It may be hard to believe, but the mouse, a seemingly harmless computer tool, can be a cause of shoulder pain. Shoulder pain associated with the mouse develops over weeks of its constant use without proper arm support. This means weeks of constant, repetitive movement in a small area (i. e. dragging and clicking) with arm extended in the same position everyday.
If taken for granted, this pain on the shoulder can spread to nearby parts such as the neck and even the upper back. As such, the prevention of such a nasty problem is important.
One solution is the use of rollermice, a device that is best described as stationary computer mouse. Whilst essentially similar to a trackball in two respects, the use of a rollermouse requires that you roll a bar back, forward, left, and right to move the mouse pointer on the screen.
Another way a rollermouse differs from most models of trackballs is the area where it needs to be placed during use. While most trackballs are placed at the same spot where you normally place a mouse, a rollermouse sits right behind the space bar.
This positioning eliminates the need to move your hand away from keyboard when you need to move the pointer elsewhere in your screen. Because of this, you save yourself milliseconds of work, which can quickly add up since mouse pointer movement is done as often as keyboard use.
Therefore, it follows that a rollermouse allows you to keep both wrists and both palms in comfortable positions whilst working on any documents using a computer. As such, this device prevents shoulder pain that’s associated with normal mouse use.
Here are other ways to prevent that same shoulder pain. These can also supplement your use of a rollermouse.
It’s a fact that the human body tends to slouch as fatigue accumulates throughout the day. But since slouching leads to strain on various body parts, it becomes necessary to correct that tendency. Some ways to correct it include tai chi, yoga, and core strengthening workouts like Pilates. Another effective way is the use of a general reminder, whether it’s in physical sticky note or phone alarm formats.When improving posture whilst working, your focus should be on bringing shoulders away from the ears. Doing so releases stored tension in both neck and shoulders.
Mouse Shoulder Exercises for the Hands
Before doing the exercises mentioned below, make sure to talk to your doctor first. This is especially important if you suffer from other pains associated with computer work.
- Every hour, you can alternate between forming a fist, opening your hand, forming a ‘table top’ with your hand, forming cat claws with your fingers, and forming a half fist.
- Every couple of hours, stretch every single finger back. Then put five fingers of a hand together, then apart.
- Every three hours, shake wrists and fingers.
- Every four hours, straighten an elbow and arm, then pull back a wrist gently
- Another exercise that can be done every hour is massaging a hand with the opposite thumb.
Regular massage sessions help in relieving the tension that has developed in different parts of your upper body. But in order to fully benefit from your regular sessions, it’s also important that you make changes to how you use your work desk.
Changing the Way You Use Your Work Desk
In case you’re not aware, the work desk is composed of a number of different elements, most of which you pay no attention to. Aside from your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and CPU, your work desk is composed of the table that supports your desktop or laptop and the chair that supports your body as you work.
The proper use of your work desk does not only mean sitting with your back straight. It also means adjusting the height of the ergonomic chair you sit on so your feet are flat on the floor and your upper arm and forearm at a 90-degree angle. Computer monitor angle should also be adjusted to accommodate your height whilst seated down. Everything the monitor shows should be clear to you and your eyes should be in-line with the top one third of the screen.