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talamala

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Hello folks,

After a fairly intensive day of riyaz last month, a small and initially very painful BB-sized lump cropped up on my right ring finger, just below the second knuckle (ie, "7" when counting tintal on your fingers). Yep, that finger, that most essential digit for us tabla-players... 

The pain largely subsided after about a week, but still persists slightly. For that first week, practicing anything that contained te-te or trkt was impossible, so I listened to the pain and took some time off of riyaz. Back at my daily practice now, but slightly concerned as the lump remains. While nowhere near unbearable, there is slight pain while playing, especially when drilling compositions heavy on dhere-dhere, te-te, or trkt for long periods.   

Went to the doc today, who said he's 80% sure this is a ganglion cyst. He couldn't tell me much more about what causes them, as that's apparently a bit of a medical mystery. I was told that it will likely go away before they manage to secure me an ultra-sound appointment to be sure, and if it doesn't it's an easy fix. So, relieved, but wondering...

Has anyone else run into this before? I'm curious if tabla riyaz may be to blame for it, and wonder if there are any pre/post-riyaz measures I can take to minimize the chances of another similar problem. Also, this thread might be a good place for sharing any other best practices/exercises for tabla players to minimize riyaz-related physical damage to our bodies.

[a bit of further context: For the past year since I found a new teacher, I've been practicing Benares style, and am relatively new to the universal full-handed te-te technique. Wondering if that could be a factor, and if I should consider going back to practicing two-fingered te-te/Delhi-style more often?

Also, that day the injury showed up also included far more manual labor than my hands are generally used to, as I was visiting my father who never hesitates to take advantage of available help. So, that too could be the cause.] 

Any thoughts, suggestions, or similar experiences more than welcome. Thanks!
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Houdaloth Ali

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Reply with quote  #2 
I began using rubber bands after practicing dhire dhire around my knuckles. I also wrapped them around my thumb knuckle after realising that if I continued, the bone would take a good beating.
My own personal problem has been experiencing wrist pain from doing dha te re ke.  some sessions  last 3-4 hours long initially then reduced to maybe 1 hour long. It got to a point where I was having pain even pressing things. I suggest to reduce your riyaaz to less than 2 hours. If you experience pain stop and take a week off. My dha te re ke te made my right wrist scaphoid bone swell up as I compared both wrists and could see the difference.

I was also experiencing lower back issues from prolonged sitting in the lotus position and even right ankle problems as the left thigh was on top of it for long periods.

Going back to my wrist pain , I realised that I must stop doing push ups and lifting weights in addition to stop playing the tabla I also stopped praying at the mosque at it was Ramadan. Basically anything that will flex the wrist and put additional weight on it.
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Houdaloth Ali

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Here is a picture after I wrapped rubber bands around after realising these joints will take extensive impacts from Dhire dhire.

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