Hello. This morning I've been having a go at using my mouse with my left hand to try and balance myself out a bit. During long runs I find that the sorest part of me often ends up being my shoulders, which seems ridiculous! I try to relax them as much as I can, stretch them, and give my arms a good shake every now and then. But my right shoulder will often get to the point of actual pain!

I also notice the tension a lot when I'm at my desk, so I thought I'd teach myself a bit of ambidexterity. It's hard though!

Does anyone else have a similar problem, and have any of you tried something like this?

A few years ago, in the swimming pool, I taught myself to breathe on both sides in front crawl, so I feel the mouse thing should be possible. But it is humbling - a flavour of what it must be like if you've had a major injury and are working on rehabilitation...

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15 Replies

  • Oh crab, that looks scary!

    I am naturally left handed but can - to some extent - paint (as in decorate walls) using either hand. But that's as far as my ambidexterity goes. I would not be able to use a mouse or write with "the wrong" hand. Interesting experiement though.

  • Crabs are so scary!

    That sounds handy (heh :) ) for painting.

    An annoying thing I have already noticed is that even though I'm not using my right arm, my right shoulder keeps tensing up in sympathy!

  • there are lots of different types of mouses out there for different sort's of issues, if your mouse is causing you issue's your company is under obligation to find a good alternative.

    I have tried to use my other hand to use a mouse and find it impossible but saying that i still think it is possible i am just not very good. At least you wont be drinking lots of water

    I do feel sorry for sorry for that poor little crab.

  • Ha, my company is me :) But my thought was more that with being right-handed my shoulder maybe is overworked, so if I could use the left a bit for some of the easier tasks it might help. And maybe build up my left side a bit more. Because my upper-body strength is generally lacking - I'm also bigging-up the strength training in that area. I dunno :)

    How are you, Ben?

  • oh if your company is you then don't bother with the over-priced ergonomic mouses then, but do make sure you are sitting correctly its all very boring but you must do this ergonomics.com.au/how-to-si... well thats what I tell the users at work.

    i am fine thank you, been doing lots of stretching and other dull and boring exercises to fix my knee or my quads. Found out one of the guys we did NCT with is rather good with this sort of stuff and been helping me out for free.

  • Oh, that sounds promising, I'm glad you've got some good help. Someone definitely needs to invent a way of making those stretches more fun. I am soooo good at forgetting to do them :)

    Thanks for the link, most helpful!

  • your right cant someone invent a way of stretching and running ! Unfortunately i can actually feel a difference when I do them stretches i will get a lot better sleep and given me the confidence to start extending my runs did a whole 8.5km last week which is the furthest i been since May and did 7km at lunch time today.

  • Amazing - jolly well done! I guess it doesn't really matter so much that they're boring when you get results like that.

  • your right but still boring! I want to go back to being lazy!

  • I'm in a fairly similar situation as you, roseabi, as I am also self-employed, and am completely reliant on my hands to make a living. But a long time ago, back when I was employed elsewhere, I began using a mouse with my left hand, thinking that it would prevent any problems associated with all the typing I did. It didn't take long for me to master it, but incredibly enough I ended up getting tendonitis in my left hand - in fact my index finger - of course now that I think about it, many years elapsed before that became an issue! So ambidexterity only worked in the short term, but it's nice to know that I can use a mouse with my left hand if I'm trying to juggle two tasks at once.

    About your shoulders during long runs: I try to roll my shoulders every 2-3 k or so. It looks strange, but seems to help. And I make sure that I stretch my shoulders properly after a long run. I also try to remember to sit properly, as it's really easy for me to slouch. I've stopped using an office chair with wheels, but now use a nice wooden chair with a cushion, and I've been fine.

  • Ouch, poor you :( I could feel my left hand getting pretty tired yesterday, so I'll be careful.

    Thanks for the suggestion about frequent shoulder rolls, I will give that a try!

    I've been sitting on a pilates ball on and off - I love that! Unfortunately it's not quite high enough for my desk, so I can't use it all the time. Maybe I will look at getting a bigger one at some point...

  • Wow I love that pic!!! I think we build up tension in the shoulders... do you do strengthening exercises on them? On a run it can be really hard to relax and I often find my shoulders tensing up... let us know how you get on....

  • Thanks Ju-Ju! I am indeed working on my shoulder strength, I've always been really weedy in the shoulders :)

  • I had problems with my right hand for a while. Nothing serious, but I switched over to my left hand with the mouse. Took a while to get used to it, but I did it for years and it works. Switched back last year when I changed my desk around and it was equally difficult!

  • Cool! Sounds a lot like my experience of learning to breathe on both sides in front crawl swimming - I'd struggle to go back to one-sided breathing now :)

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