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Writer’s Cramp: Know the symptoms, causes and treatment

Pinkvilla 2020-06-29 20:15:57

Do you feel mild discomfort while writing? You may be suffering from writer’s cramp. Read on to know its symptoms, causes and treatment.

Written By Arushi Bidhuri 16073 reads Mumbai Updated: June 29, 2020 03:43 pm

Does your hand move involuntarily whenever you write? If so, you might be suffering from writer’s cramp. Also known as focal dystonia, writer’s cramp is a neurological movement disorder that interferes with one’s ability to write. This problem occurs when the brain sends incorrect signals to the muscles. It is mainly caused by spasms or cramps of certain muscles of the hand and forearm, that hampers one’s ability to perform various functions. 

A person suffering from writer’s cramp might experience involuntary muscle contractions that may even make your hand twist into weird postures. It can happen to anyone who performs a particular activity for longer periods. It is mainly categorized into two categories, namely, simple and dystonic. Simple writer’s cramp involves an inability to write properly and dystonic writer’s cramp will make it difficult for you to perform other daily activities as well. 

Symptoms of writer’s cramp 

The condition can affect anyone and the symptoms may vary according to the type of writer’s cramp you suffer from. Some of the common symptoms include: 

1. Excessive gripping of a pen or pencil 

2. Flexing of the wrist 

3. Fingers extending during writing

4. Difficulty in holding a pen or other objects 

5. Unusual movements of the wrist and elbow 

6. Involuntary movements of hand or fingers 

7. Mild discomfort in fingers, wrist or forearm 

Causes 

It depends on how your brain responds to repetitive hand movements. Simple writer’s cramp can be a result of overuse, poor writing posture or not holding the pen properly. Symptoms may appear only after holding a pen for a few minutes. 

Dystonic writer’s cramp, on the other hand, can be a cause of generalized dystonia that might affect different parts of the body. In this case, you may experience symptoms when you’re doing tasks other than writing as well. 

Treatment 

There is no specific treatment that will help you kick writer’s cramp to the curb, but combinations of therapies and medications can help, including: 

1. Changing your arm position or changing the way you hold your pen can help you recover from writer’s cramp. 

2. Botox injections are given to specific muscles may ease writer’s cramp and reduce involuntary movements of your hands. 

3. Over-the-counter medications prescribed by a professional doctor may help. 

4. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and visualization may distract the mind and help you overcome the problem. 


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