If there's something we all hobbyists care about is our own hands. Sometimes they bleed because of those damn Khorne bits, sometimes it's about gallons of spilled Agrax Earthshade over them. But sometimes, specially when we're enjoying a long project, or painting a specially difficult model, our hands may hurt or misbehave in some manner. We may have cramps or feel pins and needles in our fingers; our wrists can hurt, o we can start losing some strenght.
I know that because of three reasons: One, because I read you all on twitter. Two, because I work as a hand therapist for a living, and pay all my plastic crack with the money other people give me in exchange for taking care of their hand problems. And three, because I've been painting since 1994 and I have experienced a lot of problems these years.
Obviously, @Mr_Whateley is just an alias, so you should trust me in the same way you should trust a stranger on the internet telling he's an expert (TL;DR: Don't).
So, here's a disclaimer:
This post should not be taken as a substitute for a professional consult. If you are experiencing hand problems while painting plastic miniatures or modelling with greenstuff, please ask for an appointment with a certified Doctor, Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist (look for a Hand Therapist if that's a thing in your country). I'm really sorry that kind of services are so expensive in some countries; they aren't in mine, and that's why I usually answer to some DMs on Twitter the way I do.
But in case I didn't make it enough clear, here's a graph:
We usually use two hands for our hobby tasks, so there's different symptoms you can experience with each one (unless you're the One and Only Michael Perry, God of Miniatures and Almighty Sculptor, someone I consider a legend for reasons you will understand later).
Those symptoms won't be the same for the casual painters than the commision painters. And won't be the same if you (like me) work with your hands and don't exercise often (Spoiler: The amount of general physical activity you do is directly related to your hand pain). But, in general, they aren't always a sign of a disease or the dreaded Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, so don't worry if you feel something weird from time to time.
As my areas of expertise are, among others: Neuropathic Pain, Hand Rehab, Repetitive Strain Injuries, Ruthless Efficiency... And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, we'll talk about how bad was to choose RSI as a name for this kind of problems later on.
If it's ok to you, I'll be dropping regular posts on this matter every week, covering from the basics (posture, general fitness or different kind of grips) to more advanced matters (like how to do stuff when you're already injuried or recovering). And I'll start with my favourite subject: The Myth of Ergonomics and the Posture Police.
PS: Oh, by the way, you should thank the people below for this (and the next) posts: