Written by a bass player for bass players, The Bassist’s Guide to Injury Management, Prevention and Better Health by Randall Kertz, D.C. is designed to point out common and not so common problems that the musician may encounter during practice and performing situations. The injuries and conditions themselves are explained along with their prevention and treatment options. An easy to use symptom reference guide allows the reader to quickly look up the area of injury and find its source.
This text covers a topic unfortunately very close to my heart, and I’m glad this particular subject matter has finally been addressed on such a diverse and in depth level. Being a healthcare practitioner as well as a bassist, Dr. Kertzs’ book is a tremendous resource for any player, and I want to emphasis that even if you are at present injury free, it is well worth your time to examine what he has so meticulously put together in this text. (i.e. “Preventative”)
As many of my colleagues know, I personally lost the use of two of my fingers on my left hand for a period of about 5 years, and still deal with a certain amount of malfunction even though I’ve brought those fingers back up on the board. The only reason I take the time to express my own physical dilemma is to make the point that if a book like this had been available back then, there’s a real good chance I wouldn’t have had to go through the ordeal I went through, and still deal with to this day.
Right off the bat Dr. Kertz sets up a “Symptom Reference Guide”, addressing specific problems with the arm, hand, neck, lower back, and upper back. Simple truth here is that investigation usually needs to go far beyond just your “hand” as far as obtaining a diagnosis for problems you may be experiencing “with” your hand. An interesting example of this for me was understanding more about how “stress” impacts our physical endeavors——definitely very interesting.
Common conditions such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, trigger finger, bursitis, arthritis, nerve impingement, and more are addressed in great detail, followed by a long list of possible treatments to consider for each of those conditions, as each individuals personal problem varies to an extent.
Beyond being enlightened to the medical possibilities one may be dealing with, just as much time is devoted to the “preventative” side of the possible problems we are subject to on a regular basis as a player in the form of helpful tips, which I feel are an invaluable part of this book—everything from “humping gear”, to the benefits of yoga and meditation.
Add to this a chapter of tips, exercises, and food for thought opinions from such players as Victor Wooten, Steve Bailey, David Ellefson, and a few more noted players, and you have one seriously thought out and viable presentation. I personally can’t find any reason not to make the statement—-any bassist, amateur as well as pro, needs to check this book out. For more information, visit www.drkertz.com/buy_book.html
A final note: Dr. Kertz is now a regular staff member with us—be sure to check out his column for some very helpful bits of information.