Artists can get so absorbed in their work that they ignore signs that their body needs a break or an adjustment. It’s vital to take care of your hands because you need them for your creations. When you experience hand pain, it can make it difficult to bring your visions to life. With how much artists use their hands, they can suffer from all sorts of hand injuries, from repetitive strain injuries (RSI) like carpal tunnel syndrome to trigger finger and more.
Hand injuries are not just part of being an artist, though. There are several ways you can take care of your hands as an artist to keep them healthy so that they can serve you well throughout your life. Here are some of our top tips for how you can protect your hands that work not only for artists, but also for writers, musicians, and anyone in a profession that requires you to use your hands a lot.
#1. Take Breaks Often
Your breaks don’t need to be long, just 10 minutes every hour or so will do. Your hands need breaks in order to avoid injury from repetitive motions and strain. If creative energy is really flowing, it can be difficult to step away from your art even for a few minutes, but if your hands are cramping, it’s vital that you listen to them. When you allow your hands to relax, you can ensure more productive art sessions, because you’re not having to power through pain and discomfort.
If you’re someone who easily loses track of time, you may consider setting alarms to remind you to get up and walk around every hour or so.
#2. Stretch Your Hands
One of the best ways to take care of your hands is to stretch them. It’s easy to incorporate little stretches into your day, even when you’re in the midst of painting. Simply flexing your wrists and making circular motions can help with circulation. Hands aren’t something people usually exercise or stretch, but with how much artists use their hands, hand stretches are a key way to keep your hands strong and flexible throughout all the stress you put on them.
#3. Wear Stress-Relief Gloves
If you’re a digital artist or you work with charcoal, you may already use an artist’s glove in order to reduce smudging and grease on your work. Another type of glove that can help you take care of your hands is a stress-relief glove. These are designed to support the muscles in your hands while you work in order to decrease strain. They are fingerless and specifically designed for use while crafting.
#4. Adjust Your Stance
It’s easy for creatives to slip into awkward positions because they’re comfortable in the moment, and then to stay there for far too long. This can put your wrists and hands in uncomfortable positions that strain them. You may find yourself holding your brushes or other tools with a death grip. Opt for brushes for smaller or larger handles to avoid holding them too tightly and adjust your stance to allow for better posture and positioning.
You can adjust your workspace to make it more ergonomic, so that you have room to freely move your arms as you work. Simply changing your stand and grip can do wonders when you’re working to take care of your hands.
#5. See A Physical Therapist
All of the above ways you can take care of your hands as an artist are preventative. However, if you’re suffering from a hand injury like carpal tunnel syndrome, you’ll want to see a physical therapist. Physical therapists can walk you through exercises and stretches that help you to regain strength and flexibility in your hands. Your hands are everything when you’re an artist, so it’s important to ensure that you’re taking proper care of them.
If you ignore your hand pain, this can cause your hand injuries to worsen. In the worst-case scenario, it can lead to you no longer being able to practice your craft. As such, if you’re experiencing hand pain, it’s essential that you do not ignore it and that you do whatever you can to alleviate it.
Hand Therapy For All Sorts Of Conditions
Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy provides hand therapy that helps you regain your hands’ strength and mobility. It’s crucial to take care of your hands as an artist and in general. Hand therapy can help you keep them in good health. Contact us today to learn more about our hand therapy services.