Hey DIGITAL ARTISTS: re - HAND PAIN /INJURY
For just over a year or so, I’ve been experiencing some issues with pain in my drawing hand when using my tablet for a while. Sometimes it flares up within 15 minutes, other times it flares up after a couple of hours.
Do any other digital artists experience this?
The pain is worst at the ball of my index finger, and then skips over to between my ring and pinky finger and there’s pain along the back of my hand, which sometimes goes up my fore arm (but not in my wrist, thankfully! Carpal is a scary thing. I don’t know what I’d do without my hands… ). A good friend said that what I’m experiencing is basically a lot like golf elbow.
I regularly try to take breaks to go through some stretch routines and hand exercises, loosen and limber up my hands/fingers, but it seems these days the best option I have is to stop completely for an hour or more, take anti-inflammatory pain killers and ice my hand.
Naturally, this isn’t great as I have pending work that needs finishing as well as my own projects to tackle…
However, I don’t experience as much of a problem if I’m holding a regular pencil and working on paper, so I am starting to suspect this has something to do with pressure settings and the width of the wacom grip pen. I notice sometimes I have a bit of a ‘death grip’ on the pen, especially between my middle finger and thumb, since I constantly curl my index finger to hit the sideswitch which I use as a color picker. I don’t know if this combined with having to push down (I have tweaked the sensitivity to be softer using the curve settings on the Wacom controls) is also adding to the issue.
Do any of you guys use the thinner ‘classic’ pen? Since I don’t experience these problems when I’m using a pencil, mechanical pencil or ballpoint pen I’m wondering if it would be worth investing in an Intuos 3 classic pen.
Lastly, I’m also wondering how much of what I’m experiencing is coming from sometimes contorting my arm around to get those strokes that you can’t get without being able to whip your screen around like you would a piece of paper, which leads me to wonder if people who use Cintiqs notice a difference in that regard? If it’s going to help my hand problems, then I think it would be worth investing into a cintiq sooner rather than later, so I’m figuring out ways to raise funds for that, too (as well as for speeding my workflow up).
Anyway, sorry for the long read. Really appreciate any input, suggestions, or even just sharing your own experiences with these issues that you may have or have had etc.