AuthorTopic: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendinitis, Repeated Strain Injuries (RSI)  (Read 8567 times)

Offline Arne

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Breaks can be healthy for the piece you're working on too, but when you're in flow mode, being forced to take a break is no fun. But, you do have to force the breaks.


I wrote my own break timer in BlitzMax, but it's not very advanced. It sounds for a 10 second micro break every 5 minutes, and a 4 minute break one every 30 minutes. I could upload the source but I doubt anyone here has a BlitzMax compiler (I don't have a windows version compiled).

I had this little idea of making little 2-4 frame animations of random exercises which would play during a break, but I never got that far. My standard exercise is pushing the arms out, palms out, then bend the elbows until the fingers hit the head, so I can feel the tendons in the elbow and palms stretch.

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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I'm not sure if this is the right thread, but sometimes when pixelling I start to feel soreness on the back of my shoulder and if I keep pixelling long enough it only goes away the next morning. Luckily I usually pixel near before I go to bed. I would imagine this has something to do with posture. Thankfully though, it seems to only happen when pixelling, it doesn't happen when I am spending time on games or something, maybe because I don't spend as much time.

Offline Ymedron

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Actually I'd like to ask you guys...

What do you think it is when my hand starts aching only when I read this thread? Especially since the hand I don't use seems to hurt more from doing the carpal-exercises than the one that's actually hurting?
Is it because I will myself to think my hand is busted or something?
Also my art tumblr: ymedronart.tumblr.com

Offline Arne

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When my RSI was at its worst, I couldn't really tell how much of the sensations was due to awareness and focus. If you're doing some kind of stretching and stimulate the nerves a lot, I guess it could lead to a tendency for the mind to focus on that area, and amplify whatever feels are there.

Offline YellowLime

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@Arne: I want to touch everything you make, whether it is a Mario level editor or a break timer :D Just joking, but I'd be serious if you had gotten around to doing the animations :P. Jokes aside, I'm curious about something: did you get better at drawing with your non-dominant hand? Some years ago I was trying to draw with my non-dominant hand, but was disencouraged by someone who said it would end up "messing up" my "polarity".

@Mr. Fahrenheit: This is related to the topic-- pains caused by working on art (and bad posture, and crunching) whose intensity might stop you from engaging in said work. All of these work-related pains can be treated with the same stuff: stretching, good posture, and rest  :)

@Ymedron: You mean it started after you read the thread, or after trying the exercises? If you hadn't done the exercises previously, your unused hand might have been less used to stress than the other, and it hurts more as a result.
But if you mean that it hurts after reading, it could be because you weren't paying attention before? ::) You know, the same reason you're now breathing manually ;)

Offline Ymedron

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Well thing is, either of my hands start to hurt after I start to worry about them, and they stop after I forget to worry.
I keep doing the exercises while my hand(s) hurt, so..?

My hands aren't hurting currently but they might because Im thinking "at least they aren't hurting right now."
Hmm.
Also my art tumblr: ymedronart.tumblr.com

Offline Mr. Fahrenheit

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Well thing is, either of my hands start to hurt after I start to worry about them, and they stop after I forget to worry.
I keep doing the exercises while my hand(s) hurt, so..?

My hands aren't hurting currently but they might because Im thinking "at least they aren't hurting right now."
Hmm.

I've had similar things happen, your mind can fool you pretty easily. It's easy to make yourself think you are in pain, like if you imagine being cut in half you can feel your gut a little.

Offline Arne

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I can draw with my right (wrong) hand, but I'm about 4 times slower, and the lines are a bit squiggly making it rather difficult to sketch thumbnails and do small sensitive details like eyelids. Despite not having trembles, the lines with my left hand are squiggly too. I've always had terrible handwriting as well. The difference is not too large between the hands, it's just frustrating to be so slow. It's like going back to some ancient computer program. Also, my right wrist snaps a little, throwing lines off course. On the bright side, being so slow allows me time to think while the line is going down, making me less inconsiderate of its duty.

Offline YellowLime

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@Arne: Well, at least you can use your right hand as a plan B if your dominant starts to hurt and such. With the added benefit(?) of having to take your time with the lines. And, since you didn't mention any problems, I assume that the "messing up your polarity" thing is a myth :P

Since the discussion is already dying out, I'll sum up what's been said here, for posterity :crazy::

Prevention:
-Pace out your work, don't overdo it even if your arm is just fine (because it won't be). You can use a break timer program for this. You might think this slows up your work, but it pays off in the long run (reflect upon this the next time your arm hurts).
-Do some stretching exercises, maybe between breaks, to help prevent any problem.

Healing (or prevention as well):
-If you're gaming, try alternating different devices so you don't keep straining the same areas.
-If you're drawing, you could try using your non-dominant hand. It will probably take a long time before you develop the fine motor skills needed (maybe more time than it takes your arm to heal), but this way you'll be able to keep working and rest your wrist at the same time (but don't start overworking your other arm as well!).

Offline API-Beast

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I don't know the source anymore but I've read about thickening the grip around all pens using foam tape, which was supposed to help greatly against RSI.