Carpal Tunnel – Treatment and Prevention

Posted on 2011/10/27 at 08:24 by daarken 18 Comments

In the previous tutorial Daarken spoke a little bit about Carpal Tunnel and ways to help prevent RSI. As a followup, Daarken discusses his experiences with Carpal Tunnel and what types of medications and products you can use to ease aches and pains associated with RSI.

Note – I just wanted to make sure that people understand that they need to always, always consult a doctor before taking any new medications.

Tiger Balm


18 Comments on "Carpal Tunnel – Treatment and Prevention"

  1. Warren Jerzyszek · 2011/11/11 at 04:07 · Reply

    Hey Daarken, Thanks for sharing this… I’ve become really aware of my amount of computer usage lately and have realised that after a lot of WOW or building websites my wrists really hurt! I’ve been looking at different massages you can do to your forearms and wrists and they have helped. I will also look at getting some of these creams to help take the bite away from the throbbing pain. I’m really worried about my wrists now, what types of ergonomically sound wrist supports, keyboards etc do you use?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2011/11/11 at 09:17 · Reply

      You know, I’ve heard from other people with carpal tunnel that acupuncture really helped them. It might be something to look into, although I have never tried it.

      There are those ergo keyboards that are split down the middle and sort of rotated. I have one, but they are hard getting used to. I don’t really play PC games anymore, so I can’t really say if they help.

      As for wrist supports, I use the Handeze ones, but there are some with a hard splint in them like this one.

  2. Grigor · 2011/11/11 at 08:24 · Reply

    I actually feel rly bad realising that all great stuff u produce come in the cost of pain and…this is just rly fucked up.I love your art and i’ve always wished to achieve your lvl of skills and passion but this problem you have, and being constantly on painkillers, I didnt rly realize how tough it is. How did u hurt yourself that badly, how to avoid it? I myself am full of pains but they r due to wrong training and stupid things i’ve done. How did u end up with your traumas? I’ll be honest- i preffer not to have the problem, u know, instead of knowing how to threat it.
    Ty , i appreciate all you do for the art community, You are a God among men :)

    • daarken
      daarken · 2011/11/11 at 09:19 · Reply

      Well my problem is that I work ridiculous hours and I always forget to take breaks. Do that for too long and it ends up catching up to you. Unfortunately I didn’t develop good habits until it was too late. I’m not saying everyone will get carpal tunnel, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe.

  3. Rickard Finndahl · 2011/11/11 at 11:49 · Reply

    Great that you share this with other people! Really good to know if we some day came in that situaiton. Thank you man!

  4. Robnonstop · 2011/11/11 at 17:31 · Reply

    Have you gotten blood tests for essential minerals and hormones like Magnesium and Vitamin D? Shortages can make inflammations more likely and they take much longer to heal. I would get tested for all the standard stuff before taking these severe medicines, sounds scary. Thanks for the video and take care of yourself!

    • daarken
      daarken · 2011/11/11 at 18:19 · Reply

      These medications are through a doctor’s prescription only, you can not take them unless a doctor writes a prescription for you. I went and had the EMG test done, consulted my doctor, and my neurologist was the one that told me I needed to be put on these medications. No one should try to take any of these medications without consulting a doctor first. But yes, I did have my blood tested before I was put on the medication.

  5. Anakenaoi · 2011/11/11 at 20:32 · Reply

    Hey Daarken, I was curious if you’ve ever used GUNNAR glasses, or know anything about them. I’d like to protect my eyes, and I’m hoping GUNNAR glasses(along with breaks) will help do so… but I’m unsure if they’re legit. Perhaps you could do a short tutorial on preserving the eyes?

    • daarken
      daarken · 2011/11/12 at 09:39 · Reply

      Hmm, nope I’ve never used them before. When I was back at BioWare Mythic I know that the company covered the cost of computer glasses, but I never got around to getting any. I was planning on asking my optometrist about them too, but again, I never got around to it. I will try to make a point of asking my optometrist about them the next time I have an appointment. Thanks, and let me know if you hear anything about them, I might want to give them a try!

  6. Judy · 2011/11/12 at 17:05 · Reply

    OMG!!! I really got scared when i heard you said about the needle into the hands. I will try to take breaks from time to time, this is very serious. Thanks again for sharing. First time I heard about this condition.

  7. AC · 2011/11/17 at 11:10 · Reply

    I go to a chiropractor and I have some irritation in my right wrist which he warned me could turn into carpal tunnel if I don’t care for it. He explained to me that the main reason for getting carpal tunnel is due to your wrist flexing far more than extending (muscle flexion and extension). So he prescribed me a simple exercise, it is as follows:

    Get some wrist weights that you can tie around your fingers or palm.
    Rest your forearm and hand on a desk, then slowly raise ONLY your hand up and try to make it vertical and then return it back to to a flat horizontal position on the desk.

    The most important thing he said was to keep your fingers straight at all times, that is why he said to find a wrist weight that can be tied onto the hand/or fingers.

    Also its well worth it to see a chiropractor for wrist issues, just FYI, I have been more healthier and happier since I started seeing my chiropractor and its been a little over a year now.

    I hope this helps, because I don’t want carpal tunnel and I definitely don’t want to stop drawing. =)

    • daarken
      daarken · 2011/11/18 at 07:42 · Reply

      Thanks so much for the info, I will definitely keep it in mind. I know several of my friends visit a chiropractor regularly.

      • AC · 2011/11/18 at 21:45 · Reply

        You are most welcome!
        Btw, I really liked your male/female tutorials on youtube, where you painted each from memory (the full bodies one). It was awesome! =)

  8. Aryeh · 2011/12/23 at 13:57 · Reply

    im scared… lol.
    all of this just sounds awful. im going to treat my wrists like precious heirlooms.

  9. Ken Doyle · 2012/02/24 at 09:09 · Reply

    I’ve been a digital artist for 17+ yrs and have dealt with RSI on a bunch of occasions.

    My experience is that there are only two things that help and I personally don’t think using drugs to mask symptoms is going to do any good in the long term.

    Regular screen breaks and exercise and stretching combined with supplements that support joint and nerve health are the way forward.What does the R in RSI stand for? You need to break those repetitive patterns once and for all and develop constant and regularly healthy habits.



  10. Ken Doyle · 2012/02/24 at 09:15 · Reply


    A great book to get is called “Conquering Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Other Repetitive Strain Injuries” by Sharon J. Butler

  11. Olooriel · 2012/08/21 at 05:13 · Reply

    Just coming from my Doctor who informed me that I have CTS :( I wanted to learn to draw like you, not develop the same health problems, lol ;) So far it’s only in the left hand, thank god I draw with the right one. It doesn’t hurt (yet), but it tingles rather annoyingly. He did a couple of electroshocks to measure my nerve reactions, but I can’t say they hurt much, so it must have been something different to what they did to you, no needles either (well who knows, maybe he’ll do more examinations in a couple of months if the splint he has prescribed now doesn’t help). Not looking forward to wearing that thing at night when it’s hot as hell right now, but if it helps… I’m trying to set up my workplace more ergonomically, but the biggest problem is that I’m working on a laptop, and the screen is way too low, so I constantly have my head bent down a little awkwardly. I do notice that it’s really bad for my neck… maybe I’ll need to put the laptop on top of some box, and then use an extra keyboard… hm.

  12. skythia · 2013/08/08 at 07:20 · Reply

    Some test can help you to determine if you have the signs of CTS. This maneuver can help you:
    You rest your elbows on a flat surface such as a desk, with your elbows bent and your forearms up. You then flex your wrists, letting your hands hang down for about 60 seconds. If you feel tingling, numbness, or pain in the fingers within 60 seconds, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
    Please visit on this site for further information.

Leave a comment to Aryeh

+ 2 = seven