On Sun, 21 Jan 2007 14:56:04 -0600, "John P."
Post by John P. Post by dshitzu
I've recently started playing again. I'm 53 yrs. old. My left knee
(high hat) has begun to hurt a lot when I play. My right knee (bass
drum) is OK - aches a little but not a lot. The left knee is so bad I
can't stand up after playing. I've tried just resting my foot on the
high-hat stand rather than pushing it down, which has been my habit but
this doesn't seem to make any difference. I've made sure that the angle
of my leg is not twisted but is in a 'natural' position. Should I
strengthen the knee at the gym or would that just make it worse? This
is really a big pain since I just spent $3K on new equipment (Gretsch
Renown - sound absolutely great!) Any advice would be greatly
Well, obviously there is something wrong with your knee... arthritis or
something else. I would think the best thing to do would be to consult with
your (a) doctor. He may recommend exercises that will help, or whatever
other appropriate solutions/options you have.
Yes, sounds reasonable... But welcome to the party--as we get older
the joints start to stiffen and creak. If you don't have stiffness
before you play, but you do afterwards, then my guess is that you
indeed have some arthritis. I have had it for years, with the same
symptoms as you.
Do you stretch before you play? About 3-4 months ago I started a
regular workout schedule where I play drums for about 20 minutes to
warm-up, then go ride a recumbent bike for 20 minutes, and then go
workout on my Bowflex for another 10-15 minutes just to work my upper
body. So the total workout is about an hour, and I do it every other
day. I find that my legs are quite stiff and sore for the first 10-15
minutes, but when I am done with the whole routine I can play kick
patterns much easier and more accurate than I could before riding the
exercise bike. I don't do any significant weight-lifting with my legs
mind you--just resistance work on the bicycle. What you really want to
do if you have bad knees is to strengthen the quads to stabilize the
knee; especially the part on the inside of your thigh.
The point is that while athritis may very well be the cause of your
problems (and it wouldn't hurt to see your physician to make sure--all
you really need is an x-ray, for the most part...), it doesn't have to
mean that you cannot play the drums any longer. On the
contrary--osteoarthritis (wear & tear arthritis) responds very well to
range-of-motion exercises and gentle loading, like riding an exercise
bicycle. And if you supplement that with anti-inflammatory medication
as recommended by your doctor, and some glucosamine chondroitin, it
can be controlled for the most part. Eventually if it gets bad enough,
you get a knee replacement.
By the way--you really cannot "strengthen" your knee as there is only
connective tissue fluid in the knee for the most part. You can
certainly strengthen the muscles that *support* the knee (especially
the hamstrings and the quads as I mentioned), and this will most
definitely help--if arthritis is indeed the problem.
As I said...you might start by visiting your doctor for an exam and
maybe an x-ray.
TB (MD, and fellow Gretsch guy)