Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A New Medical Malady?

I believe I have identified a new medical problem, which I will call "Blogger's arm". For the last week or so, my right wrist, the heel of my hand and the arm about 4 inches up toward my elbow have been feeling as though they have been pounded into the sand at the seashore - or maybe filed down with a rough emery board. It is especially apparent on the outer side of the hand and wrist, leading me to believe that the mouse pad I have is responsible for the sensitivity. Truth be known, it is likely the amount of time I spend with that wrist on a mouse pad that causes the problem.

Can any of you recommend a mouse pad that might alleviate the symptoms? I used to have a padded one, but that made my hand go numb. The one I have now was one sent to me by Rosie O'Donnell last year when her web-site started. It says "go blog urself" -, and I like it a lot.

I have tried to adopt the concert pianist's hand "posture", that of arching the fingers and having contact with the mouse only through the fingertips, but that leaves a lot to be desired in the long haul, causing finger and wrist fatigue. I really do need your advice for a solution to the problem, since I am unlikely to give up the computer any time soon.....LOL
Added later: I have an optical mouse, with a scroll wheel, and back and forward buttons. I will check into a track ball mouse, though, if you think it cold help solve the problem. The last time I used a mouse pad with a gel insert for the wrist, my whole hand went numb. Perhaps I will try another type.
Thanks to everyone for your ideas. I don't think I explained it properly. It is more of a skin sensitivity than anything else. I don't have pain within the hand or wrist - just on the surface. I just got out an old gel mousepad. If that doesn't help, I will get an old beanie baby stuffed animal and try that - thanks Raggedy. I have about 20 of those - so one ought to help pad it!

Note: check back tonight for a post on our meeting with Ed Rabel (July 20th post)


PI said...

Sorry I can't help. I get neck and shoulder problems also and the only thing I can do is to have shorter sessions and stretch a lot. Incidentally Son 2 gave me a Thunderbird mouse with the butler saying'You e-mailed ... M'Lady'
Have you been to Hoss's yet? Don't miss it!

Seamus said...

Judy, look into getting a track ball mouse - but try out a bunch 'till you find one you like because they all drive differently. They are awkward at first, but help with what you are describing. :)

Sue said...

I use a gel pad (wrist support) with a track ball mouse. I couldn't stand it at first, but now, I can barely function on computers that don't have it!

trinamick said...

I agree on the trackball. I have a Logitech and I love it. I spend my entire day in front of a computer, and it made a lot of difference. Took a little getting used to, but I don't need a mouse pad and my arm isn't constantly moving.

Mamacita said...

I have a Fellowes mouse pad with a tall gel wristpad, and I love it.

My arm and wrist were getting so sore that I could hardly use them, but now? Everything's fine.

I bought mine at Target for about twelve dollars. It's been worth it. Always before I had plain flat mouse pads that were either free or a buck, but you really do get what you pay for.

sage said...

I changed laptops about three months ago and have had more problems with the new one for two reasons--the touch pad seems to be bothering my fingers more and the battery is often hot when recharging and it's under my right hand... I may have to get me one of those wrist sleeves. Good luck with your problem.

Raehan said...

I started to have the same problem last Fall. That was about the time I had to slow my blogging down. I find if I'm taking a class AND blogging the pain comes back.


There are a couple of suggestions.

1. Rest it completely.

2. Learn how to use the computer without a mouse.

tommy said...

Trackball yep that's the way to go and toss the mouse pad in the trash (or do what we did and cut it up and use it for sandals on the robosapien). Check them out first, some are thumb driven and some are finger driven. I prefer the thumb ones, but if you use them a lot you might like the finger ones better, you could change fingers if one gets tired you know.

Thanks for stopping by via Michele.

srp said...

I prefer the trackball, stationary, just move the fingers and click. It sounds like carpal tunnel, repetitive movements in the wrist. I've had it since being pregnant and with cutting tissue at work, moving the stage and focusing of the microscope, hand sewing and smocking and computer work, well, they just go numb sometimes. I sleep in the wrist braces, similar to those you show and the trackball helped, I believe it was a Kensington.

About Wicked, yes ten year olds are old enough to see it. It isn't explicit and a lot of the book is left out. I believe the site says they don't want any children under four. The Producers is funny but I think it a bit bawdy for children, although a summer camp of middle school age kids were there when we went. I really wanted to see Mary Poppins but it doesn't open until September or October.

Raggedy said...

I don't know what the dern thing is called...grrrrrrrr
It is a bean bag thingie and it works great!!!
It is made just for that and it worked for me..
Sitting here thinking about I wonder if you have any small beannie baby animal thingies around. I am gonna grab one of my daughters...brb...
Yes that worked but not quite as well..I wish I knew how to describe it..
You put the beannie thing behind the mouse and your wrist sits on it. I had the gel thing first and that did not work for me either.
I got it at an office supply store..
I am really nattering on..sorry..
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) huge huggles
(")_ (")Š from da Raggedy one

Michelle said...

Try one of those ergonomic keyboards. That and the trackball mouse have done wonders for my blogger's arm :)

Thanks for the kind words on my blog! Winning the Extreme Makeover's the best thing that's happened to me in years! Be sure to check back this weekend for my "after" pictures!

Take care!

Maya's Granny said...

I have had an ergonomic keyboard with a mouse pad and that worked well, once I got used to it.

ET said...

My wife has carpal syndrome, which was caused by constant keyboard and mouse movement at work.
And I got it in the mid 90s. I had laser surgery and it hasn't bothered me since.

Anonymous said...

It is odd that you wrote about this...just last night I went to bed thinking...gee my arm hurts but it's like it's the skin...I figured it was too much computer work...I am going to look into the Target gel daughter uses the trackball mouse but I don't care for it...stuck in my ways I suppose...I may also try those ergonomic keyboards...bloggers that's funny! Thanks for this post, it has been very helpful.

Karen said...

Judy, I have something similar and I fear it's carpal tunnel. Plus, I'm now developing tennis elbow which is aggravated by work on the computer. I used to sleep with a brace, but that didn't do much. If you hear of a good cure, let me know!

Loren said...

I've had this intermitteningly, and found that the trackball did help, but after using it for a long period of time different problems arose.

I try to switch back and forth between the two, and that seems to help even more.

Of course, the real answer is to find a way to use the mouse less or find a way to get away from the computer for longer periods of time.

Shephard said...

A beanie baby... how clever!
I'm going to remember that.