You may not give your peripherals much thought — after all, if your computer mouse does its job, do you need to change it?

When your desk work causes you pain, you need to change your environment. Swapping out your computer mouse may be the answer if you suffer from sore hands, wrists, and arms.

Keep reading to learn more about the kinds of pain a computer mouse might cause. You’ll also learn how to make simple changes to relieve soreness and discomfort that stems from mouse use.

How does a traditional mouse cause pain?

Closeup woman holding her wrist pain from using computer. Office syndrome hand pain by occupational disease.

Wrist Pronation

Our hands are not meant to sit completely flat to the desk, but are designed to have a slight angle at the wrist. Using a traditional mouse forces your hand, ever so slightly, to pronate — when your hand twists inward, in the direction of your thumb.

Although not immediately obvious, this causes tension in the muscles and joints in your hands and wrists. Over time, this can lead to strains and potentially a repetitive strain injury that requires treatment, such as Mouse Arm Syndrome, affecting the hands, arm, and shoulder.


If you spend hours at your desk every day, absorbed in work, you’re using your computer mouse for extended periods. Without sufficient breaks, this overstretches your muscles, joints, and tendons. This kind of fatigue could lead to repetitive strain injury and prolonged discomfort.

Incorrect Grip

Something as simple as gripping your mouse incorrectly could lead to soreness. Your mouse should fit your hand. Too small and your fingers and palm overhang, putting strain on your joints. Too large, and your fingers may stretch to reach the buttons.

How to Reduce Computer Mouse Pain

Although a standard computer mouse can cause health problems, you can make some simple changes to help relieve discomfort or make it go away altogether.

Take Regular Breaks

Nobody should sit at their desk for several hours without moving. Ideally, you’ll want to take frequent, regular breaks away from your desk. Going for a brisk walk, making a coffee, or doing some gentle stretching can help keep your blood flowing and your joints supple.

If you struggle to pull yourself away from work, set an alarm to go off at hourly intervals.

Position Your Mouse Close to Your Keyboard

Reaching over to use your mouse happens if it’s positioned too far away from your body. Instead, move your mouse pad close to your keyboard so you’re able to use it comfortably without overstretching. Plus, this helps aligns your shoulders and arms to avoid uncomfortable angles.

Choose an Ergonomic Mouse

A generic mouse won’t fit most people. Instead, opt for an ergonomic mouse. Choosing your favorite depends on personal preference and everybody is different. There are a few to choose from, each with the benefit of relieving the hand from pronation and stress on the joints and muscles.

  • Vertical mouse: This kind of mouse, such as the Evoluent Vertical Mouse 4, offers a 90-degree angle so the hand sits in a ‘handshake’ position. Its layout feels just like a regular mouse so there’s no steep learning curve.
  • Angled mouse: Even positioning your mousing hand at a slight angle can relax your wrist and prevent straining. The Goldtouch USB Comfort Mouse and Newtral 3 Mouse both offer a sloped design at 24 and 33 degrees, respectively.

Are you left-handed? Choose from our range of left-handed mice to experience the comfort of an ergonomic workspace.

In Summary

A traditional computer mouse makes your hand sit flat to the desk, causing wrist pronation. Long hours of computer work and an incorrect grip can lead to repetitive strain injuries and long-term pain.

Working in constant or recurring pain can disrupt your work, making you unproductive and unhappy. Plus, you may need to take time off to heal.

To combat mouse pain, ensure you take regular breaks away from your desk and try gentle hand and wrist stretches. To help keep pain and discomfort at bay in the long term, opt for an ergonomic mouse — this will help hands rest at a comfortable, natural angle so you can do better work, without pain.

If you suffer from mouse-related pain, upgrade your workspace. Shop our range of ergonomic mice.