Yesterday someone made the comment about me using my left hand for the computer mouse. It reminded me of my battle with arm pain. The fear of carpal tunnel syndrome. And what I did that solved my problem. I am no doctor but maybe it could help you too?
My Story with Arm Pain
Back when I first started my career in IT I was single and a big PC gamer. I worked on computers all day and on most days I came home and spent all night on my computer.
I went out with friends and went to martial arts classes but I was spending a lot of time using the keyboard and mouse.
A year or 2 into my job I noticed I had arm pain. It was never a mystery to me where it was coming from. I knew it was pain caused by computer use. So like anyone I tried to find ways to ease the pain.
First I got a wrist brace and started using that. It helped for a while but then the pain returned even stronger. I got wrist support things for my desk and I even tried sleeping in different positions.
Long story short none of that helped. Sometimes It hurt so bad I thought my arm was going to fall off. I was probably on my way to carpal tunnel syndrome if I didn’t have it already. It was starting to affect my job so I had a major problem.
Around that time I was helping someone with an issue at their desk and they had the mouse on the left-hand side. My right arm was hurting so I tried using my left hand. I was very uncoordinated but I got the job done while my right arm rested by my side. It felt nice.
So when I got back to my desk I moved my mouse to the left side and started using it. It was slow going at first but over a few weeks, I got just as good at using the mouse with my left hand as I did with my right hand.
How I Stopped My Arm Pain
Things were going well but I knew the same thing could happen to my left arm. So I needed a plan.
I am not sure how I came up with the idea. I think it was related to gaming because I was still a lot better with my right arm. But what I decided to do was to use my left arm for the mouse at work. Then when I got home and did gaming I’d use the mouse in my right hand.
My arms were taking shifts working on the computer. haha
Years Later and Ambidextrous
That was something like 12-13 years ago and I’ve not had any issues since. In fact, I am just as good with my left hand now as I am with my right hand. When it comes to a computer mouse anyway.
I had no prior abilities of being ambidextrous in the past so I think this is something that can be learned. It has also come in handy a few times.
Ones in a while if one of my arms feels a little sore I switch. But that was happening less and less.
Nowadays I do not even think about it. I had forgotten all about the pain until someone asked about my left-hand mouse usage.
I am sure it also helped when my son was born a few years ago. I had less time for computers at home after that. haha
I Hope This Helps You!
Like I said before I am no doctor. So if you have major issues you should go see one. I was too young and stubborn at the time I guess. But this simple change solved my issue and maybe it can help you too?
Emily Scherb: Anatomy and Health for Programmers
Years later I found this video. You may also be interested in it.