Author Topic: RSI worries and vertical mice  (Read 1925 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline katushkin

  • Too Keycool for School
  • * Elevated Elder
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 3618
  • Location: Birmingham - Not Alabama
  • The KOTM guy
RSI worries and vertical mice
« on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 08:33:36 »
I have been in an office based job for the last 6 years or so, but in the last month or so i have started to get some bad pains in my right wrist and upper forearm, as well as numbness in my hand after relatively short periods of time. I used to use a CST-Ltrac, but it seems like that and other normal profile mice made the problem worse.

I have recently been given a Logitech MX Vertical to use but i'm not sure if it's helping or not as I'm still getting pains and numbness while using it.

My seating position is very neutral and nothing has changed over the last few months other than maybe an uptick in the use of my mouse while at work.

Any advice or suggestions on how else i can go about trying to mitigate the issues in my right hand?

Inb4 masturbation jokes thx
Keyboard of the Month - August - Vote

Can we get them to build the Alps ten feet higher and get Cherry to pay for it?
Katushkin's Clearout | Twitter | Steam | Instagram|

Online h.parks

  • Posts: 21
  • Location: Tulsa, OK
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 08:43:53 »
Take frequent microbreaks and do hand and wrist exercises. Ignore the "for gamers" titles in these videos, they are useful for everyone.



Kinesis advantage or dactyl keyboards are comfortable and ergonomic as well, but exercise and breaks us the most important thing. If your pain gets any worse I'd probably go see a doctor.
Dactyl | Ergodox | Anne Pro 2 | Soyuz | SA Penumbra | DSA Blanks | MT3 Godspeed

Offline katushkin

  • Too Keycool for School
  • * Elevated Elder
  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 3618
  • Location: Birmingham - Not Alabama
  • The KOTM guy
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 09:03:42 »
Take frequent microbreaks and do hand and wrist exercises. Ignore the "for gamers" titles in these videos, they are useful for everyone.



Kinesis advantage or dactyl keyboards are comfortable and ergonomic as well, but exercise and breaks us the most important thing. If your pain gets any worse I'd probably go see a doctor.

Thanks for these, i will give them a go. - This Levi Harrison guys awesome these stretches feel amazing

I already use an MX5000 for my work keyboard and get no pains or issues in my left hand so i just assumed that my mouse was the sole reason for my issues.

I have got some of those hand excercise things like a hard rubber ball, some rubber thing you put your fingers in and expand outwards and others.
Keyboard of the Month - August - Vote

Can we get them to build the Alps ten feet higher and get Cherry to pay for it?
Katushkin's Clearout | Twitter | Steam | Instagram|

Online redbanshee

  • actually Dade Murphy
  • Posts: 477
  • Location: The Gibson
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 09:46:34 »
I have bad RSI in my mouse hand and when it flares up I basically have to switch mouse hands for a few months. The company I work for actually requires us to switch mouse hands for "at least 1 week 3 times a year".

If you can do it, completely stop using computers for a few days that ususally helps my wrists, even if its just for a weekend

Offline nevin

  • Posts: 510
  • Location: US
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 10:49:45 »
it can be small things too. like sitting right, how your arms are positioned or the placement of your mouse & keyboard (too far forward or mouse too far off to side). i feel your pain "literally". i typically get it more closer to my elbows then my wrists. make some adjustments every couple days & see if you can tell a difference. good luck, i know it sucks.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline _rubik

  • Posts: 585
  • Location: 192.168.x.x
  • Typing on: GH60 + 65G Zealios
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 11:09:42 »
As someone who's at their desk 9+ hours a day, I've been thinking more and more about moving towards ergonomic io if for nothing more than reducing the risk of RSI down the road. Interested to hear what people think about ball vs vertical mice for everyday/office use as a preventative measure.

Offline nevin

  • Posts: 510
  • Location: US
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 11:33:29 »
@_rubik - what's your current setup? Pic or description will do.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline hoggy

  • * Moderator
  • Posts: 1483
  • Location: Isle of Man
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 17:21:30 »
Have you tried mousing with your left hand?


GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline iso

  • Posts: 166
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 19 September 2019, 17:34:51 »
Do this for 3 days and you`ll know if is RSI, back/spine issues, diet or a temporary thing.

1. Cut all sugars/pasta except fruit, but no fuit juice, straight fruit
2. If you`re the kind of person to sleep 8 hr to get a full rest, dont skip even 30 min, rest for at least 8hr.
3. Walk at least 4 miles/day if you can.
4. Youtube "Execrcise for lower back" - Give it at least 10 min/day
5. Get 2 x 5lb small weights from Walmart and exercise 20 min minimum, think of boxing moves but very slow, the idea is to move your hands on horizontal plane with extra weight in slow motion (play your favorite music, is gonna be easier.)

99% is lack of exercise combined with bad eating habits and lack of sleep, in max 3 days you should without fail tell if anything improved.

If you already do what I mentioned daily, and still get numbness, you need a better input device and better chair/positioning/desk height because is not gonna get better, you just gonna delay it.

If you`re rich, cell stem injection will help reverse some of the damage, if any.

Seriously, cut all refined/processed sugars and pasta, even if you cant exercise, 3 days without these will make a huge difference, you`l l feel it right away, most joint pain will be gone.

Best of luck.


Offline Symbiote

  • Posts: 5
  • Location: Denmark
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 20 September 2019, 02:29:00 »
"Birmingham - Not Alabama" -- meaning England? Maybe you got the mouse this way already, but your employer should help with this.

We had an "ergonomicist" visit the office, and spend 5-10 minutes with everyone individually. (Work realized this was better and cheaper than having her visit ~three times a year as people had issues.)

Her general advice, as I remember it, was:

- breaks are good,
- how you sit doesn't matter so much if you change position regularly (she didn't mind me sitting on my feet, since I was fidgeting the whole time she was talking to the guy on my right). If you just sit still, it's obviously more important.
- that said, do get things positioned reasonably: keyboard close enough so you're not stretched or hunched, mouse not way off to the side, monitor not too far up/down, chair and desk at the correct heights. Correcting the setup could reveal problems like poor eyesight.
- sometimes using the mouse left-handed is one way to change position and/or keep it closer to the centre
- we have motorized sit/stand desks; she encouraged us to raise them before lunch, if we otherwise forget to stand occasionally.
- wrist exercises are overrated, with good ergonomics they shouldn't be necessary, and they aren't a solution

But this was the general advice, as I didn't have any special concerns. She highly approved of my split full-size keyboard, and very much disapproved of a colleague's 60% keyboard.

You could keep both mice, one on each side of the keyboard, and switch between using each one.

Xah Lee's website has a lot of advice and opinion, which looks good to me: http://xahlee.info/kbd/mouse_hand_pain.html

Offline RSanders

  • Posts: 29
  • DataHand Pro II > Maltron > Kinesis > Flat Boards
    • LinkedIn Profile
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 20 September 2019, 11:46:29 »
1) Don't delay seeking competent medical attention regarding this. The fact that you are already experiencing numbness in addition to the pain is potentially worrisome (e.g. nerve damage/inflammation/compression). Go see your general practitioner and get a referral to a physical therapist/occupational therapist to discuss proper posture, workstation configuration, as well as exercises to do before/during/after working at your workstation. Twenty years ago when I was a medical transcriptionist typing top speed for eight hours a day with minimal breaks, I was experiencing pain/numbness/tingling in both hands.  After medical consultations, reconfiguring of workstation, physical therapy-guided stretching before/during/after data entry, judicious use of ergonomic devices including wrist braces to reinforce correct wrist alignment,  NSAIDs, and employer provided twice weekly chair massages, the symptoms subsided and I was able to avoid surgery. The DataHand and Mouse-Trak Evolution I still use today are constant reminders to me of that period of my life. Outside of real medical professionals with training in body mechanics or board-certified ergonomics professionals, I have personally been unimpressed by every so-called ergonomics consultant I have personally encountered in the workplace as well as almost every ergonomics consultant I have read about online.  When a so-called consultant thinks a Microsoft Natural or similar is the be-all end-all in ergonomics, that should be your first clue to run in the other direction really, really fast. 

2) Don't use a mouse, even a vertical variant, as you still end up using far too many muscle groups/tendons/etc.  Use a good quality, well-designed trackball (Mouse-Trak Evolution by ITAC is a good example) that correctly supports the hand without pressure on the carpal area, requires very little movement/effort for cursor control and very little pressure to actuate clicks. In addition, use a forearm support mechanism (Ergo-Rest is a good example) that "follows" your arm around ensuring proper posture and to support the weight your entire arm while working.  Ideally you should get a forearm support mechanism for both of your arms and have them adjusted for the ideal height for both keyboard and cursor control device while maintaining proper body posture.  I looked at the CST-LTrac and suspect at least part of your problems were related to inadvertently angling your hand upwards at the wrist due to the downward slope of the case away from the trackball used in that design.   The top surface of your hand should be either perfectly level in relation to your forearm or just very, very slightly angling the hand downwards at the wrist. If you are feeling any tension at all anywhere, something needs readjusting as regards to your workstation and posture.  Part of the issue with using a mouse as opposed to a track ball is that at the moment of button click, your entire hand/arm/shoulder/neck is likely tensing up to keep the cursor still while actuating the buttons. With a correctly designed trackball, once the cursor is positioned where it needs to be, no contact with the ball is needed to maintain position of the cursor while actuating a button click. Click-drag is another problem area as holding down a button while manipulating either a mouse or a trackball with the same hand leads to cramping or worse.  I get around that by controlling cursor with one hand and mouse clicks with the other hand on a separate device, either the built-in mouse emulation on the DataHand or the built-in mouse keys on a track-ball-equipped Maltron.
(arm position on Mouse-Track Evolution with Ergo-Rest, palm swell on Evolution helps to prevent inadvertently tilting the hand up at the wrist)

3) Assuming you don't want to build your own bespoke keyboard and the Birmingham of which you speak is in England, rent/hire a Maltron and see if that helps.  If the Maltron helps, seriously consider purchasing it outright. Don't even think about a Kinesis as the position/orientation of the thumb keys when compared to the Maltron is horrible and will exacerbate any pain you are experiencing, particularly in the forearm near the elbow joint. I would recommend a DataHand but they are sadly long out of business.
(position of thumb relative to hand on Maltron)
(position of thumb relative to hand on Kinesis)
(position of thumb relative to hand on DataHand)


Ultimately you will need to determine for you what combination of medical intervention, body posture, furniture, and input device options will best serve you in terms of ergonomics. 

What works for me is a DataHand Pro II mounted on the chair arms of an Aeron for high volume text/number only work.  For any work requiring a lot of cursor control and the consequent shifting between keyboard and trackball this causes, I use a Maltron and Mouse-Trak Evolution with two Ergo-Rests properly calibrated for the height of the Maltron and Mouse-Trak. Additionally, I rarely use the buttons on the trackball itself for clicking other than for double-click (Mouse-Trak has one button set by default as a double-click emulator, i.e. click it once and it sends a double click signal to the computer). I control the cursor using the fingertips only of the right hand and use the left click and right click buttons built into the Maltron. When going portable (i.e. laptop away from desk), I will usually favor the Maltron as opposed to the Kinesis/Mouse-Trak combo as the Malton is conveniently lightweight, has better overall key placement, and an integrated trackball.

Offline nevin

  • Posts: 510
  • Location: US
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 20 September 2019, 11:59:35 »
@Symbiote - thanks. great examples.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline donmuller78

  • Posts: 1
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 20 September 2019, 17:02:01 »
Hi there
Those exercises above look really good. I know myself how much trouble can be caused with being on the computer for long periods of time. I suffer from numbness starting in my thumb and then moving up my hand and arm when not using the right equipment.
I found a website that helped me with it (link below) which may be of some use. It explains the different thumb and hand movements and has a great section about ergonomic solutions.

Try these links for some advice
http://ergonomictrends.com/thumb-pain-from-mouse/
https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/hand-pain-causes#1-2

This video also may be of some help

Hopefully by finding a solution now you will not end up with any long term damage. Look after those hands
Hope you get some relief
« Last Edit: Fri, 20 September 2019, 17:18:32 by donmuller78 »

Offline macroxue

  • Posts: 24
  • Location: New York
    • Darknight: DIY 60% Split Keyboard
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 20 September 2019, 18:41:53 »
Push-ups seem to help me. Maybe muscles just need to be exercised in different ways. Don't lock yourself in any fixed posture for an extended period of time.
[Darknight: DIY 60% Split Keyboard](https://github.com/macroxue/keyboard-diy)

Offline tp4tissue

  • * Destiny Supporter
  • Posts: 12454
  • Location: Official Geekhack Public Defender..
  • OmniExpert of: Rice, Top-Ramen, Ergodox, n Females
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 20 September 2019, 19:20:53 »
Vertical mouse is 60% of the issue.

Eat m0ar Veggies + 0x meat, is the last 40%.   

Animal proteins are treated by the body similar to a virus.  It causes a persistent inflammatory state. It is the primary trigger for autoimmune disease, -such as arthritis-,  joint swelling/ joint pain.

Online Sintpinty

  • Carbon Based Life Form
  • Posts: 853
  • Location: A can of beans in the cupboard
  • AKA Bitba_t. Loves keebs and Quora.
    • My promotion link
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 21 September 2019, 15:31:35 »
I have been in an office based job for the last 6 years or so, but in the last month or so i have started to get some bad pains in my right wrist and upper forearm, as well as numbness in my hand after relatively short periods of time. I used to use a CST-Ltrac, but it seems like that and other normal profile mice made the problem worse.

I have recently been given a Logitech MX Vertical to use but i'm not sure if it's helping or not as I'm still getting pains and numbness while using it.

My seating position is very neutral and nothing has changed over the last few months other than maybe an uptick in the use of my mouse while at work.

Any advice or suggestions on how else i can go about trying to mitigate the issues in my right hand?

Inb4 masturbation jokes thx

I suggest using mouse keys and extreme tenting. Mouse keys is a feature that allows you to use keys to navigate the mouse rather than a actual mouse. It may be sluggish, but it will probably help.

Offline _rubik

  • Posts: 585
  • Location: 192.168.x.x
  • Typing on: GH60 + 65G Zealios
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 21 September 2019, 22:30:48 »
@_rubik - what's your current setup? Pic or description will do.

It really quite standard. RF87u + Mx Master 2s. I try to keep my desk low enough so my elbows are as close to 90 degrees as I can get. I also keep the keyboard on it's flattest legs, but am considering going negative.

Offline nevin

  • Posts: 510
  • Location: US
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #17 on: Sun, 22 September 2019, 09:26:36 »
@_rubik - If you do go negative (raising up the front of the keyboard) make sure you raise you wrists/wrist rest as well. (i know it sounds like a "duh" but if using a wrist rest, you might have to get creative to raise them both the same amount)

I don't think it's been brought up yet. but i believe the scroll wheel to be a big culprit in RSI.

With vertical mice, all they are really meant to do is change the position of the two bones in your forearm to a more natural position.


Although, getting used to the different mechanics of a vertical mouse can be another challenge as you are changing the axis of movement 45-90 degrees. Moving your mouse/wrist left right is now moving your wrist/arm up/down. And if you typically claw or fingertip grip your mouse you loose the finger extension for small movements forward & back. Not that you wouldn't get used to the new mechanics, but initially it feels like you loose fine control of the mouse (less precise) because you are not used to these movements.

I've used a wrist rest with my (normal) mouse for decades and i believe, delayed a lot of the issues. All this does is reduce the angle of your wrist instead of your arm laying on the desk. Any issues i've had have been more towards my elbow then in my wrist, and i'd attribute this more towards desk/chair height then anything else.

I also believe a split keyboard (and i don't mean a tiny 40%) is a positive move, allowing you more separation between your typing hands.

Choosing a narrower keyboard is also a positive, getting your mouse closer to your right hand in resting/home row position. Probably not as much of an issue for lefties unless you have a full size left handed keyboard (numpad on left)

I've gone through some stages over the last 20+ years to where i'm at now and i feel every step has been an improvement.
- full size kb, mouse on right
- compact full size kb, mouse on right
- 60%, mouse, numberpad (this really opened my eyes to possibilities, also about a year after i found geekhack)
- split ortho, mouse on right (numberpad on layer on right half)

....anyway, just my experience/thoughts...
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline Nuji

  • Posts: 18
Re: RSI worries and vertical mice
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 23 September 2019, 10:18:21 »
I've read the mindbody prescription and am RSI free ever since.