Beating the Aches, Pains and Potential Risks for a Tattoo Artist

Posted by Dragon Tattoo on

Most tattoo artists will know their limitations and what their body can and cannot handle. Some artists can be booked at certain times of day because it offers their peak work while not working at other times of day because the work is fatiguing to the body. The stooping over is both wearing on their neck and back. Those are not the only two things that are wearing to them; carpal tunnel is another concern for them. Maintaining a more controlled workload does not necessarily guarantee their being in tip top shape all the time. This profession, as many, has its wear and tear on a body.
The artist like the clients can face health risks in fact, more so. They are exposed to blood from people most days. Although safe practices are in play, there is always a danger and they have to respect this fact.

Regular use of fine motor skills, such as the hands and eyes along with the weight of the machine itself can be exhausting and quite straining on your hands, arms, back, neck, and eyes. Upper limbs are most vulnerable to becoming numb and varies dependent on the position. Usually, the upper back is where the pain develops. Sitting in the same position for a couple of hours, leaning over in one angle for a length of time, strains the body and will take its toll. Congestion of fluids in the strained area(s) can create pain and numbness after awhile. 
Numbness and soreness are also a big concern for your fingers, hands and wrists while tattooing for a prolonged period of time. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common problem for tattoo artists. Their hands are maybe the most used body part on a daily basis, if they're not working, they are drawing or many other activities inclusive of this profession. Regular exercising of the upper body and hands helps to thwart off throbbing and dullness of these muscles.
Owning a tattoo machine is one thing, understanding the risks involved can be another. You will be working with needles and blood here, and, it's no joke. One little thing that was overlooked can be life changing. An infected individual, a needle that was not sterile and/or unsanitary practices are serious and should always be considered as such. 
Ink. There are high quality inks with less risk of irritants and contamination, however they tend to a bit more costly. Because cost is a factor, some opt for inks of lower quality which can result in trouble. There can be allergic reactions, infections and those are typical because some are not regulated. Be cautious and aware of what you are using.
Drink plenty of water, don't get so 'lost' in your work that you neglect yourself. Becoming dehydrated can lead to headaches and cramping. Sometimes you may want to visit a massage therapist to help you work out some of the stiffness your body may experience. Eat right, exercise, rest and know your limitations! You may love your job but it is a necessity that you respect your body first.
Other ways you might improve your muscles and reduce aches and pains include acupuncture, yoga, meditation and vitamins. Always do stretching and again...drink water!!! 
Workspace configuration should be conducive to your profession. Modifications with chairs, arm rests, and possibly the placement of supplies. Your weight and height also need to be taken into consideration. One size fits all furniture usually doesn't work out. You need furniture that you can adjust heights, angles and positions. With some chairs you can straddle for a switch with your angles; (see You may want to consider changing to lighter rotary machines and using a foot pedal. 

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