The pain relieving expert is asked: Very often, when I click the computer mouse, I have pain in my arm and the pain sometimes goes up to my shoulder and neck. And that happens several times a week. Do you have any ideas?
“Sounds like the so-called “mouse arm syndrome.”
The what? “Mouse arm syndrome”? There’s a name for that?
“When is a name invented for something? When it occurs very often. Right? So obviously it happens more often.”
And where does that come from?
“Constant overload when working with a computer mouse and keyboard. Countless movements repeated daily add up in the week, in the month, over years – eventually to a pain. The combination of one-sided movement patterns, unnatural posture and stress then often ends up in what you have described. The pain does not always occur only in the forearm, but often also in the fingers, wrists and elbows. “
I once had “tendovaginitis”, in my hand. Can that be counted as well?
“Yes. Imagine that, an inflammation due to overstraining by clicking too much on a plastic part. “
Is it also possible that the pain you have can’t always be seen on an X-ray or MRI, or that the doctor simply can’t find a cause?
“Exactly. Only about 10% of specific complaints show physical findings, so they can be detected adadurch. For about 90%, no physical symptoms can be diagnosed. But the pain is still there. That´s a problem, isn´t it?”
And where does the pain come from?
“The constant clicking of the computer mouse and typing on the keyboard causes the flexor muscles on the inside of the arm to be constantly activated, while the counterpart, the arm extensor, is not subjected to any strain. Have you ever counted how many keystrokes are made on a keyboard per day? Up to 80,000. x 5 days a week x 50 weeks a year x 5-10 years. That adds up to a lot.”
And what is the result of that?
“The muscles and fascia adapt to the monotonous movement pattern and become completely unyielding. Whereas before they were elastic and allowed a wide range of movement, now they resemble a wool jumper that has been washed too hot: tense, hardened and inflexible. “
“As a result, the metabolism around the wrist comes to a standstill, inflammation develops and mobility decreases. When one side slackens, the other has to work all the harder. The resulting over-tension then literally pulls at the wrist, the tendons and the cartilage. If the tensions are too great, the joint surfaces press against each other so hard that inflammation and swelling of the tendons or tendon sheaths occur.”
And what can be done?
“Make an appointment, that’s the quickest way. Slower, but also works, is to re-stretch and learn to properly target the fibres and muscles that have been neglected over the years.”