Severe Hand Pain on Tablet - Any Advice?

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Topic Starter
Jademalo
I've been playing for ~ 5 hours off and on over the last month or so, but I'm having a pretty severe issue that I need to try and get sorted before I put some serious time into the game.

The first two days I played, I didn't have many issues aside from changing from clicking to keyboard, and the lack of precision using a mouse. I instantly fell in love with the game though, so I decided to get a tablet before playing any more.
I got the official one since I like branding and it happened to be in stock at the time, and over the last two days I've played a few hours to get used to it. That came pretty quickly and played much better than a mouse, although I'm having a major issue - I get SEVERE pain in my hand no matter how I try to hold the pen to use the trackpad.
Now I know hand pain is normally joked about with this game, but this was beyond simple pain. This is the kind where you immediately stop doing what you're doing and don't do it again pain. I also want to apologise for making yet another one of these threads, as I guess they're pretty common. The problem is I can't gauge what acceptable pain is from any of those, and people hold pens in a massive variety of manners.

As an example, here is the hardest map I've passed so far. http://youtu.be/urEEEa830i4
As you can see, at about 3:20 when I drop the combo, I suddenly get extremely imprecise. If you look at the cursor from about 3:35 onwards, you can see it's vibrating extremely violently, and that's because at this point my hand had totally seized up. I had only been playing for about 15 minutes that session, and my hand was fine for the first half of the song, as is evident. It took over 3 hours for my hand to recover, and even today it's still a little swollen.

I've added some images below in the spoiler box of my setup attempts. Apologies for the Potato camera.
Over the last couple of days since I got the tablet, I tried a couple of different setups to try and reduce the pain. I prefer hovering the pen to actually touching it down, since there isn't as much resistance. To begin, this is how I hold a pen.


The first one is what felt the most natural to me. My hand is resting on the tablet and is very stable, and the active region is set up such that I have a lot of precision without much movement. This was what I used for the video above, and really starts to hurt very quickly.


The second one is one I tried using a more "correct" way of holding a pen. This one for me is pretty imprecise, but hurts just as much as the other one.


The third one is a much bigger floating hand with higher sensitivity set ingame. This one had really low accuracy for me, and wasn't very comfortable at all. I also had the issue that the pen would lift up when I got to the edges and I would lose connection.


So, is there a better way for me to try to learn to hold the pen? I can't really keep playing like I am, I don't want to damage my hand or my wrist. Any advice would really be appreciated, thank you!
vsprite
Well the best advice i can give you is to stick with one sensitivity option. Try to hold the pen naturally as if you were writing with a pen, as that position is likely to be the most comfortable on your hand and wrist. If you are, and if this happens when you write normally, you should probably go see a doctor.
Topic Starter
Jademalo

vsprite wrote:

Well the best advice i can give you is to stick with one sensitivity option. Try to hold the pen naturally as if you were writing with a pen, as that position is likely to be the most comfortable on your hand and wrist. If you are, and if this happens when you write normally, you should probably go see a doctor.
Out of the images, the first one with the small active area on the left hand side would be the most natural. It's fine for ~30 seconds, but anything beyond that my hand gets fatigued beyond all belief. I can't remember this ever being an issue when I used to write at school, and I don't get any hand pain doing anything else.
Mathsma
Try getting used to a larger area. Larger areas are usually quite hard to do with tense hands so you learn to loosen them up and that helps play for longer periods of time. Also that thing with the pen lifting up too high and losing connection is due to lack of experience. You learn to not do that as you practice.

Also, experiment around with other grips. The grip I use to play is completely different from how I use a pen. The way I use a pen is too restrictive for osu! and I switched to a much more free grip.
Pettanko
am i the only one who thinks that if you start experiencing pain then you should immediately stop playing the game and seek medical attention

like damn its not worth fucking up your hand for life just to click circles while listening to chinese cartoon songs
vsprite

Pettanko wrote:

am i the only one who thinks that if you start experiencing pain then you should immediately stop playing the game and seek medical attention

like damn its not worth fucking up your hand for life just to click circles while listening to chinese cartoon songs
I do agree that would be a very embarassing excuse
Topic Starter
Jademalo

Pettanko wrote:

am i the only one who thinks that if you start experiencing pain then you should immediately stop playing the game and seek medical attention

like damn its not worth fucking up your hand for life just to click circles while listening to chinese cartoon songs
That's exactly why I made the thread, I know when to stop. I have a feeling though that it must be something I'm doing wrong though, as it's more than anything I've ever had doing anything. I would have stopped the muse song mid way through had I not finally broken a 500x combo, lol.
Also, what else am I supposed to do with my time? Are you saying there is more to life than clicking circles to chinese cartoon songs, or pressing bars in time to classic rock? :P

Mathsma wrote:

Try getting used to a larger area. Larger areas are usually quite hard to do with tense hands so you learn to loosen them up and that helps play for longer periods of time. Also that thing with the pen lifting up too high and losing connection is due to lack of experience. You learn to not do that as you practice.

Also, experiment around with other grips. The grip I use to play is completely different from how I use a pen. The way I use a pen is too restrictive for osu! and I switched to a much more free grip.
With larger areas, how do I comfortably rest my hand?
It kind of annoys me that tablets have their unused bit on the left hand side, as if that was on the right it would be a lot easier to rest on. The main reason for the smallest one being the most comfortable is I don't have to use any energy to hold my hand in place, and it's comfortably resting.

Regarding the lifting, I expect that would be the case, but trying to keep it down did fatigue my hand more. Since obviously the rotation of the wrist is curved, I had to extend my fingers a lot more.
Greust
Could you demonstrate where exactly your pain and 'swelling' is? That would be a good starting point, if we can find where you experience the pain, we could find what's causing it. I used to suffer with excruciating pain in my ring finger and pinky finger joints, I used a different grip and switched to full tablet area and I no longer experience pain while playing osu!

Where abouts do you experience you pain? Is it a cramp kind of pain or something else?
MMzz

Pettanko wrote:

am i the only one who thinks that if you start experiencing pain then you should immediately stop playing the game and seek medical attention

like damn its not worth fucking up your hand for life just to click circles while listening to chinese cartoon songs
This post should be a stickied thread and required to read before posting here.
Milenian
When i bought my tablet i also had pain on the wrist and thumb and even had to stop for 1-2 weeks for overdoing it... Eventually, with controlled use, your hand/wrist will get used to it. At start is completely normal for that to happen, my wrist world start hurting after less than an hour. Try stretching it after playing (just like you do in sports)
Bauxe
Pretty sure peppy has posted this before.

The osu! forums are not here for medical advice. If you have any kind of pain, you should instead see a doctor.

Nothing is wrong with how you are holding the pen.
Topic Starter
Jademalo

MMzz wrote:

Pettanko wrote:

am i the only one who thinks that if you start experiencing pain then you should immediately stop playing the game and seek medical attention

like damn its not worth fucking up your hand for life just to click circles while listening to chinese cartoon songs
This post should be a stickied thread and required to read before posting here.
Second. (Do remember I have stopped playing until I can figure this out, and am taking extreme care from now on.)

Venoko wrote:

Could you demonstrate where exactly your pain and 'swelling' is? That would be a good starting point, if we can find where you experience the pain, we could find what's causing it. I used to suffer with excruciating pain in my ring finger and pinky finger joints, I used a different grip and switched to full tablet area and I no longer experience pain while playing osu!

Where abouts do you experience you pain? Is it a cramp kind of pain or something else?
The swelling is pretty much in my entire hand. Mostly the palm, and a bit in the knuckle. The wrist is entirely fine.

Bauxe wrote:

Pretty sure peppy has posted this before.

The osu! forums are not here for medical advice. If you have any kind of pain, you should instead see a doctor.

Nothing is wrong with how you are holding the pen.
Just want to clarify that I have been to see a doctor before, and there is nothing wrong with my hand. I went about a year ago for another issue (Skyward Sword gave me totally unrelated sharp pains in the wrist) and they couldn't find anything lastingly wrong with my hand after doing a few tests, which involved writing and holding a pen. Bear in mind that I went in for wrist pain, No other activities cause any sort of hand pain, and there is no history arthritis or anything in my family. I do not have issues when writing, aside from it being totally illegible. I'm not looking for medical advice, I know when to stop. I'm spesifically looking for advice on how other people play the game, whether or not they have any discomfort, and if there are good practices for keeping your hand in good shape.
GoldenWolf
You might be tensing up too much when playing? Try to relax a bit, change your pen grip, see if that change anything, etc
xasuma
Rest. And stop before it hurts next time you do play.
Topic Starter
Jademalo

xasuma wrote:

Rest. And stop before it hurts next time you do play.
I do rest, but the issue is that it starts hurting within the length of a single song.
chong601

Pettanko wrote:

am i the only one who thinks that if you start experiencing pain then you should immediately stop playing the game and seek medical attention

like damn its not worth fucking up your hand for life just to click circles while listening to chinese cartoon songs
this

Jademalo wrote:

I do rest, but the issue is that it starts hurting within the length of a single song.
That means you didn't rest long enough....
Topic Starter
Jademalo

chong601 wrote:

Jademalo wrote:

I do rest, but the issue is that it starts hurting within the length of a single song.
That means you didn't rest long enough....
My hand was entirely back to normal by the time I started that. The first time I played it went to that state in the same amount of time. I disagree that would be the case, and I know my hand.
GoldenWolf

Jademalo wrote:

My hand was entirely back to normal by the time I started that. The first time I played it went to that state in the same amount of time. I disagree that would be the case, and I know my hand.
You don't know your hand enough if you're hurting yourself though.
Even if your hand FEELS normal and okay, it does NOT mean it actually is.
chong601

Jademalo wrote:

My hand was entirely back to normal by the time I started that. The first time I played it went to that state in the same amount of time. I disagree that would be the case, and I know my hand.
>My hand was entirely back to normal by the time I started that

nope it doesn't... trust me... if your hand just got back from normal to rekt in a short while means that you overdone your hand while playing maps
Topic Starter
Jademalo

GoldenWolf wrote:

Jademalo wrote:

My hand was entirely back to normal by the time I started that. The first time I played it went to that state in the same amount of time. I disagree that would be the case, and I know my hand.
You don't know your hand enough if you're hurting yourself though.
Even if your hand FEELS normal and okay, it does NOT mean it actually is.
What I meant by that is it took the same amount of time to hurt as it did the first time it started to hurt. I can understand if it suddenly started hurting a lot faster, but nothing changed. If I was to batter it any more it would be lasting damage, but it's purely fatigue.
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