Recommended Posts

so my right wrist (my tattooing hand) has been giving me a heap of trouble recently, ive had to switch to lighter machines and get acupuncture twice a week to help it, but it still kills.

I guess if im not tattooing, im drawing at home or the shop, so i dont really get a chance to chill and not use it.

do other tattooers suffer from something similar and what other suggestions do you have?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

suffer from it everyday...so bad that my thumb and first 2 fingers go numb, not in the oins and needles kinda way either...in the holy shit that really hurts kinda way.

what is wierd is that i was on this diet called the flat belly diet...its really good food, hardly any salt and some other sciencey fatty stuff...well during those 2 months or so i had zero problems with my wrists and hands. salts and different fatty foods will bloat you and i think it really restricts the blood flow especially to the hands. as soon as i strayed from the diet i started getting those hand symptoms right away...need to go back on it..haha..i hate diets

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be interested to hear what everyone has to say, Scott gets a lot of pain in his hand from stretching the skin the way he does, and he's slept a wrist brace when it gets real bad. He mostly manages it with aleve and massage, acupuncture was working, but his acupuncturist moved to NY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not a tattooer, but I've dealt with some repetitive stress injuries as well as a really painful heel spur. I found that Graston Technique really helped me. I see that there a few practitioners in London. It might be worth a shot.

For the record: no, I'm not affiliated with Graston in any way! It's just something that I found to be really helpful when nothing else (cortisone shots, a brace, orthotic inserts, etc.) didn't work. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that gastron technique is intriguing, i will look more into it. a friend recommended putting an elastic band around your fingers and stretching it open , this uses the opposite muscles that you use to grip your machine or stretching hand muscles. i've used it a bit and helps but so far hasn't done much other than alleviate the issue.

id never thought about the diet, but i guess it makes sense to look at that.

i have 2 weeks off soon (a holiday you say??! haha) and i hope the time off will help. keep the replies coming guys!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just last week the top of my tattooing hand was completely numb. not the fingers just the top. i kinda bugged about a bit. i just kept massaging my hand til it went away a day or so later.

a hair stylist friend said she gets the same thing on a regular basis and sleeps with a wrist brace. i think im gonna look into that. another thing is how you sleep. i usually sleep with my hand under my head. im sure thing cuts off alot of circulation to the hand while its supposed to be resting. so ive been more concious about that as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to say it because I have some issues with the machine and its lack of cool lineage , But using the swashdrive has helped the hell out of my hand. It won't help with the stretching hand. My pain seems to come and go over the years. Also, it depends on what I'm tattooing, and my psychological comfort with the material. Days where its a big dragon with a million scales end up hurting. A chiropractor told me to vary my tube sizes so the hand doesn't get use to one position. I'm down with the diet idea. I think at least 75% of our activity performance is related to diet. Its like a car, you put bad fuel and too much oil in the car it runs like crap. Also, we tend to work too much. Overuse the equipment with too little rest..... you know the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i had really bad carpal tunnel with my first pregnancy and had to wear an arm brace as much as i could, even in my sleep.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel - a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand - houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. Although painful sensations may indicate other conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies in which the body's peripheral nerves are compressed or traumatized.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome should begin as early as possible, under a doctor's direction. Underlying causes such as diabetes or arthritis should be treated first. Initial treatment generally involves resting the affected hand and wrist for at least 2 weeks, avoiding activities that may worsen symptoms, and immobilizing the wrist in a splint to avoid further damage from twisting or bending. If there is inflammation, applying cool packs can help reduce swelling.

Non-surgical treatments

Drugs - In special circumstances, various drugs can ease the pain and swelling associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonprescription pain relievers, may ease symptoms that have been present for a short time or have been caused by strenuous activity. Orally administered diuretics ("water pills") can decrease swelling. Corticosteroids (such as prednisone) or the drug lidocaine can be injected directly into the wrist or taken by mouth (in the case of prednisone) to relieve pressure on the median nerve and provide immediate, temporary relief to persons with mild or intermittent symptoms. (Caution: persons with diabetes and those who may be predisposed to diabetes should note that prolonged use of corticosteroids can make it difficult to regulate insulin levels. Corticosterioids should not be taken without a doctor's prescription.) Additionally, some studies show that vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplements may ease the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Exercise - Stretching and strengthening exercises can be helpful in people whose symptoms have abated. These exercises may be supervised by a physical therapist, who is trained to use exercises to treat physical impairments, or an occupational therapist, who is trained in evaluating people with physical impairments and helping them build skills to improve their health and well-being.

Alternative therapies - Acupuncture and chiropractic care have benefited some patients but their effectiveness remains unproved. An exception is yoga, which has been shown to reduce pain and improve grip strength among patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Surgery

Carpal tunnel release is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. Generally recommended if symptoms last for 6 months, surgery involves severing the band of tissue around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve. Surgery is done under local anesthesia and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Many patients require surgery on both hands. The following are types of carpal tunnel release surgery:

Open release surgery, the traditional procedure used to correct carpal tunnel syndrome, consists of making an incision up to 2 inches in the wrist and then cutting the carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel. The procedure is generally done under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, unless there are unusual medical considerations.

Endoscopic surgery may allow faster functional recovery and less postoperative discomfort than traditional open release surgery. The surgeon makes two incisions (about ½" each) in the wrist and palm, inserts a camera attached to a tube, observes the tissue on a screen, and cuts the carpal ligament (the tissue that holds joints together). This two-portal endoscopic surgery, generally performed under local anesthesia, is effective and minimizes scarring and scar tenderness, if any. One-portal endoscopic surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is also available.

Although symptoms may be relieved immediately after surgery, full recovery from carpal tunnel surgery can take months. Some patients may have infection, nerve damage, stiffness, and pain at the scar. Occasionally the wrist loses strength because the carpal ligament is cut. Patients should undergo physical therapy after surgery to restore wrist strength. Some patients may need to adjust job duties or even change jobs after recovery from surgery.

Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome following treatment is rare. The majority of patients recover completely.

How can carpal tunnel syndrome be prevented?

At the workplace, workers can do on-the-job conditioning, perform stretching exercises, take frequent rest breaks, wear splints to keep wrists straight, and use correct posture and wrist position. Wearing fingerless gloves can help keep hands warm and flexible. Workstations, tools and tool handles, and tasks can be redesigned to enable the worker's wrist to maintain a natural position during work. Jobs can be rotated among workers. Employers can develop programs in ergonomics, the process of adapting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of workers. However, research has not conclusively shown that these workplace changes prevent the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stretching your wrists and forearms a lot helps. About once every few hours I stretch that shit out. My chiropractor was talking to me about pulling on the middle and ring ringers randomly too, as it relieves the stress there in the top of the hand where it meets the wrist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have had this problem for years, i have tried everything to get rid of it, supplements, physio, stretching, excerises, splints, massage, bowen therapy, acupuncture and now chiropractic. Physio and doing hand specific excercise especially tennis elbow excercises really work but who has an hour everday to do that. acupuncture worked a bit but not enough for the money, bowen and massage the same. now i am going to the chiropracter and he says it is a pinched nerve in the neck and after 20 treatments i should be cured, im on treatment #6 and theres progress, so im hopefull. I find going to the gym and doing a whole body workout really really helps, you can actually strengthen your tendons by working out. i wear a carpal tunnel brace to bed every night to prevent me from curling my wrist all not which i do automatically. i believe the diet thing for sure because there was a time i was serious about working out and cut out allot of salt and drank tons of water and my writs got allot better but i love salt so that plan never works. i think one of the hugest thing you can do to alleviate this problem is to get some of the biggest heaviest stainless steel grips you can get and fairly heavy iron machines, the big grips absorb allot of vibration, counter the back weight of a coil machine and provide a more relaxed grip, i use the biggest grips i can find which ar 1" 1/2 grips from cam supply. i have never heard about the gastron technique but it looks like its worth a try, it looks like a method of killing nerves a kick boxer told me about, he would run a rolling pin over his shins everynight so he could kick people harder without feeling it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, If you use disposables, watch out. The lightness may seem like it would help, but the vibrations are ten times worse. That actually annoys the joints just as much if not more. Especially if you are on lighter machines and disposables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah i would like to switch back to disposibles just for cleanliness and ease of use but would not switch back just due to the vibrations, theyre like twice as bad. i woder if its any different with a rotary like the stigmas or neumas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be totally wrong about this...but my theory is the exact opposite from ergonomically correct tube grips...The people i started tattooing with all use thinner grips....(mahoney for one)30 years.... then the kids that work at the shop use those big grips and start icing their hand at 4 years or so...I have never had that problem..but i feel for those who do...

stretching hand Dari..i do not know what to tell ya..thats why scotts tattoos(one of the many reasons)are so fucking clean....its that stretch.

I think Col. todd was really on to something with that whole "every tattoo i do only takes me fortee fiii-ve minutes" but i guess thats a moot point when you you have to do a 58 word quotation on a rib cage every 3rd tattoo and mouths to feed...I do not remember hearing about these issues until this last decade...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Graston Technique saved my back for sure. Also while I'm not a doctor some of the hand and arm numbness could be caused from upper back problems. When my back was out I had a lot of numbness in my arms and fingers caused by build up in my back that was pinching some nerves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost certainly u have Tendonitis in the wrist and-or rotator cuff of the same shoulder.This is an over use injury that is common in typists,tennis players etc that use specific muscle groups for long sessions without sufficient rest.This results in inflammation of the area -therefore reducing the sodium intake in the diet will reduce fluid retention diet is not really the solution .Best treatment is firstly to ICE the area whenever this is possible but particulary after use as many times a day as you can at first.Secondary take a non-perscription anti-immflamatory such as good old aspirin this will increase bloodflow to the area and reduce swelling.Next REST enjoy your holiday it's perfect timing .When u can u should rest your tattooing arm in particular try and keep it ellevated as much as practical

if u ever see elite athletes they almost always have their legs ellevated -this is to flush the legs for recovery.

Here's a good site iTendonitis.com .Once the pain is better you can begin some strengthening exercises .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First time posting on this site. My right wrist is a mess from an old injury; if I dont watch it I can easily get ganglian cysts. At the tattoo shop I use an old Kung Fu training liniment called Te Teh Jiao or Dit Da Jow. It is used in Acupuncture for painful joints, bruises etc.; mostly from repetitive type injuries from martial arts training. Works pretty good if you put heat on it after lettin it absorb into the skin; you can usually pick it up at a Chinese Kung Fu school or there are some sources on the web. We make it ourselves and use it quite liberally; smells abit funny but is alot better than sore wrists. I also use a form of stretching known as nerve gliding; simple flexion exercises for the forearm commonly practiced as a warm up for Aikido. It helps to stimulate the nerves in the arm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to use Dit Da Jow when I was training in Mantis Kung-Fu, if made up fresh it's a lot stronger and works a little better, but the bottle stuff is good too. If there's a Chinese doctor in your area they can make you up a batch. I used to have huge bruises from blocking drills and they would be gone completely in a matter of of a day or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went through a long period in my life when i had serious wrist problems. Painting/drawing for hours a day in college, counting money constantly at one job and later on, a job where i sanded and used HVLP paint guns... they all aggravated my wrists and hands. I've tried a lot of things to alleviate the misery. I know what works for ME, so this might help. I would recommend:

-Making sure you are getting all you need in your diet. Especially calcium and vit c. Calcium not only strengthens bones but it makes your muscles able to stretch. Coffee leeches calcium from your body, so if you drink it all the time, you may be low... also, your muscles rob your bones of calcium while you sleep. Vitamin C helps your body absorb the calcium you ingest. You can probably find a supplement will have a Calcium/Vitamin C/some other thing in one pill. My wife loves these soft Calcium chews. Great to take before you go to bed, as the Calcium helps you go to sleep, and you can counteract the whole 'leeching calcium while you sleep' thing. There you go.

-Stretching your arms/wrists/hands, alternating hands when doing daily tasks and keeping in good physical shape is huge. There are some great drummer stretch videos on youtube. It helps. Lifting hand weights or even simple push-ups will build strength in your forearms.

-If you spend a lot of time at the computer, get one of those dumb gel handrests that secretaries use. "Wrist form" at the computer and mouse makes a big difference.

-Dont sleep on your arms. I was doing that all the time and still do occasionally. It sucks.

-Here's the biggie, and the one I CANT RECOMMEND ENOUGH. Bikram Yoga. I tried it three years ago and nearly every physical nuisance or problem i had either went away or can be managed by doing the poses in class. It's hard, but its TOTALLY worth it. It's been magic for my back also, and i know many tattooers suffer from bad backs. This video show the Locust pose which really helps with the hands and wrists. Do two sets of this in the morning and see if it helps.

Thats all I got.

Seriously though. Bikram Yoga. You should see me in the little shorts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.