Writer's and craft cramps

Ivan Donaldson, C. David Marsden, Susanne A. Schneider and Kailash P. Bhatia

in Marsden's Book of Movement Disorders

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192619112
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199698103 | DOI:
Writer's and craft cramps

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Writer’s cramp is a disorder characterized by involuntary and excessive contraction of the muscles of the upper limb (especially those of the hand and forearm) on attempting to write. This results in impaired writing and abnormal posturing of the hand, forearm, or upper arm. In simple writer’s cramp these features are present in isolation, whereas in dystonic writer’s cramp dystonic posturing of the limb occurs at other times, particularly when using it to perform manual tasks. Sometimes simple writer’s cramp develops into dystonic writer’s cramp and this transition has been called progressive writer’s cramp (Sheehy and Marsden 1982). Writer’s cramp may occur as part of generalized dystonia and may either proceed or follow other dystonic features. It may just spread to involve the neck or opposite upper limb and thus become a segmental dystonia. The former is more likely with childhood onset, whereas the latter is more frequent with adult onset.

Chapter.  9305 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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