Why do people become poor

Mouse arm: when every click hurts

Parasitic sensations in the hand or arm, loss of strength or pain in the wrist, which used to be the "secretary's disease", is now called mouse arm and is affecting more and more people due to increasing computer work. But that can be prevented.

Those who keep performing the same movements over a long period of time often suffer from the so-called RSI syndrome (Repetitive Strain Injuries), which also includes the popularly known mouse or tennis elbow. The cause of the complaints are muscle cramps, which arise from the one-sided and constantly repetitive permanent load. This can result in the smallest injuries in the muscles, which can lead to sharp pain in the wrist and forearm.

“Pain associated with RSI syndrome does not usually arise suddenly. They are often preceded by a slight tug or a tingling sensation in the hand, wrist, forearm or fingers, ”explains Klaus Möhlendick, a qualified sports scientist at Barmer. The problems initially only exist during the execution of the triggering movement, for example when typing on the keyboard. “If you ignore the first symptoms of RSI syndrome, you run the risk of them becoming chronic and appearing in other areas of life. It can also lead to inflammation of the bursa or tendon sheath, ”warns the expert. It makes sense to go to the doctor even if you have minor complaints. Depending on how advanced the problems are, the doctor may prescribe temporary pain relievers and muscle relaxants. In addition, protection and warmth, for example with an infrared lamp, help to alleviate the symptoms. Physiotherapy can help relax cramped muscles.

Effective prevention

It is better not to let it get that far in the first place. “Anyone who notices that the same movements cause health problems should try to change these monotonous processes and develop new movement strategies. Because once the complaints are there, it is difficult to get rid of them if you do not change your movement behavior at the same time, ”says Möhlendick. This requires a certain amount of getting used to, which is often worthwhile. For example, there are also keyboard shortcuts for some mouse commands. If you do an activity that requires you to scroll with the mouse for a long time, you can turn the wheel with a hanging arm instead of resting your hand on the table. It is particularly helpful to change the sitting posture more frequently or to put different loads on the legs, i.e. to work dynamically overall. Breaks and small stretching exercises such as shoulders or head circles are important in order to interrupt the monotonous movements from time to time. An ergonomically designed office workstation can also prevent complaints. This includes, for example, an office chair that promotes back-friendly, active sitting, or a mouse and keyboard that is adapted to the natural hand position.