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Take A Wrist Break

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Protecting your wrists

As a writer, your wrists are crucial to your work. Whether you use pen and paper or a keyboard, repetitive actions can cause stiffness and swelling leading to pain. The most common of painful wrist conditions is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), but by making a few small changes to your work habits you can lower your risk.

Better Than Cure

How then, can writers protect their wrists? The answer is by taking regular rest breaks and using simple stretch exercises.

Paranormal romance and urban fantasy writer Jami Gold has written about the problems she experienced in her blog post “Protect Your Wrists: Exercises for Writers,” https://jamigold.com/?s=wrist. In it she advises hourly rest breaks with a few minutes of exercise to maintain wrist and hand flexibility. The photographs that accompany her text make the exercises she describes easy to follow. 

Another useful blog, also with photographs, can be found at https://www.writerslife.org/exercises-to-strengthen-your-hands/  

Two Simple Exercises

  1. The finger and thumb touch: Open your hand with the palm toward you and fingers splayed. Touch your thumb to each finger in turn and when you reach the little finger go back. Repeat a few times.
  2. Rolling wrists: Roll your hands and wrists around as you would your head if you were doing a neck stretch. Do this in both directions.

With these stretches, and any others you use, remember to be gentle and not strain.

As with all exercises some will work better for you than others, so pick those that help most when creating a routine. Taking good care of your wrists helps avoid unnecessary pain and can lead to a more comfortable, and possibly more productive, writing experience. And who among us would say no to that? 

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