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Injured wrist...gig tomorrow night

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Sundogue, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I've got a big Halloween bash to play for tomorrow night.

    Yesterday while working I was using a high torque drill and a rather large spade bit caught on something and it snapped my hand back and to the side so fast I had no chance to react, except to let go of it after it had already done the damage.

    I thought I broke my wrist at first. Turns out it is not broken and there are no torn ligaments but it is sprained pretty bad. I've been wearing a brace since and when keeping my hand straight the pain is easy to deal with. But, it is my fretting hand and the angle and twisting position my hand needs to be in to play is where it hurts the most. Ugh!

    Today is easier to play than yesterday and I'm hoping one more day of rest will allow me to play the gig with a somewhat tolerable pain level. I can play the most difficult passages so I haven't lost dexterity but man the pain is pretty bad in doing so.

    I'm doing all the usual injury routines, but does anyone have any special secrets or ideas on what works best to continue playing under these circumstances? The rest of the guys are going to do all the hauling of the gear and setting up given my situation, but anyone have any pre-gig injury ritual to help deal with this? Massage techniques, ointments, etc. to loosen it up before and during the gig? Any proven results?

    I'm doing the gig regardless and I know I can handle it. I just want it to go as good as possible. The show must go on and all that. ;)
  2. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Soak in the warmest tolerable water possible with the old standby Ebson's Salt.
    Works on aches, pains & strains
  3. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah, I've been doing the Epsom salts in a hot soak. I do that while I massage it and then lightly stretch it and then try playing. Seems to help somewhat. Of course, I only hurt it yesterday so it's still pretty painful. But that does seem to help.

    Thanks. Anyone else?
  4. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    No offense but this is the reason why I hate spade drill bits. I always use an auger bit.

    A while back I hurt my left thumb so I was not able to fret properly. I ended up playing the gig very simply (a lot of root notes).

    Take a bunch of ibuprofen.

    Oh I almost forgot. Get someone else to schlep and set up your equipment.

    Take care!
  5. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    WARM to stimulate circulation and then COLD to reduce inflammation. 10min. each every hour or 2. Ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. Don't stretch it. Wear a brace or elastic wrap to prevent too much movement as much as possible before your gig.

    Good Luck!
  6. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    STOP PLAYING!!! You are slowing down the healing process and will only make it harder to play at the gig.
  7. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks for the replies.

    In reply back....

    Yes, I hate spade bits too. But I'm doing some sculpture work for a museum exhibit and it was in styrofoam (and only a spade bit does the deep gouging the way I like) but it hit some wood underneath. I was just careless. Already got the band to haul the gear and setup. My wife will help me load my personal gear before I leave.

    By stretching I just mean gently stretching it into a playing position...not the kind I would do if it were not injured.

    +1 on the Ibuprofen.

    I'm not playing per se...just testing the waters to see if it is even possible. I do the soak, massage, stretching and then do a simple walk through of some lines to see what's possible. No longer than 30 seconds or more. Just gotta see where I'm at with it.

    I have a really good brace for it. Metal insert keeps it stable while I wear it for everything else except playing, where I'll take the metal out (as it's on the palm side and it hits the back of the neck and won't allow me to play decently). The brace will be on without the insert during the gig.
  8. xxfaux_punkxx


    Mar 18, 2010
    You could hold your bass at different angles to try and keep your wrist as straight as possible during the gig. It might be a little uncomforatable but it will be less painfull I'd imagine.
  9. upandb


    Feb 18, 2009
    CT and NY
    Be careful. I've heard that often times if sprains don't heal correctly, they will be messed up FOREVER. I know it's true with ankles.

    I'd say to do all the above, and SLEEP WITH YOUR BRACE ON. I JUST sprained my wrist too, and my doctor said you could make the damage worse if you accidentally sleep on it. Also, keep your wrist on a pillow at night to keep it elevated. Wrap the crap out of it during the show, load up on asprin, and prepare to suffer severe pain the next morning. That's what I did :/

    But, after the show take it easy so you don't hurt yourself.
  10. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Play only what you need to play nothing more. try bringing the bass up high so you can keep your wrist as straight as possible. Rest, ice, ibuprofen ,bourbon :)
  11. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks everyone.

    Yeah, I plan on sleeping with the brace on. And I'm very aware that it will hurt like hell the next day.

    I will be sure to keep the bass in the most comfortable position and play a little simpler where I can. I plan on laying back, playing with more open spaces and be more in the groove and less about the notes. Should be doing that anyway, huh? Perhaps this injury is what I needed! :D

    +1 on the cocktail of Ibuprofen and Tequila. Just a shot...not a bottle. I only hurt my wrist, it's not like my wife walked out on me. ;)

    Everyone in the band is going to do all the work at this show. I'm just going to show up and do what little I can with my one good arm and play. Nothing more.
  12. That's what they've always told us. However, a new study indicates that
    may not be the best advice.
    Putting ice on injuries could slow healing
  13. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I've heard that from my herbalist/massage therapist too. She said that the bodies natural healing process includes the swelling with the increased blood flow bringing important healing agents to the area. Icing slows blood flow.

    Of course, just like the body heals a cut (not the band aid) and it heals a break (not the cast), it also attempts to rid the body of foreign matter by developing the healing power of a cold or fever. And of course, idiots that we are, we treat the symptom instead of allowing the body to repair itself.

    I only put ice on it the first day. After that it's all soaks in Epsom salts, massaging in therapeutic ointments and the like.

    I appreciate all the input. I'll let everyone know how it went.
  14. Nitto


    Mar 18, 2007
    Adelaide, South Aus
    Not sure if i'm in time... but from what i learnt as a personal trainer, you'll want to do a few things:

    1. ice it in the first 48 hours and elevate it above heart level for as long as you can.

    2. get hold of some anti inflammatory or even steroid based drugs such as celebrex, voltaren etc (not sure what you call them in the US) and use them in the time leading up to the gig.

    3. If it doesn't make playing uncomfortable, get someone to compression wrap your wrist and hand. this will affect movement but reduce pain, especially if you have sprained ligaments or grade 1 or 2 muscle tears.

    4. Before playing, use some gentle warm up exercises before playing, to get the blood flowing instead of playing cold like wrist rotation and flexion, ice that mother straight after.

    5. Use some light painkillers to get yourself through the gig, but not so much you don't know when you're stressing the injury.

    After the gig: rest, ice, compress, and elevate, and see your physician!!

    Hope this helps a little, your doctor will no doubt be of help with rehab from the injury, which is definitely a good idea if you want to get that function back again.

  15. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yeah, you are in time. It's only 7:30 AM here and the gig isn't for another 14 hours.

    It's better this morning. Not so much that it doesn't hurt like hell when in playing position, but I can tell it's healed some.

    I'll reply to your points...

    1. Yup, I iced it as soon as I got home and kept it up. The majority of the swelling was gone the first day.

    2. My herbalist gave me some anti-inflammatory concoction she makes. Works like a charm. I try not to take drugs unless I need some serious painkilling. She also made a topical ointment.

    3. I am using a brace with three velcroed adjustment points. There is a metal insert in it that makes it almost as stiff as a cast. Impossible to play with that way but it totally immobilizes it. I can remove the metal insert and tighten up the brace as much as I can stand and still have the movement needed to play.

    4. Yes, I soak my wrist in a hot Epsom salt bath, then massage it and do very light stretching and movements to loosen it up. I've been doing Tai Chi for a while now and that helps with movement as well. I will probably only be able to run some hot water over it right before I play, but that should help.

    And yes, I'll ice it when I get home and treat the day after the gig like I just hurt it because I'm sure the playing will cause the healing to regress.

    5. I have a bottle of 800mg Ibuprofen. I've also used Tequila at gigs. I'll just wash down one with a shot. :D Just have to be conscious of not killing my ability to play in the process of killing the pain. ;)

    I have an appointment with my doctor right away again on Monday. I'll be seeing my massage therapist as well. She's into far more than just massage. Man, she is awesome in understanding how to heal from a mental, physical and spiritual aspect.

    Thanks again for the replies!
  16. Pain killers? or if you can, try to figure out an easiar way of playing the songs, IE: changing strings or finding some easiar movements on the fretboard?
    Tis a tough cookie
  17. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I'm fortunate in that I play a five string. :hyper: The most painful reach is on notes down near the nut. I can play some of those runs up higher on the B string which will help keep my wrist straighter.

    I already wear my bass rather high so my wrist isn't bent so far to begin with. My problem is really more about the twist of my wrist in getting it into position to play down low, so utilizing the low B to play up higher is an option. Unfortunately most of the songs I play down there also incorporate open notes that help facilitate speed, and not using the open notes may present some problems as I can't practice it before tonight with my wrist being the way it is.

    I'll just have to see how that works itself out.

    The whole painkiller thing is something I've used before. I've thrown my back out the day of a gig where even wearing a bass was next to impossible and sitting was too. I drank a lot of Tequila to conquer that one. ;) It's fine line between numbing the pain and being incapable of playing. :meh:
  18. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    I was told by my Dr that you put ice on muscles to numb/relax them and that's about it.
  19. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    You are a bassist ..a Warrior now go forth and play! :D
  20. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg

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