A few years ago I came down with a nasty case of tennis elbow. Except I don’t play tennis. If you want to get technical about it, I had mouse elbow. And boy, did it hurt.
Since I couldn’t exactly stop working, I had to find a solution. An experiment with a variety of mice led me to the one I still use today, the Evoluent sideways mouse.
The buttons work the same as a normal mouse, except your arm is in a relaxed “handshake” position. All the buttons work normally, it’s just that your hand is tilted sideways. My mouse elbow was gone in less than a week.
That doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you – I experimented with several mice before settling on the Evoluent. This Logitech trackball, shown on the right, made my wrist hurt but I’ve heard many people say it was a lifesaver and did for them what the Evoluent did for me.
Another option: write, using a Wacom tablet and a stylus. It’s just like using a pen, except your writing shows up on the computer. Programs like Microsoft OneNote make the most of these features, although you’ll find a surprising number of advantages to using a pen instead of a mouse. And if you enjoy drawing, you’ll really enjoy having the ability to create art on your computer.
An unusual option is the joystick-shaped 3M Renaissance Mouse. This mouse takes the Evoluent concept even further, completely redesigning the way we use a mouse. Again, your hand is in a relaxed sideways position, which keeps the bones in your forearm straight and takes pressure off the nerves. The buttons are organized for ease of use and minimal effort.
Still having problems? Let your feet do the clicking. There are several hands-free mice on the marketing, including this No Hands Foot-Controlled Mouse. The pedal on the left moves the cursor around; the one on the right is used to click.
The most important takeaway: if you are in pain at your computer, do something about it. There are plenty of choices out there, and one of them is bound to work well for you. Google “ergonomic mouse” and you’ll be amazed at the array of choices that pop up.