My hand is hurting like hell...

16 replies
I've been copying sales letters by hand now every day for about 4-5 months (at least 1 hour a day). I'm going to copy 100 letters and right now I'm at letter 64.

The trouble now is that my hand has really started hurting. It started yesterday and today, I had to break it off early. Has anyone else had this pain? I feel like I can barely move my hand anymore. I can barely use it to type on the keyboard with.

Any suggestions on how to get it back in tip-top shape until tomorrow?
#hand #hell #hurting
  • Profile picture of the author Bob Teller
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    A lot of us get the same problem or worse carpal tunnel. Not nice. Painful to say the very least.

    Just leave it off for a few days, exercise your hand with other activities and start taking many more regular breaks from your writing will soon get it back to normal.

    - Bob
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    Been there. Had the pain. Ice helped a lot. So did giving my hand a rest. I did about a half hour a day with my hand/wrist on ice. Gradually all the pain went away. This isn't medical advice. I'm not qualified. Ice helped - and still does.

    :-Don
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  • You can't keep your hand in the same writing position for so long. Change to shorter, more frequent writing sessions. Take lots of breaks.

    Stretch your fingers and wrist often, more than you think. Roll your wrists. Massage the muscle between your thumb and forefinger. Flick your fingers back and forth like a magician about to make someone disappear. Put your arms out like you are riding a Harley, fists closed. With your knuckles facing the ground, pull your wrist and fingers back toward your body so you feel it stretch on the back of your hand.

    Stretch your arms behind your back, one hand on the other wrist, like a swimmer. Pinch your shoulder blades while stretching your head and neck back. Rotate your arm at the shoulder a few times like you are doing the backstroke. Then move them back and forth like you are waving down a rescue plane. Shake out your arms, wrist and hands like you are flicking water off of them.

    Stand up from your chair often, like every few minutes--don't let blood pool in your legs or posterior. Walk in place for 60 seconds.

    Waiting for that video to upload? Walk in place for 30 seconds, then jog in place for 30, alternate for 5 minutes.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

      You can't keep your hand in the same writing position for so long. Change to shorter, more frequent writing sessions. Take lots of breaks.

      Stretch your fingers and wrist often, more than you think. Rolls your wrists. Massage the muscle between your thumb and forefinger. Flick your fingers back and forth like a magician about to make someone disappear. Put your arms out like you are riding a Harley, fists closed. With your knuckles facing the ground, pull your wrist and fingers back toward your body so you feel it stretch on the back of your hand.

      Stretch your arms behind your back, one hand on the other wrist, like a swimmer. Pinch your shoulder blades while stretching your head and neck back. Rotate your arm at the shoulder a few times like you are doing the backstroke. Then move them back and forth like you are waving down a rescue plane. Shake out your arms, wrist and hands like you are flicking water off of them.

      Stand up from your chair often, like every few minutes--don't let blood pool in your legs or posterior. Walk in place for 60 seconds.

      Waiting for that video to upload? Walk in place for 30 seconds, then jog in place for 30, alternate for 5 minutes.
      Joe's advice is spot-on. As someone who worked in the physical therapy and massage therapy fields for over 13 years, I dealt with a lot of patients and even other therapists who had hand/wrist/arm problems. I also had to keep my own hands/wrists healthy or else I was looking at unpaid time off from my own business.

      So let me offer up some additional suggestions.

      1. Writing or typing 7 days per week is a repetitive activity which sets you up for all kinds of overuse injuries like tendonitis. So right away, pick one day to take off from writing/typing so your body gets some much-needed rest.

      2. Get some small paper or foam drinking cups (I like to use Dixie paper cups) for doing a treatment technique known as ice massage. Fill them with water and put them in the freezer. Once frozen, take one of the frozen cups out to use. Grab a towel and put it under your hand that you are going to be treating. Tear part of the cup off and rub the ice on the sore areas in a circle motion. Treat those sore areas for 15 minutes at least twice per day.

      3. With many overuse injuries of the hands and wrist, the muscles and fascia of the forearm and wrist become too tight and often become bound up as well. In more severe cases, it can even cause trigger points (pain that shoots or travels from one spot to another) in your arm.

      So find a professional massage therapist in your area who specializes in medical massage... specifically techniques like myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy, myoskeletal alignment technique, or active-isolated stretching. Depending on where you live, this may be covered by your health insurance.

      4. Try using moist heat (I like to use one of the grain-filled neck wraps) on your forearm for 15 minutes and then stretch your forearm and wrists. After stretching, I'd also suggest putting a general gel cold pack on it afterwards. Stick with gel cold packs instead of ice cubes or a gel block as it's more form-fitting to your wrist.

      5. If it doesn't clear up with a few weeks or turns into full-blown carpal tunnel syndrome, then go see your doctor and get a prescription for physical therapy. There are some specific treatment modalities and methods that a P.T. can do to calm the inflammation down in the carpal tunnel region.

      For your long-term health, develop the habit of stretching your forearms and wrist every day. Think of it as a warm-up before you start the workout of writing or typing for a long period of time.

      Hope that helps,

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

        1. Writing or typing 7 days per week is a repetitive activity which sets you up for all kinds of overuse injuries like tendonitis. So right away, pick one day to take off from writing/typing so your body gets some much-needed rest.
        Good advice. Even God did that!

        -Ray Edwars
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
    An old b-ball hand injury prevented me from writing out too many letters long form. I do hope you are also dissecting those letters for persuasive elements, not just mindlessly writing them out. That is what took my learning to the next level.

    --- Ross
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  • Profile picture of the author subisa852
    Originally Posted by stolpioni View Post

    I've been copying sales letters by hand now every day for about 4-5 months (at least 1 hour a day). I'm going to copy 100 letters and right now I'm at letter 64.

    The trouble now is that my hand has really started hurting. It started yesterday and today, I had to break it off early. Has anyone else had this pain? I feel like I can barely move my hand anymore. I can barely use it to type on the keyboard with.

    Any suggestions on how to get it back in tip-top shape until tomorrow?
    Do a hand exercise and massage your hand to circulate the blood. Also take a 30 minutes break to rest your hand and also your eyes from computer.
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  • Profile picture of the author svedski
    Thanks for the answers everyone!

    joe: that's some really good advice there, not just for the hand...but for keeping yourself healthy and alert in general. I know I should take a break and go for a walk once an hour...but it's easy to forget and get caught up in the moment.

    Ross: That sucks. Well you probably and hopefully found some other way to hone your skills. Unfortunately, a lot of the time I'm just mindlessly copying the letters even though I know I should be 100% focused and really look for persuasive elements.
    It's a good reminder though, I need to focus more on the task at hand. Do it with full commitment or don't do it at all, that sort of thing.
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    • Originally Posted by stolpioni View Post

      I know I should take a break and go for a walk once an hour...but it's easy to forget and get caught up in the moment.
      Cool, hope it helps, but don't forget. Sitting kills, no matter how good your physical conditioning.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/ma...ng-t.html?_r=0

      "Over a lifetime, the unhealthful effects of sitting add up. Alpa Patel, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, tracked the health of 123,000 Americans between 1992 and 2006. The men in the study who spent six hours or more per day of their leisure time sitting had an overall death rate that was about 20 percent higher than the men who sat for three hours or less. The death rate for women who sat for more than six hours a day was about 40 percent higher. Patel estimates that on average, people who sit too much shave a few years off of their lives."
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Just stop wanking dude and your hand will be a whole lot better. (Jesus - where do these dipsticks come from?)
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Ferrari
      Mike Humphreys has some great advice, particularly on #3.

      With many overuse injuries, you need to look "upstream."

      In this case, your hand is hurting, but its very liking that soft tissue restrictions, adhesions, and poor fascial quality throughout your forearm and elbow are contributing to the issue.

      Mike's suggestion for various soft tissue modalities are spot on. I'd personally look for an Active Release Technique provider in your area.

      As an alternative, or for self-therapy in between ART sessions, you should purchase "The Stick" and run that over both the flexion and extension muscles of your forearm (i.e. both sides) and probably some work on the upper arm as well.

      Using The Stick on the arms can be difficult since its meant to be used with two hands, but here's how you do it:


      And then...always stretch after any soft tissue work. This is when the muscle is ready to be stretched and to "accept" the stretching, which will restore proper tissue lengths and help keep you in a nice preventative state.
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  • Profile picture of the author Insightful91
    Everything's been pretty much said. I've had the same problem when I was back in highschoool we used to write down so many notes and used to have the same problem. Ice and rest did for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    Find a real woman and you won't have any more problems!
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    • When ever you push an extremity too hard and soreness results, try soaking said limb in warm water with a quarter cup of Epsom Salts for about a half hour.

      Also, if you can get someone emotionally close to you to massage your hand for 10 to 15 minutes at a time several times a day you may get some pretty amazing results in the reduction of pain and increased mobility. Just sayin. . . .

      LLS
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