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Forums > Technical Discussion > staff question: should my thumbs hurt?

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:I've recently started practicing with the staff semi-regularly, and my thumb hurt at the joint with the rest of the hand. Is this normal? Is there anything I should be doing differently? Some of the moves do feel like they are torquing my thumbs around.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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flash fire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2758
Posted:http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000170.htmlHey
adam,When I twirl staff a lot I do get a funny pain in my thumb joint. Kinda like a clicking sensations that just can't be massaged out. (see link)Actually, now that I think about it, I haven't had this pain for a while, so maybe it's just strengthening of the muscle? I also take more time to warm up before twirling.


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Frenzie
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:Yeah i get it too cause i dont play with staff that often, when i do practice more with it though it isnt so prominent

- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:How hard are you holding your staff adam? I hold mine quite loose, and don't really use the thumb to control the staff much, I probably use my wrist and plam of my hand more for control....ade

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Ade--I don't hold it very tightly, but there are some moves where the thumb seems to be a fulcrum, so it's taking a lot of force--I'm guessing that's what's causing the problem. It's maybe a combination of that and typing a lot lately (work work work).

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Knagi


member
Location: Brunswick, Ohio

Total posts: 397
Posted:This doesn't have to do with regualar twirling. But when I started with my staff like the very first day I fubared a toss and my thumb cought all the momentum. Got a HUGE bruse at the joint and it swelled up to like twice the size of my thumb. When I use the staff my thumb is always loose. All the gripping is done with my fingers and palm. I use my thumb only to aim and guide the spins. Keep at it everyday until you hurt yourself to much to go on.. I had to do this for the first week or two. Your hands will get used to it in time.------------------We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonMost Memerable crowd saying "Hey look that dude's gonna set himself on fire again!"

We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonIt's going to come from a direction you didn't predict at a moment of chaos which you didn't see coming. -- NYC

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:Hmmm Adam, could just be overuse. I agree with Knagi in that I use my thumb to guide the staff. The staff sits nicely at the base of my thumb. Have you got any arnica cream? That's good for joints and bruising.Hope it was better this weekend.ade

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beaker


member
Location: Salisbury, wiltshire, UK

Total posts: 54
Posted:It sounds like a repetitive strain injury. Although these usually occour over a long period of repeated activity, It can happen sooner. I guess if you do warm up somehow before practice it might help??My wrists get a little clicky if I use my poi for a long time
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C'mon baby light my fire

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SilverOny


member
Location: Calgary,Alberta,Canada

Total posts: 9
Posted:Ya, I find my thumbs get banged up pretty good. Mostly from catching tosses wrong, but they do get torqued up every once in a while. Usually with transition moves. The thing with the staff is that there is only so long you can hold on to it for so if you're hanging on to long it can get the thumb, wrists sore.

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.draevon
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

.draevon

member
Location: Androgen

Total posts: 92
Posted:Mr Adam,With more practise (and time), you'll probably find that you'll be doing a lot of the moves that hurt you thumb now in your fingers. You (people in general) tend to use your fingers more and more as you gain confidence. These days I only really use my thumb when I'm changing direction (or hands), if the staff is starting to get a bit out of control, or for catching.Another thing you could try is to try letting the staff do more of the movement itself. If you're starting out, you're probably forcing the staff around more than you really need to which will be putting extra strain all over your hands and forearms. This will come with practise too, but it's something to think about.raevonIncendiumwww.incendium.org

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Draevon--Thanks for the tips. I was practicing with the staff earlier today, and was trying to rely on my fingers more, just to save my thumbs, so I am starting to see how much that is possible.I've been doing poi for a little while, and definitely am a true believer about letting your apparatus do the work for you in general. In fact, I find that I tend to follow the staff, which is a lot of fun (until I get a face full of staff!)There's one move in particular that's been kicking my ass, err, thumbs:http://www.homeofpoi.com/xaeda/staff6.htmPerhaps with time something'll click and I'll figure out how to do it in a thumb-friendly manner.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:Hey Adam,The double's more about how you move your shoulder than how you use your thumbs - for my thinking anyway. And then the rest is in the wrist.Try that move and instead of going in front and behind the back, aim to go from your left to right sides, and work on getting that smooth, then opt to go for the front to back version.I was shown how to do this one by exaggerating the shoulder movement, and then slowly bringing my arm back in.Good luck
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ade


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Posted:twirl more, after 3-4 months you will have calesses to the max. i once did a performance for 5 and a half hours and it split my hands really harshly, nothing like kero in open wounds, but once their tough your okayby the way there is heaps of pain involved in twirling, as well as a few 2nd degree burns

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Knagi


member
Location: Brunswick, Ohio

Total posts: 397
Posted:OoOoO the move of power, I've tought that to newbies and watched them go off spinning it faster then even I could. It's just a simple crossover. Grip it alittle off center and just point your thumb where it should go.------------------We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonMost Memerable crowd saying "Hey look that dude's gonna set himself on fire again!"

We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonIt's going to come from a direction you didn't predict at a moment of chaos which you didn't see coming. -- NYC

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Knagi


member
Location: Brunswick, Ohio

Total posts: 397
Posted:OoOoO the move of power, I've tought that to newbies and watched them go off spinning it faster then even I could. It's just a simple crossover. Grip it alittle off center and just point your thumb where it should go.------------------We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonMost Memerable crowd saying "Hey look that dude's gonna set himself on fire again!"

We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonIt's going to come from a direction you didn't predict at a moment of chaos which you didn't see coming. -- NYC

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Posted:hey Adam, i dont think you should be feeling torque in your thumb, i definitely dont...its all in the wrists...as a poi twirler, you are probly used to being able to let the finger grips and the chain/cable do the bending for you - with staves, its more bend your wrist or have your hand bent for you
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try holding your staff between your ring and your middle finger and twirling like that - not only will you be able to get more turns, it will take your thumb out of the equation...except for catching I guess.Best of luck dude.josh


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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road

Total posts: 15965
Posted:I've not, as far as I remember, had any pain in my thumb joints. But then I always keep my hands very loose. And, when learning a new move I keep my movements very slow until I cant do it comfortably without having to think about it.If you look at the movie on that movement you are having trouble with, you can see that she keeps her hand open and just barely holds the staff with her thumb. If you grip too hard here then this may be the root of your problem. It also helps a great deal in this move to roll your shoulder (It is hard to see the rolling of her shoulder due to her t-shirt) and learning this early on will be benificial when you move on to double staff - believe me. The best advice i can give you is relax and dont try to force anything. Progress=Practice=Patience.The only pain I tend to get these days is a slight muscular ache across my lats when I've been doing double staff. And that's just because I tend to lose track of time and not notice that i'm tiring . . .
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------------------C@ntus


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:OK, I can do this move semi-reliably now just using a finger grip, no thumb, but it takes a very exaggerated arm movement to accomplish--sweep low as I bring it front, and then sweep high to straighten it out. It isn't coming easy, and it still feels like the staff is using the heel of my palm as a fulcrum. Either I'm not limber enough or my body gets in the way too much...something like that.Cantus--Not sure how shoulder-rolling comes into play, or even what that is, exactly.Knagi--this is a pinky-first move, not a thumb-first move. If I followed my thumb, I'd be going the other direction.Josh--yeah, I've definitely had my hand bent for me a few times. I'm getting better at avoiding that. Have to work on the grip you suggested--when I tried it, my staff went flying.Also, on a slightly different subject: I'm using one of the three-part staves from the HoP store. It's very light and whippy--not a lot of momentum. Yesterday, I put a couple of old socks on each end, just to save wear and tear on the wicks. This doesn't add much weight, but it adds a lot of aerodynamic drag. Suddenly everything is much slower and requires a lot more muscle. This might be a good training technique, or it might just be a good way to get injured. Any thoughts?

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Cantus
SILVER Member since Jul 2001

Cantus

Tantamount to fatuity
Location: Down the road

Total posts: 15965
Posted:You should buy Bec's book on staff twirling. She explains this stuff better than I can.Rolling your shoulder is like shrugging. Only with a forward or backward movement/twist. in ref to your response to Knagi: it's only pinky lead to you because you (you personally)are moving that end first in this movement. It's just about how you describe it in your mind and in Knagi's mind it is described differently.That socks/wind resistance thing is quite cool. I had tails on my single staff for ages and noticed it was a lot easier to move it thru the air when cut them off the other week (I did this because I was sick of getting whipped in the face by them. My practice double staffs are extremely light and I'm looking for something to make them heavier and therefore more realistic. Maybe apendages are the way forwards. . . .thanx for the thought
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------------------C@ntus


"I'll carry this....It's harder to spill a hat" - Chellybean
"...like a rabbit caught in a lighthouse?" - Chellybean

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