Injuries from using a computer mouse are getting a lot of attention.  This is because we use the mouse for most soft­ware and may put the mouse in a poor location.

Tell-Tale Signs

 Pain in the fingers and hand.   Sometimes you can lose individual finger control.

 Pain In the pinkie side of the hand. The pain may occur alone the outside of the fore­arm to the inside of the elbow. 

Pain in the palm and wrist.  This may be the start of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Pam around the wrist.  Sometimes it feels like a “Bracelet of Pain.”

Pain in the outside of the elbow and forearm muscles.  This is sometimes called Tennis Elbow”.

Pain at the top of the shoulder, close to the neck.  The pain may occur between the shoulder blades.

Why Pain Occurs

Reaching up and out for the mouse often causes the pain. This reach uses the strong muscles of the back, shoulders, and arms to hold your arm out.  Eventually these muscles can get tired and sore.

Meanwhile, your smaller and weaker forearm and had muscles move the mouse. These smaller muscles already work a lot when typing. When we add mousing, they can get very sore.


Use a keyboard tray that is long enough (26-30 inches) to hold a mouse and keyboard.

If there is not enough room to use a large keyboard tray, you can place the keyboard and mouse on the desktop and raise your chair. 

Keep your mouse clean. A clean mouse reduces the length of time required to grasp and lift the mouse.

Use a mouse that fits your hand size. This helps to keep your hand and fingers relaxed.  Mice come in many shapes and sizes, and are available in left and right-handed models.

Rest your hand when you aren’t using the mouse. This gives your muscles a break.

Keep you hand and wrist straight when using the mouse. Move your mouse with your forearm and shoulder muscles. This gives your smaller hand muscles a break. Do not rest your wrist on the table or tray and operate the mouse like a windshield wiper.

Learn alternative keyboard commands. Keying gives your hand a break.

Want more mousing tips?

 See the following diagrams for more tips on healthy computer practices.

 Reaching forward and out to use the mouse can lead to pain.  To prevent pain, position the mouse and keyboard the same distance away from you.

 Good hand position: The best way to use a mouse is with a straight hand and wrist 

 Bad hand position: If you use a mouse with a bent wrist or hand, your hand muscles can get sore very quickly.  

Source:  Health on the Job ¾ WCB, 333 Broadway Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R3C 4W3