If you have conditions that affect your hands or wrists, such as arthritis, tendinitis, or carpal tunnel, and work at the computer, you likely find each day is a struggle. Investing in strategies to take the strain off your hands and wrists can help you continue working longer.
Invest In Dictation Software
Many people with hand or wrist problems avoid dictation software because it often feels more laborious to train the software to recognize your voice than it would be to type as normal. Although the upfront effort can be significant, you will find it becomes easier to use dictation software over time, and your hands will appreciate the much-needed break.
Although some operating systems come with a built-in dictation program, these are often less accurate than investing in separate software. Find software packages with generally good reviews, even if they are more expensive. Remember, your dictation software is only as good as the microphone you use. Invest in a quality headset that eliminates background noise. Extra features that improve audio quality will translate into more accurate dictation.
Have The Right Desk Set-up
Simple modifications can reduce strain on your hands and wrists while typing. For example, make sure the keyboard is at an appropriate height for your needs. To find a good typing position, you may need to adjust the height of your chair and/or desk. Other options can include adding a pad under your keyboard if you need to raise the height. Keyboard gel pads are helpful for reducing pressure on your wrists as they rest in front of the keyboard.
If you find simple changes are not effective at reducing pain, you might consider investing in a different keyboard. Since keyboards come in infinite sizes and layouts, going into a store and trying out different keyboards might result in less pain. If you currently use a laptop, you can often utilize a separate keyboard by plugging it into a USB slot or connecting it wirelessly.
Incorporate More Breaks
You may need more breaks away from the computer when you have hand and wrist problems. Depending on the severity of your problems, set a timer and allocate 30 minutes to an hour for your work before taking a 15-minute break. During your break, do hand and wrist exercises, such as bending and stretching your fingers and flexing your wrists in different directions. You may also want to massage your hands.
If there are any other strategies that help reduce pain or swelling, such as using heat or cold, this is a good time for a quick treatment. Intermittently icing your hands or applying hand warmers can help you get through your next typing session and may reduce significant swelling at the end of the day.
Dealing with hand and/or wrist problems when you have a job that involves typing can impede productivity and make getting through the day seem impossible. A few modifications can make your days less daunting and possibly prevent exacerbation of your current problems.
For more information, contact a professional in your area like those found at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, P.C.