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Take good care of your hands!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RAM, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. BassAgent

    BassAgent Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2003
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Official Artist: Eich Amplification
    No, because it's not my SSN. But still: good point. Somehow I can't edit it.
  2. Nickweissmusic

    Nickweissmusic Knows all intervals from one Fred, to Juan octave Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I teach lessons and perform live music in and around San Diego CA. Sometimes I even make money doing it!
    Sorry you’re going through that. I’ve got cubital tunnel syndrome myself, and have to splint when I sleep when it flares up, not a fun or comfortable situation. Beyond that, frequent aches and pains and minor tendinitis flare ups. I’m a pro playing 2-3 gigs in an average week, and teaching 20+ students, so down time is not an option.

    I credit yoga as the biggest factor allowing me to maintain my career. Im bored by most forms of exercise but the cute girl in spandex helps things along, I take 1 or 2 classes a week. Your hands and digits are the tip of the iceberg, full body strength and conditioning are key to supporting the hands and fingers.

    Invest in a nice big flexible ice pack too, and use it when you can after playing, that’s a big part of my maintenance. Frequent breaks while practicing are also highly recommended.

    Targeted pressure on painful tendons can also help things, there’s a YouTube series by Gary Crowley that has helped me work on it at home, worth checking out.

    As far as playing goes, making big muscle groups do the heavy lifting is key to longevity. Fretting is very strenuous, and most pressure should be applied with your back muscle pulling your fingertips toward the frets, not your hand or forearm muscles. Of course you can use “textbook” technique and still have problems, I’m proof of that, the key is strength, rest, and rehab as needed. Good luck!
  3. Nickweissmusic

    Nickweissmusic Knows all intervals from one Fred, to Juan octave Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I teach lessons and perform live music in and around San Diego CA. Sometimes I even make money doing it!
    Holy crap, not sure how I came across a 2009 thread, lol, well, it’s still good advice :)
    Paula Warren and JGbassman like this.
  4. wesonbass


    Nov 26, 2012
    Graniteville SC
    Lots of invaluable stuff here. Thanks everyone. I have degenerative joints /discs all over. Especially hands/shoulders. .mostly right hand. Thank goodness. If left hand was as bad as my right I'm afraid I couldn't play. Thanks for the encouragement. I've tried about everything else, why not try taking care of myself. Rock and roll can be tough on a body. But oh what a long strange trip it's been. . Wes.
  5. Crome


    May 12, 2018
    Make sure to keep those wrist straight! I know this is an old thread, but I used to be a competitive gamer and making sure to take care of your hands was one of the most important things in that community. It's so weird seeing people doing terrible things to their hands, as I've come from a background where hand care has always been so highly regarded. I wear wrist splints on both wrists every night to bed.

    Dr. Levi Harrison and Dr. Caitlin McGee both have a lot of great tutorials for exercises or stretches to help your hands!
  6. Roccobull1235


    Jul 12, 2018
    I have chronic shoulder dislocations from playing the drums in my band. I extended my arm too far out one time and it just popped right out. Ever since that incident about 2 years ago it has kept popping out and I have needed multiple surgeries on it, hopefully my most recent one is going to be my last and I can start jamming out again!
  7. leftyjohn


    Mar 20, 2018
    NW US
    I soak my hands in hot water, the thought being to keep the circulation going so they can heal themselves. Works for most of what ails my hands......arthritis in the knuckle and finger is my big worry. I also do a gentle range-of-motion exercise to keep them sort of loose or limber. I do get spasms in the thumb on my fretting hands but so far it hasn't been a problem.
  8. slagheap


    Dec 23, 2011
    heart goes out to those with chronic hand problems. just went thru a severe but finite bout - first time i ever had real trouble. take care of the hands - DO NOT take for granted.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  9. EatS1stBassist


    Apr 15, 2016
    So cal
    Kangen Ionized Alkaline Water! Try not to break your fingers or wrist. Protect your hands.
  10. Well lets see...….I broke my thumb on my right hand but I'm right handed and only play fingers so I'm good there but I have aseptic necrosis in my fretting wrist and cannot bend it too far backwards but forwards not too much trouble so that's good. I broke my ring finger on my fretting hand in a sky diving accident but so far no problems with that. My Piano teacher told me some years back "if you want to be really good don't get into construction" it was too late for that advice.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  11. I haven't read all 10 pages but am interested to know if anyone who plays the majority of the time with a pick has suffered anything similar in the plucking hand?
  12. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    I use Neurontin for pain.
    It's used for seizures but is very effective for pain.
    Good luck
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  13. rainsplitter


    Mar 11, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Played primarily with a pick for more than a decade. Bass slung too low, sustained fast heavy down picking, not taking breaks often enough when really digging into practice, tons of weed and beer... Developed a terrible tendon pain (tennis elbow?) in my right elbow. Also developed carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger (work-related, not bass-related).

    A really nice lady helped with massage, but acupuncture DEFINITELY did the trick after 3 sessions. Cannot recommend it enough.

    Attend to your posture, hoist that bass up to a comfortable level, and strrrrretch!
    Chad T and EatS1stBassist like this.
  14. Chad T

    Chad T

    Feb 10, 2013
    I used to think a low slung instrument looked cool. But at 45, I couldn’t care less about that at this point. It’s all about comfort and protecting my body. Now, when I see most people over 40 slinging low, I generally think they’re dumb. lol.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  15. enzedal


    Aug 27, 2012
    As a mechanic of 45yrs and a bass player I've had my share of tendonitis and muscle strainproblems...that frozen shoulder thing was the worst. I was watching another old mechanic on Youtube recently who had endless problems with carpel tunnel...and he started Glucosomene and it fixed it permanently....I intend to try it soon.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  16. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    In addition to the muscles, tendons, bones in the hand, be sure to take care of your nails too. Recently, I bit my thumbnail (yes, nasty habit I've been guilty of off and on or years), pulled it too short and got a touch of paronychia. It was the first time in my life to ever come down with that and for about a week, it really sucked! Painful, difficult to use and unsightly.

    Folks -- do yourselves a favor and clip your nails the proper way. Don't bite your nails!

    If you ever catch paronychia, soak the infected area once or twice a day in hot water for 20-30 minutes (or until the water cools off). And mixing a little hydrogen peroxide in with the water certainly helps.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  17. 2strings2frets

    2strings2frets Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2017
    Use proper technique nuff said. Jeff Berlin advises that you concentrate on playing more softly and turn up your amp for more sound. I have been slowly lowering the action on my guitars so if I play too hard I clank. It works.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  18. Bunny Boils

    Bunny Boils

    Mar 5, 2019
    Rants are always helpful, if you're telling the truth. I can't imagine a worse place for a musician to have troubles, than your hands.
    I'm 57, and I have pain in both hands, from three sources: (1) an old wrist injury, (2) Dupuytren's, and (3),
    increasing finger joint swelling, mostly in my thumbs, due to arthritis. I don't know what kind of pain you're in, but I know playing too much can have some awful consequences.
    Last year, I switched back to the upright bass, because my beloved Fender bass has become too painful to hold normally for three sets.
    Sometimes it feels as though someone had tightly bound up my hands with rubber bands or tape while sleeping, and the sensation doesn't leave for hours, or not at all, after I awake, leaving my (mostly left) hand weak, and with shooting pains.
    Sometime I need two hands to hold a coffee, or a beer.
    Rolling tennis balls, or moving my fingers around a rubber band "cat's cradle" style keeps my dexterity, but doesn't help the pain. I really don't like to take anything beyond weed for pain, which would always settle me down, and level me off for a few hours, but the last few gigs the pain has made it very hard to concentrate, whenever playing used to be my only salvation. What can you use for pain? Most pain relief drugs bother my stomach, or my brain. Suggestions? Thanks, everyone. Anyone?
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  19. leftyjohn


    Mar 20, 2018
    NW US
    I have developed tendonitis in my fretting hand. I have to let it "rest". Or get a steroid shot......I don't think so, had one of those once for bursitis and it did absolutely nothing except make the quack an easy $260US. So now I don't play which is too bad because I've got a new drummer who shows up for practice......maybe I will learn to play right handed.........I could do that!
  20. Bunny Boils

    Bunny Boils

    Mar 5, 2019
    It's been my experience that shots of any kind into your hands don't help, and actually make things more painful, short term. There's not much flesh in your hands or finger joints to disperse intravenous medication, like your arms or legs can. It's extremely painful. I passed out cold, after an extremely painful injection of Cortisone directly into my left wrist, last fall. And yes, the "doctor" seemed to be more concerned about being paid.
    I have a pretty thick skull, and good blood pressure, and don't remember the last time I passed out, or why I should.

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