Hernia - to play or not to play

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Clyde Slider, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Clyde Slider

    Clyde Slider Member

    Having recently (Boxing Day:() been diagnosed with a hernia, I have been told by one doctor not to play at all unless and until it is repaired. My GP, however, has said I should wait 2-3 weeks, and then try a "gentle" session on my trombone.Given the relative lack of knowledge by the medics about just what is involved in producing our music, I wondered what the experience is of tmp-ers is? Band practice last night was horrible - sitting there not being able to play!! Any advice would be most welcome, thank you.
  2. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    I didnt bother for a month or two after mine. Let it heal up, let the mesh (if thats what your having) bed in. you dont want a double, thats not fun I belive.
  3. Mello

    Mello Active Member

    I am not suggesting you should do as I did, but whilst waiting for my op, I did the solo spot in the National Gala Concert at RAH with a wallet strapped against the hernia with a strong leather belt. ( I also did the same the previous night, in a concert at RFH ).

    Six weeks after my op , I did Harry Mortimers 80th Birthday tribute concert on BBC TV , playing in HM's All Stars and another solo.

    It has to be said, that the desire was probably stronger than common sense.

    I remember that in London ,after the HM rehearsals and the actual show, I had to go to bed and rest , sharing a bed with Brian Evans ( Sop ) who had to do the same - due to having severed his Achilles Tendon a couple of weeks previously.
    Mind you, it wasn't too bad, as Les Beevers ( Bass ) and Tony Whittaker ( Cnt ) , kindly skipped the bar - bringing drinks to our room and keeping us company, even though we were confined to bed. !! We had a great time to be honest.

    Anyway, just wanted you to know , a hernia is not the end of the world. Just an inconvenience.
  4. wkt

    wkt Member

    I think hernias probably vary a good deal and it would be wise to follow medical advice rather than players advice. I had a hernia diagnosed last year and I found carrying the euphonium more problematic than playing it. Some pieces caused a little more discomfort than others. I had a repair carried out at the end of September, was back to playing and conducting after a week, and played and conducted at a contest 2 weeks and 2 days after the operation (not the same band). Thankfully, I have had no problems since. I don't think I was being wreckless, but was guided by how I felt and what I felt capable of doing.
  5. daft lad

    daft lad New Member

    I don't want to upset you too much but....
    I developed a hernia during the summer of 2010 and was advised not to play until it had been repaired. It was repaired in March 2011 and I have not really been able to play since then as it is far too uncomfortable, even painful (The hernia not the noise).
  6. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    One thing you should take into account:

    There is a risk that, if you choose not to wait until it is "fully fixed" (for want of a better expression) if you experience discomfort whilst playing you will subconsciously adjust/compromise your breathing technique to compensate. Further down the line, you would then need to "unlearn" these adjustments, and this can be a time-consuming and difficult process. Not necessarily saying this will definitely be an issue for you, but I think you should consider the risk ...
  7. waynefiler

    waynefiler Member

    I developed an umbilical hernia 2 years ago, had it diagnosed then had to wait nearly 6 months to have it repaired. At no point did the Dr. say that I couldn't play (being an Army musician it wasn't really an option anyway). My hernia never really hurt, I was uncomfortable sometimes when I was 'going for it' at band, but then common sense took over and I took it easy for a bit.
    I had it repaired and was told not to play for about 6 weeks. Being the stubborn person I am, I tried playing after 10 days because I didn't want to lose too much of my lip. All I did was chromatics from a bottom C to bottom F# each day for about 10 mins. This felt fine, nothing strenuous, then I made a mistake of going to band the week later... I was on 3rd cornet and lasted 5 minutes. I was aching and exhausted. After that I didn't play again until I felt close to 100% again.

    All I can say is take it easy afterwards, only you know your body. If you do play, start easy and take your time getting back into it. Even now 2 years on it still aches, but I just back off when I need to.

    Good luck mate, get well soon.
  8. Clyde Slider

    Clyde Slider Member

    Many thanks for the guidance folks, it is good to know that others have overcome a similar problem. I am very grateful, and Gareth's point about about breathing technique is something I hadn't considered. All that remains now is to convince my GP that I do actually need a referral for the repair surgery!
  9. euphymike

    euphymike Member

    Had some recent investigation stuff at hospital. Have small hernia top of stomanc wall. Told not to worry about as 70%+ of people over 50 have one. Doesnt bother me. However, the bum cancer has! Until the operation to remove some of my guts i played ok. however, the six to eight weeks off was a killer. it meant that when i started again it hurt a lot. My diaphram im told? Currently on more chemo stuff until May. The drugs seem to slow everything down and my tongue seems swollen up so I cant tongue very fast. However, overall my playing is still indifferent so personally I would go with how you feel. PS. when i told the medial staff about playing a brass instrument they looked at me as though id just dropped in from Planet X!!!!!! Happy new year
  10. Archer

    Archer Member

    Being quite young - I've yet to suffer from this problem but two of my mates (both BBb bass players) have suffered in the past and they both took the advice and rested for a couple of months. It's really the only way to go. They are both playing with no trouble now (and very well) and although I can't say the same would not happen if they ignored the rest period, it's not really worth the gamble.

    Just my opinion having only read the first post.
  11. Clyde Slider

    Clyde Slider Member

    That's encouraging Steven, thank you. Do you know if your friends had repair surgery or not?
  12. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

    it won't be your diaphragm, it will be your abdominal muscles that have been cut. Most players overestimate the role of the diaphragm and underestimate the role of the abs.
    Hope all is going well with your recovery
  13. Archer

    Archer Member

    Yes, I believe they both did.
  14. backrow

    backrow New Member

    I played right up to the day before the op and then had a three week lay off. Mind you thats on second cornet and I try and avoid any starin as amtter of principle. good luck.
  15. Andy Tasker

    Andy Tasker Member

    My umbilical hernia strangulated at the Northwest Area's last year (I play Bass Trom). I was wearing a hernia belt and when I took it off it happened. I admitted myself to A&E on the Monday and was operated on, on the Friday. Once home and having the staples out my scar burst open thus I had weeks of District Nurse Daily visits to deal with 2 infections in the wound (one from Hospital!!).I had a mesh repair and it took months to get myself right, and that was without blowing.

    When I did go back to band I went on percussion (kit) because I wanted to give it longer than i need to heal (confidence I think), but DO listen to Drs advice as hernia's can go again if not fully repaired, but everybody is different.