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Old 01-18-2010, 04:22 AM
Ze R-teist Ze R-teist is offline
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Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/carpal tunnel?

I work with watercolors and have developed Car-pel-tunnel and possibly arthritis though out the years of painting. I love to paint and will do anything to keep on painting. my problem is that after 3-4 hours of painting the next day I pay for it. My wrist kills me making everyday tasks hard. I do wear a wrist brace that covers my wrist. I can not paint easily with a metal splint wrist brace. I wear that one the next day.

I want to know if the brand "Royal soft grip golden taklen" is a decent brand of brush for watercolor. Dick Blick sells them in sets of 5 for $14.20. DB recomends them for adults with special needs. I also watch you tube and seen a lady who uses these brushes because she has arthritis. Her work is really good. I'm used to using cheap senthetics like Robert Simmons White sable and Winsor and Newton white nylons. My thought is that the soft grip of Royal's brushes will help with my problem.

What is your opinion and do you recommend any other brushes to help me in my painful painting.

P.S. Car-pel-tunnel surgery is in the future but need help for the present

Any input is helpful!

A.J.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:53 PM
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Srishti Srishti is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

AJ I do hope ou find a solution and hopefully able to paint more! Perhaps somebody here would have used them and come along and share their experience... Though I would suggest just buy the set and try it and see if it help you.
All my best wishes...
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:14 PM
Blick Art Materials Blick Art Materials is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

Hi A.J.,
We've had good response from customers on the Royal Soft Grip Brushes. I have problems with my hands as well...I guess it's inevidable being an artist...and have found that because of the cushion grip, it forces me to not be so heavy handed on the brush handle, thus my symptoms have mellowed. Granted, a lot of it has to do with now often you paint and hold the brush, but overall it's well designed. If you try them, let us know what you think!

Kristal
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:32 PM
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countdown countdown is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

you might try a roll of the stuff they use to hold a cotton ball in place when they take blood. Sorry I don't know the name of it. It's rubbery and sticks to itself. I inherited a couple brushes that she had wrapped that around, very comfortable to hold.
JC
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:52 PM
lily47 lily47 is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

You could also use the foam bit from old fashioned hair rollers. Just slip it into the brush handle and position it where it will be most comfortable for your grip.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:26 AM
ArtsyAnnie ArtsyAnnie is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

I have arthritis in its medium stages in my hands. I have some of the soft grips and like them - since they are bigger around they are easier to grip on painful days. I like to paint a lot of big wet in wet and they do not help that - but are great for detail and smaller parts (especially the angled ones).
Three years ago I was teaching a friend who had lost some use of his hands from heart failure. He loved the soft grips because they were bigger and he could get more control - they let him do some good painting. Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:57 AM
Neeman Neeman is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

Raphael Aqualine 800 Series
has a velvet touch ferrule
for more comfort.
Pure squirrel
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Old 01-19-2010, 11:16 AM
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Shirl Parker Shirl Parker is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

You might consider getting a referral to a physical therapist who specializes in observing and correcting your way of doing things. You could take your brushes and paint and the therapist could observe your brush handling technique and discover how your painting technique affects your problem and ways to alleviate the problem with different holding techniques. One visit would probably be helpful.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:26 PM
Barbara WC Barbara WC is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

Hi A.J.-

I cannot comment on the specific brush you mentioned, but can mention some things that have helped me with my wrist problems and finger numbness.

First, last year I started painting with large brushes, no smaller than a size 10, size 12 is my favorite. I've had to change my painting style, but I now am comfortable with these brushes. The benefit of a larger brush is two fold: More coverage with fewer strokes, and the larger handle helps with the grip problem.

Secondly, how do you hold the brush? Holding a brush like a pencil is horrible for the wrist and fingers for someone with carpel tunnel. You have been painting a long time, so it's unlikely you paint this way, but it's something to be aware of.

I took a class in the Fall, and the instructor advocated painting watercolor upright, not flat on a table. For some reason this has helped with my wrist problems, I suspect because of the position of my arm. This has also been good for me because I've been trying to loosen up, and painting upright has helped that too!

Lastly, take frequent breaks. I find this the hardest of all, but I do try to take a breather every 15-20 minutes.

I've also had physical therapy to learn how to do a few stretches and strengthing exercises. If you can have a few sessions of physical therapy, it might help not only with painting, but with other daily activities.

I only wear my brace at night, can't stand using it during the day, despite the doctor telling me I should.

Barbara
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Old 01-19-2010, 04:20 PM
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judyfilarecki judyfilarecki is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

I have tried the soft grip with no real difference. I just had carpal tunnel surgery with good results and als o have rheumatoid arthritis so here is an article I wrote which shows what I did to adapt to the situation.

http://blog.filarecki.com/2009/10/04...nightmare.aspx

The problem if you are looking at needing carpal tunnel surgery is that the grip on any of the paint brushes, soft or hard is too small.
The adaption enabled me to work for two months without pain or numbness and was easily adapted to.

Since having the surgery 2 months ago, I have painted five paintings and am thoroughly enjoying myself. Here is the last one I finished in WSO's



Hope this helps.

Judy
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:46 PM
Ze R-teist Ze R-teist is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

I know what you are talking about. I know it as VET wrap. This is also used a a band-aid for farm animals. I put some on my most used brushes and covered it with cloth bandage tape (vet wrap was a little too sticky) This seams to be working good. thanks for the advice
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:02 PM
Zenica Zenica is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

Perhaps you should look at the office supply store. I found that mine sells pencil grips that are like memory foam. That's what I did with my pure sable brushes. They are cheap and they work well for my wrist. Also the gel brushes that you talked about are pretty good, but they don't replace the awesome feeling of a good sable brush. Try my suggestion out - its extremely cheap and if it ever wears out - they only cost a dollar or two for a 10 pack so its easy to replace.

Zen
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:53 PM
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Shirl Parker Shirl Parker is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

Someone on another forum is using a tennis ball with a hole through it. She inserts the brush through and holds it with her hand around the ball. It's been very effective.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:12 AM
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judyfilarecki judyfilarecki is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

Here is the link to my tennis ball adaption to help people with hand problems.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...73#post8212473



Judy
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:32 PM
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KarenSioson KarenSioson is offline
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Re: Do soft grip brushes help with arthritis/car-pel-tunnel?

Hi,

An alternative to the grips can also be made from the tennis racket handle wraps you can buy from sporting goods store. You just wind it around the handle and cut when you've found the most comfortable thickness. It is not as sticky as the vet tape and can be rewound again and again.

As for the question whether using grips on handles can rehabilitate carpal tunnel syndrome, the grips only allow you to comfortably use your hands. Less pain because you put less stress from less gripping strength. However, the only thing that would help with carpal tunnel in its early stages is resting your wrist completely and using wrist supports to sort of immobilize them. The only permanent solution is surgery.

It would be hard to completely not use your hands. I can't. So I just try to moderate the stress i subject my wrists to and use wrist wraps while sleeping. Somehow, i dont wake up with numb fingers unlike before. Doctor said it prevents my hands from bending too much and aggravating the symptoms of carpal tunnel.

Karen
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