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Mercius

Ouch my aching thumb!

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You could always try sticking out your tongue intstead....lol

hehe..I used to have a similar problem but it resolved itself in time as I got more skilled at fine details.

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Not specifically for the thumb, but one of the best tips I got helped me relax over all, and have a steadier hand at painting. That was to elevate my painting surface by a few inches.

 

Your typical table is between 28-30" high - if you're like me and brace your arms against the table, that will result in you hunching over, and all over your muscles become tense. By elevating my painting surface to 33" and lowering my chair a little bit, it relaxed my posture and kept me from tensing up not just in my back and neck, but in my arms too, thus allowing me a steadier hand overall.

 

Sure, at first it's a little weird with the table top sitting near your nipples instead of near your belly button, but it really does help you relax. If you can't elevate the table you paint at, get a chair that can lower for the same effect.

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Not specifically for the thumb, but one of the best tips I got helped me relax over all, and have a steadier hand at painting. That was to elevate my painting surface by a few inches.

 

Your typical table is between 28-30" high - if you're like me and brace your arms against the table, that will result in you hunching over, and all over your muscles become tense. By elevating my painting surface to 33" and lowering my chair a little bit, it relaxed my posture and kept me from tensing up not just in my back and neck, but in my arms too, thus allowing me a steadier hand overall.

 

Sure, at first it's a little weird with the table top sitting near your nipples instead of near your belly button, but it really does help you relax. If you can't elevate the table you paint at, get a chair that can lower for the same effect.

 

Interesting....I just work at my wife's scrapbooking table for right now, she didn't want to commit to making me a place of my own to work at until she found out if I took this up just to flake off, as I tend to do with things from time to time.

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I woke up this morning with a sore throat and felt worse throughout the day...was trying to paint on my WIP but just kept screwing up the paint job because of how I feel, wasn't giving it 100%, so looks like the thumb might get a few more days of rest.

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Also you could set a timer to take enforced breaks every so often. Maybe every ten minutes or so? Knitters sometimes have this problem (not with thumbs but with wrists, etc.).

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I have dealt with a lot of repetitive strain issues over the past five years (started when I was 22 or so). I had pain and numbness in my hands when it started so I thought it was carpal tunnel. I was forced to give up hobbies, including painting, but carpal tunnel surgery didn't help. Eventually the pain spread to my upper back, then to my lower body, and was ruining my ability to work.

 

It literally took me four years, and 20+ different doctors/physical therapists, to figure out that it was all muscular in origin. Traditional doctors aren't very good at recognizing when muscles are the problem, because there isn't a nice convenient test for it that they can order. In the end, it was an osteopathic doctor who practices a technique called "strain counterstrain" that was able to help me, but other people swear by a variety of other techniques (Janet Travell, John Barnes).

 

Hopefully your situation will never get as bad as mine did but I figured I'd throw this information out there, because it took me a lot of effort to find.

 

This article: http://blog.brushthralls.com/?page_id=1720

is an introduction to these topics, targetted towards painters. The self-treatment can be difficult, because often the source of the problem is far away from the place that hurts, and it takes an experienced professional to know where to look. There are countless books on these topics, but in the end, these things are hard to self-diagnose and harder to self-treat. I'm not cured, but my issues are very well-managed because I tried many many different practitioners until I found the one that worked for me.

 

Good luck!

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I have dealt with a lot of repetitive strain issues over the past five years (started when I was 22 or so). I had pain and numbness in my hands when it started so I thought it was carpal tunnel. I was forced to give up hobbies, including painting, but carpal tunnel surgery didn't help. Eventually the pain spread to my upper back, then to my lower body, and was ruining my ability to work.

 

It literally took me four years, and 20+ different doctors/physical therapists, to figure out that it was all muscular in origin. Traditional doctors aren't very good at recognizing when muscles are the problem, because there isn't a nice convenient test for it that they can order. In the end, it was an osteopathic doctor who practices a technique called "strain counterstrain" that was able to help me, but other people swear by a variety of other techniques (Janet Travell, John Barnes).

 

Hopefully your situation will never get as bad as mine did but I figured I'd throw this information out there, because it took me a lot of effort to find.

 

This article: http://blog.brushthralls.com/?page_id=1720

is an introduction to these topics, targetted towards painters. The self-treatment can be difficult, because often the source of the problem is far away from the place that hurts, and it takes an experienced professional to know where to look. There are countless books on these topics, but in the end, these things are hard to self-diagnose and harder to self-treat. I'm not cured, but my issues are very well-managed because I tried many many different practitioners until I found the one that worked for me.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Thank you so much. My thumb feels much better and isn't going numb now...it was most likely a simple pinched nerve as if I pressed down on the general area of my knuckle my entire thumb went numb for about 3 min and then went back to normal. I appreciate your concern though and am glad you figured out your issue...I hope you are feeling better and able to enjoy your hobbies again!

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Excercise sometimes helps. Get one of those power grip gizmos from any sports store. They are cheap and should strenghten your hand muscles, making them less prone to cramping and numbness.

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