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How to Alleviate Wrist and Finger Pain When Using the Computer

September 13, 2022

woman's hands typing on a laptop
With as much time as people spend typing on their computers for work, it's fairly common for wrist and finger pain to develop. When severe, wrist pain may be relieved with treatment from an orthopaedic specialist.

Although there are many orthopaedic treatments available to ease wrist and finger pain, it's better to prevent painful damage in the first place. Being mindful of computer use is important to protecting wrist and finger health.

With this in mind, the Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin provide these tips on how to alleviate wrist and finger pain when using the computer to help patients in Austin, TX, and surrounding areas.

Take Breaks

Taking breaks while using a computer or laptop is essential for alleviating wrist and finger pain. It's recommended that people take four breaks from typing per hour. Breaks do not need to be long and can be as short as 30 seconds.

Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration may not seem to matter when it comes to wrist and finger pain but it can increase the risk of muscle fatigue. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a good way to keep the body hydrated and help ensure that the wrists and fingers function properly.

Adjust for Proper Ergonomics

Ergonomics is a practice used to improve efficiency in the workplace by designing equipment to fit the people who use them. Ergonomics is particularly important when needing to reduce wrist and finger pain when using computers.

Adjustments should be made to the work area to ensure proper ergonomics are being followed. Some things that should be considered include:

  • Using an ergonomically designed keyboard
  • Switching your mouse to one that is a better fit for your hand
  • Adjusting your work chair and desk to accommodate your height
  • Keeping your feet flat on the floor while typing

Keep Your Fingernails Short

When the nails are long, it can affect how the fingers type on a keyboard. This in turn can strain the fingers or wrists. Keeping fingernails short helps the fingers stay in the ideal typing position.

Stretch Your Wrists and Fingers

Stretching the wrists and fingers may be one of the most beneficial ways to reduce wrist and finger pain when using the computer. Some types of stretches that have helped our Austin patients include:

  • Open and close the hand: Open the hand wide and spread the fingers, then close the hand tightly to focus on stretching the fingers.
  • Upside down hand: While either standing or sitting, extend one arm while keeping the hand open. Open your palm facing up then bend the wrist so that the fingers are pointing down. Take the opposite hand and gently press on the fingers and thumb to feel the stretch through the fingers, wrist, and forearm. Repeat with the other hand.
  • Thumb touches: Touch each finger with your thumb starting with the little finger. Hold the thumb to each finger for several seconds. Repeat with the other hand.

Contact the Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin

If you are experiencing wrist or finger pain, it may be time to see an orthopaedic specialist to figure out what's going on and what can be done to help alleviate your pain. Call our Austin office at (512) 476-2830 to schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment needs.