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Year ago I started getting RSI/carpal tunnel syndrome, my right hand would go as cold as ice and sometimes become almost completely numb. I went as far as seeing a hospital specialist but the cure was simple - a mouse mat with a gel-filled wrist support, which sorted me in about a month.

The legacy is a wrist that 'tingles' unpleasantly if I use a mouse without a mat (caused by it rubbing on the edge of the desk).

Now I'm playing bass more, I've noticed a similar sensation if my wrist/lower arm is touching the body of the bass.

I'm wondering if a wrist cover of some sort might help. I used to wear wrist 'sweat bands' in the 80s which might help but look cheesy. An orthapedic wrist support is OTT. teh Judas Priest approach might work but will antique my basses pretty rapidly:

Black-Leather-Studded-Bracelet-Wristband

Has anyone else had a similar issue and found a solution that doesn't look naff?

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I have a dodgy nerve in my left wrist (similar to carpal tunnel syndrome but it's the ulna nerve that's affected) which can make playing uncomfortable at times, I've found that a move to 30" short scale basses has been invaluable in reducing fatigue. I also use a neoprene wrist support, it looks a bit like a sweat band but has a loop that goes around the thumb too. I'm not fussed if it looks cheesy, I'm more worried about my own comfort xD

I got the neoprene wrist support from Amazon, this is the one - https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005BI6J8I/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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2 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 Judas Priest approach might work but will antique my basses pretty rapidly:
 

I hate to be the one to break this to you, but there was a good reason that Rob Halford used to dress like he was going to a gay BDSM dungeon....

He was a massive fan of the movie Police Academy and hoped to land a cameo role at the blue oyster club in one of the sequels

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I've found a green tubular elbow support - looks crap and it's a bit loose.

I'll try it and if it helps I'll see if I can get a sexy black neoprene one that doesn't go round my thumb.

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I have wrist/arm problems of this nature too. 

At my desk, I moved from a mouse to a trackpad (like a large laptop pad) and that means you’re generally moving your arm rather than your wrist with a mouse. 

 

Playing wise, I found a tennis elbow support helped when it was really bad - it sits up by your elbow and somehow the compression releases pressure on the tendons. 

 

I wouldn’t use something than compresses the forearm as it could add to the pressure on the tendons.  

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1 hour ago, Jakester said:

I wouldn’t use something than compresses the forearm as it could add to the pressure on the tendons.  

I don't think 'pressure' is the issue as I rest my wrist on the mousemat. Its' more the sensation of the body 'stroking' my wrist as I move my hand position.

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1 hour ago, TheGreek said:

I have something similar that I use when CTS turns it's ugly head. I think I picked up a couple in my local £1 shop.

I'll pop in the range next time I'm in town.

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It's good to know I'm not alone - even if it isn't good that other folks have wrist problems!

Thanks for the suggestions and links.

I've order a 'wrist band' support because I think I want to avoid constraining my hand and will see how I get on.

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3 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I'll pop in the range next time I'm in town.

I have carpal tunnel on my right hand (had an operation on my left). I use a weight lifters wrist brace, which is cheap and very effective. I also play my bass as low as it will go, as it straightens my wrist out when I play. I've had no problems with pain or tingling, while I play, for years now. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Neoprene-Wrist-Support-Brace-Strap-Gym-Weight-Lifting-Arthritis-Sprains-Strains/123763929115?epid=2256367668&hash=item1cd0e7b01b&enc=AQADAAADIFjVrDbVsZ8oH%2F8PNHtt9VX4%2Fw7FZcmMuqsX8uaFEduVKzBVSN0iFumH%2BEOEaVMB3WHmpZB1UWBU9JqKRXXim3PlpTzKva8dELl%2Bovgb1L7Ie%2BGdebgqGdvs%2FsONKq87RDy393lmN18xnG9tminb3RfpYO0evSa6KXueS%2BUbE55iXnQNqQ4kCELYv4PE2UflzdlXkXC0HsxwON0g%2FI8MR48%2F9Ry4NFQcw2L0or97gwoEOInCDeWDLIfXsxWvxvS0CbucyCMhc2H4ZTHM%2FzAA0WM%2FqmQdFW%2FUDHjf6noR4y1qHMiVDyYNpC7FvNCl09xEI9gf1VtS68AeLWCISg2KixUBYX8lLs0QPhABJGpQudI9SYqtAGALE1KdeT%2Fw5teT4S85i%2FPHqNs5flZqK%2Fd2iKKyyczY4CQjsc4lXQLZuvKrhsAM%2FCWQ9sXnTtZta5%2BtimliIzHVplFuX%2BVt41sjFlChkEPEILOYAuhBeJy0Zf7zcH%2FfmsucFCDamq5TnZfo5DHu%2FqNCwFaZ8%2BsxMGCQ3ZLbRD2zaDIkjWZSThUwx%2BDOnfB30n61orMhrn8Qn4QluFZ0WEIzgx5xR8joU4eDDF%2BAg4foXgeJr0xzJIChitK3N2snVMe%2FeOwjukXvqbNOhZSYoI43%2FJIF7sA8RUAmUlU5iRabCjT0T1klyWroKcpbnRgFl2hfnMDsD3vB85IPyGHjAglyruxxUxcY0mJzdZ21Yinc8%2BUR%2B2qJPEtKezpCN0UV7iRFW6sc%2BgDSeLZGehgJKVBXyBsDxl86jVT2wNkGfgVje6s8Psm8mkiEGdPe0p5Nxd%2FR0bh7D1gVzFXdoR7eJ0Lk5kUfVbV28pbXSXyhyJ12EToFfX13b5NgIFCQ2%2FQ7N7IQ%2FGUA%2F6pKnziz0g1oSvzFvAUCJDBCY9eGqLS4qon2pogkJtNS9apbUL3dSMdhUjiL6VdJL7HU04Z33RgWJybYzlYa1DoONGMnH66O%2BKsL%2FVp%2FJBmIXcUoae2EOw3JFSoW7cJhCpt6PfhwkHPaVSQv8QMZwT3SvscOTAMvyZrU90QlbVBSoj8LmV9y&checksum=123763929115f52246c25c7d4941bc26ec796f1f551d&frcectupt=true

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Longest link ever!

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I had some problems in the early 90s. Went to a chiropractor who sorted me out - apparently some of the smaller bones in my wrist were out of alignment.

I believe the problems were a combination of 100 press ups a day, 'upside-down' writing style, and poor bass technique. I wore a wrist support for a while, which was mainly as a reminder that I needed to address these issues. I did and 25+ years later I'm still fine.

So - not nearly as serious as CTS, but I hope the above is of some use.

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6 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

.Now I'm playing bass more, I've noticed a similar sensation if my wrist/lower arm is touching the body of the bass.

 

 

Have you considered changing your technique ? With the "Floating Thumb" technique the arm does not rest on the body of the bass.

 

 

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If the sensation of the bass touching the wrist is a problem can you stick something to the bass that feels nicer (like a gel pad) to alleviate the pressure and sensation and would be hidden by your hand?

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2 hours ago, Coilte said:

Have you considered changing your technique ? With the "Floating Thumb" technique the arm does not rest on the body of the bass.

 

 

Interesting , I'll try and be more aware - I have actually tried keeping my arm in that position, though I like my thumb down in the strings. But I'm not convinced I could stick to it - I change my playing position all the time, from right by the bridge to over the fifteenth fret.

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Guest subaudio
Posted (edited)

It might be a though to visit a specialist again to explain your bass playing symptoms so they can suggest the best technique or type of support?

I developed serious elbow issues when I started playing drums about 5 years ago.

I eventually went to my GP and it turned out he was a drummer!

I demonstrated how I played and explained the symptoms and he recommended changing from German grip to French.

Elbow issues that would have ended my wish to be a drummer were instantly solved

God bless the NHS!

Edited by subaudio

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 I like my thumb down in the strings. 

There is another technique called the "Moveable Anchor" where the thumb rests on the string above (or sometimes... two above ) the one being plucked. As with the FT, the arm does not rest of the body of the bass.

 

 

Edited by Coilte
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14 hours ago, subaudio said:

It might be a though to visit a specialist again to explain your bass playing symptoms so they can suggest the best technique or type of support?

I'm familiar with the symptoms and the cause, which is moving my wrist and lower forearm back and forth over an edge, whether of desk or bass it's the same effect. It's hard keeping the discipline to lift my wrist clear of the bass, especially with some of my instruments. Never an issue with the small body B2 or my acoustic (where my arm crosses nearer the elbow).

If a brace or pad of some sort 'spreads the load' like the gel pad for the mouse I am pretty sure the symptoms will go. Just using a big green elbow support on it seems to have helped yesterday so I'll use it again at tonight rehearsal. If I don't get the 'nerve son edge' feeling then the answer is finding a brace I am comfy to wear and that doesn't make me look like Jane Fonda. 🙂

5 hours ago, Coilte said:

There is another technique called the "Moveable Anchor" where the thumb rests on the string above (or sometimes... two above ) the one being plucked. As with the FT, the arm does not rest of the body of the bass.

That's pretty much my playing style for 90% of the time, problem is it doesn't take much to set it off so 10% is probably too much 😞

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Posted (edited)

If you look like Jane Fonda in barbarella I will defo come see you play 

Edited by Cuzzie

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3 hours ago, Cuzzie said:

If you look like Jane Fonda in barbarella I will defo come see you play 

image.png.ea86e8e6194abb7bcd81525d8057e0fe.png

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18 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

I'm familiar with the symptoms and the cause, which is moving my wrist and lower forearm back and forth over an edge, whether of desk or bass it's the same effect. It's hard keeping the discipline to lift my wrist clear of the bass, especially with some of my instruments. Never an issue with the small body B2 or my acoustic (where my arm crosses nearer the elbow).

I'm fairly sure this could be fixed by an easy modification to your bass which will help to improve your discipline over correct arm and elbow positioning. 

If you simply embed a series of Stanley blades across the top edge of the instrument, then you'll soon learn to keep your arm well clear of the bass.

No need to thank me.  It's enough for me to know that I've helped.

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Posted (edited)

Not the same cause, but for years I got a sore forearm from playing a Rickenbacker 4001 with a pick, because the bass has a sharp front edge, and over the length of a set that minor rubbing made my arm really sore.  Same thing playing Les Pauls.  And when I went back to playing my Ricky for a couple of gigs recently it came back to me at the first rehearsal.

I struggled for years because old school wristbands simply don't cover up enough of my forearm, and wearing two or three looks two or three times cheesier.

Simplest solution was longer wristbands:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nike-Unisexs-Swoosh-Doublewide-Wristbands/dp/B008C24NPQ/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=long+nike+wristbands&qid=1557923904&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Other colours and cheaper makes are available.

Not cheesy looking (IMHO) and double up for wiping sweat off your brow.  Certainly nobody's pointed and laughed at me, or in fact even commented on them.

Edited by Monkey Steve
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On ‎13‎/‎05‎/‎2019 at 12:52, Osiris said:

I have a dodgy nerve in my left wrist (similar to carpal tunnel syndrome but it's the ulna nerve that's affected) which can make playing uncomfortable at times, I've found that a move to 30" short scale basses has been invaluable in reducing fatigue. I also use a neoprene wrist support, it looks a bit like a sweat band but has a loop that goes around the thumb too. I'm not fussed if it looks cheesy, I'm more worried about my own comfort xD

I got the neoprene wrist support from Amazon, this is the one - https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005BI6J8I/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I read this post and bought one of these from Amazon. Have to agree that it's perfectly comfortable and with a long sleeved shirt doesn't look cheesy at all.  My next gig is a full on Black T affair so it can be as cheesy as can be and no-one will notice. :biggrin:

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