Quick Tip: Loosen Your Grip

Man WritingHand getting cramped when you write more than a few paragraphs? Loosen up! Many people middle-age or younger are used to having to grasp pens and pencils very tightly to make lines. After a page or two of writing like this, the hand and wrist may begin to hurt. However, with gel and fountain pens such a tight grasp is rarely necessary. Train yourself to write looser by consciously slackening your grip, especially when you notice pain or cramps starting. It's not an easy habit to break, but it can be done. Soon writing can be a pleasure.

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The garantied way to ensure

The garantied way to ensure that one loosens one's grip is to use fountain pens. One will kill a fountain pen if one leans into it the way one does with a ball point or rollerball. My right hand and wrist have been thanking me since the switch.

Why didn't I think of that?!

They are healthy for you!! In my never-ending quest to justify buying more fountain pens, it has never once occurred to me to try claiming them as some kind of physical therapy or ergonomic requirement! I wonder if insurance would pay for them.... ;-)



Death Grip

If all else fails, try a Uniball Signo 207 Premier Gel Pen.
The big squishy gel grip helps to remind one not to grasp so tightly.
I also like the smooth ink flow, if a little wide.

Agree with the 207, but if

Agree with the 207, but if you want a finer line try the Pilot Dr. Grip Limited with the extra fine or ultra fine refills. Works great for me.

My first post and Write more often!

Hello all,

I've been browsing this site for quite some time now, but I have never posted anything . . . until now.

Before I share my two cents, I want to say thanks to everyone who contributes for a wonderful resource. Thanks!

This quick tip really caught my interest because not too long ago I hand wrote a letter to a friend, and my hands were killing me when I was done. When I thought about it, I said to myself, "If you did this more often, your hands would be used to it." My hands were simply out of practice, and as the old saying goes, "Use it or lose it."

My recent interest in learning to use chopsticks drove the point home. My hand hurt like heck until the muscles became used to the movements.

Sooooo, loosen your grip (I'm going to try to remember that), and write more often!

It doesn't matter to me which pen

Since I still go to school I have to write a lot of text everyday, but my hand still hurts often. My hands aren't out of practice. I believe the reason really is that I grip too hard.

In reply to upper comments, especially "The garantied way to ensure that one loosens one's grip is to use fountain pens": I use a fountain pen everyday and my hands still hurt badly, especially when writing long essays or tests.

"My hands aren't out of

"My hands aren't out of practice."

Use fountain pens and live longer...

Good point about chopsticks... You can't use them tightly clenched. A loose grip is essential. There's probably some stress causing us to clench a pen too tightly. Maybe if we learned to relax our grip by using chopsticks and fountain pens, it'd help relieve the stress and we'd be healthier.

Use fountain pens (and chopsticks) and live longer! :-)

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

Yeah, but all the extra years of life will be offset

by the years spent cleaning and refilling your pens, and scrubbing ink stains off your fingers. ;)

Chopsitcks: Therapy for the ailing hand

Second Post. Boy, I must be hooked! :-)

Now that I think of it, chopsticks are great for hand therapy. When my dad injured his right hand (dominant hand), he was forced to learn to write with his left hand. The therapist taught him to use chopsticks as part of learning to use his left hand. Now he can use chopsticks better with his left hand than his right *lol*. And now he's got the added benefit of being ambidextrous.

I'm still mastering chopsticks. I guess I have to loosen my grip *grin*

loosen your grip

Back in the dark ages, when I was a second-grader, Sister Rita Charles taught us how to write longhand with cartridge fountain pens. (Imagine ink stained little hands.) This burley nun taught us to write loose handed. You'd get reprimanded if she couldn't pull the pen from your hand as she walked around the classroom. Fear, the great motivator of a 1960s Catholic education. It worked for me, I won the penmanship awards that year.

gotta love...

... those nuns! ;0)

Hi-Society Writing

I agree with the post and a few comments that people made. I too get cramps when I write too much. In this day and age I tend to do more typing than writing. Even though I carry a Moleskin arround, have used a hPDA and the like, I still tend to be "out of practice" when it comes to writing.

I agree that changing the writing instrument and your grip can make dramatic changes in both preventing and eliminating the pain that can be casued. However, I also came accross something that is completely "unortodox" and quite dificult to accomplish and still write well, but with proactice it can be done.

Put your pinky out. That's it. When my hand hurts and I still ahve a bit to write, I just stick out the pinky and the pain goes away. Go figure. Perhaps it makes it so you loosten your grip or some such, but it works. Give it a try and let me know what you think.