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Carpal Tunnel and Hand Injuries

Has anyone been injured with carpal tunnel or other repetitive stress-related hand pain? Have you found a way to deal with it?

I work in the tech sector and two years ago got carpal tunnel very badly. I couldn’t even hold a cup of coffee. It’s only been recently that I have been able to game regularly again, and I need to use a controller to do so as holding my hand over a keyboard or clicking a mouse becomes painful after a while. The pain also limits a lot of other activities I used to enjoy.
I’ve tried several types of computer gloves without any luck.

Controller support is one of the main reasons I bought LE, as I love these types of games but haven’t been able to get my fix for a long time.

I kinda have the same problem, though not that severe. Now i only play char that doesnt have to click directly on each mob like summoners and some spellcasters, which helps a bit.

@LastBrat made a very good suggestion about a drawing table in this thread : Melee Clicking

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There’s a feature in the Windows OS that I’ve wanted to see implemented in games for years now, called Click-Lock. It’s where you hold down the left mouse button for a second or two, then release it and the computer acts like you are still holding it down, allowing you to simply move the mouse and not have to deal with repetitive clicking or causing strain by having to constantly apply pressure to the button. I use it in Minecraft mod packs all the time when having to do cobble generators, or mass sifting when the Ex-Nihilo mod is in a pack.

If this feature could be implemented for the right mouse button in this game so it acts like you’re making the character move until you hover your cursor over an enemy, at which point it switches to using the skill bound to the button, I think that would save a huge amount of stress to our fingers. Then we could just have the keyboard presses make the character use the relevant skill on those keys before going right back to the auto right-click.

I cannot understand why this hasn’t ever been a feature in click heavy games like ARPGs. MMOs have had auto-attack features for years now. It’s like devs for all other genres outside of the MMO think the carpel tunnel inducing clickfest is a necessary feature for their game to be considered good. Just because something that came from a time when such features weren’t a possibility has been in the genre for years, does not mean it should remain that way, especially if it can cause genuine health problems.

Sorry about the rant, but I really want Click-Lock to be a thing in more than just a basic OS feature. I’ve had a few days during my gaming years where playing an ARPG for 6 or more hours total caused aches in my mouse hand.

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I work in the tech industry, maybe not as long as you (15 years), and spend a lot of leisure time on my computer and I’m surprised I don’t have major issues. Started at a very young age too.

I play with one of these though on a regular basis. This might not help if you already suffer but I find it helps if I get any odd pain or stiffness in wrists or hands.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B072XS6KZY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_iicsFbGX74K9Z

Edit: Hmm it actually says it’s good for carpel but hopefully it’s not just dick advertising / marketing.

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mayby try a stick mouse,

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In all my ARPGs I bind “move” to Q (can be any button you may find good) so i can click a lot less with the mouse

It is well implemented in Last epoch, some games a bit less

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Scrolling and clicking are the big attributers to RSI. What you can do is to pick a mouse / controller that has the least possible activation force (every microswitch in there has a certain force you need to apply to activate/click it). The less force it requires, the better for your wrist. This is also the reason I use a tablet, as their activation force is far less than any mechanical switch.
Wrist position also plays a role, so those ‘vertical’ or titled mice are better, but also don’t forget your shoulders (good elbow rest on your chair and adjusted height of your desk help).

The real reason arpg games require you to click so much, and even ban players for using hardware or software (like autohotkey scripts) solutions to the rsi (and some even despise ‘passive’ playstyles like a summoner), is competition - other players complain it’s unfair if you can get away with clicking once every minute, while they do it 40 times a minute. Silly, really, but that’s what a leaderboards mechanics lead to: disqualifiying the less abled.

If scripts are allowed, you can use autohotkey to make your mouse key a ‘toggle’ instead of a momentary switch (default), I’m sure, which gives you the same ‘sticky mouse key’ feature you described.
Alternatively, you can buy/build your own programmable keyboard (I have build a few), using customizable firmware like QMK. Then, you can have keyboard keys act as mouse keys (like a right mouse button or a scroll command), or customise your own macro if you want even.

This way, you can move some/most actions to your other hand, to lighten / distribute the strain on your body.

PS. I also built a keyboard with one of the (discontinued now) Cherry MX toggle switches, which locks / unlocks mechanically on each press (mapped onto a RMB), but they are useless for typing, so unless you’re building a dedicated gaming keypad, I do not recommend them :slight_smile:

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I had cubital tunnel surgery (carpal tunnel for your elbow) a few months ago. I have to say, get the surgery sooner rather than later. I had two fingers that were completely numb and I couldn’t use to type but after a few months post surgery I’m getting feeling and usage back in those fingers. You should really go to a doctor and have them go through the options with you. You might not even need surgery.

I used a rollerball mouse when my hands were fused shut, but more recently I have been able to switch to the Steam controller, which is great. I’ve tried several carpal tunnel gloves, but they haven’t helped, which is weird because I read Amazon reviews swearing that they’re great.

I’ve been contemplating surgery. Since the injury occurred on the job, my workman’s comp sent me to a doctor, but it was a terrible experience. After talking with me for five minutes, they gave me pain killers and told me to change careers. They didn’t suggest any alternative options at all.
With high COVID levels in my area most non-essential surgery has halted anyway.

After talking with an industry veteran, I purchased an Advantage 2 ergonomic keyboard and digital foot pedals. The vet said that he refuses to type on anything else, and that the Advantage is the only reason he has been able to continue in the tech field. I’m going to hook up the pedals and use them for mouse clicks.

While I work a lot with keyboard and mouse and are gaming in my spare time, too, for me it helps a lot when the forearm is laying higher than the desk you move your mouse on. This way forearm and hand are completely straight and relaxed.

Also I’d recommend Yoga. There are a lot of very nice Yoga lessons for wrists and hands.

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Yeah, I, er, excercise my wrist & hand regularly…

That keyboard is obscenely expensive though, not that I’d balk at it if typing made my wrists hurt.

Yeah. I’m absolutely sure, you do… :corn::fist:

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I hire a bunch of nerds and all of them work out - this becomes inevitable for everyone be it either through the protests of their lower backs or wrist problems, and my persuasion (:
Not only does it avoid the common physiological ailments but if you want to be productive or effective then working out is the best thing which you can do to decrease your cortisol( stress) levels midday and drive blood to your brain. For these necessities I’ve been lifting heavy for the past 5 years every single day although in overall I’ve been lifting for 11 years.

Although I do not suffer from CTS, I get pains in my hands and fingers due to longs hours with pruning shears and age creeping up on me. It also now affects my grip and taking jar lids off can be troublesome.

I bought the Razer Tartarus V2 and for most gaming, I rarely use the keyboard with my left hand now.

It is really comfortable, especially the position of the “CTRL” key which I find awkward to use with my little finger on keyboard. The overall shape of the keypad is much more ergonomic. And it has some extra controller buttons too.

This is not an advert for them! … but I’m very glad I bought it and use it all the time now.

For the mouse, I tried to find the longest one possible and was a good game performer. so that my hand wasn’t “clawing”, felt flatter and less “grippy”.

Logitech G502 Lightspeed. Again, not an advert … it feels very comfortable.

I’ve tried wrist mats, but although the Tartarus has one built in, for me it feels very awkward under the right hand for the mouse.

For keyboard, I’ve never had anything as good and comfortable as the Roccat Vulcan … why can’t all keyboards be this nice?

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I agree, but there’s a point where pain is so high and quality of life is so low that price for a solution becomes much more negotiable. If someone said “I could stop your pain and enable you to work and pursue your hobbies freely for the price of this keyboard” I would do it. Even if surgery corrected the problem, there’s a fear of reinjury. I don’t want to resign myself to a life of razor blades running up and down my nerves.

It’s got a 100 day money back period, so I’ll be able test with it for a while and report back in this thread.

Another thing I found useful was a deep desk.

I have my elbow just off the edge of the desk, not the armrest of the chair and the forearm is fully supported, flat on the desk that way for me.