Advice for a Drummer with an Injured Arm

RyanLovesDrums

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If my car mechanic "kinda shrugged off" something that was causing a real issue with my car, I'd get another opinion -- no matter how good the mechanic's reputation is.

Not all doctors are good at the talking to people part of their job (especially specialists). Too often, it's often up to us to challenge them with hard questions: What are my options? What's the next step? What's the next step after that? Are you saying "This is something you can't fix?"
Yeah and when I went to the physical therapist he sent me to it just seemed like they were all about making money. I barely worked with the main therapist, she would just have these college students work with me and would be explaining to them what to do with me while she worked on someone else.
 

bellbrass

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Fewer and fewer doctors want to take the time to diagnose something that won't result in billable hours / service fees. Go to another doctor (or two, or three), get second, third and fourth opinions, and get your arm fixed, now, rather than later. The goal is to be able to "resume normal activities", not live the life of someone with a permanent handicap. Sorry if I came across as callous - if so, it was aimed at the doctor, not you!
 

bassanddrum84

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I must say that I play low like really low. All my stands are cut down to sit my kit even lower then a standard stand would allow I’m 36 5’6 and my shoulder pain would radiate through my collar bone and certain hits on a cymbal would make me wince in pain. Fixing the way I slept and stretching def helped me out.
 

RyanLovesDrums

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I must say that I play low like really low. All my stands are cut down to sit my kit even lower then a standard stand would allow I’m 36 5’6 and my shoulder pain would radiate through my collar bone and certain hits on a cymbal would make me wince in pain. Fixing the way I slept and stretching def helped me out.
I’m 37 and 5’7” ha! Yeah stretching helps although too much of it can aggravate it too. So what’s your special way of sleeping that helps?
 

RyanLovesDrums

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I read in a book years ago four steps that supposedly can get get you anything you want in life. It’s based on the law of attraction. They are:

1. Identify what you don’t want.
2. From that, identify what you DO want.
3. Get into the feeling place of what you want.
4. Expect, listen, and allow it to happen.
 

gretschdrummer

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Just had cubital tunnel syndrome surgery

Had too as my hands were numb and I didn’t want to keep putting off
And cause further damage
Obviously 45 years of drumming probably had something to do with it


Doing pt now and hoping for the best
 
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cworrick

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Yeah and when I went to the physical therapist he sent me to it just seemed like they were all about making money. I barely worked with the main therapist, she would just have these college students work with me and would be explaining to them what to do with me while she worked on someone else.
Looks like it's time to SERIOUSLY look for another doctor and Physical Therapist.
I'm all for teaching the next generation, but the main person also needs to weigh in and communicate with you as well. It's YOUR life/arm.

If this doctor is the best in your area, Travel to another area. There are specialists out there that have a background with musicians/athletes. Look them up. Ask other musicians you encounter who they know or have heard good (or bad) things about. There are people out there that can help you.

I may have missed it somewhere, but where are you located?
 

RyanLovesDrums

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Looks like it's time to SERIOUSLY look for another doctor and Physical Therapist.
I'm all for teaching the next generation, but the main person also needs to weigh in and communicate with you as well. It's YOUR life/arm.

If this doctor is the best in your area, Travel to another area. There are specialists out there that have a background with musicians/athletes. Look them up. Ask other musicians you encounter who they know or have heard good (or bad) things about. There are people out there that can help you.

I may have missed it somewhere, but where are you located?
I’m in San Diego which is 2 hours from L.A. I don’t really know anybody personally who’s gone through but I saw a video of drummer Thomas Lang where he talked about having to get surgery on his hand and he swore about his doctor who is a little north of L.A. which is even further from me. I called them and from what I can remember he was pretty expensive. Sometimes it’s easy to just do nothing about it and do what I know helps like rest, stretching, meditation, ice, etc. but sometimes I like to vent and talk about it.
 

bigbonzo

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Yeah and when I went to the physical therapist he sent me to it just seemed like they were all about making money. I barely worked with the main therapist, she would just have these college students work with me and would be explaining to them what to do with me while she worked on someone else.
Everybody has to learn. How do you think the main therapist got her position?
 

Loud

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My back which I hate lol
For some arm/elbow issues, it is recommended to lightly wrap your elbow in something like a towel to try to keep it somewhat straight while you sleep. As each issue has its own problems, you would have to get a diagnosis to know if that type of treatment helps. The physical therapists should have discussed such options.

When I sleep, I can injure myself. For a trigger finger, I used my homemade splints while sleeping. This allowed it to heal.

I’m not a medical professional.
 

gwbasley

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Maybe you need to see a Neurologist rather than an Orthopedist. There is a very successful specialist here in Florida that has a sort of hybrid practice but he only works on the spine (to my knowledge). You may need to do a little research to find the right guy for your problem.

Have you also considered micing your set so you can play lighter and still get the volume level that you want?
 

Lazmo

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Forget adjusting your drums as a workaround to the problem... fix the problem.

Try a different doctor, or a different osteopath, maybe a chiropractor, a myotherapist... try dry needling, cupping. Draw the line at gong or crystal therapy.

I raced motorcycle, mountain bike and played Australian rules footy and have done untold amounts of damage... currently at 12 broken bones, and endless tissue, tendon and muscle damage. My latest is a shoulder subluxation (a dislocation that goes back in by itself) and after doctors, X-rays, etc, I am seeing a physical therapist and doing endless exercises. Sure it hurts, but little by little, it’s improving.

Find someone to fix it. Do the rehab. Make 100% sure with the rehab to do everything evenly, as in symmetrically... you must focus on getting both sides of your body back in sync.

Good luck.
 

RyanLovesDrums

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About 10 years ago I saw one of the doctors for the San Diego chargers football team. He didn’t give me an MRI or anything but I think he gave some good advice. He said just do cardio to get the blood flowing. And it’s true whenever I do cardio like running I’m not in pain. I haven’t done any real cardio for over a year. All I’ve done is just walk around my neighborhood a little.
 

sternerp

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I had surgery on my right shoulder to fix my rotator cuff in 2012. It's gotten very painful that past couple of years, especially after doing any lifting or yard work. The physical therapy exercises I learned don't help much, and I probably need more surgery. I currently have an infected nail in my right hand that is incredibly painful and has stop my ability to play my organ.

I also have trigger finger in my right ring finger, with an inflamed bump (nodule) in the palm at the base of the finger that occurred when I was moving a table a few weeks ago.

I'm 66, and slowly deteriorating!
 

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RyanLovesDrums

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I had surgery on my right shoulder to fix my rotator cuff in 2012. It's gotten very painful that past couple of years, especially after doing any lifting or yard work. The physical therapy exercises I learned don't help much, and I probably need more surgery. I currently have an infected nail in my right hand that is incredibly painful and has stop my ability to play my organ.

I also have trigger finger in my right ring finger, with an inflamed bump (nodule) in the palm at the base of the finger that occurred when I was moving a table a few weeks ago.

I'm 66, and slowly deteriorating!
I know getting older kinda sucks. Physical therapy works for some not others. My mom went to it for her back and it made it worse.
 

drums1225

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Don't accept living with pain at your age. As others have said, it gets worse as you get older, and it gets harder and harder to heal. Take care of it now. I'm 53 and in pretty good shape, but when I get an injury (I play and ref ice hockey), it takes much longer to heal. Aches and pains are coming in your future, no matter what you do. Don't give them a headstart.
 


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