Writer’s cramp – you’ve heard of it – writing for long periods of time or playing a musical instrument can cause your hand to cramp up and become painful – but why does it happen?
The answer is not so simple until you study the anatomy of the hand and realize what all is going on. There are 27 tiny bones in the wrist/hand. Overlapping those bones are over 150 muscles and ligaments that all work synergistically to allow the hand to bend, move and function.
Repetitive activities can really take their toll on the hands – altering the healthy alignment of those 27 bones and causing many of the tiny muscles and ligaments to become involved as well.
When the bones and joints of the hand become misaligned it tugs and pulls on the many muscles of the hand. Then when you write, play the guitar or engage in another tedious hand activity you are likely to experience extreme tightening and spasms in the small hand muscles.
As you may already know, our chiropractic clinic is very unique in that we treat the spine but we also adjust the hands and feet and other extremity joints in the body. There are so many people who suffer with hand pain, numbness and other problems – and they don’t know that chiropractic care is an option for their hands. Specialized chiropractic adjustment to the hands can provide amazing relief for those individuals.
I’ve found that most people tend to take their hands for granted. When sitting down to write a lengthy letter, type on the keyboard for hours, or engage in any other potentially stressful activity requiring sustained hand positions or repetitive movements – it is always in your best interest to take a break occasionally and stretch out your hands and forearms.
All you have to do is to get comfortable in your chair and bend your fingers into a fist and hold for a second or two, and then extend your fingers out as straight as you can for about five seconds (you’ll feel a stretching sensation in the webs of your fingers as you do this).
It doesn’t take long to do this but it just takes your commitment to do so.
As Benjamin Franklin once said – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”