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Dysgraphia Pain
afye12 posted:
I know this is the ADD/ADHD forum but this was the best place I could find to post. I am currently a 22 year old law student and have been diagnosed with dysgraphia since a young age. While typing very long papers, I have intense pain through my back and shoulders. I was wondering if anyone could provided any tips or solutions as how to minimize the pain. It would be greatly appreciated.

Gina Pera responded:
Hi Tony,

Actually, you are quite correct in asking a question about dysgraphia in this forum on ADHD. The two are often quite connected.

But I'm not understanding your question. I assume you mean that you are typing long papers because you cannot hand-write them? Wouldn't hand-writing be even more laborious than typing?

As for the intense pain that can come from long hours of typing, this can happen to anyone. The reasons are many, including underdeveloped muscalature (that is, little upper-body-strengthening exercise), mental stress while writing that causes the body to be extra tense, failing to take breaks and move your arms about.

So, it would help if I knew exactly the nature of the problem. Including, have you been diagnosed with ADHD, have you tried medication for ADHD, etc.?

In general, re: dysgraphia. The medications for ADHD (stimulants) can often greatly help mitigate dysgraphia. Hand-eye coordination becomes easier, and the "connection" between thoughts in your head and movement in your hands to paper becomes more smooth and connected.

Perhaps you are saying that your dysgraphia affects even typing? That would make sense, though I haven't heard of that.

Gina Pera
Patricia Quinn, MD responded:
Hi Tony

One suggestion would be to try dictation software. There are many versions avaiable and all will type for you as you dictate your paper. In addition, be sure to get up and move stretch frequently. If you are so focused on typing you might need to set a timer to remind you when to take a break. And lastly, as Gina suggested try strengthening and range of movement exercises for your neck and back. Many OTs also recommend squeezing a ball to relieve hand tension that can build up when you have the motor issues that lead to dysgrapha.

Pat Quinn, MD

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