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 Post subject: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:40 pm 
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Location: Arlington, TX
Hey y'all, I need some advice. I've been working on my left hand quite extensively for awhile. Mostly accent patterns I've acquired from Rick's vault of exercises. Well, I've noticed some sharp pain on the outside part of my elbow, right on the bone where I assume a tendon is connected.

I've lightly researched it and it falls under the general category of "Tennis Elbow". And it hurts like a bugger! What is your experience with this, and what did you do for it? Naturally, I've stopped practicing for a few days, but that is a horrible option for me as practicing is a very huge part of my sanity and spirituality (long story).

Thanks for your input


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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Location: Bethlehem, Connecticut
I was diagnosed with Tennis Elbow 3 years ago. It had me freaked out at first. The Doctor told me my choices were surgery (which he didn't recommend), getting a cortisone shot in my elbow...every six months (which I didn't like), or learn to live with it. I've done the latter. What I've really learned is not to take myself too seriously. I realize I don't drum the way I did 5 years ago, let alone 20 years ago, but I think I do a descent job and believe I have some good stuff to share. And if the internet trolls want to knock my drumming to make them feel better, so be it!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a buddy who got shots in his arm and the consensus seems to be that the drugs broke down his insides and then he had to get the operation. We'll see what happens.

Good luck, Cooper!!!!!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:18 pm
Posts: 587
Location: Columbia, TN
Years ago I had a sharp pain on the INSIDE of my elbow on my left hand (traditional). The pain was in between the two bony protuberances on the inside of my elbow. I never went to a doctor for it, I just quit playing for months and it eventually went away. I don't know if it was tennis elbow or tendinitis or if I just pulled something? But it was "as sore as a boil", it hurt to barely touch it.

I also had two operations on my right wrist back when I was 18 and 19 years old. The first was before I marched and it was to remove a ganglion cyst. The second was the fall after I marched my first year to remove scar tissue from the first operation. I didn't have any trouble for the next 20 years, until a few years ago I started getting that same ache in my wrist again. I think I have a new cyst in a different location in my right wrist? Since I don't have insurance right now I can't get it diagnosed for sure, but that is what I hope it is. It just aches, I can still play, but the more I play the worse it gets. I can't play as well as I did as recently as 5 years ago, my playing has definitely suffered.

Getting old sucks.

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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:43 am 
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Dominick Cuccia wrote:
or learn to live with it. I've done the latter. What I've really learned is not to take myself too seriously.


Thanks Dominick. I must tell you, your statement about not taking myself too seriously is pretty much what I needed to hear! I mean, really, where am I [i]REALLY[i] going to go from here. I'm not about to compete in any capacity, as my playing has evolved to a level of self-preservation, basically. I'm the only one it really matters to. I do a gig here and there, but not planning on appearing on the Talk Show circuit any time soon. Thanks Man


Skip Campbell wrote:
Getting old sucks.


Bingo, Skip! It does indeed. I too, have no insurance, so will wind up riding this one out. I guess if it gets so bad that I have to quit playing all together, so be it. I am blessed to have been able to play this long, you know? But I sure as hell hope it doesn't come to that. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 12:51 am
Posts: 689
Location: Bethlehem, Connecticut
Cooper wrote:


Skip Campbell wrote:
Getting old sucks.


Bingo, Skip! It does indeed. I too, have no insurance, so will wind up riding this one out. I guess if it gets so bad that I have to quit playing all together, so be it. I am blessed to have been able to play this long, you know? But I sure as hell hope it doesn't come to that. Thanks


I sometimes wonder if names like Tennis Elbow are the result of people not liking hearing that they are getting old so the doctors give it a name.
I think if you quit playing, you'll lose it, but if you pace yourself the results will be worthwhile. I know there are times when I'm playing and I totally feel it, so I cut back on my playing. Other times I can play for hours and there is no problem.

At fife & drum corps events playing with your corps is in many ways the smallest amount of playing you will do. It is the jam session that you really do a lot of playing. I go to some musters and don't even pick up my drum. I just try to take it all in, enjoy the atmosphere. Other times, I can play for hours and never want to stop. Last August at the Westbrook Muster I was there with my kids and my brother & sisters corps. I didn't play with anybody. As it turned out, I drummed for a good 2 hours on Friday night, another 4 hours Saturday night and ended up at a Bill Hart's late night jam in town for another 2 hours. It was freaking awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I just can't do that all the time anymore because out of nowhere it will act up and that is when I take to the atmosphere side of things.

Anyway, you can learn to live with it without quitting. Just learn more about your body and its limitations...and try to enjoy every minute of drumming!!!!!!!!!!!!

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In the spirit,
Dominick Cuccia
The Great American Fife & Drum Band
SKYPE LESSONS NOW AVAILABLE/thefifeanddrumguy@gmail.com
Proud to endorse Cooperman, Innovative Percussion, Meredith Music Publications, Remo & Yamaha!!!!!
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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 6:21 pm
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Location: Unionville, CT
As others have stated, cortisone shots can indeed include complications (infections, long term detrimental effects, etc). I had a few cortisone shots in the main knuckle of my right index finger about ten years ago (I'll share the details below). My experience was that the initial injection caused some swelling and numbness, and I thought that would dissipate within a few days (or less). As it turned out, several months passed before I felt like all the residual numbness was gone. I can't say that it really fixed my problem either.

But in regards to Tennis Elbow specifically...
There are lots of non-invasive options out there these days, especially massage-based approaches. You might want to look into A.R.T. (Active Release Technique)
http://www.activerelease.com

I first became aware of that treatment after reading an interview with the amazing drummer, Gary Husband. He had a persistent problem for years that was cured completely with just a few A.R.T sessions. It's my understanding that A.R.T either works very soon after the initial treatment, or not at all. It's not magic, but for some people it has been near-miraculous. That being said, a very good friend of mine just tried A.R.T for what appears to be a drumming-related injury to his elbow region. After two sessions with no noticeable improvement, the therapist recommend not pursuing it any further. He is now scheduled for a cortisone injection. I'll report back on his progress.

Another good friend of mine swears by acupuncture. He had a form of tendinitis in his elbow for several years that was cured permanently after a few visits to a good practitioner. Of course, like everything else, finding the right doctor/therapist to match with each individual patient can often be more than half the battle. But there are many options out there.

My own problems were due to a bizarre condition where my finger would swell tremendously (I had no idea the skin could stretch so much :o ), and turn to a dark, bruised coloration, as if my finger hand been dislocated or very badly sprained. The strange thing was that there was no pain, and nothing specific seemed to trigger the reaction. The first time it happened was after a drumset gig where I was playing exceptionally hard towards the end of the night. About an hour later I was loading out some gear and realized that my finger was horribly swollen and discolored. I jammed it into a cup full of ice and let it rest for a couple of days, but it has never been the same since—and that was probably over fifteen years ago. Drumming would sometimes bring it on, but other times just a gentle tap would cause it to happen. One time I was doing nothing other washing my hands, and immediately my finger turned dark and started to swell.

So, eventually I met a sports therapist who is also a drummer. He gave me the injections I described above. But to this day, my finger still doesn't feel quite right. The really scary thing is that about seven years ago the exact thing happened to the index finger on my left hand. I was sitting down on a hardwood floor. I placed a slight bit of pressure on my knuckles as I was getting up, and my left finger turned dark red and started to swell uncontrollably. Well that sufficiently freaked me out.

Sad to say, but one primary care physician; three hand specialists; one endocrinologist; a few x-rays, scans and tests; and several hundreds of dollars of medical bills later and...nothing. Nobody knows anything. No answers, no solutions. I have a hard time believing that my condition is so extraordinarily rare that it defies modern medicine, but there you have it. I simply can't afford to pursue the issue any further. My left hand recovered completely, but my right index finger still gives me problems every, single time I play. It's as if there is some extra fluid under the skin that never really went away. As a result, my finger always feels like it has the potential to swell up again at any time. It hasn't, though, in quite a long time, but it always keeps me on edge. I would imagine that in addition to drumset, years of hand-drumming hasn't help my situation at all either.

Maybe we need a general health and injury thread? :cry:

But back to the original topic...
Like I said, I'll keep you posted on my friends experience with the cortisone.

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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:38 am 
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Location: Arlington, TX
Dominick Cuccia wrote:
Anyway, you can learn to live with it without quitting. Just learn more about your body and its limitations...and try to enjoy every minute of drumming!!!!!!!!!!!!


Say Dominick, I actually practiced a little today, and even though I can still feel it, it's at a tolerable level.


GBrhythm wrote:
I first became aware of that treatment after reading an interview with the amazing drummer, Gary Husband.


I actually got to meet and chat with him back in 1988 or '89. He was very very cool and humble. He even asked me about how he sounded after the show! (He was playing with Alan Holdsworth)

I honestly cannot guarantee you that I'll follow your advice on all of these wonderful suggestions. Mainly because I have no insurance and very little cash in the kitty. But, I'm hoping that in the future my situation may change and I that I will be able to follow up on these suggestions. I think for now I'm going to take it easy and do some light practice sessions for awhile and go from there.

Now, that story about your situation is incredible! What a bizarre sequence of events. The mention of hand drumming definitely sounds to me a likely culprit for your problems, but as we've all said in here, I ain't no Doctor! Here's hoping for continued years of "no" to "minimal" swelling, my friend. I agree about the Health and Injury thread!

Thanks you guys for all of this support and information. I knew I could post this in here and get some input. Makes me proud to be a Drummer!!


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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:51 pm 
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Hello everyone ... this is my first post here. Just to introduce myself, I'm the author of Anatomy of Drumming, which covers these topics.

All due respect to the Doctor who said the only options are surgery or drugs, but they need to return to school. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) are not well understood by many general practitioners. You'll want to get a second opinion from someone who is known to be familiar with RSIs. I've been misdiagnosed repeatedly - even when I tell the doc the pertinent information given my own background.

The first and most important thing you can do to recover from/avoid tennis elbow is to reform your technique. Yes, age matters, but you are not genetically pre-determined to get tennis elbow. The way you move - i.e. your technique - is what caused you to get it in the first place.

The Gary Husband letter is about tendonosis, not tendonitis (tennis elbow) ... I wrote an article about it here. http://johnlambdrums.com/tendonosis/

To fix your tennis elbow you will need to change your technique. That's the bad news. The good news is that the changers required will give you better facility. Massage can help a LOT to speed recovery, but by itself won't fix anything. You need to take care of the cause. The connective tissue that is damaged has very little blood flow, so it really needs to rely on diffusion to get the resources for repair. This means make sure to drink enough water - especially when playing. There are various heat/cold treatments that also help.

Be aware that ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc can cause hearing damage themselves. So limit their use if possible. More here: http://johnlambdrums.com/hearing-loss/

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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:18 pm
Posts: 587
Location: Columbia, TN
anatomy wrote:
Hello everyone ... this is my first post here. Just to introduce myself, I'm the author of Anatomy of Drumming, which covers these topics.

All due respect to the Doctor who said the only options are surgery or drugs, but they need to return to school. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) are not well understood by many general practitioners. You'll want to get a second opinion from someone who is known to be familiar with RSIs. I've been misdiagnosed repeatedly - even when I tell the doc the pertinent information given my own background.

The first and most important thing you can do to recover from/avoid tennis elbow is to reform your technique. Yes, age matters, but you are not genetically pre-determined to get tennis elbow. The way you move - i.e. your technique - is what caused you to get it in the first place.

The Gary Husband letter is about tendonosis, not tendonitis (tennis elbow) ... I wrote an article about it here. http://johnlambdrums.com/tendonosis/

To fix your tennis elbow you will need to change your technique. That's the bad news. The good news is that the changers required will give you better facility. Massage can help a LOT to speed recovery, but by itself won't fix anything. You need to take care of the cause. The connective tissue that is damaged has very little blood flow, so it really needs to rely on diffusion to get the resources for repair. This means make sure to drink enough water - especially when playing. There are various heat/cold treatments that also help.

Be aware that ibuprofen, Tylenol, etc can cause hearing damage themselves. So limit their use if possible. More here: http://johnlambdrums.com/hearing-loss/


interesting

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Spirit of Atlanta 1983 *Snare*
Private Teacher - High School Lines 1982-97, 2011-13


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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:28 pm
Posts: 147
I have similar pains in my left arm, the elbow, wrist, and ring & pinky finger (which sometimes tingle or go numb). Turns out it's my ulnar nerve. I used a lot of wrist when playing, but I'm in the first process of reforming my technique to something that feels a little more relaxed...I guess like a modified Moeller type of technique. I'm starting slow and only going a little past what I can comfortably do, in an effort to gradually build up speed. If I get the pain, I slow it down. I'm happy just to be able to play even if it's slowly, but I refuse to stop altogether.

Interesting thread. It helps knowing I'm not the only one struggling with "old guy" problems, and everyone's suggestions are also helpful.

Adam


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 Post subject: Re: Tennis Elbow?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:54 am 
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Posts: 689
Location: Bethlehem, Connecticut
Since this thread he resurfaced I thought I'd share another thought. If you have "tennis elbow" or tendonitis or anything else, don't just assume it is caused by drumming. In the years since Cooper made the original post I have found the worst pain to be when I'm stacking or moving firewood. The way I grab it I feel the initial pain. I wear an arm brace now when I'm doing stuff like that and it is much better. I also find that when I drive long distances in the car my arm sits against the door in a strange way and starts to ache after a while. A weird as it sounds, I wear the brace when driving and it feels ok.

Sooooooo...maybe we are doing other "day in the life" activities that are causing our aches & pains (not to forget the aging process).

Stay well everybody and never forget..."life's a bummer if you're not a drummer!!!!!!!!!!!"

_________________
DC
In the spirit,
Dominick Cuccia
The Great American Fife & Drum Band
SKYPE LESSONS NOW AVAILABLE/thefifeanddrumguy@gmail.com
Proud to endorse Cooperman, Innovative Percussion, Meredith Music Publications, Remo & Yamaha!!!!!
www.dominickcuccia.com


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