Any experience of hand splints/support for writing

Hi All

Just wondering if anyone has been helped by by hand splints or similar for writing. I saw hand physiotherapist yesterday (who knew they existed) who was kind ect. She has given me sort of padded tubigrip. Im not sure it's going to help.

I don't have a problem holding a pen but get pain in the knuckle joint of my little finger where my hand rests. The tubigrip seemed like a good idea but on wearing it yesterday it made matters worse as the slight compression on the joint made it painful.

Has anyone else found relief from this....apart from the obvious of not writing! Any help would be great....many thanks

Ps I realise I could type but if at all possible I would like to be able to write with less painful

15 Replies

  • Hi Mary53

    I have a similar problem as you. For work I need to hand write quite a lot.

    When I was seen by consultant on diagnosis last year. I was given a wrist splint for both hands. I do use it at times and does help but it immobilises your wrist causing stiffness. They also advised to take out the metal part to help demonise.

    I work in a hospital but not ward based I visit wards and sometimes face to face contact with limited hands on.

    I stopped using them as I need to take them on and off when I enter and leave or after patient contact to wash my hands. I found my wrists were worse as it was quite difficult to pull the velcro off.

    Following this I saw a physio for hand therapy who gave me exercises to do 3x daily and gave me a different kind of hand support which was lighter easier to use together with supporting my thumb. However I don't use these either at work because the taking and off

    This is my experience and hope this helpful.

    Maybe someone else have different email experience which I will be keen to see.

    Have a good day

    Matilda x

  • Matilda, my wrist splints are also Velcro fastenings but they are also available in a pull-on version. I'm not sure if it would help you, I think I'd have trouble getting them on as my grip is restricted strength-wise but they might be worth considering for ease of getting on & off if you're not as restricted. Not sure if OT would be able to supply them but they look similar to this

  • Hi Nomoreheels I like your name Thank you I will have a look at these


  • Thanks, except it's not so appropriate nowadays as I have to wear a block heel, or wedge!

  • I have exactly the same problem Mary, my DIP joint is limiting movement when I write & is painful too. I'm seeing a hand physiotherapist next Thursday & intend asking the same question. I have the added issue of needing to use a wrist splint at the mo meaning writing is impossible even with the pens I'm normally able to write with so need to take it off to write, which defeats the purpose, but still have the problem with the little finger. I'm not sure how this can be sorted I'll be honest with you but if the physiotherapist is able to come up with some wiz idea I'll let you know because I know that it's literally a pain as there are times we need to write, sign things etc.

  • Hi Thank you for your reply. I would be very interested to hear how you get on. I'm wondering if an OT might be able to help daughter said that I need a little skateboard for my had..LOL

  • Yes, a teeny skateboard would be perfect! I think OT would probably be your best bet. I'll see how I get on next week & if she comes up with something I'll be sure to let you know.

  • Yes, I used wrist splints after breaking my wrists a couple of years ago. They made my wrists less painful but were a bit awkward in daily living. I never use them now.

  • As a random comment, can I say how useful it is for me to see that I'm not the only person who has trouble with velcro - or acceleration/deceleration involved in attempting to pull open something like a ziploc packet. :)

  • Hi Mary I'm getting a lot of problems with my hands at the moment,they are swollen and painful, I find that compression gloves help a bit ,hopefully the tubigrip will help you xxx

  • I had splints made to measure with a 'plastic like' material. They start mid-forearm and one finishes at finger tips which I wear mainly at night, the other finishes half-way down the fingers and leaves the thumb free which was better for working during the day (and driving). If my wrist/hand is really bad I use the one that finishes at finger tips and don't use it during the day.

  • I've mostly given up writing because it's so awkward and painful, but when I do have to I now hold the pen between my index and middle fingers and rest my wrist on a partly rolled tea towel. This has the effect of keeping the hand in a more horizontal position which takes pressure off the usual spots. I do, however, rest a bit on the tips of the little and fourth fingers. I did have to practice a bit but my signature looked the same as before. I hope you find a solution to your problem. Cheerio from Susie.

  • The Occupational Therapist would be the best person to advise you on this. They have lots of experience about the sort of aid that might help and can fit you with the correct size as well. At our local group recently we had an OT to talk to us and she brought lots of types of splint that we could try out, some with Velcro and some with other types of fastenings. There are also foam fittings to go over pens and pencils which make them easier and more comfortable to grip. Using a wrist support helps some people, etc, etc!

  • Been meaning to post this for a couple of days but have had a pretty hectic couple of days!

    I see that you've already had some great advice, and think I might be repeating some of it. I'm an occupational therapist. Some of the strategies I had come up with are:

    - using an adapted pencil grasp (as someone on other thread has already mentioned). Rather than use a traditional tripod pencil grasp, hold the pen/ pencil in between index and middle finger. This still allows you good control over your pencil, but alters the position of your hand slightly, so less weight is going through your little finger. With a bit of practice, your writing will be every bit as good as using a tripod grasp.

    - try writing on a vertical surface- this will mean less gravity/ weight of your hand pushing down on painful joints. You could buy a dycem mat (non slip matting) to stop paper slipping down wall (dycem also great for opening jars etc!)

    - increase barrel size of pen/pencil- use foam tubing, or wrap insulating tape round and round shaft of pen until you get it to the required thickness. Using a wider barreled pen will put less stress through joints.

    - pacing- break task down into small manageable chunks. Set yourself a time limit, say 5 minutes, go away, have a break then sit back down for another 5 minutes.

    - typing- might be easier

    - use speech to text - dictate into smart phone/ computer what you want to say and it will be automatically transferred into text.

    If I think of anything else I'll let you know! Hopefully some of this advice will be of some use to you! Receiving this diagnosis (I have AS) and going through the experience of a severe flare has really opened my eyes to what it's really like. You can't even begin to comprehend this type of pain until you've been through it yourself. Thankfully my hands haven't really been affected. It must be truly awful to have that pain in your hands - it affects your ability to do everything. Take care. Mhairi x

  • Hi, I have the same problems as well. I have wrist splints, but find that if I wear them for too long, they make matters worse. I have learned that it is most beneficial to wear them when you are anticipating a particular action to hurt them, such as when writing a lot or when driving for me. I was also advised to purchase these funny looking grips for pens/pencils. They are soft and clay-like, so they mold to the way your fingers press on the pen/pencil. They help a bit when I have to write a lot. I will post a pic of these pen grips in a bit.

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