Could Your Computer Mouse Be Causing Hand or Wrist Issues?

Could Your Computer Mouse Be Causing Hand or Wrist Issues?

After a long day at the computer, do your hands and/or wrists bother you? You may have developed a repetitive strain injury. Your computer mouse could be part of the reason why you’re developing problems with your hand or wrist. 

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow  

are hand experts. We can promptly diagnose your hand or wrist issue with physical and imaging tests at our offices in Atlanta, Watkinsville, and Marietta, Georgia.

You may have an overuse injury that has developed from your daily use of your computer keyboard and mouse over a number of years. This type of injury is quite common among computer users and gamers. 

Symptoms of a repetitive strain injury

A repetitive strain injury may be diagnosed as a number of injuries such as tendonitis, a nerve injury, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and others. Following are some of the troublesome symptoms you may be experiencing

It’s important to seek help from our specialists early. Without treatment, any one of these injuries is going to worsen if you continue using the same repetitive hand and wrist motions with no ergonomic changes. Don’t wait until you have permanent nerve damage and surgery may be the only option left. 

Why your computer mouse may be causing your pain 

Your computer may have come with a mouse — but that mouse may not fit your hand. If it’s too small, your fingers and thumb may be bunched up and too close together. If only your fingertips are touching the mouse, your hand and wrist aren’t supported. 

When you scroll and click the mouse repeatedly during the day and use a mouse that doesn’t fit your hand, the muscles and tendons in your fingers, thumb, and hand are overworked. You develop an overuse injury; you may have any of the symptoms listed above. 

In addition, small workstations where the mouse is placed inappropriately can result in a musculoskeletal injury. The mouse in that case is to the left or right of the keyboard toward the back of the desk. Are you leaning forward and reaching outward? This poor posture leads to a variety of musculoskeletal problems with your hand, wrist, arm, and shoulder.  

Make ergonomic corrections to your work environment

Analyze your computer keyboard and mouse. Your palm should rest on the mouse and support your hand. The hand and wrist should be in a neutral position. Having a larger mouse that lies under your palm helps you use your arm muscles more than the small wrist muscles that are going to tire more easily. 

You shouldn’t have to hit your mouse hard for it to click. Did you know that you can change your mouse settings

The standard mouse forces you to twist your wrist. Proper ergonomic position is for your arm, wrist, and fingers to be in a straight line, and not tilted. There are many good alternatives to a regular mouse if using a mouse worsens your symptoms. 

Treatment for hand or wrist repetitive strain injuries 

Our hand and wrist experts help you recover from your painful symptoms caused by repetitive strain injuries. An initial rest period with pain medication and a brace or a splint helps calm inflammation. Physical therapy helps you recover range of motion and strength. If you do need surgery, you’re in safe hands. 

Call Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow or book an appointment online today for all of your musculoskeletal concerns. 

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