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HARMZ_sh's avatar

Dangerous Genius

so, im an artist here on gaia and i've been on hiatus for a year but decided to come back and do some more RL commissions for gaians

I love drawing and painting on my tablet and when i'm inspired a fierce determination takes over and i can sit and work for 16 hours straight, however i do get carried away when i do this and when i end up getting up from drawing i have huge muscle knots in my shoulders and all over the dorsal muscle and neck

i've massaged them out and now im doing my best to rest

but the desire to get back to work is sometimes overwhelming

do you guys know any good stretches i can do, what i should be doing during my recovery days off or any smart postures i could sit in next time i sit and work?

how often should i take a break to stretch, and what type of realistic limitation should i be expecting on my body?

thanks for taking the time to help me out guys, i appreciate any advice given

help this poor ol' artist get back to work!
m i r a c u l u m's avatar

Shy Hunter

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Generally you should take a fifteen minute break every hour or so, regardless of what you are doing on the computer.
Dr Dimari's avatar

Familiar Flatterer

Hiya. Sound like you're suffering with repetitive strain injury to me.

For general advice see:
NHS Choices Website

As for something more specific to what you were asking, I feel you need to definitely take some rest. If you're working at your desk, make sure you chair is at a comfortable height and that you are not slouching too much and putting pressure on your spine and shoulders.

Its a good idea to have a decent rest break every hour or two, but every 5-10 minutes or so just stretch out your back, neck and shoulders to relieve any tension that have built up. This can be just for a second or two, but makes all the different to your muscles!

Maybe before you start your work, do so stretches with your arms, and rotate them fully straight on different planes within the shoulders. (http://www.howtostretch.com/p/shoulder-stretches) and consider neck stretches (http://www.howtostretch.com/p/neck-stretches). You could maybe turn this into a once or twice daily routine so that you don't forget and it could improve your symptoms.

If pain is quite hard to manage, consider heat therapy and anti-inflammatory medication if you think you need it.

- Dr Dimari
Senior House Officer in Genitourinary Medicine, Sexual Health and Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Doncaster Royal Infirmary, England

I had the same problem. Strength training (aka weight lifting) has helped a TON. There's still some tension in there, but only about 5-10% of what it used to be.

Definitely take a 10 minute break every hour or so, though!
HARMZ_sh's avatar

Dangerous Genius

thanks so much for all the helpful advice everyone heart

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