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caskal

Mouse causing hand wrist pain

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Hey guys,

Been working in front of a PC for 15 years and recently I started having pain on the hand wrist, wich is horrible, it extends to the arm.

I talked with a few colleages (they are mostly motion designers) and some of them told me they switched to Wacom, wich I use for Zbrush sculpting, but I don't imagine using Wacom all day as mouse, specially to plug nodes in Houdini.

Anybody has experience or any tips/solutions for this? I also saw Logitech has some Ergonomic mouses:

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Would love to hear some experiences and tips

Thanks in advance

Cheers

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I found that if my wrist was banging against a hard surface, it hurts...alot....but a simple wristpad does the job....no pain at all

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Definitely go for a wacom. I've exclusively used a wacom for houdini for a many years now and it's just wonderful, and it's a lot faster getting around and laying down nodes than with a mouse ontop of being ergonomic. If I only have a mouse I can barely get anything done and it's just tedious, I don't know how you people do it. Get a wacom.

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Second the Wacom. I moved offices recently and used a mouse for a few days b/c I was too lazy to unpack. After the second day or so I unpacked a bunch of boxes and pulled out the Wacon. You'll love it. Made for Houdini.  

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Using a tablet for a non-painting/sculpting 3d program is a PITA. As a pen makes life much easier for painting/sculpting, so does a mouse for other tasks. There's a trade-off and fully embracing one, will leave you disadvantaged in certain areas. BTW, I'm using a Wacom tablet for sculpting daily and I also have a mouse next to it, which is irreplaceable for Houdini or other 3d programs IMO.

What you need to look for is the ergonomics of your desk and chair. I've designed myself my current desk and had it produced it by a furniture shop, so that it meets exactly my needs, as opposed to buying something pre-made.

The most important thing to keep in mind is the angle between your forearm and hand, that is, to keep them at a level that allows for a natural continuity between the forearm and the hand.

Mouse or pen, won't make much of a difference if you don't have an optimal height of the platform you're resting your hands on, defined by the desk itself and the chair you're sitting on.

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yes, go for a good Wacom, takes 2-3 weeks to get used to it but after you won't go back, and it's much faster than a mouse for everything.
Sitting badly is also a source of wrist pain, try a standing desk.

 

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I use a wacom pen since the Windows 3.1/95 days when the tablet (called a "digitizer" back then) was huge (UD 1212 I think it was called, 12" x 12"), thick and clumsy as hell, the serial port a pita to set up and the driver was able to grind everything else to a halt when one moved it around quickly enough on those early PCs... ;-)

These days I have an Intuos 4 Medium. 

But yeah, no wrist or other problems at all, the pen really makes a difference and is much more natural and agile.

With the middle click on the second side button of the pen, I am using the mouse almost never, only in some weird software that doesn't deal well with the pen and shoots parameters through the roof when dragging a slider etc.. Not so many around of those anymore though.

For me using the pen never was an issue and it came naturally. But I know that for some people it does not click.
I think it partly has to do with the pasture, I hold the pen relatively upright with the index finger on the sidebutton. This way, when clicking with the tip, the pen does not slide.
I also have the tablet in front of me and the keyboard behind it, which works very well for me.
One also has to get comfortable with zooming with the available shortcuts instead of the mouse wheel, since reaching for that scroll-wheel thingy on the tablet is cumbersome.

And yeah, some things don't work so well, depending on the software. Like I always use the Tab key to open the node menu instead of the right mouseclick, since Houdini is overly sensitive to the slightest movement while clicking and one always moves a tiny bit when using the side button. But that doesn't really bother me, I find a mouse much more clumsy in many other ways.

Especially the direct positioning of the pointer to an absolute position is so much more muscle-memory friendly than the mouse shuffling.

Those alternative monster-mouse things didn't really convince me, even if they are supposed to be better for the hand - it's still moving around a brick... ;-)

I highly recommend finding solutions for the things that bother you with the pen, different settings, different pasture, different pens, tablet keys on the left or right, a different size tablet even. 
It's really worth it IMO.

Cheers,

Tom

Edit: And make sure you disable the frigging "Windows Ink" crap in the wacom driver, otherwise everything reacts like goo... ;-)

Edited by Thomas Helzle
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Hey guys,

Thanks a lot for the recommendations. @Noobini I put a cloth with cilinder shape over the weekend on my wrist and helped quite a lot. @McNistor I wish I had some custom furniture company here to make something like that, but for now I followed your advice about having the forearm at the same level as mouse desk and is also helping.

As for Wacom recommendations, I think is time to give a shot, I was holding that because I'm pretty old school, but tons of people (apart from here) already told me to switch, and I know is probably a matter of weeks (maybe less because I used mine for 8 years with zbrush), so I'll give my Intuos 4 mid a shot as mouse. 

@Thomas Helzle thanks for the tip on the Windows Ink driver, will definetly come in handy

Cheers!

Edited by caskal

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I use a wacom in combination with a evoulent verti mouse. The key is to regularly switch between the two. Also look up videos on how too setup your workstation to limit loading through your fore arms. Stretching at a regular intervals is critical. 

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I had similar problems., but I've found the ultimative Solution (my doc told me). 

Try a tennis ball and massage your forearm muscles. Sound super stupid but its awesome! there are also special massage balls for this purpose. Its worth a try!

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