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Pain in the little finger
Thread poster: Danil Karpov

Danil Karpov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:30
English to Russian
Jul 18, 2013

Those of you who translate (read "type") large ammount of words daily, have you had any problems with the little (or any other) finger? It's been bothering me lately, and the finger would usually recover over night. But it's now come to the point of some sort of constant pain. If you used to have something like that, have you found a remedy? Many thanks.

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:30
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Finger exercises Jul 18, 2013

I learned very early on with my mother (a professional piano player) that one should not start typing without some finger exercises and of course mother knows best...

 

LilianNekipelov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:30
Russian to English
+ ...
I did not have anything like that Jul 18, 2013

maybe because my mother was a piano player and teacher as well (just joking, although it is true), and since I am not a doctor so I cannot really give you any advice, but I think you may have to look into carpal tunnel syndrome and consult a doctor, just in case. It is a very common ailment among the people who type a lot -- even if they type on comfortable keyboards, not to mention directly on the glass (meaning screen).

 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 19:00
English to Hindi
+ ...
In my case it is the middle- and fore-finger of the right hand Jul 18, 2013

Since only the right hand is affected, I have concluded that more than the keyboard, it is holding the mouse and moving it around and clicking it that is the culprit. For all this I use the right hand, and the two said fingers are most used.

I haven't found any solution to this problem, though.

It is not exactly pain that I suffer from in these two fingers, but stiffness. It is worse in the morning, but becomes less as the day progresses.

[Edited at 2013-07-18 15:13 GMT]


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:30
Member (2008)
French to English
Check it out Jul 18, 2013

If it doesn't clear up within a few days, please have it checked out by a doctor. Pain in a finger can also be a symptom of more serious problems. Most likely not, but it should be checked.

 

Stevi  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:30
English to French
+ ...
Same over here Jul 18, 2013

Hi Danil, hi everyone,

I may also experience pain in the little finger when I complete a large project and type a lot. In these cases, all fingers ache, especially the little one as you emphasize. I think this is due to some specific shortcuts I use a lot and the use of Wordfast (and of the mouse as wrote Balasubramaniam L.).
It even happened that I could no longer type at all...
I found no cure, but resting.


 

Anna Sylvia Villegas Carvallo
Mexico
Local time: 08:30
English to Spanish
I think... Jul 18, 2013

You should place your keyboard below the line of your elbows,* letting your blood circulate freely.

*Maybe your keyboard is placed on the desk, above the line of you elbows?

This was the solution for the numbness of my right hand. I placed the mouse at the height of my hip, and it worked.

Just a suggestion.

icon_smile.gif


 

Danil Karpov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:30
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Rest indeed Jul 18, 2013

It's the left hand, and yes, it's due to the numerous shortcuts with Ctrl and Shift buttons. I started this topic because the flashing aches evolved into continuous dull pain which spreaded all around the palm. Now that made me seriosly alarmed. I will certainly check with the doctor if this sensation remains. Thanks everybody.

Stevi wrote:

Hi Danil, hi everyone,

I may also experience pain in the little finger when I complete a large project and type a lot. In these cases, all fingers ache, especially the little one as you emphasize. I think this is due to some specific shortcuts I use a lot and the use of Wordfast (and of the mouse as wrote Balasubramaniam L.).
It even happened that I could no longer type at all...
I found no cure, but resting.


 

Danil Karpov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:30
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jul 18, 2013

I'll try it. Thanks.

Carvallo wrote:

You should place your keyboard below the line of your elbows,* letting your blood circulate freely.

*Maybe your keyboard is placed on the desk, above the line of you elbows?

This was the solution for the numbness of my right hand. I placed the mouse at the height of my hip, and it worked.

Just a suggestion.

icon_smile.gif


 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:30
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Take a break every few hours Jul 18, 2013

Hi Danil,
It's not good for you sit in the same position doing the same repetitive movements for hours on end, basically the human animal isn't designed to do things that way.
Take a break every few hours and move, go out for a walk, do something physical, focus your eyes on things that are further away than the pixels on the screen.

There used to be some good tips in the older version of the HP comfort guide, check it out.
http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/ergo/index.html

If the pain in the finger is the start of tendonitis you really want to stop using your finger the way you are now so change position and habits, using other fingers or combinations, change the shortcuts or don't use them, even tape the finger to the next one to physically stop you using it on the keyboard. The only real way to stop tendonitis is to stop doing what is causing it - usually repetitive movements in awkward positions. You can get tennis elbow by using a mouse too far away for example with your arm fully (or almost) extended.
You can still use the stressed part of the body for any physical exercise that doesn't hurt, squeezing a tennis ball for example can be a great way to both warm up and work hand and forearm tendons, use enough pressure that doesn't hurt.

It can take a long time to get rid of things like this but it's basically just your body warning you you're doing something wrong that's going to get worse if you don't stop.

You don't have to stop typing, just stop using your finger the way you are now.
More good exercise - less bad stress.

[Edited at 2013-07-18 14:18 GMT]


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dictation SW Jul 18, 2013

Try speech recognition/dication software instead of typing everything. Dragon by Nuance is the best known. It helped my muscular problems.

 

Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:30
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
OSHA Recommendations... Jul 18, 2013

You may want to check the OSHA's Recommendations for Computer Workstations (check the side menu too) to see if you're typing in an adequate position (I was particularly guilty of not having my forearms in line with my wrists). Also, daily finger stretching! (I stretch my wrist/fingers before and after working prolonged hours and it's made a world of difference).

 

Danil Karpov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 20:30
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the tips Jul 19, 2013

I'll try all of your suggestions, thanks a lot!

To Jo Macdonald: Done!icon_smile.gif



[Edited at 2013-07-19 00:20 GMT]


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:30
German to English
+ ...
Kinesis keyboard Jul 19, 2013

I had (and sometimes get to the verge of having) muscle and tendon inflammation in my hands. For me it actually originated in weak muscles in my shoulders affecting my posture. Do some reading on repetitive strain injuries - it's not always carpal tunnel! But if there is nerve involvement, you for sure want to find out sooner rather than later.

What did the trick for me in the worst phase was chiropractic treatment. Massages and exercise help as well. Also this:

http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/

I have the Kinesis Contoured keyboard - the Ctrl and Alt keys are placed where your thumbs (strongest) are instead of where your pinkies (weakest) are. The keyboard is also shaped to your fingers. Expensive? Yes, but not compared to being unable to work! And the learning curve is a couple of weeks until you retrain your muscle memory.

A trackball instead of a mouse may also help. My hands get much more sore from a mouse.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2013-07-19 03:30 GMT]


 

kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:30
English
+ ...
I've had similar problems Jul 19, 2013

It's a recurrent issue with me - usually if I've been doing a lot of mouse work or intensive typing. For me, it usually involves my elbow, shoulder and neck as well, so I visit a chirpractor regularly.

If you do a lot of mouse work, switch hands. It takes a while to get used to working with the other hand, but not too long.

If you're using the same shortcuts regularly, can you map them to the function keys so that it's a single keystroke with one of your stronger fingers?

Is your workpace optimal? Make sure your monitor is at least arm's length away and that the top is at eye level. The keyboard and mouse should be just below elbow height. Ensure that your chair is also right for you, because poor posture is another factor.

Another point that a lot of doctors seem to ignore is sleep, or rather the position you sleep in. Part of my issue is due to the fact that I tend to sleep face-down, which puts strain on my neck - particularly the vertebrae around where the nerves to the hands and arms come out. I've managed to train myself to wake up when I get into that position and turn onto my side, and that has made a tremendous difference.

I've done quite a lot of reading on carpal tunnel syndrome and one other sleep-related point is that many people diagnosed with CTS tend to curl their wrists inwards while sleeping, bunching up their hands. That places additional strain on the nerves and muscles, and researchers found that wearing a splint at night which held the wrist straight in many cases eased the symptoms completely.


 
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