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Playing with injuries


J. Dan

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I just have to say how impressed I am by our Lead Guitarist. I've always been impressed anyway, but he broke he left index finger (he's right handed). For a couple shows we had someone fill in on lead and he did rythym and sang. But he figured out he could play enough songs with his remaining 3 fingers to do shows without a sub. And let me tell you - without looking, you wouldn't know he wasn't using his index finger... amazing.

 

I had to do something similar - I dislocated my thumb at the joint that meets the wrist. I was in a cast for 6 weeks. I could kind of use a couple fingers, and managed to get by - couldn't play guitar (it was my left hand) but played keys (my primary instrument).

 

Similar storyies?

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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The lead guitarist from my old band just recently broke his right (picking) hand very badly in a fight. He had to get a plate, 2 rods and 6 pins in it, and he also had ligament damage in his wrist and nerve damage in his pinky. The doctor said he might not ever be able to play thrash metal again; he is super bummed, especially because before the injury he played guitar for 3-6 hours a day
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The lead guitarist from my old band just recently broke his right (picking) hand very badly in a fight. He had to get a plate, 2 rods and 6 pins in it, and he also had ligament damage in his wrist and nerve damage in his pinky. The doctor said he might not ever be able to play thrash metal again; he is super bummed, especially because before the injury he played guitar for 3-6 hours a day

 

Here is something that might cheer him up at least:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/09/09/pinky.regeneration.surgery/index.html

 

 

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Les Paul was involved in a serious car accident, and the doctor told him he'd never play again. He insisted that his arm be set in such a way that he could still play... and when they took the cast off, he was back in the game!

And there are many athletes who were injured and continued with their careers.

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Wish him luck for us and hope he heals up soon...had surgery on my middle fretting finger and have been taped up for a month, got the stitches out last week and have been using 3 fingers until now...getting a little back to the normal 4 and hoping for the best...so I know how he feels...never give in until you have to...
Take care, Larryz
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Let me say this clearly & with as much restraint as I can muster.

If you have not realized the problems with the concept of "play through the pain" & "no gain without pain" that have infiltrated our societies in the last few decades (centuries?), you are a fool.

 

I will let such worthy & valued members as "A String", Phil W, & others fill you in but there is no advantage in playing with any significant injury.

 

I can offer advice, but if you're stupid enough to ignore what's alrealy been offered on this & other sites, suffer & ----as Frank Zappa advised---"get a job working in a gas station" .

There are many waiting for you dummies to get outta the way.

d=halfnote
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Les Paul was involved in a serious car accident, and the doctor told him he'd never play again. He insisted that his arm be set in such a way that he could still play... and when they took the cast off, he was back in the game!

And there are many athletes who were injured and continued with their careers.

 

I am lucky enough to have had a wealthy father who hired the same doctors who worked on LP to attend me as a child when I had a similar injury.

That doesn't change my comments elsewhere in this thread.

 

The idea that we may disregard what is the best policy on handling smaller injuries, esp. those that have to do with overuse or misuse rather than actual injury is both foolish & , well, whatever the term for "exorbitant" is , in an emotional & societal sense.

 

If yer injury requires a band-aid, go to Safeway.

Otherwise learn the facts of age-old mmedicine or get in line behind all the other of humanity.

d=halfnote
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Let me say this clearly & with as much restraint as I can muster.

If you have not realized the problems with the concept of "play through the pain" & "no gain without pain" that have infiltrated our societies in the last few decades (centuries?), you are a fool.

 

I will let such worthy & valued memebers as "A String", Phil W, & others fill you in but there is no advantage in playing with any significant injury.

 

I can offer advice, but if you're stupid enough to ignore what's alrealy been offered on this & other sites, suffer & ----as Frank Zappa advised---"get a job working in a gas station" .

There are many waiting for you dummies to get outta the way.

 

He did follow his doctor's advice. He did not use his index finger until the splint was on it for enough time that the doctor said it was safe to start using it again. Now the struggle for him has been just getting the mobility back after being imobilized for a few weeks.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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80s-LZ:

I'm not sure how what you write relates to what I wrote, though you may have the same confusion.

My basic point was in response to the idea of "working through an injury".

I'll go a bit further in that it's quite possible to cause harm to ourselves in ways we don't recognize by ignoring the inter-connectivity of our physical parts.

 

I will state, without qualification, also, that "a doctor's advice" is as flimsy on it's face as that of an investment banker.

We'd like to think otherwise but different medicos have very different degrees of knowledge, interest in maintaining or expanding such knowledge & senses of what's proper for them to extend to their patients (read: "clients").

 

There is no better method for anyone to work through an injury or other health situation than to look into all sorts of areas outside what any single advisor offers.

That may or not be or seem relevant but it's something to consider when trying to "tough it out".

d=halfnote
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I would agree - I just didn't know if you were implying that he was just sucking it up and playing even though he shouldn't.

 

In my case, after my hand injury - it was in a cast, so I couldn't do any damage, I played keys mostly with my other hand and a couple left fingers, I just figured out alternate ways to cover the parts. After the cast was off, it was just like rehab after any such injury - getting back strength and range of motion. I did daily excersises and stretches but didn't push it. I found that playing actually was better rehab than some of the excersises they typically do. Upon followup visits, they agreed based on my progress.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I would agree - I just didn't know if you were implying that he was just sucking it up and playing even though he shouldn't.

I have no idea, really, but I'd say that in our general culture the idea that "no pain= no gain" & "play through the problem" are both dominant & wrong.

d=halfnote
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I can't remember for sure, but I think it was on another guitar blog instead of here that a guy wrote a story about starting to have some carpal tunnel, etc... at the same time that his gig was bringing him into contact with a lot of his heroes... and one thing he learned from talking to those people about their gear was that they all used very light guage strings - .008 or .009 sets - with no loss of tone, as the mythical thinking promises would result. So he strung his guitars with .008s instead of his regular .012s, and after adjusting the brutish technique he'd built up for years found his muscles weren't as fatigued after playing, and all of his problems started to ease up. So he wrote that thing as a preventative thing, go easy on your joints and hand, wrist and arm muscles by using lighter strings and developing a lighter touch. I agree with him... I can't ever remember how I got up to using .010s from .008s, and .012s on acoustic from .010s, probably from a deal on bulk strings or something, but the 3 and 4 hour cover gigs started causing problems.
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That's aces on, P90 Jr !

So many are still caught up in some kinda 100 year back idea of what it takes to do things.

Would they be using a team of horses t'get 'round instead of a more modern vehicle ?

Then why fight yer instrument just to get a tone ?

:rolleyes:

 

Recently a cat, Phil W, hadda deal w/ some serious wrist issues b/c he decided at a late date to take up acoustic bass.

He'd played electric bass alla his life but got jammed up b/c of the fantastically different levels of hand strength involved (& honestly, playing electric bass is hard enough---why ya wanna go back in time to the 18th C. ?!).

Took him months to get back to normal (& who knows, maybe he's just functional, not really recovered).

 

I may seem to be meandering a bit but my point is that people cling to some very outmoded ideas about how to do things such as "playing through injuries"; hanging the guitar low to be "cool"; playing all downstrokes for a certain sound (when except at a slow tempo or a full strum no one can tell the difference) or what you cite per string guage & tension...hence my remark way back when that some "musicians" oughta get into another line of work.

 

d=halfnote
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Actually for Les Paul & for D. Reinhardt, they played as they could to overcome injuries that were permanent, which is a different thing than to "play through an injury" from which one might recover.

 

+1, although they were both talented guitar players before the injuries, they did not let them keep them from becoming legends...not suggesting that anyone plays hurt or ignores the injury which will only make it worse...but never give in until you have to...Django was hurt by fire and lost the use of some of his fingers on the fretting hand, Les had the doctors set his right arm in a permanent position knowing his condition would become permanent and needed to have his strumming hand wind up in a position that would allow him to keep playing...just couldn't unbend his arm anymore...they went on to become guitar legends leaving sounds that will continue to inspire many a guitar player...

Take care, Larryz
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Larry, to repeat something that's not news here, the doctors that treated Lester P. were hired by my very own loving Dad a few years later to treat my broken arm in the mid-1950s, after doctors in Detroit insisted there was no way to make my broken arm mobile.

 

The point ?

Medical "technology" goes only as far as yer dollar !

d=halfnote
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He'd played electric bass alla his life but got jammed up b/c of the fantastically different levels of hand strength involved (& honestly, playing electric bass is hard enough---why ya wanna go back in time to the 18th C. ?!).
I'm not speaking for Phil, but there are still some bands that want the "look".

 

Still looking for upright bass player for rockabilly project (Eastpointe)

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: 2010-10-01, 3:32PM EDT

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Guitarist and Looking for Bassist with upright for band.

 

Looking for somebody who can rehearsae once a week for an hour and eventually play one show once every month or two months.

 

Original songs are in the works and some are complete along with a decent amount of cover songs

 

Some cover songs include stuff from Brian Setzer, Bill Haley, Johnny Powers, Reverend Horton Heat, Johnny Cash, Sammy Masters, Carl Perkins, among a couple others

 

Dont hesitate to contact me.

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My latest injury report.

 

Hamstring is finally back to normal after last Thursday's show. I plan to stretch and warm up before tonight's gig. I tweaked it as part of my stage show. (Really.)

 

Forearm is still achy but not constantly sore like before. I tweaked it helping my father-in-law put his garage door back on track. With one hand I was using a rachet to remove/reattach bolts and did too many twisting motions.

 

Ten years ago I would have bounced back from those kind of things in a day. Ain't aging grand? ;)

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Larry, to repeat something that's not news here, the doctors that treated Lester P. were hired by my very own loving Dad a few years later to treat my broken arm in the mid-1950s, after doctors in Detroit insisted there was no way to make my broken arm mobile.

 

The point ?

Medical "technology" goes only as far as yer dollar !

 

You have something in common with a great master and I'm thinking your story has to have a happy ending and that you have enjoyed playing guitar all these years...sometimes there is nothing they can do no matter how much money you have (ie. lose a hand until they come up with a transplant, etc)...had an operation on my fretting hand middle finger last month and I'm really happy that I can still play...although there is still some pain, the doc says I can play as much as I want...right now I'm at a half hour to an hour at a time, so no more 3 hour gigs for a while...glad it worked out for you...I know it's hard on us guitar players when we have and injury...

Take care, Larryz
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Well yeah---as I've told previously----these medicos who couldn't give Les Paul elbow-flexibility kept experimenting on people & by the time they were hired in my case it only took setting & rebreaking my elbow joint 4 or 5 times 'til it healed with mobility.

 

As far as hand transplants, I'm not sure how many but at least 2 have been done in the USA.

 

 

d=halfnote
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