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I've noticed an unusual feeling associated with Mac OS X's two fingering scrolling. Any chance this might indicate a repetitive stress injury in the making? I've been trying to rotate the fingers I use for scrolling somewhat, but not terribly successfully. Anyone else found solutions to this potential issue? (related)

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Is this with a trackpad on a laptop or magic mouse? I've noticed when I use my laptop a lot for work/websurfing, my wrist can feel "unusual." This is, however, probably due to the ergonomics of how I'm lazying on the couch with the machine. While using my magic mouse at my desk at work, I don't feel "unusual." –  cm2 Jan 13 '12 at 5:33
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Impossible to answer. Define "unusual" feeling. Any motion can prove hazard, provided it is repeated frequently or the motion itself proves to put undue strain on a muscle, tendon, joint, or other bodily thing. If you finger scroll eight hours a day, then it might be cause for concern. If you finger scroll for a few hours spread out over the course of the day, unlikely. It may also be your posture and not the device. RSIs are serious and ultimately it boils down to if you feel uncomfortable doing it, stop. But from what I know about RSIs, they do require a lot prolonged repetition. –  cksum Jan 13 '12 at 6:33

4 Answers 4

In the past I have noticed a clear correlation between discomfort in my index finger, middle finger and wrist and the use of a magic mouse/trackpad.

I really love the functionality, but I am confident that the use of my magic mouse was the source of discomfort. It wasn't exactly pain, but more the feeling my fingers were not aligned properly any more or touched each other differently and sometimes a strange tension. There was no clear visual difference between my right and left hand.

As a teenager I had a wake up call with regards to RSI when my neck got stuck/blocked when I tried to reach for a shirt on the top shelf of my closet. It took two days before the muscles relaxed. Since then I have been extra careful to listen to my bodies signals. For me trackballs work well. I use a Logitech M570 trackball.

My hand still acts up when I use my MacBook on the couch a couple of nights in a row.

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I have only ever experienced the opposite - I have frequently ended up with sore fingers from ONE finger scrolling on traditional mice. I've been a cross-platform developer for decades, including the one-button Apple mouse era so I'm a good data point for comparing both.

Currently, my desktop has a Bamboo touchpad and scroll-wheel mouse on my PC then an Apple Magic Mouse on the left of my Mac keyboard with a Magic Pad on the right of my keyboard. I use two-fingers for scrolling on both Mac and PC on the pads and prefer it to using the scroll wheel on my PC mouse.

In particular, with the pads, you can scroll with a hand gesture that is more of a swipe, unlike the single-finger on the traditional mouse.

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I have been experiencing a strong inflammation on the middle finger articulation, which I think it might be caused by the macbook mouse and repetitive movements of scrolling and clicking. I have a ultrasound tomorrow. My doctor doesn't think this is from the mouse, but probably she doesn't know this type of mouse.

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Out of all the Mac users I've ever heard of/seen, none of them have ever said anything like this. I swift touch of a trackpad of mouse certainly doesn't seem to be any sort of damaging movements. If you end up having problems with it more you could ask a more 'medical' associated person. I've personally never heard anything like it, but muscle pains can be worsened from certain movements causing stress. Good luck!

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It hasn't reached the "it hurts when I do this" "well don't to that" phase yet, just a vague concern. I'm trying to very usage though. –  Jeff Burdges Jan 13 '12 at 3:49

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