Drumming Injuries and How To Prevent Them
Drumming injuries can occur for many different reasons. We love to play the drums but sometimes we end up hurting ourselves. Here are some injuries that can ocur while drumming as well as some tips and preventions. The key here is to Be Safe Drummers! And...Live to Drum Another Day!
Upper Arm Fatigue
Upper arm fatigue can come from drumming too much with your entire arm. Some drummers, especially beginner drummers have this problem. They play too much with their entire arm trying to get more power out of their hits, or simply because that's just the way they feel comfortable playing.
Drumming with your entire arm can cause fatigue too quickly. Your endurance is lessened.
Prevention: To prevent drumming injuries like this one, learn how to incorporate your wrists and fingers and the proper (physics based) "up and down" motion into your drumming. Learning the Moeller Method to drumming will really help you out.
This one is dangerous. Over playing can equal nerve problems. Some players are so obsessed with their drumming that they can't quit and they drum like 4-8 hours a day 6-7 days a week. And in their "off" time they are still using their sticks to hit things...not good.
The nerves in your wrist take the beating and you could end up with carpal tunnel syndrome, or even worse, a nerve problem that leads all the way up to your shoulder and you will need surgery. This is one drumming injury that you don't want to deal with.
Like with anything in life we need balance. If you drink too much water, eat too much food, sleep too much, or watch t.v too much, they all have their serious downside to them. More practice doesn't always mean you will get better.
Prevention: Limit yourself in your drumming. Drum 1-2 hours a day and give yourself a break in between. Don't beat yourself down over a beat that you can't get. Just chill....and then drum again. Limiting yourself is the key here.
Another popular drumming injury is back pain. Back pain can come from a hunched back. Some drummers drum like this. Your back needs to be straightened and although uncomfortable it does help. Drummers who have to drum through gigs need to learn this. Back pain can often make drumming uncomfortable and not exciting.
Prevention: Sit up straight. Have a 90 degree angle to your drumming meaning your back is straight and your upper legs to your knees make a 90 degree angle. You could also read up on how to sit properly when drumming.
Lower Leg/Shin Muscle Pain
This kind of pain occurs on the right side muscle of the shin bone( if you're a righty). Left if your lefty. This is usually a beginner drummers problem when they're still learning how to play their drums. It occurs when playing the bass drum with a flat foot and your foot/shin isn't used to so much of the "up and down" motion.
Prevention: Keep playing every day with simple beats that you already know. Time yourself. Try to play for 3 minutes straight with no pain and play until you get pain. Note down the time when the pain started coming on and try to beat it the next day. Don't over play!
You could also learn how to play heel up. This one works for a stronger bass drum sound. Your heel is about an inch up from the back of your bass drum pedal. The up and down motion comes from your leg...I hope this isn't confusing. This motion doesn't cause no shin muscle pain...so that makes one less drumming injury.
Other Body Pains
Other drumming injuries like lower arm pain, hand pain, back pain etc. Might be caused from the way you are positioned on the drum set itself. They way you have to angle yourself for the ride cymbal, the hi-hat cymbals, the bass drum pedals, or to do a full drum roll. If you are crooked or '"misaligned" you will get pain because of the odd positions that you have to get into in order to hit those parts.
Prevention: Have the drum set set up to where it is easy to reach all of the different parts of your drum set. Don't make yourself have to twist to reach the ride cymbal, don't have the ride so close to you that your arm is cramped. Don't have the snare to high up that when you do a drum roll you are hitting your upper legs etc. Make the drum set yours...if it is yours that is.
To protect yourself from drumming injuries and keep your endurance level up, make sure that your drums and cymbals are all within reach. Don't place your cymbals up to high, or your snare way down low(unless it works for you). Have the drum set modeled after your needs.
Ways to keep endurance level up:
*Stop doing all of the things that bring you pain or cause fatigue.
* Lift weights to gain upper arm strength.
* Wear wrist or ankle weights to gain endurance and power.
* Hit the pillow( or something that absorbs the bounce) to gain speed and endurance.
* Play with bigger/heavier sticks(this makes your regular sized sticks feel like chop sticks) to gain more strength.