As a Hand and Microsurgeon I am quite amazed how many keyboard operators, particularly those who use their computers almost all day long, come to me with genuine hand problems
CAUSED BY the use of their MOUSE !
Repeatedly pressing down with one finger is enough to cause all the following symptoms, bringing back memories of the problems the early stiff badly placed computers caused to typist's hands and fingers which were called Repetitive Strain Injuries years ago (the old "RSI")'.
The PRESENT DAY MOUSE CAUSES: Pain, in finger, wrist and forearm;
Slowing Down of the speed of finger action;
Strain on wrist, arm and even shoulder; and it can cause three common symptoms:
1.Trigger Finger This is a serious condition caused by repetitive trauma to the tendon and its sheath over the finger's knuckle (bony and joint) area where a tendon swelling occurs and the lump catches under a thick ligament that ordinarily acts as a pully, but the tendon gets stuck in the flexed state and cannot then relax back straight in even partial extension.
2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with feelings of fullness, heavyness of the hand and mild tingling progressing to pains and stiffness of fingers and wrist with nocturnal pain. As it continues and worsens the pain radiates to thumb, index and middle fingers and then on to ring and little fingers, although the pressure of tendonous swelling in the bony carpal "tunnel" compresses only the Median nerve. Soreness and pain can sometimes be relieved by holding the hand up , and if in bed support elbow and hand up on pillows. As it gets even worse hand muscle wasting occurs and even before that a relieving Carpal Tunnel Release operation is usually required.
crampwhich is a difficult condition where the
fingers may assume flexed positions, with pain and severe stiffness,
preventing writing even if it only affects the ring and little fingers.
Affecting the index finger it can be painful and debilitating. A form of
Writer's Cramp is introduced first by the hand , or the fingers shaking
to such an extent that it interferes with writing.
WHAT IS THE CARPAL TUNNEL ?
The flexor muscles of the forearm and its extensor muscles (which are weaker, but used just as much) are just below the elbow, and from halfway down the forearm they become tendons and run down to the wrist when most of the flexor tendons bunch together and pass on into the hand through the bony tunnel made by the little wrist bones (carpal bones). The softer median nerve is in the middle of all these hard working tendons, which can swell and compress the blood supply to the nerve and irritate it , which affects the nerve's electrical conduction and provides the painful and other symptoms. And you can get the Syndrome using a mouse repeatedly.
WHY DO WE GET THIS MOUSE PAIN ?
When you use an average Mouse, you usually hold it so the single click is done by pressing down the index finger, (flexion) and then lifting it back up (extension of the finger). If you use the keyboard you may strike the keys thousands of times with the fingers daily, and use the dominant right index finger on the mouse hundreds of times in just one hour! You use the middle finger for double clicks far less.
We humans were not designed to flex and then extend a single finger (or indeed multiple fingers) repeatedly and when you do such actions rapidly all the components of that activity become stressed. There is not time for the metabolism of all the involved moving parts to act efficiently, so the fluids involved in tendon sheaths and little arteries and veins supplying nutrients to all these and the other working parts, and taking away all the waste products of all this activity in the bones,
joints, tendons, ligaments and even nerves cant keep up with the demand. So tiny swellings you cant see with the naked eye , as well as fluid transport holdups are occurring as you do your mouse tapping. Now your finger ,and the wrist, and their joints, and your forearm , all being involved in the apparently simple action of bending and unbending the index
finger, start to protest.....and the pain and other symptoms develop inevitably as you carry on clicking your mouse.
DON'T LIFT A FINGER TO
CLiCK A MOUSE !
As even a relatively gentle pressure of tapping your index finger, down and up, down and up several thousand times a day will have an eventual effect, so its sensible to avoid that trauma which can be increasingly serious and may go on to disable the use of that whole hand. I see these cases far too often, and some people, fearful of losing their jobs, leave things far too long before seeking advice and treatment. Even when we see quite advanced cases of finger ,hand and arm overuse due to this cause, it may be able to be relieved and the job saved without surgery.
The designer of the Ergoclick mouse has carefully worked out the most relaxed hand position and the minimum pressure needed to rock the baseplate clickswitch , and with with just the weight of the hand itself, and the whole forearm resting on the table a single click is achieved almost imperceptibly. There is also a perfectly placed button on this Ergoclick next to the relaxed thumb for it to ever so gently press it for a double click, if you dont want to click twice.
So you use your normal mouse with the relaxed right hand to only move the cursor, and you just use a minimum pressure with your other hand on a well designed
mouse...... the unique ERGOCLiCK ! There is a very useful button on the Ergoclick to vary the pressure required to suit you, from as little as 30 grams to 300 grams, and this is another unique advantage of this special considerate mouse!
Did you know that instrumental musicians, such as pianists and violinists etc get a similar problem, but as its likely to have been started in many fingers doing excessively rapid flexions and extensions, they suffer finger, joint and forearm problems sometimes more serious than those caused by a mouse, and sometimes leave it too late to save their career. We have used the Ergoclick when a violinist has an index finger problem with the bowing (right) hand and admits to using a keyboard for the "day" job. We also use the Ergoclick with pianists and other musicians with the rare condition of "focal dystonia", when it affects the index finger.
The relief that the Ergoclick brings on is very satisfying for the patient, but dont leave it too late to get such relief . If your Hand Surgeon or the Head of your Secretarial workforce
doesn't yet know about the
ERGOCLiCK, I believe you should tell them, that
it may well save someone's career.