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The worst pain...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tplyons, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    ...is not being able to play bass because you're in pain. Carpal tunnel... mine flares up really bad every few months. I'm pecking out posts on the keyboard, so don't blame my internet use ;)

    I've got my beauty of a Pbass sitting back there being uplayed. Have great ideas in my brain, just cant play 'em. Ordered some light strings to lessen the pain, hopefully be playing again in less than a week.
  2. thescottduncan


    Apr 13, 2004
    I had the same problem, thought I was going to have to quit, ended up lengthening the strap and playing it low-rider style so my wrist isn't bent. Problem solved, for me at least. Have you tried this?

    I also changed the way I typed at the keyboard all day. All the work I do at my computer was setting me up for pain on bass after hours, you know? Like bass was the straw that broke the camel's back. So now I hit the keys more softly, angle my keyboard differently, make sure my wrists aren't bent. And at the first sign of pain I take a break, shake it out, revisit my positioning and make sure everything's lined up for minimum strain and pain. When my wrist feels fine at the end of the work day, playing bass usually goes well too. Not always, but usually.

    My back problem is way worse than my CT was, though. I'm trying not to quit my two bands, and will probably end up playing seated, even for gigs with my hard rock band.
  3. thescottduncan


    Apr 13, 2004
    One more thing: I stopped using medication for pain. I think masking the pain only makes it worse long-term. How do you know if you've taken it too far and overdone it, strained your wrists beyond what they can endure? That was my thinking. Better to know and make adjustments. That's what pain is for, right?
  4. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    You should see a doctor, if you haven't already. My back pain was solved by Sadowsky, but CT is some serious ish!
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Tell you what. I'll swap you one kidney infarction for a carpal tunnel.
  6. Diddlysquat

    Diddlysquat Guest

    Feb 8, 2006
    No kidding. I was going to say, carpal tunnel syndrome, in the big scheme of things, is pretty low on the pain scale. Of course it's disappointing not to be able to play. Maybe some around here should get out of their own heads and spend a day or two with someone who has terminal cancer, advanced lupus, or chronic cluster headaches. It's all about perspective.

    The worst pain, my eye.
  7. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    One of our lead singers has/had cancer, and was told that it was terminal. He went on the Kottonmouth Kings tour anyway. The other vocalist complained everyday about something trivial, and I threatened to "make a speedbag out of his face" if he didn't shut the f*** up! :mad: This guy was staring death in the face, and he's complaining about warm water and cold food in the dressing room?! Through excercise and healthy eating it somehow went into remission. As of his last exam, he's cancer free. :hyper: :bassist: :cool: :cool: BTW, we got rid of the other vocalist.
  8. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006

    I used a laptop keyboard for a year or so, cause it was convenient, and I could slob out in the chair - BAD NEWS. I wasn't playing much at the time, but as soon as I picked up my playing again it got bad fast.

    I switched to a split keyboard so the left and right sides are angles better for your each hand, and replaced my mouse with a trackpad (off to one side - I loved my laptop trackpad, but it was in the middle of the keys, and did SO much damage).

  9. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    +1 also, while playing, I try to bring my right elbow forward to straighten my wrist. Helps a lot. :)

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

  11. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
    :eek: WHOA!! *cough*ban on the way*cough* :bag:

    Man... i can´t play bass because i´m up to my neck in college papers and stuff... but your issue is in a whole other level. Get better :bassist:
  12. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Alright, to get back to the topic, that does suck TP. I have tendonitis (which is often the precursor to CTS), and it flares up once in a while. My hand bends itself and becomes tight and just aches. It usually happens when I am using a screwdriver, and have to twist while the butt of the screwdriver is in my palm. I need to get one of those power drivers (not a drill, those are too powerful for pickguard screws).
  13. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA

    Tim, it's certainly not a substitute for a doctor's care, but B-vitamins are thought by many to help minimize pain/flareups. And there's no downside to taking them.

    Hope it passes soon.
  14. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    My take on Tim's first post was not that the physical pain was so unbearable, but that the inability to play, and work out the ideas in his head, was hard to take. So any subsequent discussion on "the worst pain", IMHO, misses the point.

    This thread has gotten heavy. Pile-drivingly heavy.
  15. Diddlysquat (good name choice considering your post!)

    FWIW - If you didn’t catch the forum name it’s geared towards bass players. This isn’t a medical site or a let’s compare the worst pain in general. Playing bass physically requires pain free hands to play for ANY amount of time. Moderate to extreme pain directly to the hands can seize one’s playing, I’m proof. The original post from TPLyons is a concern and certainly legit.

    For the past 15 yrs, not only did I play bass everyday, I was also a Network Administrator driving computers all day. My hands never got a break. The pain slowly got worse over 2 yrs. The original Dr. insisted on prolonged PT but to no avail. I finally had endoscopic CTS release surgery on both hands last May/August and I can safely say that prior to the surgery it was indeed the worst pain I have ever endured. If you would like to simulate the pain w/o actually having CTS, give a friend a shotgun and have them shoot both your hands! That’s the only way I can think of to attempt to describe what it felt like for the last 3-4 months. I couldn’t do much w/my hands at that point. Turning a screwdriver was out of the question. Holding a cup for less than a minute was extremely numbing AND painful, Hell, I couldn’t even sleep! I certainly couldn’t play bass. It was easily the worst time of my life (so far).

    The surgery was instant relief, although there is inherent healing pain that is very much different, and much more tolerable. It is now 1 yr later for my LH and 7 mos later for my right hand, which is still healing. I can play for an extended amount of time, but too much can be felt the following day. Judging by my LH, I should be totally cleared up w/in the next few months.

    Good luck, Tim! (must be a Tim thing) Try not to let it go untreated for too long!

    edit: BigBeefDog, If the physical pain, not the emotional "the worst pain" wasn't unbearable tplyons would be playing his bass.
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Keep it on topic, guys. PMs sent.
  17. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    First of all, did anyone notice the date on the original post? Yeah, 4-4-2005. It's over a year old :)

    Anyway the good news is, yes, I'm doing much better. Put the keyboard in a more ergonomical position, got a new chair to keep my back in better alignment and at a better height compared to my keyboard, and got wrist rests for my keyboard and mouse.

    However, most of these days is spent on a Laptop at school, placed on my desk in a good position, and the lessened distance my fingers travel to fully press each key also helps. I feel less fatigue on a flat laptop keyboard than a desktop board.

    It's working out. I've also purchased Dr. Randall Kertz' book entitled The Bassist's Guide to Injury Management, Prevention and Better Health and it's helped me with bass position, and general health, including the B vitamins. I'm using a lighter bass so I can sling the bass a bit lower without killing my back, and frankly, general warmups in this book really help everything.

    To reply to Diddlysquat: I wasn't complaining about the pain of CTS, but rather the detachment from my bass, whereas I had ideas in my head I couldn't produce at the time. More of an emotional struggle than anything.
  18. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    That's certainly the truth, however my current workload at school has prevented a lot of playing, but back when this post was made, that was certainly the case.

    Finals start Monday. Then it's free reign on the bass again :)
  19. predmachine


    Feb 23, 2006
    Tplyons: +1 on the finals. I'm a prof and I can't wait for the end of the semester for the same reason!!

    After grading the last final, I go home, crank the amp way up, and play Schools Out by Alice Cooper!!!!