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  1. #1
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    Tendonitis, carpal tunnel etc

    How many of you have had hand problems during your art career? Im currently out of action with tendonitis, its been a shit month of practically no art.. couldnt even do end of year exams it was so bad. Im only 17 and i kind of panicked when i got it... seems a bit young to be getting something like this, didnt want to be permenantly hindered or something.

    Anyway im getting better albeit rather slowly and the doc reckons ive been doing good so there shouldnt be permanent damage. However there are some other factors that really bummed me out. Firstly its my summer holidays which i had planned to do large amounts of art, secondly i had landed my first actual art job which was farely exciting and thirdly my good friend (and fellow CA orgian) archipelago came down from sweden. Ive still managed to do some left handed collabs

    So yeah, feel free to share any experiances youve had with hand injury or similar id love to hear some stories!
    Last edited by Spade; December 29th, 2006 at 08:10 PM.


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  3. #2
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    G'day mate, I am in exactly your situation, I got tendonitis about a year ago, i'm 18 at the moment. I took a few months off art and only did stuff with my left hand. It was REALLY depressing at one point I thought they were going to chop my arm off or something it hurt so bad, couldn't sleep, I thought I would never be able to draw again, I still haven't fully recoverd and I still feel discompfort in my right arm but I'm still drawing, about 1/4 of the amount that I want to do. I take some anti inflamitories to keep the pain at bay. I hope it goes away some day. Drives me crazy sometimes, I always have to shake m arm and bend it, and I feel pissed off that I can't draw for 8 hours a day like I want to, I can only manage about 3 before my arm starts throbing bad. I hear stories about puddnhead and lung_bug drawing for 12-15 ours a day and I wonder how they can do it. I guess it's motivation aswell because since I can't draw for as much as I want to I want to draw more.
    Nothing wrong with my hand just my arm. I thought that just using a wacom would help but it didn't I only use my left hand for a lot of tasks that I used to use my right repeativly before.
    It fluctuates though so sometimes I can draw for a long time and others I can hardly grasp a pencil.

  4. #3
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    I've had some close calls, but thanks to my association with someone who's really had it bad, I've learned to keep an eye out for bad habits and incipient problems. I've found one of the best ways to avert these kinds of repetitive-stress injuries is to vary the kind of work I do. I'm at a computer and tablet all day at work, or at the drawing table, so when I go home I try to do something other than that, be it sculpting, guitar, etc.. Also, when I am at the computer, I wear a pair of padded wrist braces that keep my hands from resting at damaging angles. The best cure in this kind of injury is prevention. Take breaks, mix up activities, work in different media, and pay no attention to how dorky the braces might look- they work, and it's easy to get used to drawing while wearing them, even on the drawing hand.
    We shall not cease from exploration
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  5. #4
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    Working with a mouse has given me a very sore and bruised wrist after a few 12 hour days in a row so I switched over and started to use a tablet even for non-drawing tasks, which has helped immensely. (this is 3d work, so a tablet isn't usually used)

    My Lead had carpal tunnel and work paid for a specialist and offered to pay for surgery if it was necessary, but he just rested for ages and it got better. One of my work colleagues got a really sore wrist and then for a two days or so he couldn't use his fingers, they just didn't have any strength in them, but after the weekend he was okay again (and he started using a tablet instead of a mouse).

    I never really would have thought it could be a problem when I started, but I've since realised that you've got to be good to your wrist and take breaks regularly.

  6. #5
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    hmmm yeah seems like there really are no quick fixes just gotta be prepared to rest it for awhile however frusrating that can get.
    Sloth man yours sounds really bad

    i might think about geting a tablet, i am extremely careful about using a computer, mouse work is definatly the devil atm!

  7. #6
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    I've got had the beginnings of carpal tunnel. I went easier on it for a few weeks after symptoms first started and it's much better now, but I do have to be careful. Varying the kind of work I do, varying the way I hold the pen, not holding the pen too tightly, wrist splints while working... all very good things to do. Also make certain your chair is at an appropriate height and that you're sitting straight.

    For me it was my small tablet that did it largely (4x5), since most of the movement I was using was in the wrist. I'm using a much bigger one (9x12) now, which necessitates broader movements of the arm and it's gotten much better because of that. I use my tablet almost exclusively.. a mouse never bothered my wrist, really.

    Just be careful! Surgery will fix a chonic problem, but you don't want it to get that bad.
    Art is long and time is fleeting

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  8. #7
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    Here take two (or four even) of these.


    www.tendonitis.net
    www.webmd.com/content/article/78/95608.htm
    www.healthscout.com/ency/68/128/main.html
    ergonomics.about.com/od/tendonitis/a/wristtendonitis.htm

    sorry too lazy to link
    TheRoad

    Transition from Art Critic to Artiste - Diligence, that's all I need.

  9. #8
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    ...if I paint using a WACOM for too long, I get a swelling in my wrist. A small lump appears and takes a few days to go down, the doctor said it was a ganglion, and that it will always be there...

    Angle your wacom if you can, so your not always using your wrist when you paint, but your whole arm..

    Mx

  10. #9
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    my wrist hurts every so often...it did get a bit better after i got a wacom and
    started wearing a brace tho.

    also, now that my sis is a massouse, getting a massage on the right arm once every week or 2 helps. she says that the key is to keep stretching and give it a break once and a while. dunno...sometimes mine really hurts, other days its fine.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.C.Barrett
    I wear a pair of padded wrist braces that keep my hands from resting at damaging angles.
    These anything special? I need some I thinks.

  12. #11
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    I use these, as does a friend of mine, also a digital artist (the one with the history of wrist problems). She swore by them, and now I do: http://www.imakproducts.com/products/smart_glove.htm
    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    -T. S. Eliot

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  13. #12
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    guys thanks for the suggestions i've been having some problems with this myself and it's even affected my ability to draw. guggeneedstoseethecarpaltunneldrmaneuver

  14. #13
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    thanks for some of those links

  15. #14
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    didn't realise this was such a problem, I'll definitely try to keep an eye on my habits, I dunno, maybe I'm used to it, I've sometimes gone 12 hours days on my wacom and no problems at all, but I instinctively switch between mouse, keyboard and wacom to try to vary movements.

  16. #15
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    Btw - a tip, if you work with photoshop or painter, make sure you calibrate the pressure settings every now and then, if you're pressing heavily, it creates more stress for the joints on your fingers and can lead to cramping.

    Actively use a lighter touch to apply strokes so that in order to create an image you're not pressing heavily like a mofo at the end of the day.

  17. #16
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    Tendonitis from weightlifting. I can't do 'regular' curls anymore. Art movements seem to yeild no pain

  18. #17
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    Yeah, I've been feeling the effects of tendonitis and carpal tunnel for a while now. I've started wearing a wrist brace the last few months and it's helped a ton (although now my shoulder gets quite sore, I think it's mostly just because I'm using it a lot more and it's not strong enough yet). I don't feel the numbness in my fingers at all anymore, which I used to get a lot.

    I guess it's a hereditary thing, my whole family has wrist problems. My sister grooms dogs for a living and had some pretty serious repetitive stress damage to her wrist last year, so that scared me and I take much better care of my wrists now.


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  19. #18
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    Thanks for the advise guys, iv never had this type of problems, yet I can
    see how easily you can get to have em... Ill be more cautious with how
    I use my wrist and ill buy a bigger wacom as soon as I can.

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