Drumming Injury After 6 Years, Not Tendonitis,
I've been drumming for about five to six years now and a few months ago I began developing inflammation in my forearms.
At first, I just thought it was muscle fatigue and didn't think much about it.
When it got worse I began taking Aleve (NSAID) because I thought it would help.
Now I can't play without pain so I've put the sticks down for about a month now and I am still sore.
Most, if not all, my pain is on the top of my forearm. I think it is the "extensor digitorum" according to a diagram - not positive. I also have some pain in that fleshy part just below the elbow bend on the side right by the bone "Anconeus"?
I went to a physician and he did some movement tests to check for tendonitis and none of the motions/movements hurt whatsoever. I'm assuming I just have muscle damage but I have no clue.
I just started the ice treatment (dipping + massage) for both arms. The left is slightly worse than the right.
I've taken a few lessons from a professional drummer and he said my hand technique is fine. I'm thinking there was tension in my playing that he couldn't see/tell but I thought I was as relaxed as possible...
Anyway, I'm just not sure what to do. I've been icing the sore/tendor parts for a few weeks now and it hasn't seemed to improve much. But like I said, I just began the dipping. Would it hurt to leave my arm in longer than 10 seconds?
Also, would working out/lifting weights of some sort help with this? Would having more muscle strength in other areas help to evenly distribute the work load?
Let me know if you need any additional information to further assist me. I would appreciate it. I want to play again.
I hear ya Justin. Let's get you playing again.
From what you have said, it sounds like:
1. You used your hands a lot.
2. Muscles got tight.
3. Over time, muscles stayed tight.
4. Over time, connective tissue shrunk wrapped (not a word, but I'm going to make it one since I keep using it).
5. You kept using your structure, it progressively got harder and harder to get the structure to move (equals fatigue), at some point the body decided it was a problem, and it's all downhill from there.
You don't have to have Tendonitis
to have pain.
You have too much tightness, too much constriction and a chronic Process of Inflammation
It is incredibly unlikely that you have actual muscle damage.
Ice Dipping is more about the repetition than the duration. 20 seconds is fine, but 60 seconds isn't really any better than 10.
1. Ice Dip like your drumming career depends on it. The more dips, the more results. For the next week, try to get 50 dips a day, for instance. The more the merrier.
2. Ice Massage: Get in there and grind/press/stretch/spread those fibers.
If you aren't significantly better in 7 days of heavy icing and ice massaging, I'll be very surprised, and we'll start investigating more.
But if you put the effort in, you'll be pleased.
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expertwww.TendonitisExpert.com