Keyboard and Mouse questions

cathyb
cathyb Member Posts: 4
Hi

I've got OA in my fingers and finding working all day on computers is getting painful. Has anyone found that adapted keyboards or mice have helped? Is there any particular one that is a good investment?

I'm new to this website (and forums generally) so it would be great to hear back from someone.

thanks very much
Cathyb

Comments

  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Cathy
    I work in an office but am lucky that I don't yet need adapted keyboard or a mouse. I believe you can get these. Speak to your Line Manager/boss who should be able to help you track these down. Under the DDA Act (or now the Equality Act I believe) your employer has a responsibility to provide these for you as they'd be classed as "reasonable adaptations".
    You could always ask at your local Job Centre to speak to their Disability Adviser there about aids. Or Access to Work might be able to fund these?
    Make sure your work station is assessed so that everything is correctly positioned for you - someone else needs to do that for you/with you. I'm sure you're already having regular breaks from the keyboard, I understand the current advice is 10 minutes away from the keyboard/screen every 30 minutes or so. However, you can use that time for other duties, post, filing, copying, printing etc. Talk to your Line Manager/boss on a regular basis - be open and honest.
    I'm extremely lucky with my place of work; they're very supportive. As my main manager has OA in her hands/wrists she does the leg work and I do the hand work (I've got OA all weight bearing joints). We joke that between us we make up one whole "good" body!
    Take care,
    Grace
    Lastly, welcome to the Forum. Sometimes it's better to post questions on the "Living with Arthritis" forum as that's usually the more popular one with members.
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • Rallymad
    Rallymad Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Def speak to your boss, I had a desk assessment done in my office, now have ergonomic keyboard which is split into left hand and right hand, not bothered with the mouse although you can get all sorts. Make sure your PC screen is at right height also, I use a few PC's in our office and have had to lift them up to the most comfortable view height by using box files lol.
    If you are requesting help that is not unreasonable to keep you working at your desk.
    Arlene x
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Rallymad wrote:
    Def speak to your boss, I had a desk assessment done in my office, now have ergonomic keyboard which is split into left hand and right hand, not bothered with the mouse although you can get all sorts. Make sure your PC screen is at right height also, I use a few PC's in our office and have had to lift them up to the most comfortable view height by using box files lol.
    If you are requesting help that is not unreasonable to keep you working at your desk.
    Arlene x


    you should get a monitor stand would be safer than box files ????
    val
  • kittymedaughter
    kittymedaughter Member Posts: 81
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I applied for Access to Work, they came in and did a desk assessment, work assessment. They recommended a ergonomic keyboard and a roller mouse, I also had a special chair with lumber support, which reclines when my neck feels heavy, i can recline it every now and again to ease the pressure, the recommended a work rota allowing me extra breaks away from my normal duties...They also give me funds towards taxis to and from work which have been a godsend

    I would defo give Access to Work a ring and see if they can come in and help you out, it has allowed me to continue to work for the last 9 years and i dont have to wear my wrist splints as often as i used to

    Good luck
  • yy2428
    yy2428 Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    There's a touchless keyboard at http://www.lightio.com that is designed specifically for hands with arthritis to use. You can type with any stick or finger without force and pain. It's pretty fast too.
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,
    welcome aboard! Occ health recommended that my employers (I teach) provided speech activated software for my computer. It takes a bit of getting used to but is good when the hands/wrists are painful.

    Deb
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have to use a mouse for large amounts of time doing graphical work, I used to cause myself untold pain and damage until I found the wonders of a trackerball. It takes a few days to get used to but it requires a lot less movement from your hands, wrists and fingers. I've used one for about 4 years now and the difference to a mouse is unbelievable, I can keep going much longer and don't end up with those mega painful hands at the end of the day.
    Hey little fighter, things will get brighter
  • mrsshazbat
    mrsshazbat Member Posts: 61
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi I'm reasonably new to the forum (posted once before I think)

    I've just requested a work re-assessment due to acute pain in my right hand (and as luck would have it, I'm right-handed) from my PA. I already have an ergonomic mouse (although I think I'm too used to it now), see-through document holder in front of my monitor, headset adapter for my phone (although I don't use it any more), super-duper expensive chair with lumbar support and which also reclines/rocks, etc., all originally because I was very prone to RSI. I'm also hypermobile. I turned down the ergonomic keyboard because I couldn't get on with it - unfortunately I'm anal about accuracy and I made too many typos and also lost the ability to touch-type after 34 years (from a very young age). After a work assessment, an outside agency came in and did a further assessment which is how I ended up with all the kit.

    Now I've hit 40, the RSI has become PA and most days everything aches from the neck down. My thumbs have been painful and/or swollen for some time; the left one is just swollen so makes it difficult to grip anything. The right one is its normal size/appearance but incredibly painful and the pain radiates through my hand and down my wrist. I also have tennis elbow in the left one, a very painful right shoulder (which I'm assuming is also the arthritis), lower back pain (20-year-old coccyx injury) hips, sciatic nerve and knee pain. I've also been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid this year. I can't do much more than wear a wrist brace with a splint for my thumb but again this affects my typing/writing abilities to the point where I usually take it off. I also spend a lot of time on the PC or laptop at home where I don't have all the special equipment (but then I'm not on it for 7.5 hours at a time) and I like sewing. Not great hobbies right now.

    I haven't had any time off work with the pain because it doesn't seem sufficient reason (by comparison, my husband just had 8 months off undergoing treatment for bladder cancer). I know that sounds daft, but becuase people know I spend a lot of time online/social networking, etc., at home it seems a bit hypocritical to take time off work doing it. I'm one of those people who just tends to carry on as normal.

    I'm sure there won't be any difficulty with work updating my assessment and getting me the aids I need to get me through the day. I used to be a workstation assessor so I know what's what but I never thought of perhaps seeing Occy Health (although getting an appointment is a nightmare - when I had plantar fasciitis for 12 weeks or so, I had to see them about the possibility of a temporary parking permit to allow me to park on campus, and by the time I saw them, I'd been given Tramadol and it cleared up overnight!)
  • Rallymad
    Rallymad Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    you should get a monitor stand would be safer than box files ????[/quote]

    I have a monitor stand Val but it isnt high enough!
  • mrsshazbat
    mrsshazbat Member Posts: 61
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had my workstation reassessment on Friday and they're going to give me a couple of different mice to work with, for when my ergonomic vertical mouse is too awkward to use. They're also going to look at a narrower table for my monitor to stand on, so that my doc holder isn't pushed out so far and gives me more room to work with.
  • howellandrew
    howellandrew Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    yy2428 wrote:
    There's a touchless keyboard at http://www.lightio.com that is designed specifically for hands with arthritis to use. You can type with any stick or finger without force and pain. It's pretty fast too.

    That's right. Touchless keyboard relief from finger pains and very useful for arthritis patient.
  • DebraKelly
    DebraKelly Member Posts: 398
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I also had an assessment done at work and got a special chair, mouse and keyboard.

    The mouse I have is a penguin mouse and it almost like a joystick, its really easy to use and I no longer have pain in my hand.

    You can get them from a website called posturite.

    Hope this helps.
  • mrsshazbat
    mrsshazbat Member Posts: 61
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well I think it's safe to say that the painkillers really aren't doing their job. I'm not sure whether it's part and parcel of my thyroid problem worsening, the weather, or what. I've got a GP appointment on Wednesday for my latest thyroid blood test results and, now that I've triggered the limit for absence at work after a recent bad back episode, talk about the pain I'm experiencing. Most mornings it's off the scale and as it's at least 10am before I get to take a painkiller with/after food, getting dressed and even driving are getting beyond difficult.

    And as carpal tunnel syndrome is a side effect of thyroid treatment, I don't know whether it's arthritis, CTS, or both for good measure! They suggested another assessment of my desk, but I've just had one so I can't really see the point. The mouse I'm now using is fine and doesn't cause me any pain as I'm not putting any pressure on my hand, but if I need to readjust myself in my chair or get up out of it, I just can't put any pressure on my right hand at all. My car has power-steering and a chunky steering wheel, but turning on full left lock in particular is really difficult. I can't grip it at all with my thumb first thing in a morning.
  • ShulaArcher
    ShulaArcher Member Posts: 174
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello

    I've recently had to resign from a job which I loved because of my painful hands/wrists due to osteoarthritis. It's possible that I won't be able to work again. It's ironic that I used to teach ICT and I used to start every September by teaching my students how important it was to make sure they were not using a computer for too long without a break, making sure the equipment and working environment were correct, etc. I didn't always follow my own advice. I'm now using voice recognition software almost all the time.

    Don't be like me!

    Shula
  • mrsshazbat
    mrsshazbat Member Posts: 61
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've been referred for blood tests and x-rays to investigate what's going on with the hands/wrists. As well as continuing the painkillers, and now they've given me the tablets to protect my stomach from the Diclofenac. Oh joy.
  • mrsshazbat
    mrsshazbat Member Posts: 61
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    zeeshan11 wrote:
    You could always ask at your local Job Center to speak to their Disability Adviser there about aids. Or Access to Work might be able to fund these?
    Make sure your work station is assessed so that everything is correctly positioned for you - someone else needs to do that for you/with you. I'm sure you're already having regular breaks from the keyboard, I understand the current advice is 10 minutes away from the keyboard/screen every 30 minutes or so. However, you can use that time for other duties, post, filing, copying, printing etc. Talk to your Line Manager/boss on a regular basis - be open and honest.

    I've already been assessed and had stuff provided for me thru Access to Work (not least a £1000 chair) and I used to be a workstation assessor, so unfortunately I've got all that sort of stuff programmed into me!