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Re: injury prevention

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:13 pm
by Mikeleza
I love all these discussions about injury prevention. I recently posted something else on a related topic and since then, just because of this website I have been more conscious of my playing techniques. I am really happy to say that I identified the technique that was causing the problems in my left elbow and wrist. Now its a matter of re-training to improve my technique and play in a way that is kinder to my body.
I think the biggest problem is, especially when people first start (often when they are younger), they tend to get carried away and so caught up in the joy and adrenalin of the playing that they don't even notice what they are doing to themselves. As teachers its a big responsibility to warn people and let them know when someone is getting carried away...
What E2C is saying is correct as well.... lol.... I am about to hit 30 years and have only just started to feel a few aches and pains.
At this stage I am just trying to stay conscious about it so that if I feel something aching, I try to change the way I'm doing it OR just concentrate on relaxing which I think is a big part of the problem.... In other words.... I think a large part of percussion injury comes from not playing relaxed enough.... finding the right balance is good... These days when I play drum kit I tend to drop the sticks much more often but I think its probably a good thing because it means I am more relaxed.
This forum is good for my health!!

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:36 pm
by e2c
Getting carried away and not paying attention to the technique I'd been taught + what was going on in my hands/wrists is exactly how my initial injuries happened! (Almost 20 years ago - hard to believe so much time has passed.) And I really thought I was immune - even well after it happened, when I was recovering (not playing, per doctor's orders).

Young and stupid, to a great degree. ;) (Same as my conga teacher, when he hurt himself.)

Glad to hear that this thread is helpful to you, Mikeleza!

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:32 am
by bubudi
mike, a friend of mine (kit drummer who also plays some congas and djembe) started to drop his sticks not long before he started experiencing burning around his wrists. he took a short break from drumming as per doctors orders (actually he stopped completely for 2 weeks then spent the next 2 months reworking his technique so that he was more relaxed and playing more economically). during this time he did some gigs, warming up a lot more before playing, but did not rehearse - he used that time to rework his technique and also to give his body a bit of a break. 5 years later he's still doing well.

i guess no matter how good you are you can always benefit from paying attention to your technique, form, posture, economy of movement. and definitely listen to your body. if you drop your sticks once in a while you just pick up your spare pair, but if it's happening a lot, something could be wrong.

anyway, you seem to be on the right path...

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:53 pm
by Mikeleza
I think you misunderstood me (Or you are trying to warn me)

I am dropping my sticks more these days simply because I am MORE relaxed than I have ever been. Its not that I can't grip them, its that I am finally playing without holding them tightly which I think is really good.

... On a negative note, I did hurt myself tonight playing djembe. I just played too hard and hurt my wrist so I changed over to dun to rest. I will probably have put the djembe away for a while until it feels better.... I hope its all good while Bangourake is here in a couple of weeks!

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:11 am
by johnc
howdy kids


been a while since ive posted - ive been a busy boy and still very much dumming, coming towards three years on the djembe and a little dun and dance.

the kids at school are also keeping me busy with our band the Bamana Ensemble, dummers and dancers.


not quite renal failure but...



ive developed wrist problems that may or may not be connected to drumming. Im going down the path of Tibetan medicine and diet to treat the arthritis and possible carpel tunnel.

any punters had similar situations or got advice etc etc?

Im just about to launch into a series of djembe and dun lessons to move my playing along a bit so id like to keep in good hand/wrist shape.


at the end of the day unless it gets ridiculously bad, I think its better to keep the body moving

cheers


ps:looking foward to catching up with the site...it looks great!

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:59 pm
by e2c
Hi johnc,

Nice to see you back here!

If you check the link in my opening post, you'll see a lot of good discussion on these topics.

Looking forward to what you have to add. :)

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:52 am
by Mikeleza
I don't know if anyone has experienced this but I am recovering from some pain in the wrist.

I know, I know, I should go to the doctor but it has healed up a lot in the last couple of days and I actually touched the djembe again last night. In a few more days I am pretty confident it will be back to normal but the mystery will remain.

I wonder if anyone has experienced the same thing. I had been practicing the 2nd slap by turning my hand inward slightly and I think it weakened something because later that practice i felt a aching pain on the pinky finger side of my wrist. I stopped playing straight away... Certain movements such as playing duns or with sticks don't seemed to agitate it but playing the djembe has been out of the question for a week. I thought that I had a small fracture or something but now that its healed up Im thinking it could have been something else.

Any ideas panel?

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:07 am
by michi
Most likely just inflammation from overworking one particular part of your wrist.

One thing that can help well for acute inflammation is to take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Voltaren. I wouldn't recommend this on an ongoing basis though. For one, the inflammation is a sign that you are doing something that your body doesn't like. Suppressing the inflammation with drugs gets you over the immediate symptoms, but it makes it more likely that you'll over-work the same area again, ultimately making things worse. Most anti-inflammatories also are pretty hard on your stomach and small intestine, so you shouldn't take them long-term, and you should only take them with food.

Still, occasionally, I resort to anti-inflammatories when an old injury in my shoulder flares up. The drugs usually get me over the hump within a day or two. If it's not gone within that time, I stop the drugs and rest until things get better again. Keep in mind the old adage: "Consult your doctor if pain persists..."

Michi.

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:03 am
by e2c
Mikeleza wrote:I don't know if anyone has experienced this but I am recovering from some pain in the wrist.

I know, I know, I should go to the doctor but it has healed up a lot in the last couple of days and I actually touched the djembe again last night. In a few more days I am pretty confident it will be back to normal but the mystery will remain.

I wonder if anyone has experienced the same thing. I had been practicing the 2nd slap by turning my hand inward slightly and I think it weakened something because later that practice i felt a aching pain on the pinky finger side of my wrist. I stopped playing straight away... Certain movements such as playing duns or with sticks don't seemed to agitate it but playing the djembe has been out of the question for a week. I thought that I had a small fracture or something but now that its healed up Im thinking it could have been something else.

Any ideas panel?
I have no idea what's happening to you, but I think your hunch about the doc is a good one. (See link in my opening post to a pretty detailed discussion on injuries and injury prevention.)

Here's hoping that you just strained something and that it's healing up nicely! Still.. you're wise to lay off djembe until it's better, I think.
Keep in mind the old adage: "Consult your doctor if pain persists..."
Absolutely.

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:18 am
by Mikeleza
Oh definitely.... If I have any more trouble Im off to the doctors. My wrists and shoulders are the most important thing I have!

The pain was odd though... There was no visible inflammation/swelling.

... and apart from the little extra strain I felt from practicing that new technique there was no real warning sign before the pain hit. Someone said it could have been like a muscle spasm that needs to be massaged... maybe they were right.

E2C, I checked out the other thread and found that it is mainly about the cola colour urine then anything else, which incidently I also experience. Im definitely going to be drinking more water when I play hardcore sessions from now on... its scary to think that some people actually had a urinary failure because of drumming!

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:29 am
by johnc
good to involved again e2c. hard to keep abreast of so many things.

as said, i cant say drumming is the cause but no doubt it will be a factor in ongoing problems of arthritis. Technique, drum position (height,angle etc) will need to be attended to to maximise comfort levels. I was watching Sekou Toure on the "Bracumba" podcast sessions (djole) and he looked so relaxed and effortless...a bit like a good golf swing (for those that play)

"effortless" seems to be always the mark of a technique thats stress-less on body and mind. An interesting investigation regarding emotion when playing against keeping relaxed ...what produces the desired sound?...is it better that it feels good or sounds good, is there a difference/connection

i start a diet and tibetan medicines this friday and ive got tomorrow off work so i might head down the beach and work on effortless playing

effortless playing...mmme...reminds me of a man who tried to talk zen and djembe and i could OnlY reply with a 'tongue in cheek' 'whats the sound of no hands drumming?'


cheers

john

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:44 pm
by e2c
Mikeleza wrote:Oh definitely.... If I have any more trouble Im off to the doctors. My wrists and shoulders are the most important thing I have!

The pain was odd though... There was no visible inflammation/swelling.

... and apart from the little extra strain I felt from practicing that new technique there was no real warning sign before the pain hit. Someone said it could have been like a muscle spasm that needs to be massaged... maybe they were right.

E2C, I checked out the other thread and found that it is mainly about the cola colour urine then anything else, which incidently I also experience. Im definitely going to be drinking more water when I play hardcore sessions from now on... its scary to think that some people actually had a urinary failure because of drumming!
There are links to some PDFs (etc.) that show some really good stretches to do as a warm-up before drumming (in other thread).

Guess I should post them in this one, too! :)

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:10 pm
by Djembe-nerd
I had been practicing the 2nd slap by turning my hand inward slightly and I think it weakened something because later that practice i felt a aching pain on the pinky finger side of my wrist.
I got this similar kind when I changed poistions of the djembe/sitting height/distance of djembe to hands. Its some muscle/ligamnet gets worked which was not being too active in an earlier position. I kept playing with some ice/cream applications and it went away.

Playing relaxed with free wrist movement is very important as said by most people here. I play learned parts and free style quite relaxed, but sometimes tend to stiff up when learning something new.

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:54 am
by e2c
yeah... taking breaks and stretching a bit can be very helpful!

Will have to look at the other thread and post a link here to some of the really good (and easy, and quick) exercises mentioned over there. They've been super-helpful for me.

I think anytime we try something new or different, it takes time for muscles (etc.) to get adjusted - and sometimes for us to figure out ways of doing things without putting undue stress on certain muscles, tendons, etc. (Like you mentioned, d-n, re. seating, height, and so on.)

I know that for me, one of the biggest problems is to pace myself and not overdo new stuff. (I've had to take some breaks for that reason; though to be fair, it can be hard to judge where the line between "too much" and "just enough" lies.)

Re: injury prevention

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:53 am
by freefeet
I feel that it's incredibly important to do a full range of exercises on your arms if you're going to be doing a lot of drumming. Consider a traditional African lifestyle away from drumming. Lots of manual labour building strength and endurance that then makes playing drums a lot easier.

I live on a farm and there's always lots of heavy manual jobs i can find to do keeping the place tidy - some might see it as work but i look at it as my daily exercise routine. I also don't wear gloves while working unless it's extremely cold which really toughens the hands up which protects them when drumming also. You'd be asking for serious trouble having nice girlie soft hands and taking on a calf skin.

I also feel it's very important when working to use both sides equally. 5 shovels right handed, 5 left, etc.. The body needs to be balanced. If you do everything one sided away from a drum you're gonna eventually have issues when playing a drum as one arm, wrist, hand will be weaker than the other and the joints of opposite arms will have different ranges of flexibility also.

Inflammation - rest, ice pack, ibuprofen until inflammation goes. Don't exercise joints that are still inflamed, wait till inflammation has gone completely. If the inflammation isn't going then see a physio or doctor.