Left-hand mouse

With my right elbow still painful and aggravated by using a mouse, I’ve moved the mouse over to the left of the computer.  I’m trying very hard to get used to using it left-handed, but it’s making for more slightly-bitter laughs than productive work.  Mouse actions you’d take for granted have become a conscious effort, at best slower than usual, and at worst it becomes quite an effort to click on the right icon or link, or cut&paste.  I’m sure that’ll improve with time.

Meanwhile, I also catch myself reverting to my natural state: subconsciously moving the mouse back to its normal place, and once even reaching over with the right hand to use the mouse while the left hand remained on the keyboard, before correcting myself.

Yesterday morning I also went to NHS Direct and used their online self-diagnosis tool.  It told me to go and see my GP, so I went and asked for an appointment.  To my surprise, they gave me one that very afternoon!  The quack diagnosed tennis elbow which came as no surprise.  He also said it’s a very common affliction, and that most sufferers are not tennis players 😮 .  He gave me an exercise to help improve it, and suggested it might take about six weeks to go away.

I guess that’s time to become ambidextrous with the mouse.  Could be a useful skill for the future!

Posted on July 14, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I was afflicted with tennis elbow last year, also in the right arm (it seems to affect people of a certain age!). I tolerated it grudgingly, and after a few months it went away. Hopefully recovery will be quicker with your exercises.

  2. As you know, I was afflicted by tennis elbow for years – actually got it while playing tennis. I had physio, ultrasound and cortison injections – all of which were of limited use. What finally cured it was an injury to a finger which necessitated complete rest of that arm.

  3. I assume you’ve looked into mouse-alternatives? I discovered the joys of a large trackball about ten years ago, and I’ve never looked back – I can’t use a conventional mouse for more than a few minutes without my wrist aching, but I can sit and play with the trackball for hours on end, no trouble at all. It works just as well for games or work.

    The only thing that gives me any trouble at all is slow, detailed motion control, sometimes required when working with graphics. For that I got a tablet, which took a bit of getting used to, but now I wouldn’t go back to a mouse for anything.

  4. I ran into similar problems and have been using IBM spacesaver keyboards since then. They’re not cheap, but having the integrated touchpad and trackpoint avoids the awkward arm position reaching for the mouse.

  5. I can relate to your situation completely. I to injured my elbow and had to start using my mouse with my left hand. I picked up the The Contour Perfit Optical Mouse, this mouse is the latest generation of the Award Winning Contour Perfit Mouse. All the ergonomic benefits of the original Perfit Mouse remain intact with the added benefits of Optical tracking, scrolling and two additional buttons. The Contour Mouse gives you a Perfect Fit, no matter if your mousing hand is large or small, right or left! The performance and ergonomic benefits delivered by this multi-sized mouse simply can’t be achieved by any other “one size fits all” mouse.
    You have to dry this mouse out, right or left handed!

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