Mouse management: stop pain in its tracks

Work-related arm, neck, and shoulder problems cost the workforce billions of dollars every year. Could your computer mouse be to blame?

If you work in a mouse-heavy industry, such as graphic design or architecture, then it’s not uncommon to experience fatigue and pain. Weeks of mouse use without support can lead to repetitive strain injury and irritation – particularly around your shoulder region. Such pain is often a sign of a condition called ‘’ mouse shoulder’’.

Mouse shoulder is caused by the repetitive, slight movements of your hands and fingers as you use your computer mouse. These small muscles become fatigued, causing larger muscles groups to compensate, resulting in more widespread discomfort.

Before you know it, you’re in that much pain that you struggle with everyday tasks. If you notice any tension or aches after frequent computer use, there are several things you can do. See a medical professional such as a chiropractor for treatment, and invest time in setting up an ergonomic workstation.

Pay attention to your mouse, monitor, seating, and comfort. Your elbows should be relaxed at your sides, your screen and mouse centered in front of you, and your chair adjusted with armrests to support your forearms. You may even find it useful to invest in support pads for your wrists, an ergonomic mouse that fits your hand size, and a special keyboard that promotes natural movement. Taking 15-second breaks every hour to give your arms and hands a break, is also crucial.

If you see your chiropractor for assistance, they may recommend a manual or instrument-assisted treatment method to alleviate mouse shoulder and associated pain. Every treatment plan is unique to you and the symptoms you present with. If you have any questions or need help with your discomfort, consult your chiropractor.

This article appeared in the latest edition of the ‘Your Chiropractor’ newsletter. Come into our Melbourne CBD chiropractic clinic to pick up your copy today.