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Writer's and craft cramps 

Writer's and craft cramps
Chapter:
Writer's and craft cramps
Author(s):

Ivan Donaldson

, C. David Marsden

, Susanne A. Schneider

, and Kailash P. Bhatia

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780192619112.003.1007
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date: 06 June 2020

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.

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