The right hand of darkness
June 8, 2014 6:02 PM Subscribe
My right hand and arms have slowly been developing an ache or cramp over the last two weeks that gets worse when I use a trackpad or smartphone. (I'm right-handed.) I'm also starting a software engineering internship tomorrow. What should I do to keep my hands okay?
(Apologies if this question was already asked. I searched AskMe and found questions about RSI or wrist pain, but they described different symptoms.)
My right hand tends to develop an ache in the palm, on the side of the pinky and ring finger. It gets worse when I have to curl my hand or fingers into a clawlike shape, such as using a trackpad or smartphone. Using the keyboard on my MacBook to navigate instead of the cursor helps the symptoms a bit, since it keeps my hands straight. After typing a lot, the fleshy part above the inner elbows of both arms, sometimes up to the wrist, starts to ache.
I didn't use my laptop or phone much for the last three days to see if the symptoms would go away, but they haven't.
I currently use an iPhone and MacBook Pro (laptop) and no special equipment (standing desk, mouse, tablet, etc). I do have a Wacom tablet, which I could try instead. I don't think dictation is an option for coding, but I could be wrong.
What exercises, equipment (especially keyboards), and software (Mac-compatible) should I try? If it comes down to it, what's the right kind of doctor to see? I'm kind of alarmed because I'm starting my programming internship tomorrow and can't really take a break from typing. I hear horror stories about people losing the use of their hands, and I'd like to avoid that.