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RE: Mice and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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  • RE: Mice and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    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.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    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....

    +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Mark Sheehan, Technical Communications Administrator |
    |-----------------------------------+-----------------------------------|
    | University Computing Services | BITNET: sheehan@iubacs |
    | Indiana University | Internet: sheehan@ucs.indiana.edu |
    | Bloomington, Indiana 47405 | Telephone: (812) 855-0913 |
    | USA | Fax: (812) 855-8299 |
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