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Most painful spot to get tattooed


Lochlan
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I've noticed there's a surprising lack of mention of the knee in this thread - it's not an area i've had tattooed so i can't comment but i'd have thought it would be up there as one of the worst whether it's the kneecap itself or the knee ditch.

I have all the parts around my kneecap done, just not the actual cap yet. They really weren't too bad, but I expect the kneecap to be pretty awful. I can't wait to get it done though, one step closer to having my whole leg done. I'm thinking a bat head will fill in the open space really nice.

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When I was learning - I say that loosely because I did not have a traditional apprenticeship at all - I tattooed my own knee and it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. My thighs were the most painful...I couldn't even finish the outline! Safe to say, those two pieces are gonna get covered-up at some point. After scouring back through posts, I was amazed to see the great @Valerie Vargas on here! Her work is absolutely brilliant!

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  • 4 weeks later...
Will be getting my first tattoo on my right calf.....hope it isn't too bad but will be several hours. These posts are helping build my confidence for it, lol.

Having had about 10 hours total on my calves, I can attest that they were not extra sensitive unless you get to the backside of the knee. I wouldn't worry much.

Each person is different and will have more sensitivity in places that others have no problem with. No matter where, you'll need to find your own way of managing any pain you go through. If you tighten up and fight it, you'll suffer more and will be more likely to move around when you need to be still, etc.

For me, I can mentally put/project my pain and consciousness outside my body by focusing on an object in the room and placing "myself" there. I strive to be as relaxed as possible, breathing smoothly and slowly. As soon as I feel any part of my body tighten up, I focus on relaxing it.

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Will be getting my first tattoo on my right calf.....hope it isn't too bad but will be several hours. These posts are helping build my confidence for it, lol.

Never get confident! Always imagine that the next tattoo you get will be the worst pain you've ever felt! This way, if it's anything less you'll be pleasantly surprised. The worst thing is starting to think it won't be bad and then finding that it hurts more than you had imagined.

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LOL @ mtlsam......great advice there man, and I was only talking the confidence to go in and sit down! Have no idea what it will really be like but will be well rested and fed, and have been reading about this technique and that - definitely will focus on breathing like The Tig mentioned too. I'm flying from Juneau, Alaska to Las Vegas to have the art done.....so I did purchase an additional ticket for January in case I can't get it done all at once, a little 'reverse-murphy' action.....LOL.

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another new sensation to add:

back of the neck...especially as you get behind the ear. i had to actively keep my teeth clenched to prevent the jaw bone from rattling around. back of the head was heavy sharp pressure. overall back of the neck/head felt more like getting cut open with a steak knife rather than getting scraped with a fork. gnarly shit. so far healing has been easy, a pea drop of lubriderm each morning after healing dry and raw for 72 hours.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I think so far the most painful for me was my shin piece. It took 3.5 hours and rides along my shin bone. I'm supposed to go in this coming Tuesday and set up an appointment for my right knee, and I'm having a tough time deciding if I just want to do the outline, or if i want to do all in one session. I sat well for my shin piece, but, I'm not sure if I'll be able to sit through my whole knee piece. Kind of why I wanted to just try an outline to get a taste of what I was getting myself into.

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I think so far the most painful for me was my shin piece. It took 3.5 hours and rides along my shin bone. I'm supposed to go in this coming Tuesday and set up an appointment for my right knee, and I'm having a tough time deciding if I just want to do the outline, or if i want to do all in one session. I sat well for my shin piece, but, I'm not sure if I'll be able to sit through my whole knee piece. Kind of why I wanted to just try an outline to get a taste of what I was getting myself into.

outlines the hardest imo because your body needs that 10-15 minutes in that area to 'adjust' - i'm not a neuroscientist but there is some brain chemical shit happening right there and to me after 10-15 minutes i'm settling into a zone where i can take the pain and deal with it - never had my knees done - its on my list - good luck

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outlines the hardest imo because your body needs that 10-15 minutes in that area to 'adjust' - i'm not a neuroscientist but there is some brain chemical shit happening right there and to me after 10-15 minutes i'm settling into a zone where i can take the pain and deal with it - never had my knees done - its on my list - good luck

yep ! and we love endorphins !!!!!

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I must be one of those rare people without endorphins. If anything, it gets more painful as the tattoo goes along for me.

I have em..kicks in after 20 minutes or so then about an hr in gets progressively worse with 4 hrs being about my max:(. On the note of the thread I've had my inner bicep inside elbow and all done and was ok but upper shoulder collar bone area and my back behind my shoulder hurt like hell..felt like he was tattooing inside my ear!

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By far the worst for me was my elbow. So much so, that I'm debating if I want to cover my other elbow or just design around it.

What do you guys think about tattooing the elbow? Worth the pain even though the artist can't get detailed on it as it is so sensitive due to it being mainly bone? OR Is it a necessary evil to tie a larger piece together?

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I have em..kicks in after 20 minutes or so then about an hr in gets progressively worse with 4 hrs being about my max:(. On the note of the thread I've had my inner bicep inside elbow and all done and was ok but upper shoulder collar bone area and my back behind my shoulder hurt like hell..felt like he was tattooing inside my ear!

Aww, I want the backs of my shoulders tattooed. It's not good to hear that those are some of the most painful places!

I just did a partial chest tattoo and can agree that the sternum area is a hard one. I rank it as second worst behind lower back and slightly ahead of inner thigh. The pain on the sternum is compounded by the pressure from the artist making it hard to breathe while the artist is actually tattooing.

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I don't have a lot of tattoos compared to a lot of people here, but I still maintain that the soft ab/lat area between the rib and hip is the worst place I've yet encountered. I'll take ribs over that area any day... In the end, that pain is super temporary, and really makes a difference getting through a tough session like that. This said, I don't have experience with lower back, inner thigh, elbow, knee, etc... I'm still super new to getting tattooed!

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Aww, I want the backs of my shoulders tattooed. It's not good to hear that those are some of the most painful places!

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Coulda just been me but the skin it really thin there on me tried him ending a session there and then next time I have him try starting it there...sucked equally both times felt like he was on bone the whole time haha..not looking forward to the color there or the other side!

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I wasn't expecting the pain I encountered Saturday when my shin was under the needle. I have plenty of shin injuries from the BMX days so maybe that didn't help. The side of the knee was almost as bad.

My artist was super happy that I didn't move once during the 4 hours.

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