Writer's cramp

Jennifer G Goldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Writer's cramp is the most common form of focal, task-specific dystonia. Symptoms frequently evolve in the setting of repetitive hand movements and increased writing demands, and clinical presentations demonstrate a variety of different dystonic patterns of the upper extremity such as while writing or holding a writing utensil. However, why writer's cramp develops still remains much of a mystery. Clinical evaluation of patients with writer's cramp and various theories regarding its pathophysiology are reviewed. Treatment can be challenging and often involves a combination of pharmacologic (e.g., oral medications, botulinum toxin injections) and non-pharmacologic approaches (e.g., neurosurgical or neurostimulatory interventions, rehabilitation therapies, adaptive devices). Management strategies for writer's cramp using both of these approaches will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Botulinum toxin
  • Focal hand dystonia
  • Mirror dystonia
  • Occupational cramp
  • Sensory trick
  • Task-specific

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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