If you’ve been on a computer for years, like I have, then you may have found yourself Googling phrases like “pain in the back of the hand” or “ergonomic workstation” or etc. If you have, then you’re not alone, because I have queried the same phrases.
My Eye and Back Pain
Over the years I’ve had back pain, eye pain, hand pain and forearm pain, related to using my desktop computer. I’ve basically gotten rid of my back and eye pain by making changes to my computer workstation and sitting posture.
Raising the height of my computer screen about six inches worked instantly for the eye strain pain that I had. My back pain I have to be more proactive about. I’ve found that having my computer seat in a position where my feet can sit flat on the floor is part of my solution. The other part of my solution is periodically tightening the muscles in the lower part of my back. It took me some time to learn how to tighten these muscles, but after I did, my pain went away almost immediately. I’m now on maintenance with tightening these muscles. I do it maybe once a week, when I notice back pain.
My Hand and Forearm Pain
My hand and forearm pain have been more recent, and more persistent. My pain is in the top of my hand and the top of my forearm. From what I understand, this is not carpel tunnel syndrome. Carpel tunnel syndrome is
Carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve — the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. It can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
This is not the pain I have. I did some Googling and it seems I suffer from typing and using my mouse in a “clawed” postured. The “claw” posture is
The prevalence is for keyboard users to use ‘clawed’ hands when using a keyboard to enter text. By this I mean when a user readies their hand position over the keyboard before they type, or whilst in thought between text entries, the hands can be seen to be extended into the air from the wrist in a ‘claw’ like shape (as pictured below). Often the wrists are leaning on a wrist rest, or worse still, leaning on just the hard desk surface.
My Hand and Forearm Pain Solution
Once I narrowed down the reason why my pain developed, I tried to change my posture. I had a coincidental conversation with my mother about a different topic, and in that conversation she mentioned that she was taught to type by hovering her hands in the air over the keyboard. I tried typing in that manner, and it has worked really well for me. I have to be mindful of it, but it works great in alleviating both my hand and forearm pain.
Secondly, I have to be mindful about removing my hands from my keyboard and mouse, when I’m not using them.
Thirdly, I periodically switch my mouse over to my left hand, because I’m a righty. This gives my right hand a rest.
And lastly, I bought the Evoluent VerticalMouse. This has helped out allot, but is not the silver bullet. Here is a video of my mouse
In dealing with my pain it has been really encouraging to know I’m not alone. Hopefully this post will do the same for someone else.
At this point, my pain “is what it is”. It’s “spilt milk”, so there’s no use crying about it, but dealing with it the best I can.
Remember, this did not happen to me overnight. It’s because of years of posture that I did not know was poor. If you have no pain now, I’m happy for you. Please make sure you don’t use posture that will lead to future pain!!
If I come across any more helpful information, then I’ll add to this post. Please share your comments and experiences below!