HAND FATIGUE, or writer’s cramp! Is it necessary?
We are surrounded by modern technology, and there is virtually no child today who does not have access to a computer or smartphone.
Children writing so much at school can often tire and hurt their hands. Is there a reason for their discomfort?
Research has proven that writing notes create more neural pathways to the brain.
In other words, as children write, their whole body is strengthened, such as their shoulders, wrists, elbows, and fingers.
Their grammar, spelling skills, and vocabulary memory are strengthened as they learn how different letters are used and pronounced. As a result, their grammar, spelling skills, and vocabulary memory are supported.
So, even though society is encouraged to move towards a paperless environment, writing is still necessary to promote holistic learning.
However, the reality of ‘writer’s cramp’ is still a real problem in the classroom.
Probable causes could be the wrong placement of the pen in hand, poor posture, muscle weakness, core strength, and muscle tone.
The above area could be alleviated by:
• Gross motor, muscle tone, and core strengthening.
- Swimming regularly
- Playing outside, e.g., running, climbing, riding a bicycle, etc.
- Manipulating small weights while sitting on an exercise ball
- All balancing activities
• Hand and finger strengthening
- Tennis Ball squeeze
- Finger extensions with elastic
- Finger stretches and finger isolation exercises
• Keeping the fingers relaxed.
• Holding a pen loosely.
• Not writing only with your fingers but using your wrist and forearm to move the pen.
• Using an inclined surface to keep the wrist relaxed.
• Warming up your hands and massaging them
• Check your child’s pencil grip.
• The ideal “dynamic tripod grasp, where the thumb, index, and middle fingers hold the pencil, is recommended as it is the best hand position for handwriting speed and the muscles required for writing.
• Adaptive grips are acceptable if they provide stability and allow small finger movements with some wrist movement.
• The pencil grasp IS NOT functional if it does not allow the child to easily make slight bending and straightening movements of the finger to manipulate the pencil on the paper. An occupational therapist should be consulted if help is required to correct a pencil grip.
Why persevere and master this skill?
Ultimately, a good pencil grip facilitates legibility, letter formation, speed, and endurance.
Research has shown that the benefits of writing are long-lasting and varied, including building muscles necessary for many other skills.