How to Avoid Mouse Hand Pain

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

A friend got mouse hand pain, and asking me for suggestion.

xah ergo mouse question 2020-04-29 35tbd
ergo mouse question 2020-04-29

Here's another person who got mouse hand pain, and asking for suggestion.

As you can tell, I am an avid gamer. But what I spend most of my time doing is work — a constant cycle of mouse → keyboard → moused keyboard… 1000s of times a day.

My wrists are on fire and I want to prevent any further damage if possible.

[from reddit mouse nerd looking for first trackball trigger]

Here is some suggestions.

How You Hold Mouse Can Cause Pain

How you hold the mouse can have major impact on hand health.

Turn on Auto Click

Turn on Mouse Hover Activate Window or Auto Click. I've been using auto click for about 11 years (since 2009).

This lets you to move cursor to a window to activate the window. Or, it'll does a click when the cursor stops moving.

This will take 2 weeks to get used to. But is extremely helpful for avoiding mouse pain. With the feature on, you almost never need to click.

You need to be persistent. Also, the delay time for the auto click should be at least 0.5 seconds.

For setup, see:

Ban Double Click

Make every thing single click.

To setup, see:

MacOS does not have single click feature. You can buy a programable mouse and program one of the button to do double click. See Mouse Reviews

Trackball, Touchpad, Drawing Tablet

Try to use a ergonomic mouse, or trackball or touchpad.

Try Left Hand

If you have bad hand pain, learn to use a mouse/trackball/touchpad on left hand. Try it for a month.

You can also have 2 pointing devices, one of left hand one of right hand. Use whichever is convenient.

Programable Keypad

Get a programable keypad. It can be 20 keys or 30 keys keypad. Program all Control Alt Cmd combinations to a single key press. Such as all shortcuts used in browser or photoshop, closing tab, switching tab, switch window, etc. This way, mouse activities of aiming and clicking becomes single key press.

[see Programable Keypad]

Holding Trackball

Note about trackball, there are similar issues about how you hold it. Bad habit can create hand pain.

For thumb trackball, many people got thumb pain due to moving thumb too much. Try to not move your fingers or wrist, but use whole hand to move ball, so reducing thumb movement.

For fingertip trackball, you are prone to have same issue as mouse, namely, pronation. (palm down) Solution is, again, try to use trackball while palm is 30 degree. And when not actively actually using it, don't touch the trackball.


If using a trackpad, make it touch to click.

Problem with Verticle Mouse

With verticle mouse, when you press the button, now you have to exert force. Before, you just press down, but now, you have to squeeze it, with your thumb. This creates stress.

So, i don't recommend mouse that's too verticle.

Ergonomic Mouses

rsi shitposting pepe 2020-04-05 hrwsp-s210x297
How to Avoid Mouse Hand Pain
Logitech MX Ergo Trackball cMgdp3-s250
Logitech MX Ergo
Logitech MX Ergonomic Mouse sj7nx
Logitech MX
trelc verticle mouse j2q3y-s197x316
vertical gaming
Evoluent VerticalMouse right-hand 2015-s276x226
Microsoft sculpt ergonomic mouse 23464-s242x258
Microsoft Sculpt 6000
Contour Mouse ybvcf-s263x238
contour unimouse 1e0e8-s342x183
Contour Unimouse
3m ergonomic mouse stick gnbps-s236x265
3M Ergonomic Mouse Stick
contour roller mouse red 824cf-s501x125
Contour Roller
Huion H640P drawing tablet 20190201 wkwct-s-s289x217
Drawing Tablet
SpaceNavigator 68024-s252x248

How to Chose a Mouse

Typing Habits, Repetitive Strain Injury

Habit, Injury

Mouse Pain

emacs, vi, RSI