Jump to content
martthebass

Shoulder Problems and Short Scale?

Recommended Posts

Over the last few years my gigging has increased significantly, from an average of 15 to 50 per year or so.  I know in the scheme of things (compared to some of you lot) this isn't excessive but I'm starting to see some repercussions. 

The main repercussion is increasing problems in my left shoulder (I'm a right hander), no pain on playing but lifting my arm above shoulder height (out straight) is becoming increasingly painful.  I've tried to reduce playing in the week (practice, jamnights what have you) in the last few weeks to try and rest it but that doesn't seem to be helping any.

I don't know if it's significant but; 1. I ain't getting any younger and maybe it's just wear an tear catching up and 2. as I've had neck problems in the past (trapped nerve) I went light weight on basses for gigging and use only shorties - 2 Mustangs and a Dano Longhorn about 18 months back.  I'm just wondering if the latter in particular could be a factor (I use a Ray and a US Sterling for all other playing)?

Any suggestions would be helpful before I go down the Physio route. 

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Find a reputable osteopath, really. My man (Hindhead, Surrey) is excellent and has seen many musicians. ie....I had a bad knee problem once, it turned out it was my ankle that was out of alignment and  a single visit sorted it all out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may seem strange, but you need to do a good warm up for 15-20mins. Start slow and gradually warm up your shoulder till the muscles are relaxed and warmed up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rotator cuff muscles control that movement, and when playing up are very painful. As has been said see an osteopath, they really do work wonders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can get the works Physio to do some manipulation but at the minute it's not preventing me from doing my job so.......

I try and do a gentle warm up but this one doesn't feel muscular (lots of clicking on rotation) - maybe the joint's buggered.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice guys.  I've got a short (4 week) break in playing coming up and this seems to be the window of opportunity.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like your rotator cuff- head over to YouTube and visit the Athlean X channel. The presentation is not everyone's cup of tea but there's heaps on how to condition your shoulders and those muscles specifically. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See your Doctor. If he advises it see a Physio.

Start a system of light exercises to strengthen your upper body.

Get a longer strap and hold the bass in a more up right position, so your arm is less extended.

But everything follows from the results of your visit to the Doc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, chris_b said:

See your Doctor. If he advises it see a Physio.

Start a system of light exercises to strengthen your upper body.

Get a longer strap and hold the bass in a more up right position, so your arm is less extended.

But everything follows from the results of your visit to the Doc.

Thanks Chris, I was wondering if the problem was being exacerbated by the fact that my arm is less extended on the Shorties than on my 9previously) more regular long scales.  I've never been comfortable with the bass hanging around my knees so tend to have the bass at 'stomach' height which can cramp my left arm?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Go to an osteopath (NOT a Chriropractor) - I had various GPs & physios play around with my back for years - one visit to an oseopath more-or-less sorted it in one...........nuff said...........

😎

Edited by taunton-hobbit
spelling
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, martthebass said:

Thanks Chris, I was wondering if the problem was being exacerbated by the fact that my arm is less extended on the Shorties than on my 9previously) more regular long scales.  I've never been comfortable with the bass hanging around my knees so tend to have the bass at 'stomach' height which can cramp my left arm?

Sorry. I'm not expert on this stuff.

So far all my problems have been dealt with by getting a lighter bass and, when flaring up, sitting on a bar stool.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with the above Mart about getting some professional help.

Just don’t go blaming it on the Dano though okay? They get enough bad press as it is...😅

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, casapete said:

Agree with the above Mart about getting some professional help.

Just don’t go blaming it on the Dano though okay? They get enough bad press as it is...😅

I won't Pete.  Not been using it much though, seriously thinking of letting it go along with the MIJ Mustang and picking up a J-M Relic Mustang.  I know this is heresy but the wife has finally convinced me that I need to 'downsize' a bit now that I play in just one band and don't need too much variety.  Sorry.....I'll shut up now.  Looking forward to seeing you guys in Sheffield in a few weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, bassmachine2112 said:

hiho I went for physio and ended up with a paralysed arm,ended up being calcific tendonitis

Yewww... hope that gets better soon.

I only do budget short scales now. I don't have shoulder problems, other than age-related aches and pains... Granny in the Beverly Hillbillies used to call it rheumatizz. Anyway, I got a Hofner Ignition Club bass... unbelievably light and great value for money... you have to like the sound, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, bassmachine2112 said:

hiho I went for physio and ended up with a paralysed arm,ended up being calcific tendonitis

Which is why I went to an osteopath. 

 I got a bit concerned when my GP tried to foist me off with some sort of excersise routines pamphlet, bits of which he'd crossed out - in pencil (I'm guessing he wasn't allowed anything much sharper than a crayon?)

😎

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Could be tendinopathy. I've got this and it's taking months to get better. Worse, it's led to a bit of frozen shoulder.

If you've got the same problem as me then a combination of rest, exercises, physio, NSAID's, painkillers, time and cursing will sort it.

Either way, get it looked at by a pro rather than a GP and see if you can get the shoulder scanned in order to correctly identify the issue.

Edited by skankdelvar
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear of your troubles Mart. Hope you get sorted quickly, effectively and painlessly 👍

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After 2 years of pain,spinal surgery,1 year off work,failed physio ,one simple x-ray identified problem and 20 minute procedure - bingo -sorted,oh almost forgot heart attack after surgery.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am hoping that shortscale will stop my pain that comes on into the second hour of play. Dont tell me it gonna make it worse! Hoping shorter and lighter is the way to go

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, thebuckets said:

I am hoping that shortscale will stop my pain that comes on into the second hour of play. Dont tell me it gonna make it worse! Hoping shorter and lighter is the way to go

TBH, I don't have a problem while playing.  The pain comes later, usually the next day.  I've got a 4 week gig break after today (haven't had a weekend off since October last year) so I'm hoping it'll ease, if not I'm booking time with the company physio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same symptoms (couldn't lift my outstretched arm to be parallel with the ground, at 90 degrees to my body). It wasn't related to bass playing. Physio determined it was due to tension in my neck muscles, and several sessions of neck massage later it was fixed, with no re-currence. The Osteo/Physio route is good, but worth a visit to the GP first - in my case the GP gave me one of the practice 'credits' so it was done on the NHS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m far from being an expert Mart, but it does sound like a rotator cuff condition to me.

My wife was diagnosed with this after years of pain. She was posted in the right direction by a flight attendant friend of ours as that condition is very prevalent in that occupation. My wife saw a specialist to confirm it and she went in for a day surgery and is now pain totally pain free. If it is a rotator cuff, one thing is for sure, it ain’t gonna get better; in fact it will get worse. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Light-weight everything for me. Just a case of getting old.

My Squire Mustang is 8 lbs. I wouldn't want to play anything heavier for any length of time.

My Hofner HCT Violin is 6.5 lbs. Both are SS. 

It's no good feeling uncomfortable, it'll just distract you from concentrating on playing.

And I''ll add a thanks for light-weight amps & cabs too.

Can't do much about aches & pains and cramps after a couple of hours but it's great to be playing mostly sitting with the Jazz band.

If the chair happens to be a bit hard I get a cushion from the car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...