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Tutorial: How to put less strain on your hands?

Godzilla

Getting thru it all
I had a good weekend where I woke up and I would draw nonstop until I went back to bed at night but at the end of the second day my fingers were numb and my thumb especially felt tingly.
I know I put a lot of strain on my hand but how do I avoid this situation in especially long drawing sessions?
 

Asher Grey

Probably Sleeping
Look up carpal tunnel exercises. The issue with that kind of strain is that it works certain muscles way more than others, which leads to an imbalance in exercise. This can ultimately lead to more severe problems, but the best you can do is take breaks for stretching and making sure you don't tighten your hands too hard.

Most art forms don't require pressing very hard, so also make sure you're not clenching your hand tighter than necessary/digging your pen/stylus too hard into your canvas. My only soreness comes from getting stressed over a piece and squeezing my pen super hard.
 

Keefur

aka Cutter Cat
Take more breaks and get some relaxation time for your hand. Maybe even take a shower or bath to relax the muscles. You can also take an anti inflamatory like aspirin.
 

riddles

Active Member
above stuff is good. also consider your set-up and whether it works to reduce the work on your hand. i actually dislike drawing with a propped up tablet for this reason, your wrist is working to keep your hand propped up. so i'll switch it to my lap to reduce the work on my wrist, seems to help for me at least. don't do solely this though, it's not good for your back.
 

Toby_Morpheus

Hello, Proto
Maybe a wrist brace could help.
It'd put less strain on your wrist by using tension against your forearm to help keep it up.
 

MissNook

Well-Known Member
I agree with pretty much everything above. Drawing as everything requires to make muscles work, muscles need stretching.
Be careful also about your eyes. Staring too long at something in a specific distance will put your eyes through hard time. Take the time to stretch and while doing it look at things near and far away from you to help your eyes muscles too ^^
For stretching exercises, I used this research: "stretching exercises for artist hand wrist" and found videos and other things to help. Try to look at different sources and don't hesitate to ask your doctor about it too. The main thing in my opinion is to listen to your body ^^

For the anti-inflammatory suggestion, please be careful. It can help you to sleep for example if you have a pain that won't subside, but using those while drawing will make you unable to feel the strain and can make far worse afflictions which can become chronic (I'm telling that because that's what the doctor told me after I've done that mistake haha...ha...T_T )
@Keefur please be careful too about medication <3
 

Godzilla

Getting thru it all
I’m sorry I’m big stupid and forgot I made this thread! Responding back now, PS the tingle sensation went away but occasionally I would pick up a pen or something and then it would just shoot through my thumb. I honestly think I’m just a big baby who’s clumsy enough to hurt themselves on anything. (Flashback to me earlier today walking with a limp because I stretched my leg funny on accident ;;;w;;;)

Look up carpal tunnel exercises. The issue with that kind of strain is that it works certain muscles way more than others, which leads to an imbalance in exercise. This can ultimately lead to more severe problems, but the best you can do is take breaks for stretching and making sure you don't tighten your hands too hard.

I didn’t know that thank you! I really should be more cautious about how tight my hands are because I’m noticing more and more about how dark I write and such. My poor Wacom pen.

Take more breaks and get some relaxation time for your hand. Maybe even take a shower or bath to relax the muscles. You can also take an anti inflamatory like aspirin.

Is the aspirin just for prevention or can I use it after my hand decides it doesn’t wanna deal with this abuse anymore?
Seriously though I’m a student and all I do all day is take notes and then go home and draw I’m gonna get carpel tunnel at age 20 :///

above stuff is good. also consider your set-up and whether it works to reduce the work on your hand. i actually dislike drawing with a propped up tablet for this reason, your wrist is working to keep your hand propped up. so i'll switch it to my lap to reduce the work on my wrist, seems to help for me at least. don't do solely this though, it's not good for your back.

I’ll definitely try that, I pretty much sit in the same position for three hours straight, I don’t use a tablet with a screen so it shouldn’t be too bad?

Maybe a wrist brace could help.
It'd put less strain on your wrist by using tension against your forearm to help keep it up.

Yeah I was thinking about that, I’m a student too so I already have to take a abhorrent amount of notes and then I go beat my hand up some more with commissions and portfolio work. Are they bulky though? I haven’t done any research into it.

I agree with pretty much everything above. Drawing as everything requires to make muscles work, muscles need stretching.
Be careful also about your eyes. Staring too long at something in a specific distance will put your eyes through hard time. Take the time to stretch and while doing it look at things near and far away from you to help your eyes muscles too ^^
For stretching exercises, I used this research: "stretching exercises for artist hand wrist" and found videos and other things to help. Try to look at different sources and don't hesitate to ask your doctor about it too. The main thing in my opinion is to listen to your body ^^

For the anti-inflammatory suggestion, please be careful. It can help you to sleep for example if you have a pain that won't subside, but using those while drawing will make you unable to feel the strain and can make far worse afflictions which can become chronic (I'm telling that because that's what the doctor told me after I've done that mistake haha...ha...T_T )
@Keefur please be careful too about medication <3

Wish doctors in California weren’t so expensive. I have a severe nut allergy and I can’t afford the bill and epipens are now $600 and have to be bought yearly. Usually I’m pretty cautious about what I eat but one time I accidentally consumed peanut and I had a day of just sticking fingers down my throat making myself vomit. Didn’t die though! Hooray. Also I will heed that warning on aspirin, all my hobbies require me to have like good control of my fingers (ceramics, art, sewing, etc) so I am a little paranoid about giving myself chronic pain. And thank you for the eye tips!
 

Keefur

aka Cutter Cat
I agree with pretty much everything above. Drawing as everything requires to make muscles work, muscles need stretching.
Be careful also about your eyes. Staring too long at something in a specific distance will put your eyes through hard time. Take the time to stretch and while doing it look at things near and far away from you to help your eyes muscles too ^^
For stretching exercises, I used this research: "stretching exercises for artist hand wrist" and found videos and other things to help. Try to look at different sources and don't hesitate to ask your doctor about it too. The main thing in my opinion is to listen to your body ^^

For the anti-inflammatory suggestion, please be careful. It can help you to sleep for example if you have a pain that won't subside, but using those while drawing will make you unable to feel the strain and can make far worse afflictions which can become chronic (I'm telling that because that's what the doctor told me after I've done that mistake haha...ha...T_T )
@Keefur please be careful too about medication <3
I should have clarified that the taking of the aspirin isn't meant as a long term solution. You are right in that sometimes medication can mask problems that can become worse. I am talking about using aspirin for flair ups and not as a preventative or for an ongoing long term problem. Sometimes, your body just needs a respite period in which to heal, and an anti-inflammatory can possibly provide that window of opportunity.
 

Siinna

Woofer artiste
As someone who has been arting for 10+ years digitally, the best solution besides a ergonomic workplace and a good posture, is stretching the wrists daily (warmup), strengthen the wrists (wrist curl and lifting weights) and finally, have a good brace for those really really long sessions, like Uppo. I use the computer almost 12+ hours daily in both my dayjob and at home drawing so the wrists eventually gave out due to all that
 
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