Friday, February 23, 2007

Writing Toys

Don’t go there.

You’re going to be disappointed.

This post isn’t about that.

I promise you that this post isn’t about those kinds of toys.

This post is about toys for writers not toys for your characters. I just checked some information on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on the NIH website.

I completely misunderstood what causes this syndrome.

What are the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, rather than a problem with the nerve itself. Most likely the disorder is due to a congenital predisposition - the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people than in others. Other contributing factors include trauma or injury to the wrist that cause swelling, such as sprain or fracture; overactivity of the pituitary gland; hypothyroidism; rheumatoid arthritis; mechanical problems in the wrist joint; work stress; repeated use of vibrating hand tools; fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause; or the development of a cyst or tumor in the canal. In some cases no cause can be identified.

There is little clinical data to prove whether repetitive and forceful movements of the hand and wrist during work or leisure activities can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Repeated motions performed in the course of normal work or other daily activities can result in repetitive motion disorders such as bursitis and tendonitis. Writer's cramp - a condition in which a lack of fine motor skill coordination and ache and pressure in the fingers, wrist, or forearm is brought on by repetitive activity - is not a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Emphasis added.

All this time, I thought repetitive actions such as typing did cause it. I’ve never gotten Writer’s Cramp from typing just from writing longhand. I hold my pens too tight. I'm also left-handed and I think lefties get this more because we push the pen instead of being able to let it follow, but I could be wrong.

Anyways, in the past I did get aches in my hands from typing for incredibly long periods of time. I own two toys that have eliminated this problem. You’re still going there aren’t you?

Neither of my toys vibrate so get your mind out of the gutter. Well, none of my writer toys vibrate.

I have a big ball silly putty, bascially a double ball, and a slinky sitting by my desk. Hubby gave me the slinky today. One of the metal ones. I had a plastic one for the longest time, but it left to find a new home. I guess I didn’t slink it well enough or something. I use these toys during “think breaks” while writing and since I’ve started doing this, I don’t get any of that ache in my hands.

I just wanted to share that. Remember to be good to your hands, they’re important for writers.

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