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Alternative Computer Mouse for carpal Tunnel and Tendonites sufferers

This page is dedicated to those who like me suffer from carpal tunnel or tendonites. As you know since it hurts like heck you want to know what you can do to minimize the pain and therefore the damage that comes with using a computer mouse.

The picture below demonstrates something I invented that has really improved my ability to work. I hope someone takes my idea and copyrights it because itís amazing how well it works.

Take a McDonalds Hamburger Coffee Cup and cut out the bottom and then cut down the side. Then use Duct Tape to secure it to your wrist as shown in the picture. The Duct tape can be used over and over because it doesnít lift anything off the cup because the cup surface is very smooth and strong. If you are creative, you can make something more aesthetic using Velcro.

This has really improved my ability to work. These cups are Styrofoam and have a pretty good strength to them and they will hold up remarkably well. The cup will not only keep your wrist from too much rotation, but will also serve as a protection between your wrist and the table your mouse is on. This protection provides about 80 percent of the cure for me but the rotation helps too.

Iíve worn braces before and they help but donít provide the protection between your wrist and the table your mouse is on.
 
Below I showed how you could make your own computer mouse but now I think I've found a better way. Lets start by looking at the pictures below.
The above image is the targus wireless mouse that fits neatly in my left hand (I'm right handed). The rectangular part plugs into any USB hub on your PC and is the receiver. It's usually used for presentations so that the presenter can be at the back of a room and use the targus to click through the presentation. Since my tendonites is worse in my right hand, I use this to do the right and left mouse clicks using my left hand which believe me is wonderful. It only costs around $15.00 with shipping and can be pointed in almost any direction to work.
targus web site and computer mice


Next I've changed my mouse to a trackball mouse and it works great. Here is a picture of my Kinsignton trackball mouse
Kensington Website


That concludes my method for using a Targus mouse clicker to do the mouse clicks and using the Kensington trackball to move the mouse. Note that the targus can also do page-up, page-down and some rudimentary mouse movement. The Targus requires a battery but my one battery has lasted months.

Now some additional comments about carpal Tunnel and Tendonites and a 'how to' for those of you that want to see how to make your own special ergonomic mouse

How to make your own ergonomic vertical mouse for those with carpal tunnel and tendonitis

Honey is nature's best cure for all tendon and nerve related problems
and if you must drink coffee, put a teaspoon of honey in it, but remember coffee depletes the body of vitamin B.

I eat at least 2 tablespoons of honey per day but remember it contains vitamin B-6 and too much is not good for you.
Read more about the health benefits of honey here

Almonds are nature's anti-inflammatory

I would encourage employers to stock your break rooms with free honey made available with free tea.

An employee with tendon problems can cost an employer a fortune, and besides who wants a sick employee that is in pain all day.

This mouse may look flimsy but you will love the way it fits and supports your entire hand so much more than the non morphed way.

My Carpal Tunnel/Tendonitis starts killing me after only a few minutes of mouse use. With the use of Honey, Aleve, and this easy to make vertical mouse, you will be amazed how much better you feel! I can now work for many hours with little or no pain. At first, the mouse will feel a bit awkward but after one hour I was using it without even thinking about it. And the best part is that studies have shown that you will not be damaging your ligaments or median and ulner nerve as much by using this type of wrist alignment.

Even if you don't have Carpar Tunnel or Tendonitis, you should be using this simply for the fact that it feels so much more natural. And why not save yourself from this syndrome condition that could knock on your door just as easily as mine. Let me say that once you start feeling the presence, the pain is soon to follow and in my case it got worse fast, especially since I had to continue doing the repetitive strain injury that caused it in the first place.

Items you will need to modify your mouse

Please see pictures below first to insure that your mouse can be modified
  • Mouse (with wheel is the best).
  • Duct Tape (believe me you will get some laughs with this morphed mouse but it's better than having duct taped fingers).
  • New Pencil or at least a pencil with a good erasure
  • An L shaped object such as:
    • I've used an empty inhaler in these pictures. (If things get too bad you can always take a hit).
    • Bent Spoon with the concaved part facing down onto the top of the mouse.
    • Piece of metal that matches the shape you'll need or a piece of metal that you shape.
    • A shelf brace.
  • Wash Towel
  • Small elastic bands to go around the Wash Towel


Pictures are worth a thousand words


The next two pictures below show the finished modified mouse product in hand. Notice that using the morphed mouse that the hand is more Vertical in these pictures. Notice how the index finger is used to lower the pencil thereby doing a left mouse click. Notice how the middle finger extends down to the mouse wheel where it can be used to turn the wheel. Also note that the ring finger can be used to click the right mouse button. The rolled up Wash Towel is used to rest your wrist on but remember that Carpal Tunnel can be caused by poor blood circulation so hold your wrist so that the blood is not cut off in the area where a nurse would take your pulse.







The picture below shows the mouse alone. Would you believe that the duct tape does an excellent job of holding everything together. You may want to cut the top of the pencil off to shorten it. Also remember that the erasure part must make contact with the left mouse button to give it the friction it needs to keep it from slipping.




The picture below shows the bottom of the mouse. Notice that the duct tape doesn't go all the way around the bottom because the rubber ball would get taped up and then the mouse wouldn't work. Keep the tape flat so that it doesn't catch or drag on the bottom of the mouse. Mine looks a bit crooked but it is not.




The picture below just shows a angle view that lets you see how all three of the controls get used by different fingers.



Steps to follow to modify your mouse
  • Gather all the parts you will need and unplug your mouse from the PC or turn off your PC so that you don't run your month end program. Wearing safety goggles is optional (:
  • Tape the L part to the mouse without running the tape on the underside of the mouse too much (see picture of mouse bottom). You will need to place the L part in such a manner that your middle and ring fingers can reach the mouse wheel and right button.
  • Tape the pencil to the L part and make sure that the erasure touches the left mouse button and doesn't slide off when used (see picture of mouse in hand)
  • Use a knife or side cutters to cut the top of the pencil off. I just left mine but I keep tipping my mouse over because of it.
  • Roll up the Wash Towel, and place about 4 elastic bands around it to keep it rolled up and then place it under your arms ulna bone (smallest bone in your forearm). Picture of arm bones  Allow the Wash Towel to slide around a bit on you desk or table to avoid waving your wrist and moving ligaments.
  • Test your new vertical mouse and make adjustments.
  • I have used mine several hours a day for the last year with no rebuilding needed!


Carpal Tunnel Tips
  • Avoid use of your hands if they are cold from lack of circulation because Carpal Tunnel can be caused by poor circulation.
  • Rest 15 minute out of every hour that you work. Put things aside that can be worked on that don't require the mouse.
  • Good posture is always important for good circulation.
  • A swivel chair is easier on your back and circulation.
  • Don't work if your Carpal Tunnel is hurting because it means you are doing damage by building scar tissue.
  • If you must work, wear braces to prevent the movement of ligament.
  • Take vitamin B6 but remember that too much is not good for you.
  • Caffeine in not good for your Carpal Tunnel but you may get a headache if you stop using it completely. Try to cut down to one serving of the drink in the morning and one in the evening.
  • Use your keyboard Ctrl C to copy and Ctrl V to paste if keyboard strokes are easier than right mouse clicks.
  • Use your keyboard Arrow Keys and Page Keys if keyboard strokes are easier than using your mouse wheel.
  • Beware of anti-inflamatory drugs that are also pain killers because even though the anti-inflamatatory is good, working without feeling the pain means you won't know that you are causing scar damage. I use Aleve but beware it is also a pain killer. Aleve can be purchased for as little as 6 cents per pill (220 mg).

The image below shows how I've buddy tapped my ring and little finger together. This has brought some relief but note that symptoms on this side of the hand indicate that you have problems with tendonitis rather than carpal tunnel which will be felt more towards the thumb and index finger.


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