Friday, June 10, 2011

A New Trap

Mouse Elbow

Did you know that you can get so-called “Tennis Elbow” from excessive use of a mouse? You can.

“As the name suggests, playing tennis — especially repeated use of the backhand stroke with poor technique — is one possible cause of tennis elbow,” According to the Mayo Clinic. “However, many other common arm motions can cause tennis elbow, including: Using plumbing tools, painting, driving screws, cutting up cooking ingredients, particularly meat, and excessive computer mouse use.

From all I’ve read, the condition usually comes on gradually as a person performs repeated motions. You may have seen the comical commercial showing someone suffering serious injury by constantly clicking the mouse with his index finger.

It’s not funny. It’s really true.
Not only does your digit hurt, but the wrist, forearm, elbow and even bicep burns and aches.
But, you say, I need to write a story; I need to write a post. The doctor says, give it a rest.
Rest, along with a steroid injection, is about the only thing one can do about “mouse elbow”. You can take ibuprofen for inflammation and pain. A cold pack can also help.

I tried using the mouse with my left hand for a couple of days. I thought my brain was going to explode. So, I got a new ergonomic mouse. It seems to have helped some, but I’m not supposed to be using the keyboard or the mouse. I can’t play guitar. I can’t shake hands with friends. I have projects, but they may have to wait. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!

So, I’m supposed to sit around all day with my arm in a sling thinking about all of the things that I love—all of the things that I want to do, but I’m not supposed to do? Of course, I’m a bad patient.

The Mayo Clinic has a stern warning for me however. “Left untreated, tennis elbow can result in chronic pain — especially when lifting or gripping objects. Using your arm too strenuously before your elbow has healed can make the problem worse,” the site says.

I got some new books this week. Looks like I’m going to be doing some reading instead of writing.

© Jim McNabb, 2011

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Get a iMac with a magic trackpad or a MacBook (trackpad built-in), and spend 15 minutes to learn OSX gestures. Not only will your wrists thank you, you'll be twice as fast at task such as cut and paste. Mice are the worst.