Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Tendonitis

wrist-pain-28096146 by m-citalliance 123rfCarpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Tendonitis for computer users are real repetitive strain injury (RSI) hazards. Computer users are particularly susceptible to these conditions which can become chronic and affect your ability to work and play normally. Smart phones are potential hazards too aggravating the same tendons. It makes sense to act quickly to address the risks.

Our Computer Posture RSI Summary for Employers page may also be helpful to read.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Tendonitis?

Carpal Tunnel and Tendons

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a specific type of Tendonitis which is an inflammation of a tendon. Tendons connect muscles to bone. In the wrist, these tendons (together with nerves and blood vessels) are kept together through the wrist by the carpal ligament – much like a cable tie keeps cables organised!

Computer users with Carpal Tunnel or Tendonitis will have pain or other sensations in the hand, wrist, forearm when using the mouse, keyboard or your smart phone. Computer users often unconsciously hold their mouse arm or hand in a fixed tensed position for extended periods as they are reading/working at the computer which may be significant in the cause.

Generally CTS symptoms worsen over time and involve numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the thumb and fingers, particularly the index and middle fingers. You will also find you have reduced gripping strength and pain may be felt after only a few seconds when CTS or Tendonitis is active.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Tendonitis Treatments for Computer Users

Initially resting the hand and arm is essential and then follow with a combination of rest and active physiotherapy to help relax and repair your tendons.

Cutting the carpal ligament is more frowned upon these days but has been a help to some.

Your computer use environment will no doubt need fixing to minimise further damage and pain.  Read our information on general postural advice and appropriate products for computer posture RSI in general

Get yourself an ergonomic vertical mouse and keyboard!

  • Right-handed people will find most desktop keyboards have number and function pads to the right of the standard keys which forces their elbow further away from their side. As a result, your neck, shoulder, arm, elbow and wrist are likely to be supporting a hovering arm causing all those tendons and muscles to be tensed, fatigue and damage causing pain.

    Compact or mini-keyboards don’t have these extra keypads and so make it possible to use a vertical mouse with your arm at rest and elbow touching your side; far more natural and relaxed.
    Keyboard RSI where the problem lies

  • A conventional mouse twists the arm a quarter turn from its natural resting position and you have to grip your mouse to move it. Holding your mouse arm in this posture for any length of time causes your muscles and tendons to be tensed, fatigue, damage and cause pain.

    A vertical mouse has your forearm resting on the desk in a much more relaxed and natural posture without the same need to grip when moving it.
    mouse-arm-twisting-problem

  • If you use a smart phone or gaming consoles, these are almost certainly significant factors in your condition. You need to reduce the button-pressing and other finger actions to a minimum so perhaps consider using your smart phone just for phone calls for a while.

For more details refer to the ergonomic vertical mouse and compact keyboard page, together with a good video explanation and how to use them.

Ergonomic Mouse & Keyboard Buying Guide

UK Suppliers UK Suppliers

Link to UK multiple purchase and B2B supplier

Note for Evoluent mice size see sizing tab above

  • DXT Ergonomic Precision Mouse - Wired

    DXT02 Ergonomic Mouse

    Less expensive, wired version. Easy to use, hold like a pen. Ambidextrous – for left/right-handed.

    View UK Supplier
  • DXT02W-ergonomic-vertical-wireless-mouse

    DXT02W Ergonomic Mouse

    Excellent! Easy to use, hold like a pen. Ambidextrous – for left/right-handed.

    View UK Supplier
  • evoluent-vertical-mouse-profile

    Evoluent Vertical Mouse L/H-Normal

    Left-handed normal-size version (consider DXT02 instead if you have small hands)

    View UK Supplier
  • evoluent-vertical-mouse-profile

    Evoluent Vertical Mouse R/H-Normal

    Right-handed version (their normal size is for larger hands)

    View UK Supplier
  • evoluent-vertical-mouse-profile

    Evoluent Vertical Mouse R/H-Small

    Right-handed small-hand version (normal size is for large hands)

    View UK Supplier
  • perixx-407

    Perixx Mini Keyboard

    Slim compact keyboard. Integrated numeric keypad with Num Lock.

    View UK supplier
  • saturnus-mini-keyboard

    Sboard Mini Keyboard

    Slim compact keyboard. Integrated numeric keypad with Num Lock

    View UK supplier
  • Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse

    Wireless Ergonomic Optical Mouse from Anker

    Not ideal. Better than ‘normal’ mouse. Only suitable for larger hands

    View UK Supplier
  • Perixx-wireless-ergonomic-optical-mouse

    Wireless Ergonomic Optical Mouse from Perixx

    Not ideal. Better than ‘normal’ mouse. Only suitable for larger hands

    View UK Supplier

USA Suppliers USA Supplier

Note for Evoluent mice size see sizing tab above

  • DXT02W-ergonomic-vertical-wireless-mouse

    DXT02W Ergonomic Mouse

    Excellent! Easy to use, hold like a pen. Ambidextrous – for left/right-handed.

    View USA Supplier
  • evoluent-vertical-mouse-profile

    Evoluent Vertical Mouse

    Select from left-hand, right-hand, small-hand, wired and wireless options

    View USA Supplier
  • perixx-407

    Perixx Mini Keyboard

    Slim compact keyboard. Integrated numeric keypad with Num Lock.

    View USA supplier
  • saturnus-mini-keyboard

    Sboard Mini Keyboard

    Slim compact keyboard. Integrated numeric keypad with Num Lock

    View USA supplier

Canadian Suppliers Canadian Supplier

Note for Evoluent mice size see sizing tab above

  • DXT02W-ergonomic-vertical-wireless-mouse

    DXT02W Ergonomic Mouse

    Excellent! Easy to use, hold like a pen. Ambidextrous – for left/right-handed.

    View Canadian Supplier
  • evoluent-vertical-mouse-profile

    Evoluent Vertical Mouse

    Select from left-hand, right-hand, small-hand, wired and wireless options

    View Canadian Supplier
  • perixx-407

    Perixx Mini Keyboard

    Slim compact keyboard. Integrated numeric keypad with Num Lock

    View Canadian Supplier
  • saturnus-mini-keyboard

    Sboard Mini Keyboard

    Slim compact keyboard. Integrated numeric keypad with Num Lock

    View Canadian Supplier

The Evoluent VerticalMouse 4 regular size models which are sometimes called 'large' (Right Wireless, Right Mac, Right Bluetooth, Right and Left) are for hands at least about 7 inches or 178 mm from the tip of the middle finger to the wrist crease. Hands shorter than 7 inches/178 mm may be more suitable for the VerticalMouse 4 Small.

Evoluent mice sizing guide