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December 3rd 2013 6:54 pm

Tools and techniques for battling RSI

It seems like despite my best efforts, I've often found myself dealing with that dull sensation of pain that crops up in my wrists. That said, I've been fortunate enough to work at companies that provide helpful furniture, equipment, and consultations with ergonomists to help properly setup your work environment.

Yet I'll still feel some pain every now and then as my body decides to revert back to its old familiar habits. Of course, I've also found that the tools I use can also play a huge part in reducing (or intensifying) pain. For my day to day work, I've been primarily using Apple products for the last few years. Personally, I find their keyboards and mice to be some of the biggest things that contribute to wrist pain for me.

So, I decided to switch things up! I was looking at a number of goofy mice (some look like pencils, joysticks, or weird alien appendages) and decided to just try a more old-fashioned approach. Hello, trackball!

I recently started using a Logitech M570 wireless trackball and found that it's entirely eliminated my wrist pain. I'm still using an Apple chicklet keyboard, but it's amazing how just changing up my mouse has really improved things for me. I even have a more pleasant demeanor, a healthy glow, and smooth silky hair.

Obviously, your posture and workspace are going to play huge parts in how happy your body is and you should should should consult a medical professional if you have these issues. How do you cope with wrist pain in your every day use of computers and technology?


Thoughts on the Magic Mouse design: www.engadget.com­/discuss­/your­-thoughts­-on­-the­-desi...

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6 replies

I don't use Apple products. That's how I avoid carpal tunnel. /zing?

Actually, one trick/method I use is that I keep one of those foam stress balls on my desk, and whenever I've been typing a lot and my hands start to hurt, I stop and squeeze the ball for a few minutes, using my thumb and each of my fingers in succession. It's a bit tough, but my hands feel great afterwards.
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Over the years, it has seemed that Apple's mice are designed specifically to cause carpal tunnel. My first Mac came with the original see through clear and black mouse. Within months, I was having severe wrist pain. I switched to a Logitech Marble Mouse trackball and the pain vanished in less than 48 hours. I have used trackballs ever since.

I personally cannot use the thumb trackballs as I find my accuracy with my thumb is terrible and it gets tired easily. I prefer the center ball trackballs that allows me to operate it with my index and middle fingers. My accuracy and speed with these are easily triple that of the thumb type. I stopped buying Logitech Marble Mice a while back because they changed the manufacturing and the newer ones will barely last 1 year. Currently, I am using the Kensington Orbit and am pretty happy with it.
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Between the Apple Keyboard and the Magic Mouse, I find the keyboard to be a much greater source of discomfort. I still use both at home thought. I can't seem to be able to stop using the Magic Mouse because the multitouch gestures on it are one of those "how did I live without it?" kinda features. As for the keyboard, I want to stick to an Apple keyboard, that specifies cmd instead of having the Windows logo, however I can't seem to find a decent alternative. Another of the main reasons is that they really look nice with my iMac, unlike standard other keyboards and mice.

However, at the office, I bought myself a very comfortable Logitech LX3 mouse and a Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600. Both very generic, yet built for utmost comfort. Those things are just a blessing. :D
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Goodbye wrist pain, hello thumb pain (in a few weeks/months). You'll have to update - thats what happened when I tried a different thumb trackball...
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Oh, no. So, it's going to be a constantly evolving battle I suppose?
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When I first got an Apple laptop I bought a Magic Mouse thinking it'd be great, and I hated it. I would get constant numbness in my thumb, to the point it would hurt to drive. I did some digging and found out there are two types of way to hold a mouse: claw and palm. I am a claw person, and the the Magic Mouse requires you to be a palm mouse user.

After I did the research I opted to switch over to a Logitech Performance MX and it's been great. No more pains, everything is much more comfortable since it's ergonomically designed.

As for the keyboard, I have no issues with the keyboard but have been thinking of moving to a Das Keyboard or Matias.
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I'm also a claw person, but I found an almost claw way of holding the Magic Mouse. I hold the sides of the mouse with the tips of my thumb and pinky and hover the rest of my hand over the mouse. However, this brings in its own world of pain. It kinda crushes the bones in your palm over time.
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