It has been almost 3 years now and I am pain free in my wrist and arm. As a life long computer user, I developed pain in my forearm and shoulder blades as part of my RSI (repetitive stress injury) diagnosis. After visiting doctors, trying to rest, and modifying my work and posture habits, I finally added a device to my workspace that, in my opinion, saved my career. This worked for me. Maybe it can work for you.
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How it all started....
I can recall laying in bed and feeling a shooting pain in my right forearm. I am right handed. It is the side that controls my computer mouse. Ugh.
As a computer programmer, I would sit for hours at my keyboard. At one point, I was working 75-80 hours a week. Typing and mousing away.
For stress release, I would play video games. Sure, I had your usual game systems like the Sega Genesis, Nintendo Gamecube, Wii, and WiiU. It was only recently when my kids got older did we get an Microsoft Xbox. That really wasn’t my problem.
It was the games I played on my pc. So instead of giving my body a rest from the same repetitive motion I did all day at work, I continued to stress it.
Repetitive Stress Injury & Ergonomics
It all added up until I finally had to visit a doctor where they diagnosed me with RSI or Repetitive Stress Injury. As noted on MedicalNewsToday.com, RSI has been around since humans have been doing repetitive tasks. With the advancement of certain technologies, to include the computer, it has increased in recent decades. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/176443.php
During my treatment of ibuprofen, stretches, ice and rest with rest being the toughest, I began to look at ergonomic devices.
Ergonomics as defined by Dictionary.com is the the study of the relationship between workers and their environment, especially the equipment they use.
As I progressed through my healing, I learned that my posture was poor, hand placement on my keyboards not helpful to my body, and the amount of time spent at the computer counter productive to my ability to rest.
No one ever taught me how to sit correctly when working at a pc nor how to place my hands, or even sit at the correct height.
Seriously, as a teacher and a teacher in technology……how can I NOT be at the computer??!!
Post It Notes, New Chair, New Desk
I would put post its on my desk reminding me to sit up straight and now slump or slouch over.
I even set timers to remind me to get up every so many minutes.
I can recall it getting so bad, I could only spend 15 minutes at a time typing or working at the computer. It was sooo disruptive I could not get anything done in a timely fashion. That meant grades for the students, websites being built, databases being managed, and code being typed were all getting delayed.
I was really beginning to get stressed out.
I purchased a brand new desk that has an adjustable keyboard tray.
I even purchased a $400 dollar chair that had a gazillion ways to adjust it hoping that would help.
None of these really helped.
The pain was still there in my forearm and back.
Do I need a career change? Wait…hold on….this can’t be how it ends!
The Mouse Device That Saved Me
As I began to look at different computer mice, I came across one that had many great reviews. It was the Penclic D2.
At first glance, the Penclic looks like a pen in a holder.
It stands upright, is as long as an ink pen, and has an elegant look about it.
I have been using the D2 model which has now evolved into the D3. My D2 is wired which means it is connected to my pc via a USB port. I liked wired only because I grew tired of my wireless keyboard and mouse batteries always dying (maybe because I was on it way too much).
When you first get it, you do need to train yourself but it doesn’t take long at all. You hold it in your hand just as you would if you were writing with a pen. That simple rotation of 90 degrees of your wrist and forearm is just the rotation I needed to relieve the stress on my muscles and tendons in my arm.
The shaft of the Penclic D2 has several rocker style buttons that act as your left and right mouse buttons. At the base is the wheel which acts as your mouse wheel. Using my middle finger as my hand holds the pen, I easily roll the wheel never straining my arm.
Another great aspect of this device is that since it is like a pen, you now also gain a finer control over the mouse. If you adjust the speed of the mouse cursor and you do graphics work on your pc, you may find this device is very helpful when drawing on the software canvas.
Watch How I Demonstrate The Penclic
While we are on this subject I want to also make you aware of a friend who is a champion for wellness. Jen Hoffman’s website, healthymoving.com, is a great resource to get you up and moving.
There is no doubt we all have a little stress in our lives. Jen Hoffman over at HealthyMoving.com is excellent when it comes to improving your over all well being and learning to deal with this stress. I used her simple exercise to loosen up my neck and I have been hooked ever since then. When she offered this program, I knew I had to have it.
If you are struggling with the issues I discussed here, I truly hope you find relief.
If you have any questions about the Penclic, please don’t hestitate to contact me.
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