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Alternative Assistive Contoured




Touchpad Trackball Vertical


Ambidextrous Mouse

How do I decide which mouse to use?

Click here for some suggestions on how to experiment with alternative mice. Note: this page is under development.

Problems with a Mouse

A typical, standard mouse requires wrist and arm postures which can contribute to hand wrist and forearm irritation. Over time, this irritation can lead to discomfort or a repetitive strain injury.

The characteristics of operating a standard mouse include:
Static grip: the mouse is held, usually with the thumb on one side and the fourth and fifth digits on the other. This grip is static as it is the only way to move or stabilize the mouse. This static grip can contribute to mouse thumb pain, sometimes referred to as "mouse thumb". Standard Mouse Grip
Wrist pronation (palm down): the forearm must be turned so that the wrist is facing palm down, a position known as pronation. As with the static grip, pronation must be maintained if you want to move or click the mouse. Standard Mouse Pronation
Clicking: primarily by the index (second) finger and occasionally by the middle (third) finger. This clicking is repetitive and done while maintaining the static grip and pronation. Excessive clicking can contribute to pain in the forearm and elbow, sometimes referred to as "Tennis Elbow." Standard Mouse Click Extension
Coordination: the hand holding the mouse must be kept steady while clicking. For persons with coordination or visual acuity issues, stabilizing the mouse to select something on the screen can be very difficult. Double clicking can be even more difficult. Standard Mouse Click Flexion

Prolonged use of a mouse can give rise to all sorts of discomfort, such as:

  • Index finger pain when clicking (sometimes referred to as "mouse finger").
  • Mouse thumb pain (sometimes referred to as "mouse thumb").
  • Pain in the wrist.
  • Pain in the palm of the hand.
  • Pain in the muscles at the elbow (especially when clicking).

Surfing the Internet, navigating the computer's operating system, and manipulating documents all require a substantial amount of repetitive mouse activity. These repetitive activities can contribute to syndromes such as mouse finger pain and tennis elbow.

There are many different types of mouse alternatives that are designed to alleviate some of the postural and movement stresses described above.