Orthopedic Treatment For Writer's Cramp

by Administrator 16. July 2015 07:18

Writer’s Cramp, also known as Mogigraphia, is a condition that involves involuntary and sudden cramping of the intrinsic muscles of the hand. It is caused due to excessive writing and other repetitive tasks involving the hand. As it is a task-specific focal dystonia of the hand, the pain and symptoms are limited to the hand, and are caused due to specific tasks. It is not a common condition and is more prone to men.

The two basic types of Writer’s Cramp are:

  • Simple: When suffering with simple Writer’s Cramp, the person only faces difficulty with one specific task such as writing or typing.
  • Dystonic: In this condition the symptoms are present when the person performs any activity with the hand such as shaving, eating, washing or applying make-up.

Causes

  • Excessive muscular or motor activity
  • Using faulty writing technique
  • Excessive writing
  • Activities such as typing
  • Injury to the hand
  • Genetics
  • Ruptured Intervertebral Disc
  • Defective blood vessels
  • Tumors of the brain
  • Stroke

Symptoms

  • Pain contractions
  • Chronic sustained pain
  • Inability to write
  • Changes in handwriting
  • Difficulty in carrying out occupational tasks such as typing, writing, playing instruments, etc
  • Excessive abnormal movement of the elbow and wrist
  • Difficulty with coordination of the hand
  • Shaking or twitching of hand while writing
  • Deformity

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose the condition the orthopedic surgeon may physically examine your hand. He may discuss the symptoms, nature of any injury and past medical history of the patient. The orthopedic doctor may recommend certain imaging test such as MRI, Electromyography, etc. to determine the extent of the condition.

Treatment

The condition often resolves spontaneously but there are chances of recurrence if you return to repetitive tasks that led to the condition. The orthopedic surgeon may prescribe certain medicines to offer relief from the symptoms. The doctor can also recommend physiotherapy to regain flexibility and strength in the hand. The physiotherapist can help by offering an exercise program that helps the patient stretch the hands and avoid spasms. Surgery is also effective but is only prescribed in extreme cases. Release surgery is used to decompress the affected nerve in the wrist, hand or elbow. It is a minimal invasive surgery, which involves a short recovery time.

Making significant behavioral and ergonomic changes can prevent writer’s cramp. You should limit the working hours, take regular breaks, use alternate devices for transcription such as dictation, speech-to-text recognition software, etc. and change the way you grip a pen.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of Writer's Cramp, consult Dr. Knoll. To schedule an appointment with the hand surgeon, call at (214) 618-5502.

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