Relieve RSI Pain with This Armrest Mouse Pad

(Josh Centers) #1

Originally published at:

If you’re suffering from upper arm and shoulder pain from reaching for the pointing device on your desk, this inexpensive armrest-mounted mouse pad may be able to help relieve your pain.

(John Burt) #2

How is the elbow padding?

(I could use something like that on the couch which would be very hard to strap to. I currently use a KB and trackpad fixed to a board I made with custom slots.)

(GV) #3

I have a similar configuration without the strap-on device. . . I have my chair close enough to my desk (an electric sit-stand UpDesk) that my wrist lays on a gel pad and my hand rests on a Kensington Orbit trackball. My elbow remains on my chair arm rest.

Next to the trackball is a “tenkeyless” mechanical keyboard. Not having a numerical keypad (I don’t need one) means I don’t need to move my right hand far to access the keys I regularly use. At the bottom of the keyboard is a foam wrist pad which is the perfect height for typing.

If I had a need for a numerical keypad I would add a standalone USB keypad that I can place next to the keyboard or to the right of my trackball. The latter option is my preference. . . If you happen to be left-handed the keypad can be placed to the left of the keyboard. (Leopold, the maker of my keyboard, just happens to offer such a keypad.)

My two mechanical Orbits are over 15 years old. The Kensington programming software is no longer compatible so I use USB Overdrive. The two buttons on the Orbit can be programmed in a variety of ways.

I’ve used this setup for many years. I experience no discomfort even though I work at my Mac 8+ hours most days. It also helps me to maintain proper posture when sitting so I do not slouch and put unnecessary strain on my low-back.

(Josh Centers) #4

The black pads you see on the front and rear are some kind of gel, so it’s pretty comfortable, at least to me, as long as the straps don’t get in the way.

(Paula Katz) #5

Cfan the Armrest Mouse Pad be used with a regular mouse, or does it work only with the vertical mouse you also discussed in the article. Thanks.

(Josh Centers) #6

You can use whatever you like with it. I swap my mouse out for my Magic Trackpad when editing video in iMovie.

(Paula Katz) #7

Thanks so much!

(Henry Korman) #8

For 25 years I’ve worked at an L-shaped arrangement of two desks. The monitor is on the desk in front of me. My arm rests on the desk to my right so that the arm and wrist are supported. My carpal pain ended a few weeks after setting this up and has never returned.

(Geoffrey Hart) #9

Be careful with any device that requires you to rest your arm on a surface, even if it’s a soft one. How well this works depends on your unique body, and one person’s miracle is another person’s torture device. Resting your arm compresses the tissues (including nerves) and can reduce blood flow. That can end up hurting more than the problem you’re trying to solve; I had that problem years ago with a foam rubber wrist rest. Seemed to work fine, and then the pain began…

I wrote an article about RSI many years back and had it reviewed by an RSI expert. The updated version, which covers all the key points to keep in mind, begins here:

The TL;DR version is that any time you change your workstation setup, you need to stop periodically and check how your body is feeling. If you’re feeling any new twinges, stop and figure out why before they become pain or injury.

(Adam Engst) #10

Great advice, Geoff. It is absolutely true that everyone is different, and we have to remember that there’s nothing “natural” about using a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, so our bodies have to adjust.

(Tommy Weir) #11

My sole experience of RSI was when I switched from a trackball to the Magic Mouse. Crippling pain after a few weeks. A physical therapist working on the tendons tracked down the culprit. Bought the Magic Trackpad, happy ever since. I also find myself increasingly happier physically at my standing desk which I alternate with a regular one.