Person typing on laptop

Why do my wrists hurt when I type? 

Have you been getting sore wrists now that you have been working more from home? This may be why… 


Given the rapid move to working from home for a lot of us this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most of our home offices were either non-existent or not set up very well to support this change. Many people initially enjoyed the novelty of getting to work from the comfort of their own couch with their laptop. Unfortunately, now 6 months down the track, the work from home novelty has worn off and here at Melbourne Hand Rehab we have been increasingly seeing the negative effects of a poorly setup home office. 

The most common symptoms that patients are presenting with are sore wrists when they extend their wrist backwards or move their wrist from side to side. As mentioned, many people are using their laptops rather than their work monitors with separate keyboard and mouse and they have been either sitting at their dining table or on their couch rather than using an appropriate ergonomic chair and desk for their height. 

If your desk and chair are not at the correct height, your wrists will not be sitting in an ideal position. Also, if the keyboard is too close to you, too small or if you plonk your wrists on the table rather than hovering your wrists above the table/keyboard, you will need to repetitively move your wrists in awkward positions to reach the keyboard. This leads to overloading specific tendons, which can cause wrist pain and tenderness or tightness in your forearms.

What should I do if I have wrist pain or if I want to prevent this pain? 

  1. Try to keep your wrists as neutral or straight as possible when typing. 
  2. Hover your wrists when using the mouse or typing
  3. Move from your elbows rathan your wrists for typing and mouse use 
  4. Review your home office setup:
    • Feet should be flat on the ground when seats 
    • Knees and hips should be bent at 90 degrees 
    • Your table height and position of your keyboard should allow a  90 degree bend at your elbows.
    • The size of your keyboard should allow your wrists to be as straight as possible  
    • A separate mouse and keyboard is recommended to assist with maintaining neutral wrists
    • Your monitor or laptop should be raised to eye level 



If the pain in the wrists have not resolved once addressing your home office setup and your typing technique, we recommend you booking in for an appointment with one of our hand therapists to assess exactly what is causing your pain, fabricate an appropriate splint if required and assist with pain management through clinical advice, manual therapy and a personalised exercise program. 

Book an appointment today with one of our physiotherapists or occupational therapists


For more information, call us directly on 03 9458 5166