Fighting tendonitis

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Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:36 am

Hi all. As the subject says, I would like recommendations from you to fight the strain on my mouse wrist, since I usually spend 10h of my day in a computer, both at home and at work.

The most forward think I can think off is to don't use the computer at home, so I can have more rest hours per day. Of course, that ain't easy, I love to play games... And my favorites require keyboard+mouse.

So, a big start would be upgrading the mouse? I think something bigger would help, since both I use are small. Anything you could tell me to reduce the fatigue problem I'm grateful.

Thank you :wink:
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:40 am

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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:50 am

I'm in this very position myself. My right thumb has just been hurting out of the blue. Doc thinks it could be tendonitis.

Either way, to give my right thumb some rest I've switched to using my mouse with my left hand at work. Also trying to hit the space bar with my left thumb. It's not terrible after a couple of hours and if you're a developer (like me) you don't really need the mousing precision your dominant hand give you anyway.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:06 am

Switch to a trackball?
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:21 am

I have a friend who swears by a "vertical" mouse. Haven't tried it myself, but it looks like it makes sense.

http://www.evoluent.com

When I had a flare-up, my doctor just asked "how much ibuprofen can you stand at once?". I told him I usually too 3-4 Advils before a round of golf, so he said "take 5" and the flare-up was gone overnight.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:25 am

Captain Ned wrote:http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/3M-Precise-Mousing-Surface-with-Leather-like-Gel-Wrist-Rest-MW309LE-mouse/1385778.aspx


I should find something like this at Amazon or Ebay right?

Is this something specific or it is just a normal mouse wrist rest?

Thank you for your suggestion I should try this for sure!

Usacomp2k3 wrote:Switch to a trackball?


Not possible. High precision work.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:35 am

I use IronMind hand conditioning tools. They sell rubber brands of various strengths that work when you open your hand wide. I also use their grip trainers that require to you to squeeze hard to close them. Heavy deadlifts and farmer's walks too. Been using a computer for 25+ now and rarely have any pain in my hands.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:20 pm

About 10 years ago I was doing 16+ hours a day at a computer (between work, multimedia classes, and late-night gaming), and my wrist got so bad that if even 5 minutes without my wristbrace would be... undesirable. Switching to a Wacom tablet (with the stylus in mouse mode) for a few years really helped. Now I rarely have any issues with my mouse-hand.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:54 pm

This is my firsthand experience but may not apply to anyone else, but I had back and wrist issues for a couple of years after I had a motorcycle wreck, plus I am sitting at a desk for 8+hrs a day then going home and doing the same sometimes. Once I rehabbed my shoulder enough I slowly eased into working out again, the issues went away. Every time I get back issues I step up my abs/back exercises and pain goes away. Anyway, I hope you are treating your tendonitis (NSAIDs/ice/elevation/compression etc) because it can become chronic (tendinosis). Get well!
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:13 pm

Horse linament. Ice. It all will help. The above solutions will get you there, but these two help you get there a bit easier.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:02 pm

Check your posture, forward head disposition and rounded shoulders puts allot of unnecessary strain on the nerves and tendons running down your neck through to your arms. I tried Yoga and it was incredible at opening me up across the chest and shoulders, and generally improving things for me. I hope you can find a local group to give it a try, I noticed improvement after only a few weeks.

If you keep up the 10hr a day marathons, with no remedial action, eventually you will have to kiss good bye to your health, not to mention video games.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:56 pm

I agree with Dirge, posture is everything. It isn't enough to just HAVE a wrist rest for your mouse, it has to be the right height for your hand relative to the height of your arm (and hence chair). Ideally to keep the muscles most relaxed, you want your hand hanging freely over the mouse with all the weight on the wrist rest. Your arm should be supported as well by the chair armrest and ideally be horizontal to keep the pressure off the hand.

Now this bit depends on your hand size/type, but personally I've found most mice tend to be a little too thin for me, and that's considering I have a smaller hand size! This means I'm pulling the thumb in too far toward the palm, and after extended use on one of these mice I'll begin to feel the thumb/hand begin to ache a little bit. A large mouse that keeps the thumb further left (held away from the palm) helps with that. Even a mouse like the G500 is too thin for me to use for 4+ hours as I'll start feeling it. Literally holding my thumb half an inch away from the mouse feels way better and more natural to me.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:19 pm

Jon1984 wrote: I would like recommendations from you to fight the strain on my mouse wrist, since I usually spend 10h of my day in a computer, both at home and at work.
The best ultimate solution for this problem for me was to get a new mouse pad with a good gel wrist support, as well as a new gel wrist support for my keyboard. I also found that I had less wrist pain with a more ergonomic Logitech gaming mouse.

Before I found those ergonomic solutions, I swapped to mousing with my left hand for a couple of months. :wink:
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:44 am

Thank you for your suggestions. I'll start by trying new gear (mouse and wrist rest) and try to be more careful about posture, I know that it's very important. My girlfriend talked about yoga too, maybe its time to give it a try.

JustAnEngineer wrote:Before I found those ergonomic solutions, I swapped to mousing with my left hand for a couple of months. :wink:


Swapping will be extremely difficult at work.

I should try to enjoy more games with gamepad too. About the mouse could you recommend me a model or two?

Thank you
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:37 am

Don't know what it's like in the US but in the UK your employer is legally required to meet certain ergonomic standards - we'd ask for DSE desk assessment.

The solution is to change it up; Most people opt for a pen-tablet. Vertical mice for others. If you want to use a mouse a home you should avoid using a mouse as much as possible at work.

The only cure is to stop doing whatever it is that's causing pain, to continue through any pain is just accelerating and worsening the problem.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:04 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Don't know what it's like in the US but in the UK your employer is legally required to meet certain ergonomic standards - we'd ask for DSE desk assessment.

The solution is to change it up; Most people opt for a pen-tablet. Vertical mice for others. If you want to use a mouse a home you should avoid using a mouse as much as possible at work.

The only cure is to stop doing whatever it is that's causing pain, to continue through any pain is just accelerating and worsening the problem.


Yeah, but I think it would be best to avoid the mouse at home rather than in my work, because using a different kind of device at work will be very difficult. I'm a photogrammetrist and using a vertical mouse wouldn't maintain my level off productivity for sure. But at home, its just for the fun, and I might try other ways to enjoy games rather than be always forcing the wrist.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:45 am

Physical therapy and specific exercisse are what saved me. I was in the same boat as you, to the point where every day at work was painful and I was miserable - constant shooting pains from my hands to my elbows, no grip strength. Work got me physical/occupational therapy, which was a huge benefit -- not only because it provided immediate relief to ease the tension on the tendons, but because I learned a lot of techniques for exercising the specific arm muscles and how to properly stretch. Even learning basic things like how to sit properly (it turns out all those admonitions not to slouch had a purpose!) help.

Freeweights will help, but in the long term the best single thing I found for forearm exercises was a Dynaflex Powerball.

A note: wrist braces did not help me at all in the long term - in fact, they started to make things worse. They were great right after I got my first serious flare-up of tendinitis, but as my arms/wrists/hands recovered and I got stronger the braces were an unnecessary support that became uncomfortable. My physical therapist explained that was not uncommon, and that it meant I should stop using them unless absolutely necessary. I haven't worn them nearly seven years, I think.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:14 am

Jon1984 wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:Switch to a trackball?


Not possible. High precision work.


Had to look up what a photogrammetrist is. Weren't trackballs invented exactly for jobs like yours? And, as Wikipedia says, "Large trackballs are common on CAD workstations for easy precision".

I use a mouse at work and a trackball (the symmetrical Logitech Marble) at home; the former with my right hand, which is dominant, and the latter with the left one. This combination may have helped me to avoid work-related injuries so far. I consider TB a little better for precision work because the pointer never moves when I click and release buttons. With the mouse it sometimes does if the surface is as slippery as it should be. Much better trackballs exist too, of course.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:31 am

A mouse pad with a wrist rest is not a bad idea; also your overall posture is important. A wrist brace may help if your problem is related to the angle of your wrist (some people like to curl their wrist too much, this is bad) but otherwise isn't going to do much.

The key, in my own experience, is to stop what you're doing every once in a while and do something else. Do some basic wrist stretches, grab a stress ball, do some hand and finger exercises (you'll find all sorts on Google) but the point is, the problem stems from repetitive motion over long periods of time, so that is where it has to be stopped.

So even when you're hunkered down and coding for 10 hour stretches, just taking a few minutes every hour (or less than that) and doing something else will go a long way towards preventing pain.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:28 pm

Wirko wrote:
Jon1984 wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:Switch to a trackball?


Not possible. High precision work.


Had to look up what a photogrammetrist is. Weren't trackballs invented exactly for jobs like yours? And, as Wikipedia says, "Large trackballs are common on CAD workstations for easy precision".

I use a mouse at work and a trackball (the symmetrical Logitech Marble) at home; the former with my right hand, which is dominant, and the latter with the left one. This combination may have helped me to avoid work-related injuries so far. I consider TB a little better for precision work because the pointer never moves when I click and release buttons. With the mouse it sometimes does if the surface is as slippery as it should be. Much better trackballs exist too, of course.


Yes it was. But I only use the trackball in some types of cartography jobs, which has been rare lately.

But maybe i'll give it a try and alternate between the normal mouse and the trackball in light projects. I have one right here idling at work at the moment.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:05 pm

I'd encourage you to think about your entire workspace and body and not just your mouse and wrist. I have a desk job and also spend time on computers at home and used to have more issues like these.

Some of the things that have helped me the most are:
Getting a keyboard tray to place the keyboard and mouse lower and closer to my lap.
Placing my monitor higher, the top just above my eyes.
Learning to alternate mousing with right and left hands throughout the day.
Installing software to monitor usage and encourage breaks such as WorkRave.
Paying attention to posture and fatigue.
Meeting with a physicial therapist a few times to learn some stretches and massages for my arms.

This board won't let me post URLs so please google Ergonomic Workspace and Repetitive Strain Injury.
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Re: Fighting tendonitis

Postposted on Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:58 pm

Did not read the thread, so some may be duplicate.
As a sufferer here of said tendonitis in my wrists (verified not Carpal Tunnel) for almost 20 years (half my life) here are my recommendations:

Ergonomics. Those funky keyboards that are split or at least curved and the odd non-symmetrical mice... yup those... keyboard is as important as the mouse. Find which style works for you.
Take a look at your entire work stations for where your keyboard and mouse surfaces are too high, top of a desk is not usually good.
Get something to help you keep your wrists straight.
Try not to use "wrist rests" while typing... they are for while at rest.

Breaks. Take time to stretch and move (include some motion in the wrists)

When the pain and ache sets in I find that ibuprofens work for me to relieve the pain but usually you need to take it easy too after.
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