Question: I have recently begun a role which involves full-working weeks using a mouse and keyboard. As part of this role I have begun using, for the first-time, two or three design Applications for example Adobe Illustrator. These have involved considerable mouse usage (especially button clicks) to manipulate drawings on-screen. In the last two weeks, following a period of two months of the work described above, I have developed pain in my right wrist as it bends upwards to engage the mouse.
There is also a dull tingling sensation throughout my fingers, and all such pain remains with me when not using the mouse. I am keen to get some advice as to whether my hands/wrist are adjusting to a new, more frequent movement than they are used to, or whether there is the possibility that such pains could suggest or lead to RSI. Furthermore, any advice on how to overcome it would also be appreciated. I am vaguely aware of such things as forearm supports, wrist supports and even graphics tablets for naturalistic drawing movements. Any comments would be welcomed.
Answer: I think you have just said it there – a classic and common problem which I would certainly call RSI or WRULD – you are bending your wrist instead of keeping it straight and that causes damage, trapping nerves (hence finger tingling), etc (sorry, I don’t have the time or energy today to explain, or the knowledge, except to say that I get it too and it doesn’t get any better, so please take steps to get this sorted out..) You should try and keep your wrist/arm straight: I was advised that I needed a wrist support when mousing or an arm support.
There are many of these things available – see Posturite and many other suppliers, including many normal office stationery catalogues. Also, try not to rest your wrist/arm weight on the mouse when you aren’t actually using it – that’s another part of the problem. There’s lot’s of advice out there on various RSI and ergonomics sites. I find the same problem with a trackball but I don’t know about tablets. Perhaps you could alter the height of its positioning – put it on a desk attached tray which is lower so your hand comes down to it instead of reaching up/out?