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Wrist Pain from Writing Constantly

  1. Sep 24, 2014 #1
    I'm taking several physics/math courses this term, and I have no choice but to be writing constantly while taking notes and doing problem sets. My handwriting is very messy unless I grip my (mechanical) pencil tightly, and that ends up causing my wrist to start hurting (which has been a slight problem in the past, but never persistent like it is now). It doesn't hurt enough to prevent me from writing, but I'm worried because it's starting to get worse, and I can basically never give it a break because of my classes.
    Does anyone else ever have this problem? Or do I just press my pencil down way too hard?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2014 #2


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    I just use a pen.

    Sometimes my work has a few things scratched out here and there, but I don't mind.
  4. Sep 24, 2014 #3
    You must be incredibly smart to always be able to do math and physics problems in pen. D:
    I try to, but it turns into a mess of big x's and scribbling.
  5. Sep 24, 2014 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Perhaps you can listen more and record the class to fill in where notes are lacking.

    If you have a ipad you could try the notability app to take notes. The trick is to activate the recording and to jot down simple one word, a number like 1,2,3... or even an underline on separate lines when the prof said something of interest. Later you can tap the underline and the recording will jump to what the prof was saying at that moment and then you can fill in the details. Notability has other cool features too. Also periodically as in daily or weekly, send the notes to yourself as backup.

    I've never tried this yet but it seems feasible but you have to be willing to relax and listen instead of writing everything the prof says, does and writes on the board. It also helps to read the chapter under discussion so as not to rewrite it again as the prof lectures.
  6. Sep 24, 2014 #5
    I always found it odd, over here we use pencils just until we learn how to write without mistakes.
    After that it's all pen. I only use pencils to add notes in textbooks. (fix mistakes or improve the notes later)

    Another thing that might help is use some sort of support (don't know if it exists) for you wrist as I suspect you cramp your wrist.
  7. Sep 24, 2014 #6
    I prefer a tight grip also. You may want to look into Pencil pillows made from gel. They are comfortable if you are going to be writing for extended periods of time. I use them for my finger tips where I grip the pencil rather than my wrists. It may be worth a try.
  8. Sep 24, 2014 #7
  9. Oct 14, 2014 #8

    I recommend step 3: use a softer lead pencil... Go to office depot or staples & buy all the levels of soft lead... Then start with the softest & work your way up a level if it's too soft... Remember, the soft lead means you use less pressure to write...

    I had this problem too & I can say the exercises definitely help... But when the pain gets so bad, you HAVE to stop and take a break even if just for the weekend.

  10. Oct 14, 2014 #9

    I use a mechanical pencil now too, but get the type with the smallest diameter lead possible; that way you get a greater lead-onto-paper pressure while using less hand-onto-pencil force.

    (Just think of the physics at play here!)
    : wink :

  11. Oct 14, 2014 #10


    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  12. Oct 14, 2014 #11


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    Where is this magical place, where no one writes without making mistakes?
  13. Oct 14, 2014 #12
    Let me rephrase that, when we can write 5 sentences without an error.
    Otherwise I just scribble over wrong stuff.
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