wrist pain...

soooo many hours of pumping cad…

So now my wrist has been hurting for quite a while. Tests results show it’s not the carpal tunnel, but there is still something wrong with it when I use the mouse…

Does anyone use a trackball mouse instead of a regular mouse? does this work well in cad environments?

There are a number of other more ergonomical mice, but …has anyone else with wrist pain tried them? any good advice to give me, on which one to choose, or how to avoid this pain?

thanks

Gerry
PS. I have a compact keyboard, so my mouse is not so far away from my body, but that doesn’t seem to help that much either…

I’ve used a Logitech Trackman Marble or Trackman Wheel for over 10 years, never had any issues with pain. I think they’re great for manipulating 3D scenes because you have 360 degrees of motion in every direction. I also find them more precise because the thumb is able to make smaller movements than the wrist/elbow. There’s a learning curve with them, but once you can get used to it.

(great for gaming too)

I dont use a mouse. You can completely replace it with a Wacom Intuos 2 pad. Feels much more natural- makes you pump CAD faster too, because the mouse pointer can jump from place to place as fast as you can lift and move your hand.

Look at the relationship between your wrist and your arm. Chances are your wrist is angled back toward your arm, rather than toward the ceiling/sky. You’ll have less pain the closer you get to having your metacarpals in line with your forearm.

Also, try increasing the scroll speed on your mouse so that you don’t have to track as far.

These things have worked well for me for 5 straight years of being shackled to a computer.

Does anyone use an LCD tablet for CAD? I think I’m going to try that this afternoon for fun…hmmm

Do you have a gel support for your wrist? I’m assuming so, but you never know. Also, you should do stretching exercises every couple hours. Basically rotate your hand back and forth. Also, stand up, put your hand on the table with your fingers facing you and push down stretching your muscles.

I talked to a doctor about my wrist a few years ago…they said the same thing. Carpal tunnel is in the bones (and hurts enough that you will stop pumping CAD), what we are feeling is muscle pain.

I noticed a huge difference when we got decent task chairs. adjusting the arm rest even with the desk ment the weight of my arm was on my elbow instead of the base of my wrist…

I’m having the same problem lately. My old mouse of 5 years crapped out, and I’ve been through 4 (5?) replacements in the last month trying to find a comfortable one. My current one (Logitech MX Revolution) was pretty good until this week. May have to try a trackball or tablet next.

I’m on a two computer setup with Synergy to share the mouse and keyboard- anybody know how that would work with a tablet?

I had the same problem before, wrist pain but not carpal tunnel. Turned out that if I took regular breaks, like 5 minutes every hour, the problem faded out by itself. You can have the best setup/equipment in the world but if you work 8 or more hours straight everyday without resting you can have problems anyway

i use 3D connexion’s SpaceExplorer for cad-modeling. It reduces need to use mouse for example for rotating and panning. http://www.3dconnexion.com/3dmouse/spaceexplorer.php

“Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The median nerve controls sensations to the palm side of the thumb and fingers (although not the little finger), as well as impulses to some small muscles in the hand that allow the fingers and thumb to move. The carpal tunnel - a narrow, rigid passageway of ligament and bones at the base of the hand - houses the median nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the median nerve to be compressed. The result may be pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, radiating up the arm. Although painful sensations may indicate other conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common and widely known of the entrapment neuropathies in which the body’s peripheral nerves are compressed or traumatized.”

Ref.: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm

CAD operators generally work in a seated position; arms bent, wrists bent, head down (unless one makes a conscious effort to set up the station so that the head it “up”). Working in a seated position also requires that one continuously “raise” the forearms to the keyboard; resting the wrists on a rest.

Just a thought; might a standing position, (or semi-standing w/ perch) be less destructive? With the arms extended at a downward angle (say 20-30 degrees from the vertical, pivoted at the shoulders), and the wrists in a more natural downward, or “neutral” angle (with the keyboard at a complimentary angle), less restriction and compression would be put on the median nerve(s). Of course this would more than likely just transfer the malady to the legs; varicose veins.

1-Hour Design Challenge anyone? The Standing CAD Station

Definitely stretch your fingers and wrists regularly. I taught that to my drawing class on the first day but especially for those of us that are on the computer all day. It’s not what our bodies are designed to do all day and we will pay for it. Make it a rule that at least every half hour you will stand up and flex all of your muscles (not the lou ferrigno incredible hulk pose, but props to whoever does it in the middle of work!), stretch out your hands, quickly massage down the back of your legs and butt, and rotate your ankles, neck, etc…