyway, I'm afraid because I don't know how serious this things are and I don't know how long the pain lasts (or the illness). I know virtually nothing about problems with the wrists. Can anyone tell me. Have I CTS? I've only played about 9 months.......it's to soon to get damages
  12. i wanna get some effects but i don't have money. oh well. as for the quote things, click the thing that says "quote" up there along with 'profile', 'mail', etc.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    It's not specifically about wearing your bass in one position - although consistency helps your technique -it's really about keeping your wrists straight when playing and to have them relaxed and not tensed up.

    9 months of solid playing could well have an effect, but it's more likely that you just haven't developed your muscles to cope withthis new "exercise". The main thing is to make sure that your strap is supporting the bass and not your arms and that your wrists are in a relaxed position at all time when you're playing. It might also help to do some stretches before an dafter playing for long periods.

    If you are really worried, try to get to see a physiotherapist or sports scientist - the sort of person who they have at fitness centres and gyms. I have found in the UK that most doctors don't know much about this - they are generalists and don't have time to keep up with this beyond general awareness. But physiotherapists and sports scientists are dealing with things like this every day - especially with so many people "working out" a lot these days.

    The other thing would be to go to a good teacher and even if you just get one lesson, they can look at your technique and see whether you are doing anything that could cause problems. On an internet forum - we are effectively "blind" and really you need somebody to see what you are doing, so whatever you read or are advised here can't really be as useful as seeing someone in person .
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    The most dangerous place to have left wrist pain is on the underside of the wrist right below your hand. It's common to have hand pain - especially on the back of the hand itself and in the space between the thumb and index finger - when you are just beginning. If that's all it is, I wouldn't worry about it...but if you are experiencing pain on the underside of the wrist or arm, you might want to see a teacher about that. It probably means that you're not keeping your wrist straight enough, which can cause problems.
  15. Dragen


    Aug 31, 2000
    Thanks.......my pain is in the back of my hand.....that really takes a great load of my mind. I was worrying about about it quite a bit.
  16. shirojiro


    Jan 24, 2001
    San Francisco

    I just replied to your post in the earlier thread. I didn't realize that you were having pain. The most common symptoms from CTS are tingling and pain in the first 3 digits of your hand (thumb, index, and long fingers). Often, people with CTS shake their hands out to make the symptoms better.

    As others are saying, hand pain can be from the intrinsic muscles in your hand stretching in response to new activities - playing bass, but it can also be casued by other problems as far away as in your chest or in your shoulder.

    If your problems persist, you should see an orthopedist. No offense, but I wouldn't suggest a chiropractor for hand problems. There are specially trained hand surgeons who have detailed knowledge about hand anatomy and function.

  17. well this isnt really about bass but sometimes i play power chords on electric guitar for a while and my wrist hurts

    it normally goes away after a while but could there be any long term problems or am i just whiny
  18. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    In my totally medically unqualified opinion, your pain sounds more like tendinitis, which is something I fight constantly (in my knees and shoulders too, thanks to weight lifting).

    In addition to getting a competent medical eval as suggested, you need to analyze ALL of the activities you do with your hands, not just bass playing. Try eliminating or altering them one at a time and see if that makes a difference. For me, the most hand-damaging activity actually turned out to be clicking the computer mouse, with a close second being how I was reaching for the backspace key (with my ring finger). To compensate, I learned to use keyboard shortcuts instead of using the mouse and started making sure I used my pinky for the backspace key. Another member of the board found that his job tinting windows was killing his hands, not bass playing. You might find that the root problem isn't bass playing at all, even though that's where you notice it the most.

    But bottom line, develop a consciousness about how you move your body and what hurts and what doesn't. Although muscle pain caused by vigorous exercise can be a positive thing, joint/tendon pain of any kind generally is NOT. Usually your body will tip you off that you're doing something harmful to it (via pain) long before you do permanent damage. Listen to it.

    Oh, and wear your bass higher, dammit. :)
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes I think lump is right - you have to be aware of all the things you're doing. I noticed recently that I was getting pain in my wrist after playing a particular PlayStation racing game, where you had to keep your thumb on the "throttle" all the time and use other fingers for different things - also, the closer I got to winning the more tense my fingers were getting - pathetic I know!!

    Playing bass was actually making the ache better after that!
  20. Dragen


    Aug 31, 2000
    Tendonitis? Sounds dangerous....is it something permanent or can I get rid of it in any way? I've been playing Tekken Tag Tournament on the Playstation 2......when I think of it; it was the day after playing that it started to hurt. Not the day after bassplaying. Hm......I even hurt when I play the game. The only other joint I hurt in is my right elbow sometimes due to an old damage and my right knee ( think that's an old damage too). Maybe all this is caused by the playstation? Hope so.......I'd rather ditch the playstation than the bass!! Anyway....haven't played the game since it started to hurt......feeling a lot better now...just a minimum of pain.

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