Exercises Against Writing Pain
When you are writing, you are focused, into it, wanting to put out this one more page or one more defined thought. And the next morning? You clutch your neck with your hand and rub the sore muscles underneath. Your wrists are in pain and your fingers hurt from hammering down on the keyboard all night.
If you are an author or are generally spending a lot time sitting at a desk, writing either by hand or with the computer, you know these pains. They come after long sessions of sitting in a chair, typing your heart out (for whatever reason). And if you are writing by hand, pain in your wrist and fingers is even more likely than hacking down on your keyboard.
Relax. With these few exercises and tips, you can ease the pain that comes after an excessive writing session.
Exercises For Your Wrist
No matter if writing with a pen or keyboard, when we bring thought to paper (or screen), it’s our wrists that pay the price. Make sure your writing hand (or hands) get a break and good stretch.
- Wrist rolls: Roll your wrists and hands around about 3 to 5 times in each direction
- Squish balls: Take a squish ball in each hand, or switch and squeeze them with about 10 to 10 repetitions for each hand
- Stretch & fist: Stretch your hand out flat and then make a fist, which can be repeated 3 to 5 times per hand
- Claw stretch: Curl your fingers into a claw with some tension, then pull the fingers back to also stretch your wrist; hold for about 5 seconds then loosen again and repeat about 3 to 5 times
Exercises For Your Neck
When hunched over a piece of paper, neck pain is a given. Yet, it’s more common that you will suffer from some slight neck and shoulder pain when writing on a computer. Make sure to give your shoulders and neck a good stretch.
- Shrug: Sit or stand straight and pull your shoulders up to your ears; hold for 3 seconds, then release and repeat 5 to 10 times
- Behind the back stretch: Stand up straight and seize one wrist behind your back with the other hand; pull on your arm until you feel the tension while leaning your head towards the pulling arm; hold for 5 seconds and release with about 3 to 5 repetitions
- Tilts: Tilt your head back and forth and from one side to the other; do 10 repetitions for each direction
- Shoulder rolls: Roll your shoulders while leaving your arms relaxed for about 3 to 5 repetition in each direction
In general, you should consider one crucial practice: take breaks!
Take breaks during an intense writing session, but also between sessions. Give your wrists and fingers as well as your mind some time to relax. It is also advised to fill your day with many, short writing sessions rather than one, large, extensive one. Sure, you want to get this paper done or this chapter out of your system, but your body will be thankful for it.
Here are some more tips for your next NaNoWriMo or writing assignment:
- If you write with a pen, grasp it loosely and don’t press it down hard on the paper
- Keep your wrists, arms and shoulders relaxed
- Keep your wrists in a neutral position
- If you are writing with a keyboard, don’t hammer down on the keys; it’s better for your fingers and your keyboard