How I taught myself to use my mouse left handed

Introduction

If you’re a desk worker and right handed like me, eventually you will start to develop a pain in your right hand.  At first I thought it was carpal tunnel, but that’s on the hand.  My pain was near my forearm.  Whether it was carpal tunnel or another issue, the fact was that I’d experience pain in my right arm after an hour or so of using the mouse.  I tried to buy trackballs but still had pain.  I thought about a joystick mouse that a coworker had, but I figured that’d just lead to shoulder pain.  Plus I didn’t want to buy a joystick mouse for both at home and at work.  My cheap and easy solution – train my brain to use the mouse with my left hand!

 

The first week

So what did I do?  I just moved my mouse to the left side of the keyboard and used my left hand to move the mouse.  I did NOT invert the buttons just because like I said, I didn’t want to do that for every computer I’d use in the future.  This meant I’d use the middle finger on my left hand for a “left click” and the index finger as the “right click.”   The first week was tough, especially since I work on spreadsheets all day.  I could move the mouse around the monitor, but clicking on items wasn’t easy.  Trying to click and drag was nearly impossible.  Highlighting multiple cells was definitely impossible!  I also moved the mouse to the left on my home computer as well to give me more “practice.”

 

After a month

For the entire month, I didn’t give up though.  Eventually I could navigate around Windows just fine with my left hand.  When I had to do rigorous things in Excel, I moved the mouse back to the right side.  The funny thing was even after a few minutes with my right hand, the pain would come back.  It was either use my left hand or get immediate pain in my right.

 

As time goes on

As time passed, I found myself no longer needing to move my mouse back to my right hand for Excel.  Eventually I never moved it at all except when my coworkers would need to use my mouse.  It’s been over a year now and it feels more foreign to go back to using the mouse with my right hand.  I no longer have pain in my right hand and hopefully no pain in my left hand for a while.

 

 

 

  • Carl Pietrantonio

    Sure sounds like a type of Carpal Tunnel though ion your right hand, or possibly a more generalized type of tendonitis. Just curious if you ever asked your doc about it.

    I had very similar problems and built a “sideways” desk extension so my arm hung down and I used the mouse on an almost vertical surface next to me. This way my arm hung down normally from the shoulder and I moved the mouse with arm and wrist moves rather than just wrist. That helped a lot too.

    I did try left handing, but like my father before me, no eventual coordination resulted that was worth the immense hassle. When/if you do try right handing the mouse, maybe try that vertical desk thing for it. I made mine out of a really stiff cardboard triangle so it sat on the floor next to me.

    Just a thought!

    • Miles per Day

      Carl, yeah def either CP or tendonitis. Either way, I had to do something. The cheapest way was to move it to the left hand, which is working well. You just have to keep chugging at it.

      • Carl Pietrantonio

        Oh, yeah, if it worked for you that is great. I admit I was kinda surprised you didn’t go for a left handed mouse though. Or reset the mouse for left handed use. But hey, as long as what works for you, that is what matters.

        By the way, been meaning to mention I like the mix of posts from selling to PC usage to reviews, etc. (hopefully no more shut down posts!) Good way to mix it up. One of my favorite emails from the community every day. Thanks!

  • disqus_l7GXsYbTLi

    that’s impressive