Learn how to relieve wrist pain from drawing!
Artists use their creativity to sketch or animate their work, but their hands serve as another key player in this situation. Artists can imagine endlessly, but they can never draw for a long period of time without getting pain in the wrists. It would be a terrible situation for the artist because it can delay his work and might affect his daily activities. The intense pain comes from repetitive strain injury or RSI. It includes stiffness, numbness, or even swelling of the hands and wrists.
If an artist refuses to take immediate action, he could be unable to grip drawing tools tightly and have a hard time drawing perfect circles or lines. He could also suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. When the nerve that passes through the wrist becomes irritated, it weakens the hand. It is hard to endure the pain when the symptoms appear. On a positive note, there are ways to relieve wrist pain from drawing.
How To Relieve Wrist Pain From Drawing
Artists should be aware of the different wrist exercises that help to relieve wrist pain from drawing. It can be a good warm up for the hands before working for hours or when you feel pain in the wrist. Wrist exercises increase flexibility and lower the risk for wrist pain from drawing.
Video: Relieving wrist pain from drawing
Video: An exercise to relieve tension in the wrists
- Shake your hands like you have just finished washing and you are trying to dry them up.
- Do this for a minute. This also serves as your pre warm up exercise.
Praying position stretches
- While sitting, put your palms together in a praying position. Your elbows should touch each other, and your hands should be in front of your face.
- Slowly spread your elbows apart while lowering your hands to your waist height. Stop when you reach your belly button.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat.
- Place both palms below a table or a drawing board.
- Put some pressure and press upward against the bottom of the table.
- Hold the stretch for 20 – 30 seconds and then repeat.
- Place your open hands on your thighs with palms up.
- Slowly clench your hands into fists. Remember not to clench too tightly.
- Slightly raise your fists while your arms are still touching your thighs.
- Hold the position for 10 seconds and then repeat.
Stress ball exercise
- Squeeze a stress ball firmly for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Repeat 5 times for each hand.
Stress ball exercise 2
- Put the stress ball in the middle of the palms.
- Squeeze the stress ball while maintaining a praying position.
- Hold for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds then repeat.
These exercises facilitate the flow of blood through the wrist. It speeds up the healing process and strengthens the blood vessels.
NB!! Wrist exercises should not be done by people with extreme soreness or joint damage because it can further harm their wrists and hand. Try to speak with a physical therapist before conducting some exercises and stretches if you have experience severe pain.
The goal of the massage is different from exercise. You stretch to let the blood flow when exercising whereas you target pressure points to activate muscle activity when massaging.
Raise one arm and face your palms up. Place your thumb on your arm and gently apply pressure as you move to the wrist. Continue doing back and forth motion while keeping a steady wrist.
Form a fist with one hand. Use your knuckles to apply pressure so avoid harming your hand. Move around the wrist and the palm.
End the massage by holding and squeezing your wrist gently.
Remember not to push too hard because the wrist is a sensitive area. Control the pressure you are exerting and massage as calmly as possible.
Learn more: Top 6 Health Benefits Of Self-Massage
Anyone who works with their hands and does the same thing over and over again is a candidate for wrist pains.
The most important thing is to take regular breaks.
Giving your hands some rest will decrease the wrist pain from drawing. Artists should also avoid strenuous activities like lifting heavy equipment, wall climbing, and playing volleyball. These things demand tons of work from the wrists, and they can put a risk on those precious hands.
If any wrist or hand pain exists, artists should not try to fight the pain or else it will take weeks to recover. It is better if everyone knows their limit and has the discipline to stop whenever it is needed. Overworking the hands will just amplify the pain around the wrist. If the wrist pain from drawing still persists after a couple of days, then it’s time to visit a doctor.
Setup and tools
Artists should get a hold of pencil grip tools to make pencils and brushes wider and easier to control. Pencil grip tools are made of molded soft plastic and fit around a pen or pencil. They create bigger gripping surfaces and give comfort to the artist. Artists can also use foam tubes to give tools a softer feeling while being gripped. These tools ease the pain because it lessens the force exerted by the wrists.
Artists should also practice doing neutral hand position when the hand is not doing anything. It is a position where the wrists are straight and unbent. It gives time for the hand to recover from the stress of working for hours.
If you still find it hard to maintain a neutral position, start wearing wrist braces. It removes the pain and keeps the wrists straight. It is also good to wear braces during bedtime to avoid further damage to the wrists while sleeping.
As an artist, don’t push yourself too hard. While you shouldn’t let projects pile up on the table, you must take a break from time to time.
Love your hands as much as you love your craft.
If you continue to do whatever triggered the wrist pain from drawing, chances are you may not be able to create art anymore.