This is a great hindrance for me when typing, and I type a lot everyday. I am searching for some tips to avoid the stiffness on my hands.
Stiffness and pain of the fingers, hands, and wrists can be caused by different types of arthritis. The pain or stiffness can worsen in intensity whenever you perform repetitive tasks. This includes typing.
One of the best ways to prevent this kind of stiffness or pain is by doing regular hand exercises. These exercises will keep the joints flexible and will relieve pain. You should also keep your fingernails trimmed short and properly manicured, as long nails can interfere with good wrist positioning.
And if a doctor’s ruled out arthritis or any other medical issue, you might need to look at other factors. Are you sitting with a correct posture? Does your keyboard feel comfortable? Maybe your mouse is ill-fitting in your hand. There are a plethora of things that could cause the stiffness, and so the solutions will also vary.
Community Associate at Typesy
Pain and or numbness is definitely your body warning you, so make sure to listen! As frustrating as it may be to encounter these issues when trying to learn typing, it is very important that you be careful to avoid long term damage that may come from pushing through your symptoms.
As with any physical movement, too much can cause strain. You should never be typing long enough to cause issues, but there are ways to reduce risk. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Shoulders should be relaxed and elbows bent no tighter than 90°. Always check that you are holding your wrists in a neutral position, with the thumb running parallel to the forearm, the wrist bending only slightly upwards. If your wrists are hitting the keyboard or desk, reposition. Wrist pads may come in handy when it’s time to rest, but their presence may entice you to develop bad posture when typing. Many detached keyboards have extendable legs, too, but it actually makes more ergonomic sense to keep keyboards flat against the surface of the desk. Having the keyboard tipped up or having a wrist pad may cause you to angle your wrists too harshly.
Repeated misuse of the keyboard with any typing method may lead to discomfort and should be avoided. Always practice healthy habits like taking typing breaks and stretching hands and fingers.
I suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my right wrist. When it flares up, due to over activity, typing can certainly become uncomfortable. CTS is a relatively common condition that presents as pain, tingling, or full numbness in the hands and arms caused by the nerves running along the arm being squeezed. Whenever I can start to feel a flare up coming on, I simply wear a wrist brace for a few days. A metal bar in the brace keeps my wrist in a neutral position. Giving my wrist a break from movement for a couple of days always seems to take care of the problem. I’ll sometimes wear the brace preemptively as well, if I know I will be moving my hands and arms a lot, like, if I know I’m in for a long day of typing.
Hope that is helpful!
Alex (The Reimagined Classroom Teacher)