Over the past several years in my practice, it has become evident that treating musicians can be much different than treating athletes. The greatest difference I’ve found is that musicians either cannot or will not stop performing. This has made it difficult to provide appropriate care, forcing me to find ways for patients to continue to practice and perform safely without further damaging or injuring their hands or wrists.
A variety of braces and splints have been developed over the years to protect an injured body part, particularly the wrists and hands, by restricting range of motion. Unfortunately, these braces are cumbersome and don’t allow the range of motion necessary to drum satisfactorily.
Recently, I was introduced to a product called the Triplet Drum Glove and have found it extremely useful in allowing my patients, particularly those with hand injuries to continue to play safely and effectively. Triplet Drum Glove has been created to improve and enhance one’s barehanded grip.
The Triplet Drum Glove utilizes a system of three elastic bands which replicate a 180 degree arcing motion. The three elastic bands create a series of mechanically fixed fulcrums, easily accommodating any stick position or grip. It is possible to use a variety of stick/band combinations ranging from all three to any single band, for both traditional and matched grips.
Depending on the injury and the band combination utilized, joint and soft tissue stresses can be significantly diminished, allowing these injured tissues to heal while continuing to play. I have found this to be extremely useful for patients for whom I am attempting to reduce gripping or pinching for extended periods of time.
Other injury and joint-specific techniques to limit painful motion of individual joints or fingers, such as various taping techniques and finger splints and braces, have been used to prevent excess motion and limit joint stress for pain-free drumming.
Regardless of the methods used to compensate for an injury, it is extremely important that we do not neglect appropriate care or treatment recommendations that might prolong overall healing time.