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Left Wrist pain - Is there a doctor in the house?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by sanwin17, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. sanwin17

    sanwin17 Please mommy, you just gotta buy this amplifier. Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Highland Beach, FL
    I am experiencing shooting pain in my left wrist sometimes after only playing a few minutes. It hurts the most when I try to move it out of playing position. I've tried icing, heat, nsaids and a carpal tunnel brace. Nothing seems to be helping. Anyone with medical training or professional advice? Thanks
  2. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    I ha d a similar thing in my right wrist. I went to a physio therapist and explained it to her. (I also do alot of typing at work). She gave me a few exercises as follows

    Stretch wrists back by pulling gently on fingers till there is a bit of tension hold for ten seconds, repeat with other hand. Do this atleast once a day also good to do before playing/practicing

    I also had a bit of a forward slouch in the shoulder (likely from being over a computer daily as well as playing bass). This was what was causing my wrist to become sore (a pinched nerve in my shoulder)

    Stand straight or lie face down on a bed. Stretch both shoulders back with arms out to the sides for 10-15 seconds) once each day.

    She also gave me a tension band to use doing the same motion as mentioned above. It was good for strengthening my shoulders and moving them back.

    By doing this I was able to stretch both my shoulders and my wrists and havn't had any pains in 3 months.

    This is just my situation and the advice given to me by a professional physio therapist. Might want to go to your own sessions and find out what specifically is your situation.

    Note: I am not a medical practitioner
  3. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    I would also say that when the pain subsides, be sure and warm up before playing, either practicing on your own or playing with other musicians.
  4. BrotherMister


    Nov 4, 2013
    PVG Membership
    I have suffered from this on occasion and found it was down to my technique, sometimes a musician gets lazy. It's hard to tell if it is down to your technique without being able to see you playing the bass. As a rule try to make sure your wrist isn't curved. A slight bend is fine, and is unavoidable anyway, but a proper curve isn't good.

    A good way to really see any errors in your technique/posture is to check yourself out in front of the mirror while you play. I found that I was keeping my elbow too close to my body which caused my wrist to curve. A simple adjustment later not only was I pain free but I had greater fluidity and control over the neck.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    A TBer is waiting for his new Torzal Twist bass to arrive. I remember his thread quite well, I was very intrigued. I would PM him in the next week once he gets the bass and see how he likes the transition seeing as actually playing one is quite difficult, I will probably never see one. The Torzal was designed to ease any stress on your left hand. Not a cheap fix but it might be the best option. I should add I do not know this guy, I just imagine any TBer getting a new bass is just DYING to talk about it.

  6. bmxican33


    Sep 17, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Do your streches, like said above. Then before bed, as you are laying down, lay down on your back and put your palms up for about 10 minutes before you fall asleep. This will help you stand more straight (because i think we can all agree that most of us bassists have a bit of a "hunch" aha) and then it will make your arms a little more "limber" i guess you can call it. But yeah, make sure you do your strecthes. i do mine every day. Another thing that might help is playing more often, if that isnt already happening. Haha keep on playing man.
  7. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    I have pain in my right elbow after playing for a half hour or so.
  8. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    adjust your strap so the bass hangs higher. if the aches wander over to the right wrist, lower it a bit.
  9. Yes, do you stretches and warm ups. Also warm up your wrists as well as your hands/fingers.
    Rotate them around one way then the other, stretch them by stretching your whole hand backwards, forwards, sideways etc.

    Another thing that can often be missed is water & diet. I even saw a youtube vide by Anthony Crawford saying the same thing. He had some pain and found he wasn't drinking enough water (the body's oil), and also make sure you eat your vege's! The healthier your whole body is, the better all parts of it will work.

    He also suggested sitting your hands and wrists in a bowl of hot/warm water for a few minutes to really loosen everything up.

    Lastly I would suggest making sure you are not tense while you play. Don't push down too hard etc. The looser you are, the less stress on your muscles etc

    Hope it all works out well for you!!
  10. sanwin17

    sanwin17 Please mommy, you just gotta buy this amplifier. Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2010
    Highland Beach, FL
    Thanks for all the advice. Finally decided to see a doctor, orthopedic hand surgeon. It's tendonitis. I got a cortisone shot and some NSAIDS. It should be healing up. Also recommended - R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. And yes, very important to warm up especially as you get older.
  11. Soundworks

    Soundworks Supporting Member

    May 12, 2012
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    For those of us who've also had tendonitis - would love to hear how your wrists are feeling and if you've had any follow up physical therapy or anything!
  12. silvertone


    Nov 6, 2007
    SF, CA
    First off: I have zero medical authority or experience.
    I play (aggressive) bluegrass mandolin, flatpicked acoustic guitar, fingerstyle electric and upright bass.

    Each of these disciplines can cause aches and pains if the fundamental technique applied is incorrect, if I'm fatigued and lazy or if I inadvertently apply too much right or left hand pressure.

    Aside from approaching each instrument w fundamentally correct technique - what I always try to keep in mind is a basic lesson I was taught by a very rigid exponent of the classical guitar world who taught me the fundamentals of approaching that instrument: the key is applying the most efficient approach to an instrument that produces the most tone with the least effort. One need not exert oneself - but efficiency of motion in both the left and right hands, requires relaxation mixed with the discipline of not over-exerting either hand. Economy of motion is key.

    Interestingly for me, I have found that I get the most repetitive stress from typing (which I do all day) and I find that playing an instrument generally helps to relieve my typing induced elbow and wrist pain.

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