Monday, November 8, 2010

A Slice of Writer's Life

Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome With Exercise!
By Joy Held

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a nasty pain in the hand and wrist that often radiates up the arm.

It's an overuse injury commonly associated with repetitive activies such as keyboarding, and writers are prone to this condition. But some preventative actions may delay and alleviate mild symptoms. Simple exercises may help writers avoid this painful way of life. Start now!

STRESS BALL BREATHING You will need two inexpensive soft rubber stress balls.

Still tall in a chair with feet flat on the floor. Hold a stress ball in each hand and extend your arms to the sides at shoulder height.

As you slowly raise your arms overhead, inhale deeply and simultaneously squeeze the stress balls five times until both arms are straight up. Reverse the action by exhaling as you lower arms and squeeze the balls five more times. Repeat this for a total of ten repetitions. Relax and breathe normally. Do this daily at your desk adding sets of ten as long as you are comfortable (not winded) of up to five sets of ten reps.

Return to writing.

A 1998 study on yoga for carpal tunnel syndrome proved that exercises dedicated to extending, rotating, and increasing the circulation in the wrists noticeably improved the condition.

Regular exercise reduces and prevents many repetitive stress disorders and it's never too late to get started.

Coming soon! Writer Wellness, A Writer's Path to Health and Creativity, second edition in print AND digital from Who Dares Wins Publishing.

Included are chapters on Yoga for Writers. Stay tuned for release information.

Be well, write well,

copyright Joy Held 2010

"Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind." ~Catherine Drinker Bowen, 1897-1973, American writer


  1. You are a life-saver. For the past year I have been in and out of braces for tendonitis. I am a big proponent of yoga, and though my back probably fares better than most other writers, my hands and wrists are a mess.

    Thanks! I posted on Twitter so others could benefit. Welcome to the WDW Pub family.

    Kristen Lamb

  2. Thanks for popping in, Kristen. I'll send you the specific list of yoga poses from the study that are good for carpal.

  3. Squeezing rubber balls makes my tendinitis worse. An exercise for opening your carpal tunnel is to gently stretch out your thumb, as in making stop signs with your hands. If you're really having a problem, consider getting Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred, a wonderful voice recognition program. I also have a fabulous ergonomic keyboard from Adesso that keeps your wrists straight as you type. And a touchpad may be better for your hand than a mouse.

  4. Thanks for the added tips, Nancy. Have you tried turning your palms up as you squeeze the balls? Sometimes that helps. The point is to get circulation going strongly through the hands and wrists. Take care!