With the amount of work done on computers daily increasing year after year, it seems that wrist pain from typing has also increased. It begins with tingling and numbness in hand and can progress to the point that people may need to quit working or even undergo surgery. Fortunately, wrist pain from typing on a laptop is avoidable with a few tiny changes. Learning the proper strategies to preserve wrist health is essential, whether at work or home. Read on to learn how to avoid wrist discomfort and pain caused by extended hours of computer work.

Why Does My Wrist Hurt When Typing?

Wrist discomfort can be caused by a variety of medical conditions and injuries. If typing causes pain in your wrists, you most certainly have an injury or condition that’s worsened by your routines. Allow your wrist to rest for a few minutes to see if the pain goes away. If it doesn't help, look into particular causes of wrist pain and specific pain treatment for each one. The most common reasons for wrist pain while typing are:

  • Wrist Tendonitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Overuse

How to Stop Wrist Pain?

Here are some basic steps to prevent wrist pain from typing:

1. Proper Typing Posture

Avoiding improper posture and using ergonomic desk equipment are the best ways to minimize wrist pain from typing on a laptop or PC:

  • Check that your computer keyboard and forearms are parallel to the floor and that your elbows are free to hang at your sides. You may need to modify the height of your chair or table for this. The mouse should be placed at your side, with your forearm straight from elbow to wrist, so you don’t have to extend your hand to reach it.
  • It's vital to keep your wrists in a neutral position while typing. So your wrists shouldn't be bent upward or downward. While you’re typing, do not rest your wrists on the keyboard. Allow them to relax on occasion. They shouldn't be around the keyboard until you resume typing.
  • Try typing with ten fingers. This forces you to use all of your hand and finger muscles. It’s more effective to type gently since it keeps your fingers from tiring and allows you to make fewer mistakes.
  • Don't pound the keyboard. Look for an ergonomic keyboard that feels comfortable to you. Several keyboards are available that need the keys to be pressed harder or lighter, as per your requirements. Consider using keyboard shortcuts to minimize repetitive movements.

2. Try a Wrist Brace/Splint If Your Wrist Hurts from Typing

If changing your position doesn't help you prevent your wrist from hurting, or if you want to go the extra mile in prevention, try a wrist brace. A splint or brace will immobilize or limit wrist movement significantly. This allows your wrist to heal and prevents lasting harm. If you choose to wear a brace while typing, use one that allows full finger movement.

3. Stretches and Exercises to Prevent Wrist Injury

1. Make a fist and then completely stretch your fingers by repeatedly opening and closing your fingers. Do this at least 20 times. 
2. At least five times, rotate your wrist 360 degrees. Then, reverse the motion in the opposite direction and repeat five more times.
3. Point your fingers up in the air, extend your palms to your reflection in a mirror, and point your fingers down, completely extending your wrist in both directions. Use your opposite hand to push your fingers farther in either direction for an extra stretch. Do this at least 20 times.
4. Squeeze a tennis ball as hard as possible without harming yourself, hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 10 times.

Following the above measures will help minimize your wrist pain and prevent any injuries to your wrist while typing. However, if, despite following these measures, your wrist pain increases or is persistent, it’s best to get prompt medical help to treat the underlying cause of the pain and prevent it from intensifying.