Computer mousing and typing killing your forearm, wrist and elbow?
Don’t fret. There are ways to fix the problem. In a 2003 study Does computer use pose an occupational hazard for forearm pain, researchers found that “Intensive use of a mouse device, and to a lesser extent keyboard usage, were the main risk factors for forearm pain.” However, they did find that there is little evidence of clinical causation of such work-place use suggesting that the pain experienced could possibly be prevented, treated and managed, and is typically minor in comparison to other occupational issues.
This does not take away from the fact that much of the population experiences pain and stiffness in the forearm, wrist and or elbow which can be a nuisance when trying to perform necessary duties on the job. There are many approaches on treating, preventing and managing your pain including self-massage, ergonomics, heat and cold therapy and so on. In this article, I set out to address a few stretches that have been found effective to relieve the symptoms of mousing and “computering”. If you wish to learn more check out the following articles for tips and tricks.
Over-Under and Around
Begin in a standing position with your arms straight out in front of you in a “X” position with right arm over the left.Turn your palm in toward one another and clasp them together by interweavign your fingers for a secure hold. Slowly begin to roll your arms in 180 degrees so that the outside of your finger tips are now facing your chest with left hand now on top. Continue to roll your arms 360 degrees until your arms are back straight out in front of you, right arm is on top with under-part of your forearms are exposed. Hold your finger clasp as you hold your strech for 10-20 seconds. Repeat 5 times on each side.
Ring the Towel
Start with a hand towel gripped (60-80% grip) in your left hand with your palm facing down toward the ground and left arm straight out in front of you. Make sure you have atleast half of the towel left hanging. Grab the remainder of the remainder of the towel with your right hand with palm also facing down toward the ground. Begin to ring the towel as if it were wet with your right hand by twisting the wrist inward. You should feel a stretch through the right forearm to the elbow. Hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds and repeat 10 times. Switch to the other side if necessary.
Forearm Flexion Stretch
Begin standing with both arms straight out in front of you but relaxed. Keeping the right arm straight as you place your left fingers and palms on the bottom of the right hand fingers with palm up. Slowly bend the right wrist upward to a flexed position as the left hand gently but effectively presses the right hand inward.Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. Switch to the other side.
Forearm Extension Stretch
Begin standing with both arms straight out in front of you but relaxed. Keeping the right arm straight as you place your left fingers and palms on top of the right hand with palm down. Slowly bend the right wrist to relax the hand in a extended position as the left hand gently but effectively presses the right hand inward.Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. Switch to the other side.
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey