Fala

body pain during tattooing not related to the tattooing part

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I have sort of a weird question, and I'm sure I'll get pinned as a wuss for asking this but...

What do ya'll do for screaming body pain while getting tattooed? I'm not talking about the pain of getting tattooed, but when your body itself hurts (ie laying on one hip with all of your body weight on it for several hours, while the other hip is tattooed and your bottom leg and hip go into some kind of shock and the hurt is so bad tattooing feels like it isn't happening). What do you do with that? I resorted to a blow up pad under my hip, a travel pillow between the legs, and asking (gasp!) for a break every hour or so to stretch my joints out. I felt like the session could have been better if I was able to do something more about this pain (the session was great, finished earlier than planned, the tattoo looks awesome, tattooer was fantastic, etc, etc, etc). I guess I feel I let myself down (and my tattooer) by having to ask for a break to move and alleviate the discomfort of laying a particular way for him to work.

Is it from getting old or am I really just a huge sissy who shouldn't be getting tattooed?

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@Fala, so I have to ask does your body pain take your mind off of your tattoo pain? Cuz that could be a good thing. Ha ha! Actually when I was getting my back done, my neck would be killing me after the session. The shop was gracious enough to give me a pillow during sessions and I brought extra jackets or towels with me so I could roll them into a ball for when I needed it.

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The pain did take my mind off the tattoo pain, that's for sure! But it made me want to squirm because I hurt so much. When I had a few minutes reprieve (post-stretch/break), the tattooing felt blissful/fine then the non-tattoo related pain would creep in. Yes, it was a distraction but an unwelcome one! We tried a roll of paper towels under my butt, so I could sort of lean back onto it and it didn't make a difference. This is the first time I've had this happen, and I've had some sessions where I've been in super odd positions for the same length of time. It was a strange experience this weekend.

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Maybe try a latex foam pillow instead of a blow-up one? It would probably have more yield while still being supportive, and I suspect the pain if you're on one hip is related to nerves and blood flow. Something under your ribs and head to try to keep your spine in alignment might also help. Sorry to hear about this -- I've definitely had a similar experience, though I don't think it was quite that bad.

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For my last tattoo (only ~ 4 hours) I suffered bad cramps in BOTH feet and calves at the same time. Proper hydration had been attended to, but I was a bit tired that evening after a full day at work. I was in agony and afraid I would move my arm that she was working on. I asked for a quick break when she got to a good spot for it, and she needed hand and back relief at the same time. I walked the cramps off quickly and they mercifully stayed away. They did NOT help in taking the pain away from that soft flesh inside of my upper arm, however! The next time, I will drink tonic water a few hours before my session, which always seems to help the cramps.

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horiconfucius say: when you get tattoo pain, relax the feet and the body will follow.
i swear by this method !

Tattooing is very demanding on the body. Not just the needle-to-skin pain but the process is very hard on the muscles and tendons, counteracting whatever contorted position and force your tattooer puts you in. ALWAYS stretch before a tattoo. This is so important. Not just a quickie stretch a minute before you jump on the table but stretch the week leading up to the tattoo, the night before, the morning of...hell, just stretch all the time! It's good for your health :)

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I prepare in advance for my visit... If I am sitting down for a long period of time, I take a chair pad to avoid my ass going numb and bothering me in top of the rest that is happening...

The same concept for the rest.... I have a small pillow and chair pad in my car at all times :)

Artists encourage you to be as comfortable as possible specially when you are going to be there hours...

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The worst I usually get is a body part falling asleep (never the part getting tattooed, damn!). Like for all of my upper arm sessions, my fingers and lower arm usually go numb from the arm rest. The first session on my leg (a somewhat longer sitting, between 3 and 4 hours), my neck got kind of sore from laying down on the table for so long. So for every longer session like that, and even the shorter ones if I think of it, I bring either a jacket to ball up and prop under me or a pillow.

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I had experimented at home with a latex foam pillow and various others prior to the session by laying on the hardwood floor, oddly the air pad was the most comfortable of the bunch. The foam pillow made the hip pain worse at home, without additional weight from the tattooer which would have been more excruciating than it already was.

Yes, I did stretch beforehand (daily, night before, morning of, etc), was hydrated/well fed, and I know how to breathe through/around/etc pain (have been through enough of it in my lifetime). I had plenty of materials with me to keep me as comfortable as possible, everything else was fine. Must be my particular physiological issue because I can't even camp (or sleep on otherwise hard surfaces) because of my hips and back.

On the other end of things: I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who goes to the shop heavily prepared with pillows, sweaters, and the likes. I thought I was being high maintenance - I see so many people go in with nothing.

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Weird. Was it specifically latex foam, or was it memory foam? I can't stand memory foam, but latex foam works really well for me since it's bouncy.

You're definitely not the only one. :) The more comfortable you can be, the more still you can stay, and the happier everyone will be! You can't help it if a position causes you pain. Totally not your fault!

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You are certainly not a wus! I would bring 2 bags of things when I was getting my back done. I felt a little funny, but after I'd gotten a rhythm, I could really sit good. But I know what you mean - I am nervous my back and hip with bother me during my tattoo tomorrow and I am bringing a number of cushy things just in case.

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I used to have the worst time sleeping in a tent, I think I understand your pain. I do better when I can keep my spine kind of aligned, so a little padding under the ribs and between the knees can be helpful. Tattoo time is really hard when your body hurts :(

You are certainly not a wus! I would bring 2 bags of things when I was getting my back done. I felt a little funny, but after I'd gotten a rhythm, I could really sit good. But I know what you mean - I am nervous my back and hip with bother me during my tattoo tomorrow and I am bringing a number of cushy things just in case.

Hey @SeeSea, I remember you asked on another thread about flying post thigh tattoo... I did this 2 weeks ago, and I totally recommend bringing a giant ziplock and asking kind baristas to fill it with ice for you post security. Also, I sprung for an economy plus seat, with my fresh thigh getting the window seat. Money well spent.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I'm totally with you!

When I had the side of my thigh tattooed it took only three hours but I had to ask for breaks a couple of times because my lower back was killing me. I've had lower back problems in the past, so I just did a some quick stretching/mobility exercises that I'd learnt and it got better for a short while. The tattooer did organise some paper towel piles to put under the leg as a cushion but it wasn't enough really. I took a mental note at the time to bring a decent cushion next time.

As it happens, I will actually get the other thigh done next weekend, so thanks for reminding me ;-)

I guess I'm going to feel somewhat awkward to run around at a convention with a massive pillow under my arm but I'm glad to hear that there are others with similar problems...

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I'm getting my left side tattooed in November, so I'm going to keep playing around with laying on the floor with various pillows and cushions to find the combo that yields the most comfort possible. Thankfully it will be the last that my sides are done for a long time to come.

Oh yes - had padding between the knees, and elsewhere to keep everything as aligned as possible.

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Hey @SeeSea, I remember you asked on another thread about flying post thigh tattoo... I did this 2 weeks ago, and I totally recommend bringing a giant ziplock and asking kind baristas to fill it with ice for you post security. Also, I sprung for an economy plus seat, with my fresh thigh getting the window seat. Money well spent.

Great idea - thanks! I have a ziplock. I didn't get economy but did get a window seat.

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I've not had to lie down yet. For my arm, the chair was back a little bit and he had an arm rest thing that I had my arm on and he just maneuvered it how he wanted. When he would stop to slide over for more ink I would straighten my arm, sometimes jiggle it a little and then move it back to how he had it. With my upper back, I've been straddling a chair. And when he stops, I shift a little bit. I probably shift more than I would otherwise, but my first back session, while he was drawing on me, I was *so* still for *so* long, in an awkward position straddling the seat. I'd not taken my tank top and sports bra straps down like I should've so it was pulled against my neck, and not paying attention to my breathing, so when I stood up to look at what he'd drawn, I got dizzy and not just eh I feel icky, I was about 2 seconds from passing out. Scared the ever loving crap out of me. That's never happened to me before, so now I'm completely obsessive about how I'm sitting.

I bring thick slipper socks b/c my feet always get cold and if it's summer when I'm getting work done there is no way I'm wearing tennies. So I probably look like a dork w/Tigger and Powerpuff Girls slipper socks and capris but whatever. And I bring water, powerade, vitamin C drops, cough drops (cuz you never know when a tickle is going to happen) and a book.

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Luckily this has only happened to me on a relatively small tattoo. There is actually an action shot of it posted here already.

I had little choice but to grit my teeth and bear it. I took any short pause in tattooing to move my arm a bit and relieve the pressure. In the end though, the pain/discomfort in my elbow really did mask a lot of the pain in what is a pretty sensitive area to get tattooed (inner arm). And it makes for a good story to go with an excellent tattoo.

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I would also try exercising beforehand. A nice long jog, or even a walk would help to relax your muscles and allow you to stay in one place for a longer period. Works for me before long flights. Also works for my dog before long car rides.

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