Playing and Arthritis

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Playing and Arthritis

Postby Hawker » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:22 am

I'm 61 and have a little bit of arthritis in a couple of my finger joints. It comes and goes and it is not debilitating yet...but does hurt when it flares up.

Any thoughts or medical opinions on whether playing is going to make this worse in the long run? I love playing but no longer make my living as a musician. Doing real damage to myself in the long run is probably not worth it.

What say ye old guys out there?
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby pavloconga » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:44 am

I'm not sure of your skill level or how bad your arthritis is, but I suggest (if you are new to drums) study and practice good technique from a teacher who really knows their stuff. That will certainly help prevent problems developing in the future.
Some of the older congueros here could offer their suggestions or advice (e.g. Johnnyconga, Congatick) both guys who continue to play and are over 60.

I take about a tablespoon of fish oil daily as a general health thing. I think it helps keep my hands and joints healthy too. I also massage olive oil into my hands and sometimes soak my hands in hot water if I've been playing a lot.
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby Hawker » Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:06 pm

Thank you. Anyone else care to weigh in?
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby niallgregory » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:55 pm

Hi Hawker , This is something that interests me greatly as several members of my family suffer from it ! I would agree about the cod liver oil as i have taken it for various drumming related injuries over the years and it works wonders ! All the best and i hope you can keep drumming ...
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby burke » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:15 pm

One of the best posts relating to this was:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6830&p=67556#p67556

and the most impressive reply from Jorge, because [quote] "As a practicing physician who also has been playing congas for 39 years ..."

Too my mind it would be hard to find any other more specific combination of experience and education better than this.

Cheers

Darrell
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby burke » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:33 pm

PS . been meaning to share this for a while [there was a post about gloves a while back].

There are these rubber coated gloves [I call them mechanics’ gloves] I use for some outdoor winter work where I need grip. I was having some pain with middle joint of "F$%k you" finger on my right hand. I thought of this as a quick alternative to taping. Don't know what it was, but I'm on the wrong side of 50 and with a titch of arthritis. It went away on its own anyhow.

The finger thing slips on and stays put no problem and is flexable and doesn't seem to affect sound too much... could be done for whatever fingers were giving a problem.

Cheers again.
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby Hawker » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:42 pm

Thanks for your input guys.
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby CongaTick » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:51 pm

Hawker,

I'm 69 and been playing since the late 70's. Still gigging 2-3 times a month. Still practice 3-5 times a week. I live with the aches and pains, and though "arthur" is a continuing visitor to some of my joints, he is not annoying enough so that I can't ignore him. A lot of the discomfort may have to do with proper execution of strokes so an instructor's evaluation would be best. I feel for you bro, if the pain is getting in the way of your playing.
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby mistrc » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:56 am

I feel your pain. I am 70 and play occassionally, I don't have pain when I'm playing just the next morning after a good workout or gig. I've found that soaking them in warm salt water and downing a couple of advil help. :)
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby Tonio » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:59 pm

soak em in epsom salt and hot water.

T
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby Hawker » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:39 pm

I've been on hold for a while guys while I've been monitoring the stiffness in my hands to try to determine if I am causing some of the arthritis or if it is just age, I'm 63. In the meantime, I have had a flare up of trigger finger. I had this about fifteen years ago in my second finger and surgery took care of it. Now I have it again in the third finger and had a shot of cortisone last week to hopefully head it off at the pass so I don't have to have surgery again.

At this point I don't think it wise to begin playing again until my pain and inflammation have subsided and until I get an opinion from the Dr. As you older guys know, you start to lose some of the fat and muscle your hands use to have and as much as I'm loving my excursion from drum set to congas...I don't see any sense in causing a lot of problems I may not be able to reverse in later years.

So...I'll keep posted and keep playing if you can!
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby trickyricky » Tue May 21, 2013 7:43 pm

I know it has been a long time since this thread started but I need to ask: You players that have a definate diagnosis of arthritis, I have started getting a stabbing pain in my hand, right behind the first knuckle. I don't have to be doing anything, it just hits me all of a sudden. It also hits sometimes when I am using my hands. Stabbing is the best way to describe it. I am 63 and do not want to quit playing. So far I have had good enough technique that I have only had 1 crack in the skin of one finger way back when I first started playing, I never tape up. Do you think it is arthritis? :?
Lose the ego...Play the music- Luther Allison
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby RitmoBoricua » Tue May 21, 2013 8:58 pm

trickyricky wrote: Do you think it is arthritis?


Time to go and see the good old doctor,
I do not think anybody here can make that
call.
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby windhorse » Tue May 21, 2013 11:31 pm

I will say this, that if you're over 50 and you've played a fair amount of sports as a child, then chances are good that you're going to have some sort of pain somewhere. When I was in Junior High practicing football, the largest guy on the line stepped with a cleat right on top of my left hand. So, the bones broke, re-healed and calcified right where my hand bends.. Beautiful, :oops: now I pay for it every time I play basses, or heal-touches. It doesn't stop me, but it hurts.

I'm thinking that stabbing pain is a long lost nerve ending that got severed in your early years.
If you're getting old, then you either play through it, or not.. At this point you need better technique than your younger brothers here! So, make it good! If your technique is awesome and it still hurts, then probably everything you do, driving, golf, writing, also causes pain.
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Re: Playing and Arthritis

Postby roberthelpus » Wed May 22, 2013 3:18 am

The only thing I can add is what I learned from my Pops. He was one hardworking man and had knee problems for a long time. He gobbled aspirin like candy. A doctor told him to take the aspirin before any activity that would cause some pain. Once it starts hurting you tense up and make things worse. He apparently had a cast iron stomach as the aspirin never bothered him. He did eventually change to enteric coated.

Sometimes I will just take a low dose aspirin as a preventative before something like a lot of heavy lifting. It does seem to help.
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