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  1. #1
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    How susceptible are we to carpal tunnel syndrome?

    So, I've been doing this for a few months now, and I've gotten to the point where I can comfortably draw and study for 2 hours a day on average. So far, and right from the start, I heeded the warnings about using our wrist to draw, so I mostly use my whole arm, and I'm pretty good at sticking with it, even if I feel that doing something with my wrist would be easier, however, as my skill level goes up and as I start focusing more on tones and the actual subject overall instead of how pretty my lines are, I sometimes catch myself using the wrist. This is not common, and right now it mainly happens with digital art, since I'm really struggling to keep lines accurate since I'm not used to the disconnect between eye hand. This has been getting better, and whenever I catch myself actually using my wrist, I always make the conscious effort to change my approach. However, every time I catch myself using the wrist, I can't help but ask myself:

    Just how susceptible are we to carpal tunnel syndrome?

    Does it take just a few bad wrist movements to show up, or is it something that you - for lack of a better term - really have to try to get. For someone like me, for instance, who sometimes uses the wrist accidentally, is it dangerous? Should I pay more attention, or can I relax about it?

    I know this may sound a bit crazy, but these things really concern me, since I'm a bit of a hypochondriac and since I really hope to draw for a long long time, so any light you could shed on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.


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  3. #2
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    First off I don't know where this idea that you have to draw only with your shoulder came from, drawing from the shoulder is great for making large lines and shapes but its terrible for small details. You need to adjust what joint you use to fit what you are doing, for big lines I use my shoulder, for medium sized lines I use my elbow and for small details I use my wrist or fingers.

    Now to answer your question, carpel tunnel happens when your do repetitive motions over a long period of time, I have it in my left hand from playing guitar and my right from using a mouse/drawing/typing/who knows. Its not really that bad, some days it sucks and can stop your from doing some things but most days are pretty ok. Its not something you should be afraid of, just know it can be really annoying so try not to get it. Maybe it will get worse as I age, I'm not sure.
    "The whole point of practice is to do it until you can do it right." - dpaint

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  4. #3
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    Use the biggest possible muscles, stay relaxed, work on correct posture, and in case of trouble, don't fiddle around for too long, and consult a doctor/ergonomist.
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  5. #4
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    Check the settings on your pen. If you have to press too hard, it might result in pain.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EleMont View Post
    First off I don't know where this idea that you have to draw only with your shoulder came from, drawing from the shoulder is great for making large lines and shapes but its terrible for small details.
    Not necessarily, in my experience. At first I thought it was a bit hard, but I was determined to see if I could master my whole arm to a point where even short lines are completely comfortable to make with my whole arm, and they kind of are. It has gotten to the point where I kind of write with my whole arm. The one thing that always throws me off is shifts in friction, which is my main problem with digital, but again, it's only a matter of practice. I just find it comfortable to have one way of doing it all, when I move my arm like this I don't even have to think about shoulder, elbow, wrist, I can just think about the pen, and my brain has become pretty good at just making the moves necessary to put it where I want it to go with a combination of shoulder + elbow movements.

    Quote Originally Posted by EleMont View Post
    Now to answer your question, carpel tunnel happens when your do repetitive motions over a long period of time, I have it in my left hand from playing guitar and my right from using a mouse/drawing/typing/who knows.
    My question is really how long is that period of time. And are you sure you have it? Now that I think of it, I played guitar for 10 years, and it didn't seem to affect me, so I'm guessing we aren't that sensitive to it, but I've heard of people who just couldn't play anymore because of carpal tunnel syndrome.


    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    Check the settings on your pen. If you have to press too hard, it might result in pain.
    Wacom pens are way too firm, in my opinion, and I just can't work with pressure opacity since I never get the full colour. Now I work with pressure flow, and at first I thought it was a bit weird and hard to control, but now I think it's much better, and I feel I can relax my grip much more.

  7. #6
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    Yeah I'm sure I have it man, Believe me, you will know. I started playing guitar at around 14, didn't really notice any problems until I was about 23. I don't know what type of guitar playing you do but I did a lot of shred guitar and there was a 2 year period where I was playing around 12 hours a day, that's probably what did it. I can still play and most days its fine, no real pain but every once in a while I have a flair up and it's pretty annoying, It usually goes away after a couple of days though. Not that big a deal.
    "The whole point of practice is to do it until you can do it right." - dpaint

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