Pain-free Living Blog with Julie Donnelly

Joint Pain caused by using Computer Mouse

I monitor several different forums on the internet, all relating to repetitive strain injuries.  Today the message that was posted is one I want to share with you since so many people are using the computer mouse for hours a day.

It’s so important to learn how repetitive strain injuries to muscles are causing pain throughout your body, so many people are being given drugs for pain when some simple self-treatments frequently stops the pain immediately.

Here’s the question from this morning’s message board:

Question:
Two weeks back, I suddenly got a very bad pain in my index finger of the right hand. Until the night before it was perfectly fine and the next day morning, the pain started slowly but increased significantly by the end of the day. So much so that even the mildest of impact caused great pain.

A visit to the doctor followed up with a bunch of blood work for infection and gout were in the negative. I was prescribed pain killers, which reduced the pain. Given that the blood work turned up negative, the only thing that I could imagine was RSI caused due to usage of the mouse.

So I started using the mouse with my left hand, however it has been two weeks now and there is still some pain in the index finger and the joint where the index finger bone meets the palm also is sore (pains when pressed).

My question was is the above condition related to RSI – my doctor said that RSI injuries do not flare up the first time itself. Also I do not have any numb feeling in my fingers.

Also will the pain in the finger go away by itself, with some rest?

Thanks so much for your time

Answer:

I agree with you that it is an RSI. The muscles of your forearm move your fingers up and down and they are very likely the cause of this problem.  You can read all about this RSI and have a much better understanding of the muscles that cause hand/wrist joint pain. I suggest you also look at the Anatomy Lessons page so you can see the forearm muscles.

You don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome, but your pain is caused by the same muscles that cause carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. These same muscles also cause the symptoms of arthritis in the hand, fingers, and wrist because they are straining at the insertion point at the joint, and when they are tight you can’t move your finger easily without pain.

Considering that you work on a computer all the time, it would be very good if you knew how to release the tension in the muscles you are straining because you sure don’t want to be on medications which just block the pain but don’t solve the problem.  The only thing that resolves the build-up of lactic acid (a by-product of muscle action) is to force it out of the muscles, and to apply direct pressure on the spasms that have been formed by the excess lactic acid.  It isn’t difficult, but it is specific.  You’ll understand a lot better once you read the website.

The part at always gets to me is that most of the time the only choices offered when people have pain is to:

1. Take drugs for pain, etc.

2. Depending on the area of pain, PT is given to strengthen surrounding muscles.

3. Have surgery.

For some reason, many medical professionals (fortunately, not all) don’t even consider muscles as a cause of pain and limited mobility.  I’m hoping that will change over time.

In any case, you are aware of it so you’ll consider the muscle involvement before you go for more invasive treatments, or before you’ll take drugs that could have a potentially serious side-effect.

Have a great weekend,

Julie

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2 Responses to Joint Pain caused by using Computer Mouse

  1. Mabel Margaret: July 17, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Thank you explaining causes related to finger pain.
    finger pain

  2. Julie Donnelly: July 17, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Mabel. You can also learn how to treat the muscles that could be causing your finger pain. I suggest you look at Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living or even more specific self-treatments for the muscles that cause hand pain are taught in the Julstro System which focuses specifically on any muscles that cause wrist and hand pain and numbness. It is often just a matter of knowing exactly where to find the spasm, and then how to treat the spasm that is shortening the tendon that inserts exactly where you are feeling the pain.
    Wishing you well,
    Julie

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