Relieving wrist and arm pain: Exercises for writers .

Status: Getting excited!
Days till ‘Dead, Actually’ is released? 7!! One week today exactly. So is that still 7 or 6? I’m a writer not a mathematician…

I posted this over at my Downtown YA blog spot – but as I’d been promising it here as well – I’m crossing over.
I don’t know about you, but I, and many other authors I know, suffer terribly with hand problems. It seems to go with the industry. These days, as never before really, we have to produce enormous amounts of work in a relatively short time.
And it takes its toll. On our backs, our bodies in general, our arms, our necks, our eyes, hands and fingers.
For me one of the most stressful is the hands and fingers. Actually it’s almost the entire arm thing. I get horrific pain right down my forearms, through my wrists and into my hands.
I’ve tried many things to try and get some relief – and three things have been successful. One of those though, rates just a tad above the other because it’s instantaneous, effective and I don’t have to leave my office.
So, what are my Top Three Relievers for arm/wrist pain?
• Acupuncture
For me it was very effective. Takes some time though as the treatment itself takes more than an hour. I like that it lasts for several months. I’d certainly recommend it if you get to a stage where nothing else works.

• Chiropractic
I love chiropractic care and I love Lisa McKee, my chiropractor. Chiro has kept me walking for years when traditional medicine said I should have been in a wheelchair after a bad car accident years ago. I owe it and my practitioners a heap.

• Exercise
This is the one I want to focus on today. These actually came from my chiro Lisa and I’ve been extolling the virtues – hers and the exercises – for years.

What to do:
Part 1
1. Extend right arm straight out in front.
2. Hand must form an upward right angle. (I.e, as in ‘speak to the hand’. Got it?)
3. Place your left hand over the fingers of the right.
4. Push these fingers back towards your shoulder.
5. Hold for a count of ten.
6. Repeat 5 times.
7. Extend left arm straight out in front
8. Copy the exact directions above (3,4,5,6) this time using your right hand to glasp the left.
9. Repeat this exercise several times throughout the day – especially when in pain.

Part 2
1. Extend right arm straight out in front.
2. Lower fingers toward floor – so that your hand is at right angles again to your body
3. Using the left hand, glasp those right-hand fingers and push them back towards your body.
4. Hold for a count of ten.
5. Repeat 5 times.
6. Extend left arm straight out in front
7. Copy the exact directions above (2,3,4,5) this time using your right hand to glasp the left.
8. Repeat this exercise several times throughout the day – especially when in pain.

If you’re doing this correctly you’ll feel those contracted muscles extend – and it will hurt a bit. Maybe even a lot. You’ll feel the pull, the resistance. For me, part two hurts more. I can feel that pull along the top part of my forearm. Agony and then ecstasy…

I’m not going to tell you, however, that I know all the medical reasons this works – but I know it does extend certain muscles that are continually placed in a contracted position due to the nature of our work. I imagine it aids circulation as well.

What I DO know is that it works. Not just for me, but for literally dozens – maybe hundreds – of other authors I’ve shared this with.

Good luck, I hope it works! Let me know and if you have any other exercises that would aid writers – please let me know!


3 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for this, Kerri. I get a bit of hand pain during the day, especially in my wrist and the back of my hand when I’m using the mouse a lot, and been wondering what I could do to help ease it. Will definitely be trying these exercises.

    Wishing you all the best with Dead, Actually!

  2. You’re welcome, Catherine. I hope these work for you – they seriously work for me. I get horrid pain, hands throbbing at the end of the day – but if take the time to do these, the relief and increase in my actual stamina, is amazing.

    And thank you for the good wishes for Dead, Actually. Exciting times! xxx

  3. Thanks for this. Good tips

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