Computers, Carpal Tunnel, and Firearms...

Computers, Carpal Tunnel, and Firearms...

This is a discussion on Computers, Carpal Tunnel, and Firearms... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Curious to see if anyone else that spends a lot of time surfing the net is noticing any wrist problems? I only watch about 3 ...

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  1. #1
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    Computers, Carpal Tunnel, and Firearms...

    Curious to see if anyone else that spends a lot of time surfing the net is noticing any wrist problems?

    I only watch about 3 hours of TV each week, but spend 6 or more hours a day on the internet, and lately I've noticed that my wrist seems to ache a lot from operating the mouse, and I'm concerned that it could get to the point of effecting my shooting grip.

    Does anybody here notice the same problem, and are there any good solutions that can relieve the stress on the wrist?

    Thanks,
    Rick
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

    "They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper


  2. #2
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    Yep

    The top back of my hand & right around my knuckle areas.
    I always just assumed that it was due to my right hand getting all busted up. Classic boxer injuries.
    Now, I'm sure that it's from constant "Mouse" use.

    So far...it only seems to last a couple of hours though & has not affected shooting at all.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    I work with a computer all day and I know what you mean. What I did was ignore all the ergonomic rules and move the keyboard and mouse away from me on the desk (my monitor is up on a stand, so the keyboard can just about go right under it).
    Even if not on a stand, the keyboard would be running into the base of the monitor with the mouse to the right of the keyboard (as I'm right handed).
    What this means is that my elbows and entire forearms are flat on the top of my desk, actually laying across whatever paperwork I'm dealing with. The heel of my hand is resting on the desk, too, and I'm just typing or using the mouse with my fingers.
    Also, I have the mouse set as fast as it will go. To move the cursor all the way across the screen takes less than 2" of actual mouse movement. It takes a while to get used to a mouse set this fast - actually, nobody else at work can use it ---- and I know this all sounds like a really odd setup, but it has definitely worked for me.
    Before I found this way, I could barely move my hands by the end of the week.

  4. #4
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    Rick - I all but ''live'' on my puter and yes, mouse effects can occur. I get spells when it is worse than others - and it occurs most when on very long hauls with image work and a lot of very repetitive mouse activity.

    My solution (solutions) have been - use of a good Belkin mouse mat - the one with a gel filled raised portion at front. Find the best place to rest the wrist and it takes off some strain.

    Second is having secondary support for the forearm. I have an old small cabinet to my right, with a folded towel to rest on - this brings my arm up to almost the level of my mouse mat and desk - it allows the whole arm to be less stressed.

    I also in recent months went to an optical mouse - movement is similar to old ball type but I fancy economizes a bit on movements as there is no ball slippage - it is more direct in response.

    Sometimes I have resorted to a wrist bracing bandage deal which also can help if things get rather inflammatory - just for a few days at a time.

    The forefinger is the other thing that periodically gets a fatigue/stress effect - with some ache over top of knuckle, back of hand and even up into the extensor muscle mass - this can be hard to deal with without stopping mouse work - best solution I found to that was experimenting with a change in height of my arm support - sometimes adding sometimes reducing - in effect just changing from the usual.

    These are my observations after all but living at a puter for last 9 to 10 years.!!
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array .45acp's Avatar
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    Rick

    No problems here. Not only do I surf the net but when working, I work in IT. Lots of keyboarding. Exercise is the key, wrist flexation, squeeze a stress ball and things on that same order.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team American
    Curious to see if anyone else that spends a lot of time surfing the net is noticing any wrist problems?

    I only watch about 3 hours of TV each week, but spend 6 or more hours a day on the internet, and lately I've noticed that my wrist seems to ache a lot from operating the mouse, and I'm concerned that it could get to the point of effecting my shooting grip.

    Does anybody here notice the same problem, and are there any good solutions that can relieve the stress on the wrist?

    Thanks,
    Rick
    When I was in grad school, and churning out the papers, I started having trouble with my thumb and first two fingers going numb. My whole hand would ache when I tried to move the mouse, and I found I had no strength to grip something like a glass. Like you, I assumed it was carpal tunnel, but it wasn't. The nerve damage was at my elbow, worst, and through the carpal tunnel, second. It had to do with the armrest of my chair, and the way my hand was positioned (angled and bent) when I used the mouse or keyboard.

    You are right to be concerned about your shooting grip. It could well be affected by the nerve damage to your hand.

    I did several things to correct the problem. I got a better chair, with adjustable armrests, so I could set the height to protect my elbow from resting right on the nerve. I got an ergonomic keyboard so my hand/wrist/forearm was in line while keyboarding. I got a mouse pad with a wrist rest, so my hand/wrist/forearm was level when I used the mouse. Made a big difference. I still had to use a brace for about six months, but the damage healed. I haven't had any trouble since.
    - Tom
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  7. #7
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    Tom, I didn't think about the elbow, but you're right...I find that I am pivoting my forearm and hand right on the "funny bone" area. I'll work on that.

    I've also purchased an optical mouse, and have been using it in different positions...on the side of the chair, on my leg, switching hands and using the left hand, etc.

    A google search for ergonomic mice(?) pulls up several interesting designs; one that looks like a joystick keeps your hand and wrist in a natural alignment...might give it a go.
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

    "They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    I too live on a computer 10+ hours a day. A few recommendations of things that work for me...

    1) Kensington Expert Mouse

    Different motion, it's much easier on my wrist and arm than a mouse is. As an added benifit, you don't have to have clear space around it to use it. Any trackball works better for me than a mouse does, but the expert mouse is my favorite by far.

    2) A good keyboard. My favorite is the 'Happy Hacker'

    I like a smaller than standard keyboard, so that I don't stretch as much, with shallow keystrokes. I'm actually more comfortable working with a good quality laptop keyboard than most standard keyboards, and I can't stand those split ergonomic things!

    3) LCD Display rather than a CRT. When I switched to an LCD, my headache's simply went away. I'll never go back.
    Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. It's worth it.

  9. #9
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    cmidkiff, I probably don't need a new keyboard...I'm a two-finger hunter/peckerer when it comes to typing

    I guess my ideal mouse would be shaped like a 1911, with a rollerball in the mag well, and you would use the trigger to double tap...um, I mean, double click new links
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

    "They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Just try changing the relitave height of your chair vs your keyboard/mouse a fiew times thro a session , it works wonders for me to raise or lower my chair every couple of hours

  11. #11
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    This is important stuff, folks! IT JUST GETS WORSE if you ignore it! I'm not an expert:

    Good posture
    Wrist straight
    Exercise your wrist every 15 to 30 minutes
    Lots of medical "how to's" available to help avoid:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_4491_avoid-carpal-tunnel.html


    How to Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome



    Carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve disorder in the hand that causes pain, numbness and tingling. It is caused by repetitive motion of the hands, such as computer use. Although it affects both sexes, it is especially common among women between the ages of 30 and 60.

    Steps:
    1. Set up your work space with adjustable screens, keyboards and work surfaces to eliminate extra strain to the wrists and hands. Position your keyboard so that it is at elbow level. Your forearms, wrists and hands should be in a straight line parallel to the floor as you type.

    2. Use a wrist pad with your keyboard. A wrist pad is a cushioned support that rests under your wrists, runs the length of your keyboard and takes the stress off your wrists by raising them to the level of the keyboard.

    3. Exercise before and after work. Try the following: Stand and extend both arms out from your chest with palms facing out and fingers pointing up. Hold for a count of five. Straighten your wrists and relax fingers, then make a tight fist with each hand. Bend your wrists down and count to five. Repeat these stretches ten times for each session.

    4. Take short breaks every hour at work. During your break, stand up, breathe in slowly and deeply, allow your arms to hang loosely, and shake for a couple of seconds. This will prevent buildup of muscle tension.

    5. Sit up straight in your chair while working, and remember to tap keys lightly as you type.

    6. Break up repetitive types of work with other duties throughout the day so your hands and eyes get a break.


    Tips:
    Early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome are a tingling or numbness in the hands, sharp pains shooting from the wrist up the arm, or a burning sensation in the fingers.

    As a precaution, wear a wrist brace or splint if you are doing repetitive work with your hands and wrists such as typing, writing or operating a cash register. This will provide extra support to the wrist and hand.

    Learn keyboard shortcuts. Microsoft Word, for example, has many.


    Warnings:
    See your doctor immediately if you think you have carpal tunnel syndrome. It is much easier to treat if detected early on.

    You DO NOT want to have the surgury!!!!!

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    SHHHH the next thing you know the anti gun Lawyer's will be sueing the gun industry for medical reason too.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array cmidkiff's Avatar
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    Not a 1911... but it might work for you :)

    Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. It's worth it.

  14. #14
    Member Array One of Many's Avatar
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    I have Carpal Tunnel in my right wrist (my dominate hand). I found that changing to a track ball in place of a mouse , reduced the tingling and numbness a great deal. The elevation and reach of the trackball also play a significant role in controlling the discomfort. Try to avoid a sharp angle at the wrist; keep the hand and arm in line just like you would while shooting a pistol.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmidkiff
    Not a 1911... but it might work for you :)
    Looks like it might just be the ticket, cmidkiff
    Thanks!
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

    "They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper

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