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Herman J. Woltring
08-28-1991, 01:36 AM
Dear Biomch-L readers,

The following reply on the Mice & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome query was received
this afternoon. Any comments from a Biomch-L point of view?

With kind regards -- Herman J. Woltring.

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Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1991 16:51:39 +0600
From: sheehan@BRONZE.UCS.INDIANA.EDU
Subject: RE: Mice and RSI
Sender: Computing and Health

Andrew Ross writes:

>My question is: would alternative mice such as trackballs be
>"better" for your wrists? I suppose so, since there would
>be less wrist movement, but I'd like some advice/opinions.

I'm no doctor, but from what I know about carpal tunnel syndrome it's more
what you do with your fingers that matters. The tendons slipping around are
the ones that work your fingers. You use a different set of devices to move
your wrists. Trackballs have buttons to push, too, some of those buttons
are positioned so as to require more bizzare finger stretches than a normal
mouse does.

Rather than suspect the mouse itself, I'd look at the angle your wrist
makes when using the mouse. If your wrist angle results in a crimping of
the carpal tunnel as you click the button, you're probably doing some
damage. Otherwise you may want to take a look at any differences between
your right and left hands as they work at the keyboard.

Do you sit in such a posture as to bend the right wrist (in a side-to-side
plane) more than the left? That would be so if you sit off to the right of
the keyboard a little. Many people do sit offset that way so they can reach
their mice over the little aircraft carriers that Apple (for example) calls
a keyboard.

Or do you maybe hit the keys harder with your right hand? Maybe a "kinder
and gentler" approach to the keys right of QWERT would tame the problem in
your right carpal tunnel.

Just some ideas....

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