If you use a computer mouse often enough, and who doesn’t these days, you are bound to eventually experience some discomfort in your hands. Our digits were never meant to be held suspended about a rolling mouse-like contraption or to click a button hundreds of times a day.
I have a spot on my right wrist which is always swollen, and was told by a rheumatologist that this was a direct result of using a computer mouse. Ouch! Besides swelling you might be experiencing pain and numbness in the fingers and hands, which makes working at a computer all the more difficult.
Beverly Leopold, CMT, COHC, CBAT of medica. . . the healing arts, a Massage and Day Spa in the North Hills section of Pittsburgh, says people of all ages have to be proactive to avoid hand strain and complaints if they are using a mouse daily.
According to Bev, the most important thing to do for our hands, fingers and wrists is to stretch and massage them often. Any muscle that we use daily in the same manner needs more care than just the casual “fix”, she says.
“Repeated use injuries occur due to limited action that is never released,” Bev says. Acids build up in the tendons and then they don’t move freely over the bones, which can result in arthritis.”
Here are some tips from Bev for taking better care of your hands:
- Warm and hot compresses are helpful to your hands, especially moist heat to relieve discomfort.
- Soak your hands in Epsom salts and perform small stretching movements under the water to help release tension and give your hands some relief.
- Topical gels and lotions that “create” heat and give comfort over night are also a good thing,
- Shop for “putties” that are designed for hand therapy that you can knead to build up strength.
- Bev suggests reading a book called Saving Your Hands by Ted Stansbery, which is used by many massage therapists to help keep their own hands in good condition.
For more information, click here to visit the medica website.
By Teresa K. Flatley