Ah, modern society and its technology. I’ll spare you the rant regarding how we’re slaves to it and the various troubles and pain it causes. For now.
I’ve been behind a computer and using a mouse since about the mid-90’s. So for about 30 years I’ve been gripping a mouse with my right hand without much support in terms of recent technology such as mouse & keyboard wrist pads (which don’t prevent CPS anyway). So that’s around 8 hours during the day at various jobs, then anywhere from 3 to 6 hours at night playing video games on the computer. I continue to use a mouse to this very day because I’m a one-man production company and I produce/edit my own youtube videos and podcast.
I started having Carpal Tunnel Syndrome-like pain in my right arm, from the elbow up the arm to the wrist, since around 2015 while still working behind a computer for various companies. However it wasn’t that bad and didn’t seeing a doctor. It was just an aggravating burning, inflammatory type of situation. So I forced myself to learn how to use the mouse with my left hand. It’s funny because my left hand is my dominant hand. I write with my left hand. But when it comes to the mouse, I use my right hand. So becoming ambidextrous with the mouse provided my right hand and arm a great deal of relief and helped reduce the pain to where it practically went away.
In addition to that, I also stopped playing video games at a computer and moved to the console, which provided even more relief. However, fast forward to this year, 2021, and over the course of September and October, for whatever reason, the CPS-like symptoms flared up again. And because video production & audio engineer work requires a lot of tedious and accurate mouse work, I really couldn’t switch to using my left hand like I could at previous jobs because while I can use the mouse with my left hand, I’m not as accurate with it as when using my right hand. I did try using a vertical mouse but it wasn’t as precise.
So about a week prior to this entry, I looked into getting a wrist brace. I found one that received decent reviews, and it has been a life saver! It was uncomfortable at first, but once I broke it in, and after about a week of wearing it while both behind the computer and while sleeping, it has practically alleviated all CPS-like symptoms! While the symptoms have been pretty much alleviated, I plan to continue to use the brace while sleeping and while at the computer because of how much wear and tear I’ve put on my arm. CPS doesn’t go away either. I don’t want to or plan to wear the brace for the rest of my life but for now it will have to do until the CPS-like symptoms have resided to the point where I maybe no longer use the brace at night. I probably will continue to still use it while behind the keyboard though.
So if you’re younger, whether in your teens or even your 30’s, and you’re using the mouse a lot due to job requirements, when gaming at home, or streaming all day long, you should do yourself a favor and consider using the mouse with your other hand whenever possible. Because eventually you’re going to end up like me and so many others that have to wear a brace to relieve CPS symptoms. The worst case scenario if you don’t take care of your arm is getting surgery, cutting tendons, and who knows what else they do, and you always want to avoid surgery whenever possible.