Due to the current Covid-19 situation, work-from-home remains the default mode for many companies. This includes sitting at the work desk and using the computer mouse, which overtime, will create fatigue and discomfort in the wrists that result in hand pain.
Computer mouse hand pain is caused by extensive use of computer peripherals such as the mouse, through repetitive motions such as mouse clicking, scrolling, movement, and grip styles. A medical term for this condition is called pisiformitis, which is the inflammation of the wrist bone from prolonged pressure.
How does mouse usage contribute to the pain
Operating a mouse involves many finger movements described above such as clicking, scrolling, travelling, and holding. Overtime, you may feel the following symptoms in the affected fingers or pain in the wrist:
- Burning sensations
- Tingling and numbness (in the index finger and thumb)
Mouse and keyboard usage are not the only contributing factors to the pain, prolonged pressure from sports activities such as racquet sports, cycling, and exercises that require the use of the palm to support the body weight, may also contribute to this kind of pain.
Pain target areas:
This computer mouse hand pain is usually felt at the little finger’s side of the hand and wrist, but in the worst case scenarios, it can affect the whole hand including the carpal ligament and median nerve.
Tips to avoid hand pain
How to prevent wrist pain from computer use? Below are a couple of things that you can do:
- Purchase an ergonomic mouse: This allows a natural grip and comfortable fit for your hand shape, size, and preferred gripping style. Searning for “best mouse for hand pain” online should help you find one.
- Proper posture and support: Good alignment of your head and torso while sitting at your table, helps to lessen your hand pain. Use forearm supports to position your arm and hands.
- Rest: Take frequent micro-breaks from gripping the mouse and stretch your fingers. Don’t wait until your hand hurts from mouse clicking before you stop and rest.
- Wrist exercises: Do hand and wrist stretches every now and then.
Treatment for Pisiformitis
The RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) and over the counter medication are the fastest methods to alleviate the pain. Avoid bending or twisting your wrist to avoid further damage to your wrist. Purchasing padding for your wrist and investing in an ergonomically designed computer mouse will give extra support. Depending on the doctor’s diagnosis, some conditions may require surgery.
If the pain, swelling and numbness of your hand and wrist persists, consult our hand specialists at the Singapore Sports and Orthopaedic Clinic immediately for proper hand pain diagnosis and treatment.
You should not be working in pain or discomfort. With right ergonomics and habits, these body mechanics can be easily adjusted to avoid further affecting your function and productivity at work.