Animation Tendonitis, rest hasn't helped, can't work

Hello. Thanks for the information on your website it's great. I wanted to share my situation with you to see if you think this will ever calm down. My History: I'm a 24yr/o animator and last year at the end of University I ended up getting some bad wrist pains. They were dull aching pains and the doctor told me it was tendonitis. It was caused from drawing too much (did thousands of drawings in a few months).

I often did 10 hour days just drawing constantly. Because it was my final project I had to carry on with the pain until I couldn't any more. Then I switched to drawing with my left hand and got the same pain there.

A few months after my course finished the pain went away. So I probably initially had it for 2 or 3 months.

For about 6 or 7 months I was fine and didn't get it again. I'd had a job coding websites for 4 months and at that point I joined a gym. After about 1 month of using a variety of weight machines for 30mins twice a week, the same pain came back in both wrists. When using a mouse & keyboard however I now get it at the base of my thumb too.

I don't know if the pain came back because of the job, the gym or a combination of both. But since coming back it's been at least 4 months. Because of my job it hasn't got any better (using a mouse aggravates it). I stopped using weights as soon as the pain appeared. I lessened my hours to 2 days a week initially and have now had to quit my job to give it time to heal.

--- What aggravates my wrists ---

My wrists don't usually hurt unless:
I'm drawing, typing or using a mouse.

I can usually use a mouse & keyboard for an hour without the pain coming. It doesn't make a difference if I have a break after that... 1 - 2 hours a day is usually maximum.

Drawing though it only takes 20 mins for pain to come. Which sucks because that's what I need to do the most.

--- Things I'm trying/ thinking of trying now ---

Apart from the first which is your main suggestion I'd like to know if you think the following are helpful?

- I'm going to try ice dipping/ massage as you suggested.

- Taking Proteolytic Enzymes - I've heard good things about these?

- Taking multivitamins

- Taking Starflower Oil (Can't stand cod-liver)

Using wrist splints when in pain

- Using a mouse pad

- Having 100 days rest for collagen to rebuild (I read somewhere that's how long it takes?)

- Starting Physiotherapy

- Drinking more water (I don't drink much)

- Using timing software to moderate & suspend my computer use

--- Main question ---

Anyway I hope you can help. I just want to know how bad you think my case is and if you think it will go away if I do the things I listed above for long enough?


Joshua Answers:

Hi Animator.

1. Tendonitis doesn't 'calm down'. Pain might go away, but the mechanism/dynamic is still in place, quickly or slowly getting worse.

See: What Is Tendonitis?

2. That's because of the Pain Causing Dynamic.

3. Regarding your main question, I think your case is just like everybody else's case. That's just how Tendonitis works, whether it's Wrist Tendonitis or at any other location.

4. Taking 100 days off isn't going to help anything. Rest doesn't help or fix tendonitis. And, it's unlikely that you have any 'injury' that more collagen is going to fix.

5. Also check out Magnesium for Tendonitis,

6. And get my Reversing Wrist Tendonitis ebook while you're at it. :)

7. I don't actually know what Starflower oil is, but yes, it's got to beat Codliver oil (which is not a healthy choice these days for a variety of reasons).

8. More water, yes. Enzymes can be good, yes, if you actually have scar tissue for them to eat up, and if they're taken on an empty stomach.

9. Wrist splints and braces are fine to get you through the day, but not as a long term option.

10. How's the ice dipping been going?

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Animation Tendonitis, rest hasn't helped, can't work

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Oct 21, 2011
Re: Joshua
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua

I've been ice dipping for a while now and it does provide relief if I have pain. I do an ice dip about 4 - 6 times a day. It only works in the short term, is that normal?

I also saw a Physiotherapist and they told me they think it's more likely I have Median & Radial Nerve Tension from my bad posture whilst at a computer. They reasoned that I was too young for tendonitis (24) and that they couldn't see any 'wastage' on my hands or the tendons / muscles.

However a GP Doctor (the one who refereed me to the Physio) said I had tendonitis before that.

Since doing the stretches the Physio gave me for 8 weeks my left hand feels a lot better, I don't have pain in it anymore. But although the stretches have helped my right a little, I still have trouble with it regularly.

I'm not sure which of them was right. What is your opinion on the matter?

Many Thanks for reading


Joshua Comments:

Hi David.

Well, the guys saying that 24 is too young for tendonitis and somehow making a correlation to tendonitis and muscle wasting certainly aren't right.

I hope that was a different Physio you saw after the GP.

Symptoms of Tendonitis show up for a variety of reasons. Bad posture is one of them, but posture isn't a 'cause' of symptoms. There are other things happening. Follow that link and read the page of tendonitis symptoms causes.

Ice dipping generally isn't a 'fix'. It increases circulation which moves irritant out and new blood and nutrition in. So yes, that sounds normal.

Overall my opinion is that you have pain and symptoms due to this: Pain Causing Dynamic

More questions, more answers.

Sep 08, 2018
Love to draw but tight muscles, inflammation maybe, but no pain!
by: Bryce

Hello, Before I start my questions and story, I would like to tell you I love to draw as my hobby and would love to do it as my career, so I desperately need my hands in good shape! :) I took a break from drawing recently, about a month ago, and I used my phone mostly throughout the time. I immediately noticed a couple days ago a little bump on my right hand, close to the back of my thumb. I looked it up and found out it might be tendonitis.

When I looked into tendonitis, all the people that I read about had severe pain, or even mild pain in their wrist and forearm when they moved their hand. But I don't have any pain at all (except if you count stretching limits).

My arm has tight muscles (to where when I close my hand I can feel it a bit harder to close) and swollen tendons, and after a couple days of massaging, ice dipping, icing, and simple stretching exercises my forearm seems to have gotten a bit fatter on the top.

My questions are:

1: Do people sometimes not have pain in tendonitis?

2: Would this even be considered tendonitis?

3: Do muscles make your forearm swell up and get fatter with tendonitis?

4: In your E-book, does it tell you why you need to ice it for 2 hours?

Thank you for your time!


Joshua Comments:

Hi Bryce.

1. It's 100% normal to not have pain with a tendonitis dynamic...until you do. Meaning there are multiple factors at play (tightness, inflammation process, lack of nutrition) and they all progressively get worse over time (quickly or slowly)...and all that's happening without pain...until it's bad enough that you begin to consciously feel the pain (that was already there but not enough to cross the threshold where you actually feel it/notice it.

2. A tendonitis dynamic, sure. People like a diagnosis, like it's 'a thing', but every dianosis is just a lable for a more complex ecology of factors.

3. No. Swelling can. But I'd need you to describe 'fatter' in more detail. Do you mean swelling? Or do you meaning the muscles are contracted and thus bunching/bulking up?

4. Yes. Though you don't ice it for two hours, the two hours is a window in which to do as many ice dips as you're motivated to do (and the 2 hours is a beginners recipe, doesn't have to be in a 2 hour window once you know what you're doing).

Let me know if you have any more questions.

See Related: 16 Year Old Artist With Tendonitis For Year And A Half

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