Pain while writing can be a result of something as simple as a tightened muscle, to something more involved such as arthritic changes. Handwriting doesn’t have to be painful, however. If we learn to use our hands and our writing implements properly, pain can be avoided or at least lessened.
- Sit upright so that you are not putting your body weight on your forearm as you write. Doing so can put pressure on nerves and create pain.
- It is best for your upper and lower arm to form an “L” or a wider angle as you write. The more your elbow is bent the greater the hand and wrist strain will be.
- Keep your fingers and hand relaxed. Be aware of the back of your hand remaining relaxed.
- Watch for knuckles turning white. This is a tell-tale evidence of tension.
- The more open your fingers are the better. Curled (as opposed to curved) fingers put more tension on the flexor tendons and can lead to pain.
- Allow your wrist and forearm to move your writing implement rather than your fingers. Keep your fingers as still as possible.
- Be sure that your paper is at an angle that allows your wrist to stay relaxed. If not, rearrange your work space until the wrist is “neutral”—straight in relation to your hand and forearm, as it looks when it is hanging comfortably at your side.
- If your thumb is painful while writing, try supporting your pencil in the web space between the index finger and middle (long) finger.
- Use cursive as much as possible. Cursive writing puts less strain on the hands than printing.
- Practice writing with larger lines. Larger handwriting is less stressful on the hands than small, cramped writing.
- Use writing implements that are larger in diameter. They allow your hand to be more open.
- Use rubber grips, tubing or tape on the end of your pencils and pens to reduce the amount of force necessary to grip.
- Pens with easy flow ink, gel, or roller balls require less pressure and put less friction between the tip and the paper. Try switching to one of those.
- Be sure to pace yourself. Take breaks when writing, and write more slowly.
As usual, please feel free to let us know which of these ideas was the most helpful to you by leaving a comment below.