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Reducing wrist pain with proper ergonomics

When I started working at Rose Physical Therapy it took me about 2 weeks to get a burning aching, sensation in my wrist. This wrist pain, which was right under my palm, was annoying and uncomfortable. I knew right away my desk and computer set up needed a face lift.

As physical therapists we are often asking clients to self-reflect about different aspects of their workstation, an ergonomic works set up is crucial for limiting pain such as lower back, neck, and wrist pain. Repetitive stresses due to an uncomfortable workstation can have long lasting effects and need to be addressed, this simple repetitive wrist pain can even be a precursor to carpal tunnel syndrome.

So, here are simple ergonomic adjustments that can reduce or prevent wrist pain:

  1. Getting an external mouse
  2. External Keyboard
  3. Neutralize your wrists
  4. Examine your Posture

Using a finger pad and internal keyboard/touchscreen can create stress and strain on your wrist and fingers. But, using a mouse and external keyboard are quick fixes that can reduce the stress and therefore reduce your discomfort.

Neutral wrists are also crucial for limiting your wrist pain. Take a second to look at how your wrists are positioned, are they bent or arched back? They should be almost flat. When I had wrist pain, my keyboard was WAY too high. Simply lowering my desk made a quick difference.


Posture ties in with wrist position. Imagine you have a string tied from your head to the ceiling and pull the string. Your shoulders should be relaxed and pulled back, and elbows bent to 90. The goal is to combine this posture with neutral wrists. This position will optimize your workstation and minimizes your risk of injury.

Changing these simple things had a huge impact for me and can be truly effective for limiting pain. However, this post does not include every aspect of workspace ergonomics. For more information please call Rose Physical Therapy Group to make an appointment, we would be glad to further assess your individual needs.