RSI - Repetitive Stress Injury

ac12

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Someone, I think on this forum was talking about a problem with his injured finger and using a mouse.

Well, after a LOT of photo editing, that similar problem raised it ugly head with me, again. My right index finger was overworked and PAINFUL. RSI.
So, I moved my trackball to my left hand, so that I could reduce the workload on my right index finger.

I use a symetric Logitech trackball, like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Tra...hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583795260638133&psc=1
So moving it from right hand to left is physically not an issue.
Unlike a right hand only trackball, like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-M57...hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584070139834456&psc=1

I've had to do this many time before, so I've trained my left hand.
My left hand isn't as good as my right, but not as clumsy as when I first started doing it.

When I did this in the office, it really confused and frustrated anyone who tried to use my computer, who wasn't a leftie. :biggrin:
 

doady

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Have you tried using an ergonomic/vertical mouse?

I had a lot of problems with my fingers and hand and other parts of my arm as well, even near the shoulder, but gradually the problems have went away after I started using a mouse that allows my hand and wrist to rest in a more natural position that reduces the pressure on the wrist. The model I have been using us Perixx PERIMICE-519.

I probably would not use a trackball unless I had problems moving my arm or wrist. Rest and save the finger for clicks instead. With trackball, the finger is now doing extra work.
 

ac12

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Have you tried using an ergonomic/vertical mouse?

I had a lot of problems with my fingers and hand and other parts of my arm as well, even near the shoulder, but gradually the problems have went away after I started using a mouse that allows my hand and wrist to rest in a more natural position that reduces the pressure on the wrist. The model I have been using us Perixx PERIMICE-519.

I probably would not use a trackball unless I had problems moving my arm or wrist. Rest and save the finger for clicks instead. With trackball, the finger is now doing extra work.

Actually, if you do it right, a lot of the major trackball movement can be done with the wrist, rocking forward/back and right/left.
It is the fine movement, like when cropping an image or picking a spot to do a white balance, that I have to use my fingers.

But a mouse puts the mouse moves into the larger arm muscles, rather than the smaller hand/thumb/finger muscles.
Although, I still remember hearing about Mac Elbow, from overuse of the mouse.

That Perixx is only $15, so might be worth a try.
 

wimg

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I've never been able to use a trackball, as the distance between ball and easiest use was always totally wrong for me, with the exception of one of the frist, if not the first, trackballs Logitech came out with back in the 1980s. That was a very simple, and big thing, worked perfectly for me. However, it was outdated in the 1990s already, unfortunately.

Currently, I have 5 completely different vertical types of mice on my desk, all ready to go, so I can switch easily, and that helps a lot. I also have a few "normal" mice on standby, large ones, if I feel the need to change to one of those. The vertical ones vary from half height to very high, and I also have one that looks like a joystick.

What I also do to alleviate my RSI, is to write notes with a fountain pen. Writing with a fountain pen the proper way actually allows the tiny muscles overimpacted by mouse, keyboard and ballpoint pens to relax, and that really helps a lot too.

HTH, kind regards, Wim
 

doady

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Actually, if you do it right, a lot of the major trackball movement can be done with the wrist, rocking forward/back and right/left.
It is the fine movement, like when cropping an image or picking a spot to do a white balance, that I have to use my fingers.

But a mouse puts the mouse moves into the larger arm muscles, rather than the smaller hand/thumb/finger muscles.
Although, I still remember hearing about Mac Elbow, from overuse of the mouse.

That Perixx is only $15, so might be worth a try.

Keep in mind, I have small hands, and maybe a bigger mouse would be better suited for large hands. I hope you find a solution, whatever it is. I used to have a really tough time and this thread reminds me how much better I feel now. The pain went away very gradually, but it went away, almost 100% now.

It's really amazing how poorly designed the typical mouse is, even from the major brands (or especially from the major brands?). It took me a long time to find something to even stop the pain from getting worse, and it was getting unbearable. Maybe as you suggest all mice can give problem if you use them too much, but I feel okay now. If you can move the rest of your arm okay, then mouse should be easier and quicker than a trackball too, and to save time can also be important. I admit I haven't used a trackball since I was little, maybe 5 or 6 years old, but I imagine it can introduce different problems, maybe some of which you have described.
 

ac12

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I've never been able to use a trackball, as the distance between ball and easiest use was always totally wrong for me, with the exception of one of the frist, if not the first, trackballs Logitech came out with back in the 1980s. That was a very simple, and big thing, worked perfectly for me. However, it was outdated in the 1990s already, unfortunately.

Currently, I have 5 completely different vertical types of mice on my desk, all ready to go, so I can switch easily, and that helps a lot. I also have a few "normal" mice on standby, large ones, if I feel the need to change to one of those. The vertical ones vary from half height to very high, and I also have one that looks like a joystick.

What I also do to alleviate my RSI, is to write notes with a fountain pen. Writing with a fountain pen the proper way actually allows the tiny muscles overimpacted by mouse, keyboard and ballpoint pens to relax, and that really helps a lot too.

HTH, kind regards, Wim

Interesting idea of having several mouses to switch among.

Maybe I can also try a stylus and tablet. But that would only be right hand, as I cannot write left-hand. But it would be different.

Something to think about.
 

ac12

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CRUM
Right button on the trackball is acting up, so it behaves BADLY on the left.
I just ordered a replacement trackball.

I'm also thinking about the vertical mouse.

Like the vertical mouse, this also brings up another ergo bug of mine, the keyboard.
I see very FEW ergo angled keyboards. Most are the traditional straight, that require you to bend the wrist.
I tried the ergo keyboard YEARS ago, and liked it and used it ever since.
 

Stanga

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I started using trackball in the eighties, partly due to limited desk space. I have suffered from RSI at times, but it wasn't from operating a mouse or trackball. At one stage I ended up using a lightpen as a backup when I just couldn't use a mouse or trackball from the pain. My laptop supports a lightpen, and I use it from time to time for certain jobs.
My favourite trackball has been the Logitech MS570 from the day that it became available. I normally have three trackballs. One is a spare one, and the other two are on two different laptops. One at home, and one in the office.
They recently brought out the MS575, and I am using one of those right now. It feels a bit better in the palm of my hand compare to the MS570. If you are into trackballs I would highly recommend the MS575. It supports picture resizing etc in Photolab by just rotating the wheel. You can also adjust the sliders in Photolab with the wheel.
 

ac12

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I started using trackball in the eighties, partly due to limited desk space. I have suffered from RSI at times, but it wasn't from operating a mouse or trackball. At one stage I ended up using a lightpen as a backup when I just couldn't use a mouse or trackball from the pain. My laptop supports a lightpen, and I use it from time to time for certain jobs.
My favourite trackball has been the Logitech MS570 from the day that it became available. I normally have three trackballs. One is a spare one, and the other two are on two different laptops. One at home, and one in the office.
They recently brought out the MS575, and I am using one of those right now. It feels a bit better in the palm of my hand compare to the MS570. If you are into trackballs I would highly recommend the MS575. It supports picture resizing etc in Photolab by just rotating the wheel. You can also adjust the sliders in Photolab with the wheel.

I think like you I should have a "spare."
Now I have to wait for my replacement to get shipped to me.

The MS575 looks interesting.
But, I've used the thumb trackballs, and found that my thumb was getting sore, from moving the ball so much.

But I do like the idea of having different trackballs. Because on the symetric trackball, my index and middle fingers are on the ball. So any ball motion is done by them. Being able to switch to a thumb ball, moves the work and stress away from my index finger, to the thumb.
 

Stanga

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The MS575 looks interesting.
But, I've used the thumb trackballs, and found that my thumb was getting sore, from moving the ball so much.
I have the ball touching the middle of my thumb instead of the top of the thumb. That way my thumb is bent but straight. I don't press against the ball, but rest it with only a slight amount of pressure. No problems with any sore thumb that way.
 

PFrank

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I have used a trackball since the early 1990's and much prefer them to a mouse. For the last 20 years or so I have used versions of a Kensington Expert Mouse Optical Trackball. It is available in both wired and wireless versions. I have tried others but this is by far the best.
 

davidzvi

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......When I did this in the office, it really confused and frustrated anyone who tried to use my computer, who wasn't a leftie. :biggrin:
I'm a leftie and use my mouse in my left hand turned just a little so I don't have to swap the buttons.

Have you tried using an ergonomic/vertical mouse? ...
My wife use to use (and loved) the old Logitech Trackman, when the second one died and we couldn't find new ones she moved to the MX Vertical. She never liked the Marble Trackball.
 

John King

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I've got one of the last Microsoft wired mices - Intellimouse Explorer 4.0. Actually, about 6-7 of these and their Logitech equivalent.

I've got relatively large hands, but these (4 computers ... ) just 'fit' when I drop my hand on them. Felt weird and too large when I first started using them many years ago, but I rapidly got used to them.

Having moderately bad osteoarthritis in both my thumbs and wrists, they are a godsend. I still have problems with my right elbow. This has been persistent for about 40 years ...

Our keyboards are all properly cushioned, amphitheatre types that prevent shock to finger joints and wrists when typing.

Having your monitor at the right height (for you) and spending money on a decent ergonomic chair with a cushioned, pneumatic centre column is also essential.

As my osteoporosis and osteoarthritis get progressively worse, I appreciate these things even more!
 

ac12

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Having your monitor at the right height (for you) and spending money on a decent ergonomic chair with a cushioned, pneumatic centre column is also essential.

Yes, things are individual.

I put my monitor, so the CENTER is at my eye level.
This helps me sit upright, as I tend to lower my head so that my eyes are level with the center of the screen.

This has resulted in numerous comments to me from HR and the company "ergo experts" that my monitor is too high, and should be lowered so the top of the monitor is level with my eyes. It's in the "guidelines" so it must be true, for everyone.
I have to keep arguing with them, that for ME, the CENTER of the monitor has to be eye level.
Luckily no one was stupid enough to force the issue on me.
 
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ac12

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I'm a leftie and use my mouse in my left hand turned just a little so I don't have to swap the buttons.


My wife use to use (and loved) the old Logitech Trackman, when the second one died and we couldn't find new ones she moved to the MX Vertical. She never liked the Marble Trackball.

Yeah the Marble Trackball is not the best, and it does not have a scroll wheel. But I settled on it, because the symetric design let me easily move it from right-hand to left-hand, when my right hand and and elbow became sore.
The old Trackman is a right-hand only trackball.
 

John King

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Yes, things are individual.

I put my monitor, so the CENTER is at my eye level.
This helps me sit upright, as I tend to lower my head so that my eyes are level with the center of the screen.

This has resulted in numerous comments to me from HR and the company "ergo experts" that my monitor is too high, and should be lowered so the top of the monitor is level with my eyes. It's in the "guidelines" so it must be true, for everyone.
I have to keep arguing with them, that for ME, the CENTER of the monitor has to be eye level.
Luckily no one was stupid enough to force the issue on me.
I was involved in the assessment of all ergonomic and associated equipment involved in an RSI epidemic in one of Australia's then biggest companies. You were absolutely right, and they were blowing it out their a***s!

5-10 minutes every hour walking and not using your hands for fine things like knitting or similar during that period is also necessary.

We went from 100% loss of private secretaries to nil in a period of months.

The results were disseminated throughout the organization (of about 90,000 people).
 

doady

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I put my monitor at on top of It's a Magical World by Bill Waterson to raise the top of it above my eye level. The book belonged to one of my brother's friends, but they used it to swat a fly for some reason and then gave it to him, and I am not going to hold it or put it on the bookshelf so might as well put it good use.

Top of the monitor at eye level seems too low, but centre of monitor at eye level seems too high. Try to put it somewhere in-between. For my 22-inch 16:10 monitor, my eyes are around 25% from the top. You probably should be facing and looking very slightly downward, avoid raising the chin, to keep your neck straight, in a more natural and neutral position. The idea of eye level at the top of the monitor seems best for small monitors, maybe outdated guidance, back in the days of 15-inch and 17-inch CRTs.
 

Stanga

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One of the best trackballs out there was the Logitech wireless marble trackball. But the wireless dongle of it was a clumsy affair at the end of a piece of wire. It also had a limited distance range. I did consider trying to rip the guts out of that trackball and replacing it with the PCB of a MS570.
 

Generationfourth

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I use a Wacom tablet. Many people think its because I'm a designer/photographer and it is super duper handy for those types of programs. But the main reason is ergonomics and all my wrist pains disappeared once I made the switch a decade ago. Even if I'm surfing the internet, or working in an excel doc I still try to use the pen and tablet as an input device- it's just much more natural. I believe the mouse or trackpad and most variations are unhealthy.
 

ac12

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I put my monitor at on top of It's a Magical World by Bill Waterson to raise the top of it above my eye level. The book belonged to one of my brother's friends, but they used it to swat a fly for some reason and then gave it to him, and I am not going to hold it or put it on the bookshelf so might as well put it good use.

Top of the monitor at eye level seems too low, but centre of monitor at eye level seems too high. Try to put it somewhere in-between. For my 22-inch 16:10 monitor, my eyes are around 25% from the top. You probably should be facing and looking very slightly downward, avoid raising the chin, to keep your neck straight, in a more natural and neutral position. The idea of eye level at the top of the monitor seems best for small monitors, maybe outdated guidance, back in the days of 15-inch and 17-inch CRTs.

That is the problem.
Rather than look down, I lower my head so that I am looking LEVEL, with the center of the screen.
In fact I did not realize that I was doing this, until my wife looked at me from the side.
That explained why my upper back always ached when I was on the computer for any length of time. Because, to lower my head to the center of the screen, I was hunched over.
Raising the monitor thus got me to raise my head, and un-hunch my back into a better posture.

I agree, a low monitor made sense when the monitors were HEAVY and BULKY CRT devices. So raising them was NOT simple.
Hmmm, so maybe this look down at the monitor was not egronomic, but driven by the inability to practically raise the heavy and bulky CRT monitors.
 

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