I’m a heavy PC user for work and use the mouse a lot with lots of clicking. I also spend a bit of time on my phone flicking through thinkgs. The clicking action and flicking is similar to finger plucking and I think as a result, my forearm is not happy. I was mostly fine playing guitar.
Whilst I know nothing can compare to proper medical advice, are there any players out there that have similar heavy mouse use and have you found any effective exercises/stretches.
I was thinking of sometimes uses a pick whilst going through B2B even though all the videos so far have been plucking. Maybe my forearm just needs time to adapt?
Have you tried an upright mouse? I used to have similar problems after prolonged pc game playing and found that this removed the issue
I’ve got one (Evoluent upright), but haven’t used it in a little while. The one I’m currently using is a Microsoft sculpted ergonomic that’s aimed at keeping your hand in a neutral position.
I’ll try the upright for a bit and see how I go, thank you
So you have a gel pad for your wrist to rest on. That solves it for me (and the upright mouse, Logitech I think).
i would very, very, very strongly suggest you try a tablet — wacom makes a few models but the medium intuos is great if you are not doing a lot of intense illustrations/visual stuff and more just need a mouse replacement. note that it will be incredibly awkward for 2 weeks and then you will wonder how you lived without it. i have used one for 20-ish years and whenever i have to use a mouse i get immediate soreness in my hand.
I’m no physiotherapist but I was having some mouse related pain a couple years back. I think it was due to me having to rotate my right arm out to reach it because of the numeric keyboard. So…I moved the mouse to the left side of the keyboard - now I either use it with my left hand (I’m right handed btw) or reach across to use it with my right (with the mouse more in the centre). Try it - might be worth a go…
Otherwise it’s probably a good idea to do proper warmups like wrist rotations etc before playing…
Thanks @John_E I tried a gel pad a while back but found it annoying. I might try it again.
Interesting, never even thought of using something like that. I do a lot of work in spreadsheets + coding and testing which involves a lot of clicking, but also typing out the code. Have you used it for that sort of work before?
Until recently, I had armrests on my chair as I couldn’t get them off. I finally got the bolts to budge which allows my arm to be a bit more natural. Even though I often use numbers a bit, I have a keyboard with seperate numpad with the intention of having my arm closer to the keyboard. I need to pay more attention to see if I am doing that though.
I could also try a traditional mouse on the left. The ergonomic ones I have are both right handed. I’m fairly impatient when I can’t go my normal speed
As for the warmup. That’s something I need to do. I usually just jump straight into B2B and tonight for example I was playing Higher and Higher in module 8 which got too fast for me to keep it clean.
absolutely — i am an artist & designer but as my creative practice has become more and more analog i am spending more and more digital time writing and in outlook, etc… i literally just finished my first book and used the tablet & keyboard (pic of my setup below).
i will tell you now that if you get one you will message me in 3 days telling me it sucks and then ill say ‘stick with it!’ and then in 2 weeks you will message me back and say ‘thank you for changing my life’. if after 2 weeks you hate it all retail has liberal return policies now so no problem.
In the 1990’s I started using a mouse a lot and I used to get elbow pain and finger cramps. The simple solution was to use the mouse in the left hand (I am right handed). It means you can use the computer and write at the same time. It only took 30 minutes to switch hands and no special equipment / medical consultation is needed. Try it, you’ll never go back.
Same here. I know I should but I keep forgetting and diving straight in. Could explain my shoulder problems
Speaking of which, it may be worth keeping your elbow rests on the chair if you’re spending a lot of time at the computer - you need to keep your arm supported or you can develop an RSI in the shoulder… Maybe check up on the ergonomics of office chairs and desks if you get time…
I struggle pretty much with RSI in both hands constantly, mainly because lots of computer work, right mouse hand more than the left.
Basically, one of the reasons I started playing bass because I thought it might be something a bit different for my hands to do to combat RSI, which didn’t quite work out.
But anyway: in all the years what helped me a lot for my mouse hand was to realise one thing: If you are reading a text on your screen, what does your hand do? Is it hovering over the mouse, so you can scroll any moment with the scroll wheel?
If your answer is yes, the best advice anyone can give you is: DO NOT DO THAT!
Put your hand in a relaxed position. Make an effort to relax your hands any moment you can.
Hovering over keyboard and mouse will harm you and won’t really save you any time, that is an illusion.
Do some finger exercises every hour for a minute, like touching every finger with your thumb with light pressure (might even help for fretting strength ;))
Some stretching that will also help if you suffer from hand pain through bass playing: open your hand as far as you can, hold it for a second or two. We never really use those muscles that open the hand, only the ones closing them. With this movement, you can stretch out the muscles we use a lot.
I also used a Wacom tablet for some time, but for me this works because I use pens with the left hand and the mouse with the right hand, so I could rest my right hand more.
If for you, it is both the right hand, if you try a tablet, again: Don’t forget to relax your hand, which means don’t hold the stylus in your hand all the time.
Well, you’re probably using a Windows PC, so this may not be worth mentioning. I use a Mac, and have one of their “Magic Mouse” mouses, in my case from 2011. These may not work with non-Apple computers, and I don’t know if any company produces a similar one. Apple no doubt has copyrighted the dickens out of the design, so maybe not. Sometimes I wish it was corded, ironically, because changing batteries is not my fave thing. With good rechargeable batteries, though, it’s not a big issue (I use Eneloop).
I also (surprise) am left handed, and use a mouse left handed. With the MM, and my chair with arms, my elbow and forearm is supported on the arm, and I find that I use my middle finger with the MM. It’s so easy to scroll and click, just a tiny touch or flick of the finger.
But, you are probably served better by the other suggestions earlier in this thread (upright mouse, pad for resting your wrist, or the tablet option).
Oh yes. I had repetitive stress injuries in both wrists and ended up with tennis elbow on my mouse arm all from working long hours on a computer.
I don’t know if this is relevant to your situation, but many years ago when I started experiencing RSI symptoms I switched to a trackball. I’ve been using them ever since and have had no further RSI issues.
I use a Kensington Expert Mouse trackball on my desktop workstation, and a Kensington Wireless Orbit with my laptop on the road.
Another odd habit I have is that despite being left handed and using the trackball with my left hand, the buttons are configured right handed. This means that I do most of my clicking with my pinky. This has the added benefit of strengthening my pinky for bass playing. Of course this only works for lefties.
I’m no doctor, but this has worked for me over 25 years of extensive computer use.
Wow, certainly lots of experience from everyone. Thank you for all the tips, much appreciated.
Yes, I’m on a Windows PC and yes I’m guilty of leaving my hand on the mouse waiting for its next task - not for any reason other than habit.
After a crappy nights sleep, today I was online for around 11hrs with only small breaks which is way too long. I’m going to try some warm up exercises without the bass and then do one lesson on B2B and then probably fall asleep in front of the TV - got the joy of trying to chase my boys to bed during school holidays which seems to get later and later so no point going to bed early.
I think this is strongest part of my body. Been gaming on PC since forever, doing professional Software Development & playing bass.
I noticed a similar thing when I started working from home due to COVID rules, unfortunately it hasn’t gone away.
I think it’s definitely down to a mix of things (mouse, phone, bass) but I’m fairly certain that the trigger for me was a poor home desk setup that I didn’t clock until I got back to the office and noticed the difference.
My home desk was too shallow and due to a drawer underneath the chair height couldn’t match up properly, so it ended up with my arm quite hunched and elbow constantly bent at an angle greater than 90° which couldn’t have been doing much good for the tendons.
If you put your arm in the squashed position and simulate the clicking / scrolling movement with your fingers while feeling your tendons move you can notice the difference in tension.
I was due a new desk anyway…
This change has helped a fair bit for me, for now!
Rollerball thumb mouse works for me