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Exams can be very stressful, not just mentally, but physically too. Repetitive typing and handwriting can place a lot of strain on the hands. Here’s a look at some common conditions and prevention methods.

Common Conditions Associated with Studying

Studying for exams can be stressful and can put your body under a different type of load due to the repetitive typing and handwriting required, often for long periods of time. Some common hand and wrist injuries associated with studying and exams include:

• Muscle cramping in the hand due to prolonged tight gripping.

• Overuse and repetitive-use conditions such tendinitis or tendinopathy of the wrist or thumb.

• Numbness or tingling in the fingers.

• Tightness in the forearm muscles.


• Pain in forearms, shoulders, upper back and neck.

Prevention Methods

Your therapist may discuss various prevention methods such as use of the following:

• Hand and forearm stretches.

• Appropriate pen grip which allows control without excessive tight gripping.

• Use of alternative pen styles.

• Ergonomic advice for computer and keyboard set up.

• Postural advice.

• Regular rest breaks.

Your hand therapist can tailor a program to address your concerns, which may include a combination of rest, education regarding activities to avoid, a wrist splint or support to wear, as well as specific strengthening exercises and handwriting training.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or any other issues with the hand, arm or fingers, please feel free to get in touch with the Hand Therapy Group here, we would be more than happy to help.