Reminder for my fellow writers: there are eight carpal bones in your wrist, treat them kindly!

#1
I see people on the forums a lot talking about their writing output, and even look at my own sometimes, and realize that there isn't really much of a discussion about carpal tunnel.

The fact is, if you don't take preparations you can and will end up with carpal tunnel syndrome and you don't need me to tell you that you don't want that.

So aside from the standard water-break/pee-break/leg-stretch/whatever-break you take during your writing, try to remember to do some wrist exercises.

According to a handy WebMD article, two good stretches (and the second one I use pretty frequently) is as follows:

Quote:When you take those breaks (or any time throughout the day), try this simple stretch:
  • Make a fist
  • Slide your fingers up until they point straight out
  • Repeat 5-10 times
Or this one:
  • Make a fist
  • Release your fingers and fan them out. Stretch them as far as you can.
  • Repeat 5-10 times

Easy enough.

You can also utilize wrist braces if you can find/afford them. If anyone else has any tips, this would be a good place for discussion. As writers, carpal tunnel syndrome can be one of our worst--and most frequent--enemies.

Re: Reminder for my fellow writers: there are eight carpal bones in your wrist, treat them kindly!

#2
Interesting. I have ulnar tunnels, which is what caused me to go back to creative writings(can't hold any objects without two of my fingers going numb after couple of minutes). I imagine people who type on phones or hold phones for prolonged periods of time are in the risk of that.

As for carpal...I don't have it, but my mother does. My advice is, to type(if you're using keyboard) by moving your forearms rather than just a wrist. Actually, this is good advice for writing with a pen too. There are several tutorials on the internet how to do it, check it out if you worry about overstraining the nerves in your fingers.

I achieve that by having my keyboard quite far away on the table, so my entire forearms rest on the desk when I type, and my wrists arent bend, either.

Re: Reminder for my fellow writers: there are eight carpal bones in your wrist, treat them kindly!

#3
To add onto this, I started developing early carpal tunnel symptoms at a pathetically early age, but have since made it go away. (I'm a programmer and a writer--my life is typing. I wore out my laptop keyboard in just two years XD)

I got some wristbands for typing to help remind me to keep the integrity of my wrists.

Also this is extreme, but I learned colemak layout (better than dvorak which I tried learning first, imho). It just feels so nice to type because your fingers move so much less.
(Warning: learning another keyboard format is hard, and some claim that they lose proficiency in qwerty. For me, I actually improved my qwerty typing speed but that's just because I'm a typing legend, I mean, look at me with this super nerdy post!)

Can't wait to get an ergonomic keyboard once I have money ayy.  DrakanMoney

Re: Reminder for my fellow writers: there are eight carpal bones in your wrist, treat them kindly!

#5
I switched to a more optimized keyboard layout which reduces finger strain by a decent amount. Having home keys that are the most common letters and not having to stretch more than necessary has been a major help to maintaining word output without undue damage. I can do quite a bit more writing before my hands start aching nowadays than back when I used qwerty.

It does have a pretty frustrating learning curve so it may not be a solution for everyone; I think it was close to a year before I could type at the same speed again, but now I'm even faster than before.

Also I switched to an ergonomic split keyboard, and having arms at a more natural angle rather than smushed up next to each other helps too. Every little bit adds up. :)

Re: Reminder for my fellow writers: there are eight carpal bones in your wrist, treat them kindly!

#9

Haust Wrote: I knew a guy who had a bucket of small dried beans next to his writing desk. He'd get his hands in there, make fists and open them, turn his hands around. 

His forearms were utterly ripped.

EDIT: Pretty big bucket, he was able to get his whole hands in there up to above the wrists.
Who would've thought that beans were the secret here. Magical fruit indeed. 

Re: Reminder for my fellow writers: there are eight carpal bones in your wrist, treat them kindly!

#10

Sake Wrote: My advice is, to type(if you're using keyboard) by moving your forearms rather than just a wrist.
I don't type like a normal person, so often, my wrists aren't sitting on my desktop so much as gliding across it. Maybe that's why my wrists have never hurt when I'm writing. I did 500,000 words in the last six months, and I mainly type with three to four fingers, lol.

Re: Reminder for my fellow writers: there are eight carpal bones in your wrist, treat them kindly!

#12

Asviloka Wrote:
kieranpierce Wrote: Are you dvorak or colemak too
Dvorak. I only learned about colemak after I switched, and didn't want to go through it again for the extra 6% or whatever it is. xD The jump from qwerty is enough to be worth it.
Im reading about these keyboards, and as neat as Dvorak looks I just can't fathom that I could ever learn it. 


But I guess what better way to brute force learning it than through writing? 

Re: Reminder for my fellow writers: there are eight carpal bones in your wrist, treat them kindly!

#13

Zeepolian Wrote: Im reading about these keyboards, and as neat as Dvorak looks I just can't fathom that I could ever learn it.
Yeah, it is pretty intimidating. Typing tests like you're first learning to type and transferring handwritten chapters to my computer were my go-to when learning.


Dvorak is heavy on the pinkies (like I was getting hand strain just learning it) and favors alternate hand movement when I prefer the finger rolls (adjacent keys) of colemak. Also, colemak keeps z, x, c in the same place which was a deal breaker for me with colemak because I need my favorite keyboard shortcuts in the same spot.

All these things are really neat XD