Wrist Pain from Typing: 10 Minute Quick Fix
Have you got deadlines to meet? Trying to be more productive? Want to get the work done? Then you are probably ignoring or powering your way out of the discomfort your wrists are putting you in, due to all that prolonged typing. With the amount of work being done on computers on a daily basis, wrist pain has become a prevalent occupational hazard today. Learn how it starts and what you can do to prevent it from happening;
Why is Typing Correctly Important?
Do you want to develop a condition where you are always in pain when you do touch-type-related work? No right? That is the exact reason why typing correctly is important. It will not only keep you safe from typing-related medical conditions caused by bad posture, but it’ll also help increase your productivity.
Understanding Wrist Pain from Typing and How It Starts
If you work long hours as a typist in front of a computer screen, you probably have noticed a tingling sensation in your wrists. This is your clue to start typing the right way before this sensation turns to wrist pain and if left untreated it can be chronic and lead to more severe conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Ultimately affecting your productivity in the long run.
It is important for anyone who spends long hours working in front of computer screens to understand wrist pain from typing. The repetitive motion in typing can cause damage to not only the muscles but your tendons and nerves as well.
Any pain or discomfort in the wrist is wrist pain. It can be caused by many different reasons but repetitive motion while typing is the most common one. It is a type of repetitive strain injury (RSI).
As mentioned, wrist pain can be caused by many different reasons. But the poor posture of keyboarding is the most common one. Bad posture causes strain on your wrists while typing which can lead to tingling, numbness, and pain. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common condition, it occurs when the median nerve gets pinched or pressed at your wrist. It is the nerve that allows sensation and feelings in your fingers.
Symptoms for wrist pain from typing vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are numbness of fingers, tingling, a burning sensation in the hand, wrist, or fingers. Decrease in grip strength and difficulty in performing fine motor tasks are also among the symptoms of wrist pain from typing. If left untreated these may affect your day-to-day activities which involve wrist movement such as cooking, writing, or driving. Without proper treatment, wrist pain can lead to more severe conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
However, if you follow the proper techniques, this will help you to stay safe from the hand and wrist pain related to keyboarding.
Proper Typing Techniques
Sit straight and keep your back straight. Always keep your wrists in a neutral position and not resting on the table. Your feet should be placed flat on the ground, use a footrest if necessary. Your thighs and forearms should be parallel to the ground, elbows close to your sides, and shoulders relaxed.
Importance of Good Posture
A good posture is as important as a healthy diet since both directly affect your productivity. One can say that a good posture is directly proportional to increased productivity, and at the end of the day, that’s all we want, right? Below are some tips on how you can achieve a proper posture while using a computer keyboard.
Proper Position and Finger Placement
Proper position and finger placement are crucial for preventing wrist pain and other RSIs associated with keyboarding. Proper typing position includes;
- Sitting up straight with a straight back
- Placing your feet flat on the ground
- Keeping your thighs and forearms parallel to the ground
- Keeping your computer keyboard and mouse at the same height as your elbows
- Keeping your wrists in a neutral position
- Placing the screen at an arm's length from your eyes
Similarly, for proper finger placement;
- Home row keys should be the starting point for proper finger placement
- ASDF for the left hand
- J, K, L, and ; for right hand
- Thumbs should rest on the spacebar
- The remaining fingers can be used to reach for other keys
Exercises to reduce wrist pain from typing
There are many exercises that can help us all reduce wrist pain when typing. Some of them include;
Stretching exercise to improve wrist flexibility
Hold your arms in front of you palms down, using one hand gently pull the fingers of the other hand downwards until you feel a stretch in your wrist. Release after 10-15 seconds and repeat the same for your other hand.
Strengthening exercise to reduce wrist strain
Place your forearm on a flat surface palm down, with your hand hanging off the edge. Hold a small weight or a can of soup in your hand and slowly lift it by bending your wrist. Repeat this 10-15 times then switch to your other arm.
Other exercises to promote better circulation
Some other exercises that you can try to promote better circulation are;
- Fist Clenching:
Make a fist with your hand and squeeze tightly. Repeat this exercise several times with each hand.
- Finger Taping:
Place your hand palm down on a flat surface with your fingers spread apart. Now tap each of your fingers on the surface of a table starting from your pinky to your thumb. Then repeat in reverse order.
- Wrist Circles:
Hold your hand in front and rotate your wrist in a circular motion. Repeat this exercise multiple times, rotating your wrist in both directions.
All these exercises discussed above will take only 10 minutes to perform. Try it every day and you will get very fast relief.
Ergonomic Tools to Reduce Wrist Pain from Typing
Ergonomics can be defined as the positioning or alignment of the body in a workspace, in such a way that it reduces strain on the body and helps increase productivity by providing a relaxed working environment. Some ergonomic tools that you can use to reduce wrist pain from typing are as follows;
Wrist rests and cushions
Wrist rests and cushions are helpful tools that provide support to the wrists while typing. These should be placed directly in front of the keyboard with fingers reaching for the keys without any strain. However, it should be noted that these are not direct replacements for proper typing techniques but merely tools to support them.
Ergonomic mouse and keyboard
Ergonomic mouse and keyboard are also tools that support achieving and maintaining a standard position to reduce wrist hurt while typing. These are specially designed to provide a more comfortable and natural working position. An Ergonomic mouse is designed to fit the hand more naturally, reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries. It may be different in shape than a regular mouse and may have some additional buttons which can be customized to reduce clicking. Similarly, an ergonomic keyboard may be curved or split in design. It may also have wrist rests to reduce wrist strain for longer typing assignments. It helps reduce the risk of RSIs by providing a more relaxed position for arms, wrists, and fingers. Ultimately increasing productivity.
Alternate input devices such as touchpads or trackballs
Alternate input devices such as trackballs and touchpads can help prevent wrist pain while typing and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries because they allow for more natural movement as compared to a regular mouse or keyboard in which repetitive movements play a major role. A touchpad allows for more fingers, increasing the range of motions and decreasing repetitive motions. Similarly, a trackball allows you to move the cursor more freely while your hand is placed in a natural position. Other than that, it is very difficult for people with pain in their hands and lower grip strength to click multiple times and frequently repeat a similar motion. That’s why these tools are considered helpful in reducing wrist pain from keyboarding.
Seeking Professional Help for wrist pain from typing
Sometimes seeking help from a professional becomes imperative. Even though we try not to seek help and carry on with a little inconvenience, it can cost us much more than we could ever expect.
When to see a doctor
It becomes imperative to seek professional medical help when the wrist pain from typing persists even after taking necessary precautions and using home remedies. If the pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the wrist, do not wait around and consult a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor may recommend specific treatments such as medication, physical therapy, or sometimes surgery in severe cases. Addressing wrist pain before it worsens and causes long-term damage is crucial.
Some common treatments for wrist pain from typing are;
- Taking Rest
- Ice and Heat Therapy
- Pain Medication
- Physical Therapy
- Wrist Splints
- Corticosteroid Injections
Why do my wrists hurt while typing?
It is possibly due to improper posture as this is the main cause for wrist pain from typing.
What are the treatment options for wrist pain from typing?
The most common treatment options for wrist pain from typing include Taking some rest, using wrist splints, ice and heat therapy, pain medication, corticosteroid injections, and surgery for severe cases.
How can I avoid Wrist Pain from typing?
Use ergonomic tools such as an ergonomic keyboard, mouse, touchpad, and trackballs. Achieve proper typing posture and maintain it.
Exercises to Avoid wrist Pain from Typing?
Some exercises that can help reduce the risk of wrist pain from typing include fist clenching, strengthening exercises, stretching exercises, circular wrist rotations, and Finger Taping.
Is Ergonomics important?
Ergonomics is as important as a healthy diet because both help increase productivity. One can even say that ergonomics is directly proportional to increased productivity.
Wrist pain from typing is a prevalent issue among all who work long hours as typists in front of a computer screen. Although it isn’t given much attention, it can have severe implications in the long run and can lead to conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Wrist pain can be avoided by using various ergonomic tools discussed above. You can also incorporate some stretching and strengthening exercises. If you are already feeling unwell in your fingers along with pain, then it is imperative to consult a medical professional.