How to Avoid Mouse Hand Pain

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Someone got hand pain with mouse, and is looking for trackball suggestions.

reddit mouse nerd looking for first trackball trigger

here's some suggestions.

Ban Double Click

Ban double click. Make every thing single click.

You can set this in Microsoft and Linux, but not on Mac easily.

[see Linux: Set Mouse Single-Click to Open File]

Turn on Auto Click

Turn on auto click. (usually called dwell. It's usually a preference in disabilities panel.) Note, this will take 2 weeks to get used to. You need to be persistent. Also, setting on how long it clicks is critical. The delay time (dwell time) should be at least 0.5 seconds.

Also, different operating system's autoclick feature differs in usability.

MacOS is best.

On linux, it's separate into hover activate window and the actual dwell (autoclick). If you have autoclick on, then you don't need hover activate window. Only one of them should be on.

On Windows, before win 10, you can have hover activate window. But that's removed from window 10's GUI. I haven't explored autoclick on Windows.

I have detailed articles about them


About scrolling, logitech's spin wheel is essential to me. I see you have Logitech MX Master Mouse , which has spin wheel. Did you not like it? if you go with trackball, the scroll mechanism on trackball pretty much all sucks. (especially those opinion about holding one of the key and roll the ball. That's worst.)

[see Mouse with Spin Wheel]

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 Keypads]

Program Keys to Do Click

If you have lots extra keys on your programable keyboard or keypad, make some of the keys do left/middle/right click. So, one hand on mouse/trackball, the other hand on the keypad.

Not many programable keyboard or keypad can program key to do mouse click.

The following keyboards can program key to do mouse click:

(but if you have autoclick on, basically i never click now.)

How You Hold Mouse Can Cause Pain

About mouse, one thing causing Repetitive Strain Injury is how you hold it. (applies to keyboard too, on how you press keys) Best to use claw grip, and almost don't touch the mouse. Just nudge it. There are also vertical mouse you can try.

[see Ergonomic Mouse]

Trackball vs Mouse

About trackball vs mouse, there's no universal agreement on which is more ergonomic. Some people get pain from using trackball. But, since you haven't tried trackball before and is having pain with mouse now, it's always good to change device.

[see Trackball vs Mouse, How to Choose Trackball]

Best Trackball?

About trackball, also, no universal agreement on which is most ergonomic. Some prefer long finger ball, some prefer thumb. And of the various models, it actually depends on the person.

e.g. i've read almost all comments, reviews, about them. Some, prefer kensington expert, some slimblade, some ltrac, some elecome huge. logitech came out with logitech mx ergo recently. I think it's worth checking out. Also, there's a new elecom deft pro coming out next week on amazon.

But basically, you have to have used one of them for some time to know which is best FOR YOU.

On my site i have reviews and opinions on all these devices, you might find useful.

[see Best Trackballs, Xah's Pick]

If you have a question, put $5 at patreon and message me.