July 16, 2005
Like many of you, I spend
a considerable amount of time on a computer. Much of
that time, I use a mouse to create graphic images as
well as to navigate around my computer and the Internet.
As you can expect from the title of this article, I
finally began having trouble with my wrist.
It started with a bit of
tension and soreness in the muscle extending from my
pinky to my wrist while using a standard mouse. A
little stretch and a audible click in said area, and I
was back to normal - or so I thought. One morning
I woke up with the whole right side of my right hand
sore, and my fingertips numb. I of course ignored
it and continued my day to include some heavy weight
training to convince myself it was all my imagination.
The next day I realized that the 50 pound weights just
exacerbated the condition a bit more.
According to the
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,
the pain should be closer to my thumb. However, I
believe that the lateral movement of my wrist caused
by the use of a standard computer mouse probably led to
the same conditions, just in another part of my wrist.
this lateral movement is
not as flowing and natural as the up-and-down movement
of the wrist, but that puts us in a bit of a dilemma as
to the normal design of today's computer mouse devices.
I did three things immediately:
Put my arm is a
wrist-splint glove. I recommend the
Thermoskin Wrist Brace or the
Spint Wrist Brace from Chase Ergonomics,
but there are
other similar splints that you may find
Bought an ergonomic
mouse that keeps the hand in a natural
I purchased, now
use, and recommend the
Evoluent VerticalMouse 2. It conforms
to a more natural "handshake" position and is
available in left and right hand models.
It has both a USB and a PS2 interface, so no
problem with older systems.
Because it is
optical, you don't need a mouse pad, although I
recommend it as sometimes double-clicking can
take practice as the mouse has no resistance
against the buttons except for your thumb.
I have found that surprisingly, the mouse does
not move when you click, even on a non-pad
surface. You can also adjust the mouse to allow
for middle button clicking simply by holding the
middle button down for a short extended time.
You can also set autoclick by holding the mouse
pointer over an object for 2 seconds, though
this may have some drawbacks if you become
mouse has lessened the strain on my wrist as
well as my shoulder and right side of my neck.