Is your mouse causing neck and shoulder pain?

Is your mouse causing neck and shoulder pain?

What can you do if your mouse is causing neck and shoulder pain

This might appear an odd question but while most people are right handed and put their mouse on the right hand side of the keyboard it doesn’t mean that’s the only position or indeed the best position in which to use it. Try some alternatives

1. Using a mouse on the right hand side

Make sure you use it so its close to the keyboard and you don’t let it drift out to the side or to infront of you. This is a common cause of shoulder and neck pain when using a mouse.

2. Using the mouse on the left hand side of your keyboard

Find out more about setting up the mouse for left handed use before trying it in your left hand. This can be useful even for right handed people who want to reduce the load on their right hand. Don’t forget to allow a couple of weeks to get up to speed with the left hand.

In Windows…
Start / Settings / Control Panel / Mouse /
and on the Buttons Tab tick the box for “Switch primary and secondary buttons”

3.Position the mouse in front of the keyboard.

This is an important alternative position but its really only useful if you are using the mouse most of the time. Its not a suitable position if you need to use the text or number pad as you will be reaching across the desk. If. however, you are doing constant mouse work than it can be more comfortable for your neck and shoulder to have your hand closer to your middle than to the side

4.Mixing it up

Sometimes you need to use your mouse at the side of the keyboard, sometimes in your right hand, sometime in your left and at other times it may be sensible to push your keyboard forward out of the way and bring your mouse into the centre of your desk. Play around and see what works for you.


Remember the Three Ps of using a mouse

Position – are you sitting at the right height.

Placement – change your mouse placement

Performance– what are the mouse techniques that can contribute to pain –
• hovering,
• lifting your fingers up,
• gripping tightly,
• flicking etc

And don’t forget to try and use your mouse less by using more shortcut keys.