Working with people that use computers all day long, a common complaint is wrist pain. There are many potential causes but this article will focus on the keyboard and mouse. Here are some things to look for:
- Is the mouse too big or too small? – Many people use a separate mouse with their laptop. These mice are typically a little smaller for their portability. A smaller mouse can increase your pinching grip which can create more wrist fatigue. For smaller hands a larger mouse can cause the same problems. So find a mouse that properly fits in your hand.
- Are you resting your wrist on the work surface? – Making direct contact with your wrists on a hard work surface can cause “contact” stress which can irritate the tendons and wrist structures resulting in inflammation and wrist pain. Also resting your wrists on the work surface can increase positional stress caused by your wrists being in an excessive extended position. If you put your wrists on the work surface get both a keyboard and mouse wrist rest to decrease the stress.
- Have you been diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? – Most of the regular keyboard and mice that come with the computers today are adequate for most users, but for people with Carpal Tunnel issues a different style keyboard and mouse may help. The natural or split keyboards are designed to encourage a wrist position the decreases the pressure in the Carpal Tunnel, which reduces the symptoms. While some people like track balls as an option with Carpal Tunnel, I often see that this can increase symptoms. I have found people do better with more upright mice, that encourage use of the shoulder muscles more than wrist. Again, check to see what feels best for you.
By experimenting with different keyboard and mouse options, you should be able to find one that can help reduce your wrist pain.