Handwriting can change as you age, especially if you have stiff hands or fingers, from arthritis or another condition, or if you have poor vision. However, small, cramped handwriting – called Small, cramped handwriting.– is characteristic of Parkinson’s and is frequently one of the early symptoms. In addition to words being generally small and crowded together, the size of handwriting might get smaller as you continue to write.
Micrographia is caused by the same processes in the brain that lead to other movement symptoms of the disease. In addition, those symptoms – slowness of movement, Involuntary shaking of the hands, arms, legs, jaw or tongue. The typical Parkinson’s tremor is “pill-rolling” – it looks like holding a pill between thumb and forefinger and continuously rolling it around. Some people report an internal tremor, a shaking sensation inside the chest, abdomen or limbs that cannot be seen. Most Parkinson’s tremor is “resting tremor,” which lessens during sleep and when the body part is actively in use., In Parkinson’s, stiffness of the arms or legs beyond what would result from normal aging or arthritis. Some people call it “tightness” in their limbs. – can all make it harder to write.
Medications to control movement symptoms may slightly improve micrographia. There are also some strategies that can make writing more comfortable for you and legible for your readers.
- Practice! Write one page every day.
- Use a weighted pen or a pen with a thick grip.
- Use lined paper.
- Sit upright in a comfortable chair, and write on a table.
- Write during When medications are working and you experience good symptom control. when medication is working best.
- Take breaks as needed.
If writing becomes too difficult for you or too hard to read, try typing. If motor control makes that too hard, also, try dictation software. There are programs for your phone and computer that can help.