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Cut Down on Wrist Pain with a Vertical Mouse

Read Time: 2 min

Is your mouse causing you wrist pain?

When I share resources for writers here, they're usually along the lines of e-books or other downloads. But today I want to recommend something different -- a new mouse that's ideal for those long hours we writers can spend in front of our computers. More specifically, let's look at vertical mice.

I didn't even know what a vertical mouse was until Anne Wayman mentioned them on her About Writing Squared forum. I looked it up, thought they looked interesting, but didn't see a need.

Why I Switched to a Vertical Mouse

Wouldn't you know it? Just a few weeks later, my right wrist started to hurt. I noticed it got worse the more I used my mouse (not sure if I was using it more or if there was another reason for the sudden pain that didn't exist before).

Then, a couple of weeks after that, my mouse started to die. It didn't seem as sensitive anymore, it burned through batteries like crazy -- every two days or so, and the scroll wheel completely stopped working.

It was time for a new mouse.

I decided to give a vertical mouse a try. I went for the least expensive wireless model, expecting to hate the bulkier style and figuring I'd order another "normal" mouse right away anyway. I went with an Anker model that runs around $20.

Much to my surprise, I love it. It really does keep your hand and wrist in a more natural position. And instead of your wrist moving side-to-side (such as when your palm faces downwards on a normal mouse), it bends the way it's supposed to.

I'm not going to say it's perfect. But it's a keeper for now. And when I'm ready for another new mouse, I'll try a few other vertical models and find one that's an even better fit for me. For now? No more wrist pain!

Do any of you use vertical mice? If so, have they helped you in any way? What models do you recommend? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Latest posts by Jennifer Mattern (see all)

25 thoughts on “Cut Down on Wrist Pain with a Vertical Mouse”

  1. Seems counterintuitive but when I lift my mouse to the angle it appears in the picture, I can see what you mean.

    In my corporate days, I had a coworker who was a ergonomics specialist and he explained how the side-to-side motion is what causes the problem. How you need to create the motion from the shoulder. He also said the mouse pads with rests were actually bad for the wrist.

    I may have to give this a try. Thanks, Jenn. Let us know how your little experiment goes. 😉

    Reply
  2. Wow, it’s really cool. I also have problems with my wrist pain. But I couldn’t even imagine that such mouse exists. Thank’s Jennifer for advice 🙂

    Reply
  3. Thanks Jenn for sharing the information about the vertical mouse. I had no idea one existed. My mouse is okay. But I’d like to try the vertical mouse. I’d also like to get a new mouse pad. The one I have has a pad on it, however, it’s indented from my wrist. 🙂 Time for a new one.

    Reply
  4. Now THIS is a subject that’s worth talking about. I bought an Anker after my first Evoluent mouse started having cord issues, but I went and bought another Evoluent right after.

    The Anker mouse is not as vertical for one, and the hand and wrist still felt tense when I used it.

    This probably won’t make much sense to anyone, unless you’ve been down the De Quervain or Tendinitis road already — and have also had surgery on top of that.

    However, I do recommend the Evoluent mouse to anyone looking for an ergonomic solution, or to those having pain in the wrists. It’s pricier than the Anker mouse (or many other cheaper alternatives), but it’s worth every penny; it has both a right- and left-handed version, too.

    As a last note, whatever your mouse option, make sure you keep your elbow at a 90 degree angle with your desk. As writers, it’s so easy to neglect these things, but at the end of the day, it makes all the difference.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your recommendation Ralitsa. I’ll keep that brand in mind should I need to replace this one in the future. I did initially feel like I was tense using the mouse, but I found it was because I kept letting my hand slide up it — so I was gripping tighter to maintain control and going back to bad habits with side-to-side movement of my wrist. But once I realized what I was doing wrong, it was an easy fix, and it didn’t take as long as I thought it would to get used to it. 🙂

      From what I’ve read about them it sounds like the size of your vertical mouse can be extremely important. Some brands even make the same mouse in multiple sizes so you get the right fit. Just another thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting one. 🙂

      Reply
      • It’s my pleasure, Jennifer! Thank YOU for bringing this up. 🙂

        It’s a great idea to pay extra attention to those details, so you’re a bit more conscious of what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it.

        The size issue is very important, too, so thanks for bringing it up. 🙂

        Reply
  5. Between writing, writing lessons, e-mail to students, teaching on-line classes and creating powerpoints for classes, I live on my computer. I found that a trackball was the perfect solution. It minimizes movement to zero, takes up on space except that which it sits on and has the advantage of leaving your hand in a natural curled position. You can operate the trackball using your thumb or rotating your wrist.

    Reply
    • I’ve never been comfortable with trackball mice, but I’m glad you found a solution that works well for you. 🙂 Someone responded to the post via email saying they get around the wrist pain by using their laptop’s touchpad. It’s nice that we have so many options these days. 🙂

      Reply
    • Does it hurt because of typing? If so, maybe your wrists are just on a bad angle. Try to keep your elbows 90 degrees with your desk top. If you’re using a laptop, sometimes it’s best to use a separate keyboard for it (what I have to do with my standing desk to keep the monitor in the right spot to avoid hunching and back pain). With any luck it’ll be a simple fix like that.

      Reply
  6. Hello Jennifer,
    This is the first time I’m hearing about Vertical Mouse and it seems to be a very amazing mouse.

    Yes, i do feel that write pain sometimes when I’ve stayed on the computer for a very long time and I’m happy to hear that there’s a solution to that :).

    I will look up Vertical Mouse immediately.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  7. Normally I work for long hours on my computer. Which created irresistable pains on my wrist. On reading this article I shifted to vertical mouse which is much more comfortable than a ordinary mouse. Thank you Jennifer for sharing this relevant information. You solved my problem.

    Reply
    • I’m glad to hear it helped Ankit. 🙂

      As a quick follow-up, I got an even more vertical mouse around Christmas. While I like it, I find myself going back to the Anker most of the time. Much to my surprise it’s more comfortable for me. So test a few models if you can to see what shape and size work best for each of you.

      Reply
  8. Hey Jennifer, it was a healthy insight you shared here. What you recommend for Mac users? I’ve started feeling a weird sensation in my finger tips, probably because of overuse of the trackpad. 🙁

    Reply
    • Hi Priya,

      I’m not a Mac user, so I don’t have experience with anything I can recommend. All I can suggest is searching for Mac-compatible vertical mice (or other ergonomic mice). It looks like Evoluent makes some, but I can’t speak to their quality.

      Reply
    • Thanks for the recommendation John. Oddly, I went to a better one (don’t have it in here now so can’t check which it was). It was more vertical than the Anker, and I thought it would be better. But I found it oddly exhausting to use and left my wrist aching. So back to the Anker I went. And I seem to like it even more after trying the other. I’ll have to keep testing them until I find a perfect fit, but so far so good!

      Reply
  9. Hi Jennifer, An amazing post.
    I have been having wrist pain from an year and recently switched to vertical mouse. Oh Boy! it is the best decision I took till date and using a vertical mouse is so much fun.

    Reply

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