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Author Topic: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.  (Read 32357 times)

JessN16

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Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« on: January 27, 2012, 07:31:19 PM »
I'll try to make this as short as possible -- over the past 6 months, I've developed multiple pain issues while bowling. Wrist, hand, forearm and elbow.
 
For a long time, I subconsciously knuckled the ball. When I was younger, I got away with it. I'm no longer getting away with it.
 
The main problem is that I cannot get a good feel in the ball. My thumb alternatively sticks and slips inside the thumbhole. Using smaller-size holes only makes the sticking worse, while using larger holes plus tape only makes the slipping worse.
 
Currently, cut-to-cut, my middle finger span is 4 1/8 and my ring span is 4 1/4. My thumbhole is pitched 1/8 reverse and 1/8 away, and these numbers haven't changed in 20 years. Although I drill my own stuff, I recently enlisted the help of a veteran driller to measure me and give me his opinion on how he'd fit me, and he says my current pitches appear, on the surface, to be correct.
 
But the pain I'm feeling says otherwise. Most of it is concentrated on the palm side of my wrist, on the top side of my wrist directly behind my pinky finger, and in the forearm muscle just below the elbow joint. When I squeeze something, it all hurts worse.
 
I've tried different kinds of tapes, I've put Magic Carpet in thumb holes, I've tried different ovaling and beveling. I've tried about a half-dozen wrist braces, and bowling with no brace. No relief. Now it's getting worse instead of better.
 
Recently, the problem grew into a quality-of-life problem. I had to sleep in an elbow-immobilizing brace every night because, for about two months, I had a major flare-up of tennis elbow (I don't play tennis) aggravated by bowling.
 
The only thing I can think of left to try is different pitching in the thumb hole. I want to have a very relaxed grip. The predominant feeling I get when I bowl now is that I'm having to grip the ball for all it's worth. But if I add tape to the thumbhole, it starts hanging up almost instantly.
 
What I need to know is by how much to shorten the span if I were to go from, say, 1/8 reverse to 1/4 or 3/8 forward. I plan to take the lateral back to 0. I've bowled with under lateral before, and it hurt like hell, so I think that's probably out. I'm also for taking other suggestions as to what might be the problem, but I'll warn you ahead of time, I've probably already tried everything else you can think of already.
 
Well, I didn't keep it short after all. Sorry.
 
Jess



 

Steven

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2012, 09:01:56 AM »
+100 to JustRico.

 

I had a similar bowling related hand/arm injury a few years back. I had inflamed tendons/ligaments in the back of my hand, and a serious case of Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's elbow). It was combination of overuse, some bad mechanics that had crept in, and not enough attention to stretching ahead of time. 

 

Like you, my immediate focus was on experimenting with different spans and pitches to make the pain go away. Big mistake. As Rico said, the damage is done, and repairing your body should be your only focus right now.

 

What works really well is one of the soft tissue therapies. Look into ASTYM, GRASTON, or ART. Find a competent Physical Therapist certified in one of these techniques and start the repair process. Plan on no bowling for 3-6 months, depending on the severity of your injury. If you screw around with this kind of inflammation and tear damage (i.e. tennis/golfers elbow), you can have a cronic condition for the rest of your life.

 

Good luck with whatever rehabilitation method you choose.  

 



JustRico wrote on 1/29/2012 9:17 PM:
the issue here is the damage that has been done. As long as you continue to bowl, you are going to hurt as you are going to be continually pulling on it. Once you damage certain tendons which is what you have done, it is basically going to continue as long as you bowl. The tendons you have damaged pertain to your ring finger side.


A possible option is going lighter in weight. Unfortunately accept that you have damaged it.


The views and opinions expressed by myself are solely those of mine and NO one else, nor are they affiliated with anyone else.

 
Edited by Steven on 1/30/2012 at 10:53 AM

Strider

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2012, 04:43:41 PM »
Every one's different of course, but I went from 5/16" reverse to 3/8" forward and never had an issue from shot one.  If that's the pitch you need and you don't squeeze it, you won't have any problems.  After a few games I was dropping it or having to squeeze it a bit just to hold on to it, so I kept moving forward.



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bullred

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2012, 11:27:05 PM »
JessN16,  go back a couple of years and pickup the posts where we discussed  "fishhooking the fingers"  and  "setting the thumb"    How you try to hold the ball can lead to erratic release plus your approach and swing can hurt you as well.   Ball weight can hurt also.   Many reasons can contribute to an erratic release



JessN16

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2012, 01:18:27 AM »
Update from the first night...
 
The bad news: I didn't bowl particularly well, score-wise.
 
The good news: I didn't hurt.
 
The first thing I noticed was how much lighter the ball felt. I was using 15-pound equipment and the balls felt about 13 pounds. I was able to throw three games with no fatigue or pain, during or after. There didn't appear to be any damage to my rev count (perhaps an increase, actually). I had briefly tried forward pitch a few years ago and, at the time, could not throw the ball straight when I needed to. That wasn't a problem tonight, as I was able to throw straight at spares.
 
I did hang up in the ball several times, and I have to be really careful not to even begin to squeeze it. If I do, I get instant feedback and it's pretty impressive: Three left-gutter channel shots tonight. I haven't thrown one in the high-side ditch in probably 5 years.
 
However, by the end of the night I realized that coming out of the ball quickly was not an issue provided I don't squeeze it.  I now have to figure out the proper taping methods and types, or whether to tape at all.
 
I was bowling adjacent to a pair with the guy who runs the pro shop for that house, and he made a similar change to what I made about a year ago. He said he bowled like junk for about 2 weeks until he got his confidence up, and then he was better than ever. He also said he thought I was throwing the ball a lot better tonight. I'm really hoping he's right, because he shot 802 and 789 today and I'd sure like to bowl as well after two weeks. :)
 
I'll keep everyone updated.
 
Jess
 



LuckyLefty

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2012, 07:43:56 AM »
Anatomy and lateral pitch.

 

Of course we are much different I coke bottle test to my middle finger ring finger.  I think you test out near your index/middle(correction) finger.

 

I get bowling balls lately from righties that are almost lefty drills(lucky for me).   But the pitches are often righty and the thumbs are right pitch1/8 right(or lateral out for me) which are often 3/8 of an inch from my average or best anatomy pitch.  Over the past two weeks I have thrown two balls about a total of 20 frames with this imporper anatomy pitch for MY hand. 

 

MY elbow hurts this morning.

 

Again....I am not anti lateral out pitch, I have a friend who should almost never use 0 and should always be 1/8 to 1/4 lateral out.  He bowls fantastic now that he has switched from 0 to lateral out.

 

It is just there is a range of pitches for each anatomy that will not cause pain.  Mine is probably 1/4 under palm to 0.  Yours may be 1/8 under to 1/8 out.

 

One thing is sure and that is that those that should be under when they go out lateral will often need to go more forward to get more holding power.  Also they need often more front surface bevel if they go past an average forward for THEIR hand.   If they go to lateral under they will often the need more reverse from their lateral out setup and often will need to test for more front bevel to get out of the the ball.

 

Hope you find your pain free spot, your proper roll pitch, and your no more left gutter pitches.

 

I don't think it is where you were before or where you are now in this test listed above but time will tell.

 

Regards,

 

Luckylefty

 

 

 


It takes Courage to have Faith, and Faith to have Courage.

James M. McCurley, New Orleans, Louisiana
 
Edited by LuckyLefty on 2/13/2012 at 8:11 AM
It takes Courage to have Faith, and Faith to have Courage.

James M. McCurley, New Orleans, Louisiana

JessN16

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2012, 10:14:18 PM »
Just wanted to put somewhat of a capper on this...
 
Over the last week, things were definitely trial and error. Mostly trials and errors, actually.
 
The worst of the bunch was the 422 series last Thursday on our sport league shot. Because I could never depend on the ball coming off my hand, I bowled scared. I almost did an unintentional Machuga Flop at one point when the ball really did stick on my hand.
 
A couple of drillers I consulted were at odds. One wanted me to back off to 1/8 forward. The other told me to keep getting used to what I'd put in the ball. I ended up sort of splitting the difference.
 
Over the weekend, I decided to re-pilot the balls. I left the 3/8 forward alone but drilled out the thumbs to 15/16, my old size, rather than 57/64. I could get out of 57/64 with reverse pitch, but not forward. 
 
I also made a couple of other changes. I stopped taping my fingers and went back to using the golf glove, as that's what my inserts are sized for. Finally, I started pulling a piece of Vise Bio Skin Pro completely over my thumb. There is tape front and back. This eliminated any skin quality issues and also a blister that was trying to form on the pad of my thumb.
 
Monday night, I went 167, 179, 200. It wasn't great shooting by any stretch, but I never hung up in the ball the whole night. If anything, I came out of a few shots too quickly. I was very cautious at trying new hand/wrist positions.
 
Tonight, I decided to mostly let fly. I started 175 in a shaky game. I then went 190 in game two despite starting with 5 of the first 6 strikes (I finished with three splits). 
 
Last game -- 9/, 9/, nine in a row. On the 11th pitch, something in the machine chipped out the new thumb plug. I had to basically pinch the ball for the last shot, which left the 3-6-10. I shot 276 and was able to make small adjustments throughout the game.
 
Again, I did not hang up in the ball all night. I never would have believed I could even get out of the ball at 3/8 forward. Now, I think I could actually go further forward, but I really don't need to. My wrist pain while bowling is basically gone, as is my elbow and forearm pain. There is some general tiredness in my wrist right now, but nothing I can't cope with. I can make a strong fist, which I once could not do following three games of bowling.
 
So it looks like I've got this licked. That Bio Skin Pro stuff is a godsend my itself, but coupled with the new pitches, I feel like I'm holding a pillow rather than a bowling ball.
 
Jess



LuckyLefty

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2012, 09:21:40 AM »
As my coach says...

 

"Intermittent success is one of the most misleading elements of sport and life".

 

I hope your 276 is one of many 260+ and 800+ games in the future.

 

Regards,

 

Luckylefty

PS can you LOOP and play straight?  A good friend of mine, interested only in his sport condition results and no interest in open league conditions has gone from 1/8 under to 3/8 lateral out.  His average in  top hat league was 228 and is now 208.  His sport average is up 3 and he has never "felt better" or "bowled better" he says.  He now can only strike when playing straight up 9.  He is a righty.   His coke bottle test is for 1/4 under lateral.


It takes Courage to have Faith, and Faith to have Courage.

James M. McCurley, New Orleans, Louisiana
 
Edited by LuckyLefty on 2/8/2012 at 4:51 PM
It takes Courage to have Faith, and Faith to have Courage.

James M. McCurley, New Orleans, Louisiana

Cobalt Bomb

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2012, 10:36:53 AM »
Jess, something I think no one else has mentioned that you need to be careful of is thumb hole taper; that is the top of the hole being larger than the bottom. Especially if you are "working out" the hole, its easy to make the upper part of the hole (below the bevel area) larger than the bottom. This has come back to bite me where the thumb either sticks or comes off all at once. This can be checked with an inside caliper or a micrometer and snap gauges.

 



JessN16

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2012, 08:40:27 PM »
Bowled Thursday on our Kegel Challenge league: 232-193-202. Ball never stuck once. I like it.
 
Jess



JustRico

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2012, 08:47:14 PM »
it's not a matter of whether you hang up or can clear it...it is a matter of whether the ball is coming off your hand at the proper angle. Merely being able to release the ball can be accomplished by simply dropping the ball. If you have to manipulate your hand at release to let go of the ball, this would be incorrect.

The angle of the thumb hole is so to stay on your hand throughout the swing without having to grip or hold onto and release when gravity pulls it off...you should not have to manipulate anything to let got of the ball to have the ability to release the ball and apply proper forces to the ball.


The views and opinions expressed by myself are solely those of mine and NO one else, nor are they affiliated with anyone else.
Co-author of BowlTec's END GAMES ~ A Bowler's COMPLETE Guide to Bowling; Head Games ~ the MENTAL approach to bowling (and sports) & (r)eVolve
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JessN16

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2012, 11:38:52 PM »
I understand what you're saying. It seems now that I can do what it is you describe.
 
There is a good chance the first 21 years of my "career," such as it is, has been played while using the wrong grip.
 
My first driller was a guy who worked as a mechanic at the small bowling alley I bowled in. His theory on bowling ball drilling was that everyone should bowl with a span as stretched out as possible. My current span, cut-to-cut, is 4 1/8 to the middle and 4 3/16 to the ring. Back when he was drilling my stuff, I was almost an inch more stretched out.
 
Every refit since has shortened my span. But what hasn't changed much in that time were my pitches. I've always been 1/8 away. I used to be 1/4 to 3/8 reverse. When your span is stretched out like a Gumby doll, I suppose you have to have that much reverse.
 
I'm 39 years old now, and I guess all those years of stretched spans and pitches meant to promote a quick release caught up to me. 
 
The new pitches have not materially changed much about the way my ball rolls.  The first few games, I noticed myself coming much straighter up the back of the ball and using less tilt, but Thursday night I was able to start playing around with the amount of tilt. As I become more comfortable that I'm not in danger of smacking myself in the face with the ball, I'll continue to try more things.
 
What I do know, is that I have not had to sleep in an immobilizer brace the last three nights (no elbow pain), my wrist doesn't hurt during the day and I can give someone a firm handshake without feeling like my wrist was being electrocuted. I also bowled better, and did it pain-free. 
 
The issue is not where I am now; it's that I was apparently in the wrong place all this time.
 
Jess
JustRico wrote on 2/12/2012 9:47 PM:
it's not a matter of whether you hang up or can clear it...it is a matter of whether the ball is coming off your hand at the proper angle. Merely being able to release the ball can be accomplished by simply dropping the ball. If you have to manipulate your hand at release to let go of the ball, this would be incorrect.

The angle of the thumb hole is so to stay on your hand throughout the swing without having to grip or hold onto and release when gravity pulls it off...you should not have to manipulate anything to let got of the ball to have the ability to release the ball and apply proper forces to the ball.


The views and opinions expressed by myself are solely those of mine and NO one else, nor are they affiliated with anyone else.



LuckyLefty

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2012, 07:16:34 AM »
Kegel Challenge league....nice scoring.  Inside or outside line shot.

 

If inside you have found it!  It sounds like!

 

Regards,

 

Luckylefty


It takes Courage to have Faith, and Faith to have Courage.

James M. McCurley, New Orleans, Louisiana
It takes Courage to have Faith, and Faith to have Courage.

James M. McCurley, New Orleans, Louisiana

nord

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2014, 01:54:23 AM »
I know this is an old post but I thought what I have been through might help others who read this.

I have struggled with pain in my whole arm and shoulder and thumb nerve to the point that I thought I would not be able to bowl anymore.
I had to use only a 12lb ball and even that was hurting me.

Finally a man named Ron Machniak guided me to a correct fitting and now I am able to use a 15lb ball, something I thought would never be possible.

I had to change to a conventional grip with 1/2 forward in fingers with rubber finger inserts and 11/16 forward in thumb with 1/4 left.

Now the ball holds on much easier and I don't have to death grip it to hold on.
Death gripping the ball puts incredible tension on the whole body and causes tremendous damage to the muscles, tendons and nerves.

Lots of forward and a totally relaxed body is the key to pain free bowling and consistency.

You will not believe how far forward you can go till you try it.

Secondly, to prevent the thumb from swelling or shrinking I wrap the thumb all the way around tightly with bowling tape. This keeps the thumb the same size at all times and protects the thumb from harm.

Then in the front of my thumb hole I put the Master Grip Super Texture tape so the thumb has lots of friction in the front to further prevent the need to squeeze the ball.

Finally I also found the wiping of my ball with my right arm after each throw was causing tendinitis of the elbow. The repetitive wiping after a throw was inflaming the elbow, not the actual bowling. So I stopped wiping with my bowling arm and now use my left arm and the pain has subsided in my right elbow.

LuckyLefty

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2014, 05:08:09 PM »
Nord, and et all,

Often when one goes to conventional it shortens the span.

For many it shortens the span to less than 4 1/4.  At 4 1/4 the tables call for 0 forward to reverse to be Bill Taylor's 64 degree angle.

At 3 1/2 span his 64 degree table would call for forward of 3/8.  Nothing unusual here.

Bill for many years believed his tables were a starting point for many bowlers and many bowlers could go forward of the tables as they got better and could relax the thumb also.  However their became a point where clearing the thumb became difficult and one would reverse the process...a tad!

Regards,

Luckylefty
PS to find someone with a forward pitch with over a 5 inch span is quite unusual.  To this day.
It takes Courage to have Faith, and Faith to have Courage.

James M. McCurley, New Orleans, Louisiana

JustRico

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Re: Another forward thumb pitch dilema...advice, please.
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2014, 07:40:32 PM »
First of all, Bill Taylor's book is completely misguided in today's arena of fitting as well as the game...a persons hand shoud not be forced in the angles Bill prescribed
Secondly, much of what the release creates is from the proper position of the wrist, in support and the angle of the swing plane...improper positions create unnecessary squeezing, thus over time creating tendinitis...
When the pain is from the inside, it relates to the ring finger at release...my suggestion is to change nothing else and cut the reverse an 1/8" to zero...too many changes or too much angle change is difficult to 'nail' down future changes or adjustments...
Co-author of BowlTec's END GAMES ~ A Bowler's COMPLETE Guide to Bowling; Head Games ~ the MENTAL approach to bowling (and sports) & (r)eVolve
...where knowledge creates striking results...
BowlTEc on facebook...www.iBowlTec.com