Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be drummers

I made an appointment with an orthopedist today because I am sick of this shit.
I have been drumming for a little over 30 years. A lot of it, particularly in the beginning and again more recently, has been loud and fast. I am entirely self-taught on drums and probably have figured unintentionally unconventional ways of doing things a lot over the years, at high speed, hitting pretty hard.
And my right arm has paid for it.
I am not entirely clear when the range of motion started to get bad, but CrossFit, particularly the overhead-lift part, has made it oh-too-evident.
I can't come close to "locking out" my right arm.
This is my left arm in a mirror, as straight as I can make it. Not *too* far from 180 degrees....

This, however, is my right arm, again in a mirror, extended as absolutely straight as I can:

"Aaaaaaaaughhhh, you are scaring the children!" you just said. "Can't you get that thing fixed?"
We'll see. I hope so. I have previously twice been through a run of Graston scar-tissue-busting technique done by a couple of chiropractors. It made a minor difference, but I think there's enough scar tissue in there to feed a family of four for a week.
I think it needs to be seriously cleaned out.
And this article seems to indicate that I am correct in that belief. (Just ignore the part about "high-level athlete" and think "reasonably skilled drummer").
Now you know why my right wrist hurts: when I do things that require a straight, locked-out arm, my right arm is none of the above and so the weight of the barbell, in an overhead lift, or of me -- in a bodyweight exercise like a pushup, or even some yoga positions -- comes down unevenly on my wrist and twists and jacks it. My elbow is none too happy during any of that either.
I am truly sick of it. So, on March 6, I am headed to a supposedly ace orthopedist in a sports-medicine practice.
Heal me, Hippocrates. I am ready to get this fixed (and yeah, I know it is going to take some serious PT work after surgery, assuming surgery is the fix). Let's go.

UPDATE: Saw the doctor and whoa.... Huge bone spurs on both sides of right elbow, plus a heaping helping of scar tissue, all of which explains why movement is so restricted. Two choices: live with it, or surgery. I chose door # 2, in less than three weeks! Yikes. Wish me luck.

--Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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