View Full Version : Health hazards / aches and pains

04-28-2003, 11:42 PM
Does anyone have any information about known health issues associated with playing pool a lot? Are there ways to avoid them?

I am developing some soreness in my right wrist and some tingling in my right arm that may be related to playing pool many hours a week. I am planning on seeing a doctor about this, but wondered if anyone out there knows anything like, "these issues are known problem areas for pool players." I am not looking for official medical advice, rather anything I might be able to share with a doctor about pool.

Has anyone else had similar problems?

Also, if there are any general remedies, like stretching, etc., that might be helpful as good general practice.

04-29-2003, 12:04 AM
i don't know if this will help, but before my grandfather passed, he started to shoot pool less and less, because he complained that his back began to hurt from constantly bending over. other than that you may be holding your cue to tight, and not let'ing your wrist swing loosely enought. other than that i really hoped i've help you some.

Pizza Bob
04-29-2003, 07:08 AM
Your pain and tingling could be either carpal tunnel syndrome (from repetitive motion) or tendonitis (from the impact of the cue with the CB). See a doctor. There are supports that are worn below the elbow, for tendonitis. I believe the only remedy for CTS is surgery, but we have a number of people on this board who make their living with computers who are probably more familiar with this malady and can offer better advice.


Pizza Bob

04-29-2003, 07:12 AM
I tend to get shoulder discomfort in my bridge arm. Stretching the front of the shoulder (bringing the arm back) helps a lot.

04-29-2003, 04:26 PM
I'm a computer programmer when I'm not playing pool :P My wrists actually feel BETTER when I'm shooting pool, because they are relaxed (when I'm shooting well anyway).

Computer's don't hurt your wrists or arms, no more than pool would. It's your posture. If you sit up straight and your keyboard sits at a natural height (this is different for everyone, which is why a keyboard tray attached to your desk is a MUST if you spend 8+ hours a day on a keyboard) then you should be able to avoid CTS. I hope this helps!

I myself have problems with it, but surgery is much more scary to me than just dealing with the pain.

04-29-2003, 04:46 PM
Sounds like carpal tunnel, i hope it isnt.
The problem i get the most is my left hamstring tightens up a bit. Was real bad when i first started playing again, usualy lasts a day or so then fades. I try to strtech before and afterwards.

04-29-2003, 08:49 PM
For anyone whose pinky and ring-finger have gone numb while setting your arm on a hard surface for a prolonged period of time, here is something else you may want to know:

I shoot primarily left handed, and have been playing an average of maybe 12 hours a week over the last twelve years. When I shoot, my eyes see correctly when my cue is under the right side of my head (this is not to be interpreted as an invite to discuss the 'Dominant Eye'). Shooting this way, and with my head low over the cue, is the most likely reason I and my doctors can come up with for a lopsided 'wear pattern' in my cervical vertebrae. When I read the report on my latest x-rays (today, in fact), the neurologist or radiologist who wrote the report said something about oblique views showing a narrowing of intervertebral foramen (C3-4, C4-5)and something about a foreshortening of the pedicles on that side may be congenital. Disc space heights are preserved, the AP dimension of the (spinal) canal is normal, soft tissues are normal... everything else is normal excepting a non-interfering bone spur (anterior C5). It's the vertebral imbalance laterally that is causing pressure on my left arm ulnar nerve as it leaves the spinal canal, which causes it to behave the way it is doing currently.

In short (short? who'm I kidding?), my neck-twisted way of shooting appears to have influenced a lopsided vertebral degradation and distribution of pressure (weight/gravity of cranium)that has caused an ulnar nerve issue in my left (shooting/gripping) arm. It was nominal to the point of being unnoticed during daily activities, until I was rear-ended by another vehicle as I was driving to my 8-ball league (how ironi, eh?). I have full use, function, and sensitivity in the specified areas; the anomaly merely shows up like background noise on the radio and I just deal with it as such. It doesn't effect my play. In fact, I'd probably stroke it better with those fingers amputated -- I just couldn't bridge the same if I needed to shoot off-handed.

Just F.Y.I. that might help you deal with what's going on.



04-29-2003, 09:48 PM
I failed to mention the fact that I too am a computer programmer. And my other major hobby besides pool is playing the guitar (are we using the hands/wrists in a repetitive way yet?!)

Ten years ago I had similar problems, but attributed them to changes in my work posture/ergonomics etc, and never really considered Pool as a significant factor then. I've started playing pool again a year ago after a 9 year hiatus, and the symptoms seem to have reappeared implicating the pool. At the time, the doctors had ruled out Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with a fairly conclusive EMG (I think that was the acronym) test. At the time, it looked like my issue was also a neck problem: C7-8 reticulitis. The ulner nerve was also affected.

I am expecting to receive much the same sort of analysis from the doctors, but this time I was hoping to offer some new information about how pool may be affecting the problem. Maybe there's something in my stance/stroke I could alter to avoid the problem? The optimist in me is hoping someone out there has had something similar and maybe knows some exercises, stretches, or some simple remedy besides the "if it hurts when you do that... don't do that" diagnosis which will put a damper on pool, guitar, and potentially work.

Pizza Bob
04-30-2003, 07:23 AM

Pool may only be implicated in a cumulative manner - not as the only causative factor. Can't speak from first-hand experience, but a good friend had CTS surgery in both wrists as a result of his guitar endeavors. The pool may just be exacerbating a pre-existing condition.


Pizza Bob

04-30-2003, 09:52 AM
Warning on this one.

I just had a disk dug out of my neck and replaced with a piece of bone. Symptoms included : EXTREME soreness in my right arm and numbness down the inside of the arm into the tips of my thumb and index finger.

Don't mess with this. Don't wait months as I did. Get to the Dr. and have them do a MRI. If you catch it in time you will not have to deal with nerve damage (as a friend did).

Three months later and I am back on the table nearly as strong as I was prior to the disk coming apart.

Good luck.