Writer's Cramp is a neurological condition known as focal dystonia affecting the muscles of the hand and/or forearm, specifically when writing. It was once thought to occur only when fine motor activity is performed in excess but this may not always be the case. Although not completely understood, it has been established that the condition is a central nervous system disorder and manifests when the brain’s ability to suppress the contraction of the muscles is inhibited.
Symptoms include cramping, pain, trembling, and loss of task-specific muscle coordination. These may be eased by an adjustment of hand position on the pen and/or the amount of pressure applied when writing. Botulinum toxin is another treatment option. If symptoms persist, brain imaging should be considered to rule out stroke or other causes.
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The Movement Disorders Center of Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute improves lives by providing treatments for a wide range of neurological movement disorders and diseases.