Do any of you ice down your arm?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Igneous, Jan 19, 2005.


  1. Igneous

    Igneous Supporting Member

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    I play really fast metal and find that after a while my forearm gets stiff and eventually I get to the point of fatigue and I cant control it. It literally just stops because Im overworking it.

    I stretch and try to push myself to the limits. I excersice fairly so im in shape(which I highly recommend for any instrument) and have had great results.

    Does icing muscles down help them repair and thus leading to more efficacy?

    Thanks for your time---IG
     
  2. Norcal_GIT_r

    Norcal_GIT_r Member

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    Drink Gatorade. You need to get rid of the lactic acid that your muscles have built up from overworking. That's probably why your arm feels like it does.
    Gatorade helps get rid of lactic acid.
    Also I know from riding mountain bikes that potasium from bannanas can help with arm pump.
     
  3. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    Maybe you should take breaks more often when practicing, and try to really look at your technique to see what's causing it, It's no fun not being able to play because of injuries caused by overplaying, a few minutes of relaxation on your practicing schedule might help alot.
    E.B.
     
  4. Igneous

    Igneous Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the replies.
    Yeah, I do take breaks however, I still stiffen up.

    Im assuming that Its my motion and Im not loose enough in my elbow when I play. Im trying to balance out the power between my muscles. THX__IG
     
  5. Scribe

    Scribe Guest

    OOG is always after me to breathe, that could be the issue. You might try yoga because it involves disciplined breathing technique that spills into everything else you're doing. It's worth the effort. Check out the Rodney Yee DVDs for example.

    I use a product called Sombra on my hands because my ligaments and tendons get sore easy now that I'm 49. Also, I have my accupunturist work on my arms to keep them tuned up.

    Deep tissue massage can also work wonders.

    YMMV
     
  6. mtfingers

    mtfingers Member

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    Hey scribe...we're the same age man. Cool.

    Yeah, when I was playing in bars regularly, I use to go behind the bar and stick my arms in the ice in between sets. This seemed to hold off the tightness and the pain for about half the set.

    I tried everything from acupuncture to Daypro, but the tightness still persisted.

    TRY THIS..IT WORKS FOR ME....

    Get one of those carpal tunnel braces for each arm. Make sure you get the good ones, with metal in them. When you first get them, wear them for as long as you can each day. I use to switch off arms, because you always need one good arm for SOMETHING, but I'd do both arms every day.

    After a week or so there was a very noticable difference in my arms, and I have no more pain, after years and years of it. My arms are also looser when I play, but not as loose as when I was, say, 21. That was many years ago, however.

    Igneous....please try this. It is the only thing that worked for me, and hopefully it will for you too.
     
  7. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Where can these be found?
     
  8. mtfingers

    mtfingers Member

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    I think I got mine at Walgreens. Any one of those kind of stores will have them. They work.
     
  9. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Thanks. No walgreens here, but i'll chech the similar stores.
     
  10. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    If you need to ice down your arm, you gotta stop throwing so many fastballs....
     
  11. Dave Bacon

    Dave Bacon Member

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    To be honest guys, I would aviod carpal tunnel braces. I did my masters thesis on musicians injuires and ergonomic considerations. I'm also an occupational therapist who has spent many years doing rehab.

    Carpal tunnel braces will only eliminate wrist movement. To play, you then either have to have all the movement at the elbow (very tiring), or you are likely to start putting shoulder movement in (not a good idea for the neck then). So you are basically only moving the problem.... rather than being spread over 3 joints, you are concerntrating it onto 2.

    Lactic acid builds up as a result of the musculaure not getting enough blood. Think of the muscle as like a sponge. If you put a sponge under water, the water can get in and fill it up. When a muscle is relaxed, its the same... the blood can get through the tissue and flush out the lactic acids before they build up. When you play (esp fast metal) its likely that you are gripping the pick so hard and contracting all of your forearm muscles to such a degree that the blood cant get in to the tissues (like squeezing a sponge... then putting it under water and wondering why it doesnt fill up).

    Icing after playing is helpful only if you have inflamation (at tendons and ligaments). For muscle fatigue (which by the sounds of it is the problem you are having) icing will cause the blood vessels to constrict (or close off) even more.... making the problem worse. So to be honest, heat is more likely to help flush out the lactic acids as it would promote the blood vessels to open up and the blood to flow to the extremities. A hot bath might be good once you get home.

    There are a few things you can do.

    1. Vary the playing (considering tempo and technical difficulty). Maybe having some more variety in what you play might help.
    2. Try not to grasp the pick so hard..... concerntrate on relaxing that arm a bit. Putting your guitar up higher on the strap might help you aviod tensing the arm so much.
    3. Have some stretches to do. Particularly flexing (ending down) the wrist and holding it down by the index finger (with the arm out straight)..... hold for at least 15 seconds. Do the reverse by extending the wrist (bending up). Do these regularly (between every 2-3 song breaks).

    Hope this is useful
    You can email me if I can be any more help
    Cheers
    Dave:)
     
  12. mtfingers

    mtfingers Member

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    Ok, maybe I wasn't very clear about wearing the braces. I don't wear them when playing, as that would be just about impossible. I wear them when I am doing nothing, like reading. I don't wear them both at the same time either, as that makes doing anything awkward. I wear them on each arm for about 15-30 minutes a day, and they have worked wonders. The pain is mostly gone from my arms for the first time in many years. They've saved my playing life.
     
  13. Dave Bacon

    Dave Bacon Member

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    I really depends on what the underlying problem is. If its carpal tunnel, then they are definately beneficial. Glad they helped:D

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  14. therealting

    therealting Member

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    I pity the Coke drinkers in your bars. :)
     
  15. mtfingers

    mtfingers Member

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    Thats funny..I didn't pity them at all!
     
  16. m.z.

    m.z. "Musician" /Gear Hoarder

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    I was thinking the same thing! :puh " ummmm...why does my coke taste salty? "
     
  17. azgolfer

    azgolfer Member

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    Check your posture. My arm/hand problems (mostly from typing) got much better when I started doing neck/shoulder stretches. Trigger point therapy is good for sore spots. Can you touch your hands behind your back ? Also, try chin tucks and neck stretches if your head is forward (ear should be over your shoulder). A light Strat is probably the best "ergonomic" guitar - a heavy Les Paul probably the worst.
     

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