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5 ways to prevent side effects of using a mouse

Here's how to counteract the common health problems caused due to excessive use of a mouse and keyboard.

Written by Bhavyajyoti Chilukoti |Published : June 29, 2016 3:14 PM IST

Anyone with a desk job who doesn't get enough physical movement is at a high risk of back pain or arm pain. Moreover, using the mouse day in and out exerts pressure on the wrist as well. So if you spend most of your time on a computer, here are few tips that might help you to lower your risk of wrist pain, scarring and other health effects, by our expert Dr Gerd Mueller, Chairman and Managing Director, AktivOrtho.

1. Scarring at the wrist - With the continuous use of a mouse, most people experience a slight scarring or darkness at the wrist (the area below your little finger on the wrist). Hence, if you are right-handed, then try using the mouse with your left-handed to lower the pressure on the right hand and also prevent darkening of the skin at the wrist. Also, using ergonomic mouse or padding at the wrist. Here are simple stretches to prevent knee pain, neck pain and wrist pain.

2. Pain in the elbow As the muscular-skeletal is affected when you type continuously or rest your elbow on a chair or desk, which is not at the same level as your desk; there are high chances of an elbow injury. It affects the muscles near the elbow leading to elbow pain. One of the effective ways to prevent elbow pain is to keep the keyboard at the same height as your elbow or slightly lower, at an angle of 30 degrees.

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3. Pain in the arm If you have been sitting in the same posture for long, yping or using mouse with the elbow resting on the desk, then there are high chances of suffering from arm pain due to exertion of the muscles in the hand due to wrong positioning of the hand while using the mouse. To prevent this, make sure your elbow is at a slightly lower position than your desk. Also, do not bend your hand and arm at the wrist but be straight to lower the pressure on the wrist and the hand, thereby preventing arm pain. As holding the mouse all the time causes cramps in the forearm flexors, which can be treated with timely stretches that cause extension of the flexor muscles. Also read about ways bad posture can make you unhealthy.

4. Tightness in the neck and shoulder Most of us might have experienced excessive strain and sharp shooting pain in the upper trapezium (neck and shoulder muscles) due to the wrong posture. While stretches is the best exercises to deal with it, moving the neck in either direction doesn t help in easing the pressure on the neck but further worsens the condition. As Indians have a fixed thoracic spine, it is important to stabilise the neck and stretch the shoulder muscle for a relaxing effect on the trapezium. Also, training your upper back muscle into extension and not sitting in a slouched position is the key to preventing strain on the neck and shoulders. Here's more on ways your posture is killing you (and how to correct it).

5. Tendinitis The forearm tendinitis is not as much due to using a mouse as much as using a smartphone, but there are cases. This is because the use of the mouse can put pressure on the thumb and typing on the keyword can result in the inflammation of the tendons. To ease pain and strain in this area, keep stretching and moving your hands and fingers frequently to prevent tendinitis. You may like to read about which of these technology-related health problems do you have?

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