Author Topic: Input devices for overloaded index finger  (Read 3016 times)

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Offline Novus

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Input devices for overloaded index finger
« on: Wed, 03 December 2014, 22:38:45 »
Thinking of Christmas presents this year.
One of my friends has a chronic, overloaded index finger - basically kind of like RSI - that easily strained.
While partially unavoidable, using a mouse greatly contributes to this and his finger will start to hurt after a while if he clicks too much.
What is a input device (trackball, cst or otherwise) that is suitable for somebody who has an overloaded index finger and can help alleviate the stress/strain.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 03 December 2014, 22:40:00 »
What about one of those thumb trackballs?

What about a trackpad that supports just touching it for a click (i.e. that doesn’t require using a physical button)?

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 04 December 2014, 00:53:18 »
Do you have a price range? Ergonomic pointing devices can get pricy.

The Rollermouse or Mousetrapper change things up. I have read more about people using the Rollermouse, but I haven't heard anything bad about either.

The Orthomouse comes to mind. It still uses your index finger to click, but it allows you to use the base of your finger instead of using your finger tip.  https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=53121.0

I have read the Microsoft Sculpt mouse has a similar button style. http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Sculpt-Ergonomic-Mouse-L6V-00001/dp/B00D68ZVY8


Offline Oobly

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 04 December 2014, 03:59:08 »
A trackpad with thumb buttons, roller mouse or trackball would do the job as you can use your thumb to click instead of your index finger. I believe the Kensington trackballs are highly regarded.
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Offline pyro

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 04 December 2014, 04:07:35 »
Maybe a keyboard with mousebuttons, so he can use his off-hand to click? I have a Lenovo Compact USB Keyboard, which works nicely. Just don't get the wireless one, apparently those suck.

Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 04 December 2014, 05:47:17 »
Rollermouse!  Makes great use of the thumbs.

http://ergo.contour-design.com/

Also, I found the Kensington Slimblade to reduce strain on my index finger, depending on how you program the buttons.
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Offline hoggy

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 04 December 2014, 07:42:10 »
Use autohotkey to remap the capslock key to the left mouse button?
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Offline davkol

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 04 December 2014, 08:31:39 »
I have the same problem, actually. Anything with mouse-like buttons is bad in the long term, thumb trackballs included. Finger trackballs help, but I get strained thumb and sometimes even pinkie or ring finger eventually. Therefore, I rotate an ambidextrous trackball (swap hands) and two or three mice (one with thumb buttons remapped to clicking).

I've tried a rollermouse, but didn't like how it was sort of in the middle, putting my wrist at an awkward angle at times. Trackpads don't work for me, due to complete lack of tactility. Wacom tablets are better… I don't like grabbing the pen all the time though.

Sooo… what about a Wacom pen&touch tablet?

Offline Novus

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 04 December 2014, 18:39:33 »
I think you guys are really similar actually.
You both have finger issues and If I recall correctly from another thread both you guys hold your mouse similarly - index on left, middle on scroll and ring on right click instead of index on left and middle on right.

My friend already has 2-3 Wacoms that he doodles on.
I think he tried using it once as a mouse but didn't like it.

Offline hoggy

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 05 December 2014, 07:02:42 »
How about dwell clicking software?

To be fair, as davkol has said - swap hands...
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Offline davkol

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 05 December 2014, 07:46:33 »
You both have finger issues and If I recall correctly from another thread both you guys hold your mouse similarly - index on left, middle on scroll and ring on right click instead of index on left and middle on right.
I don't think it's relevant here. I just have smallish hands.

What *is* important here, my right middle finger is malformed, which means I can't comfortably click with it in most cases. That's where overloading the index finger stems from. The left one gets overloaded too, but mostly because I'm left-handed, often use a trackpoint with a worn-out cap, and used to have bad typing technique on QWERTY.

I haven't found any solution other than head/eye tracking (too big commitment) and simply rotating more pointing devices.

Offline Gerk

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 05 December 2014, 08:58:08 »
I'll second giving the Orthomouse a try.  When used properly it is using an entirely different muscle group than most pointing devices ... it's pretty similar to just closing your finger into a fist when clicking and doesn't require a lot of force to actuate the button.  It sort of moves the muscle groups used into the back of your hand instead of directly in the finger if that makes any sense.
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Offline rowdy

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 07 December 2014, 01:50:50 »
A small anecdote ...

For a long time, many months, I was pressing the middle mouse button (the wheel) with the last joint on my index finger.  I did not realise I was doing this, it just happened that that part of my finger was closest to the apex of the mouse wheel when I wanted to click it.

I middle click to open web pages in a new tab, and that happens on GH a lot.  A very lot ;)

Then that joint on my index finger became really sore.  So sore that I could hardly touch anything with the end of that finger.

For a week or two I discovered so many thing that I did with my index finger, from opening cupboards and drawers, grabbing a box to life or move it, middle clicking (obviously), lifting the lid of rubbish bins ... the list went on.

I could not do any of those without a sharp stabbing pain from that joint.

Careful inspection and gentle rubbing of the area did not reveal any discolouration or swelling, so I resolved to try not to use that finger much, if at all, for a while and see if it got better.

It was pretty much at that point that I discovered how I used to middle click.

After a month or two, I stopped noticing any discomfort in that joint.  Now I can do everything I used to do, including middle clicking with that joint, without any discomfort.

It seems to me that repeatedly (hundreds of times a day) middle clicking on that particular spot caused me an injury.  I don't know where it would have gone if I hadn't found out what I was doing.

I still use the same mouses, keyboards and so on, but with that small change in habit, my finger is again happy.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But that’s incorrect. It’s in HHKB’s slogan, but when America’s cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

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Offline hoggy

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 07 December 2014, 03:18:49 »
I think people click far more often than they realise, after moving to. Net, my average has gone up to about 4000 a day.
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Offline rowdy

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #14 on: Sun, 07 December 2014, 03:22:59 »
I think people click far more often than they realise, after moving to. Net, my average has gone up to about 4000 a day.

Sometimes I miss the old days with just a dumb ASCII terminal on your desk.  No mouses.  No GUIs.  Just a keyboard and an 80x24 character interface to the computer.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But that’s incorrect. It’s in HHKB’s slogan, but when America’s cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

Ị̸͚̯̲́ͤ̃͑̇̑ͯ̊̂͟ͅs̞͚̩͉̝̪̲͗͊ͪ̽̚̚ ̭̦͖͕̑́͌ͬͩ͟t̷̻͔̙̑͟h̹̠̼͋ͤ͋i̤̜̣̦̱̫͈͔̞ͭ͑ͥ̌̔s̬͔͎̍̈ͥͫ̐̾ͣ̔̇͘ͅ ̩̘̼͆̐̕e̞̰͓̲̺̎͐̏ͬ̓̅̾͠͝ͅv̶̰͕̱̞̥̍ͣ̄̕e͕͙͖̬̜͓͎̤̊ͭ͐͝ṇ̰͎̱̤̟̭ͫ͌̌͢͠ͅ ̳̥̦ͮ̐ͤ̎̊ͣ͡͡n̤̜̙̺̪̒͜e̶̻̦̿ͮ̂̀c̝̘̝͖̠̖͐ͨͪ̈̐͌ͩ̀e̷̥͇̋ͦs̢̡̤ͤͤͯ͜s͈̠̉̑͘a̱͕̗͖̳̥̺ͬͦͧ͆̌̑͡r̶̟̖̈͘ỷ̮̦̩͙͔ͫ̾ͬ̔ͬͮ̌?̵̘͇͔͙ͥͪ͞ͅ

Offline pyro

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Re: Input devices for overloaded index finger
« Reply #15 on: Sun, 07 December 2014, 12:28:12 »
OT

It seems to me that repeatedly (hundreds of times a day) middle clicking on that particular spot caused me an injury.  I don't know where it would have gone if I hadn't found out what I was doing.

There is a Firefox plugin called Right Links, which directly opens links in tabs, when you rightclick them (and opens the default context menu when you hold the rightclick). I once had a laptop without a middle mousebutton, which caused me to look for something like this. Now I use it everywhere, just because it's so convenient.