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Advice on pen/tablet due to RSI please

I would appreciate any advice that forum members may be able to offer about using a pen/tablet instead of a mouse.

Over the last 6 months I have been working very long hours in my Sonar 5PE. I have a very angry tendon in my mouse arm and I know it is largely due to a ton of mouse work drawing a million clip envelope curves. I have switched to an ergonomic trackball mouse which has precluded a great deal of strain but it is completely useless for drawing work.

I am interested to learn of peoples experiences working and drawing with a pen/tablet device like the Wacom. Is it possible to work swiftly with accuracy and ease? I need to protect my wrist at any cost.

Love to you all,


Thomas W. Bethel Mon, 06/05/2006 - 07:43
First go to see a doctor who deals with RSI and make sure there are no underlying physical problems (pinched nerve, etc.) Then look at the ergo-metrics of your work area. I went though this same scenario a couple of years ago and I can tell you it is no fun. I use to use a Microsoft mouse but now I use a Kensington track ball and a Wacom tablet and have not had any additional problems. A lot of the time it is not how you mouse it is how the mouse is setup in relation to the rest of your computer. There are a lot of sites that deal with this problem on the WWW. The doctor I went to was GREAT and he gave me lots of information along with the checkup. I had no underlying physical problems and it was simply too much editing and I was not watching carefully enough how I was sitting and mousing. A new track ball and a different chair, watching my posture did a lot for the problem and I also was told to take lots of short breaks to give my arm a chance to rest.

Best of luck!

MadMax Mon, 06/05/2006 - 19:29
Ditto to Thomas' post... see a doc for underlying issues...

After that, there isn't too much reason to suspect that a tablet won't lead to a similar situation... I'm still doing CAD work on my studio. After a couple of hours, I get "writers' cramp" from all the pen work.

I ain't no doc, but there are a few things that I do know work to ease the issue...

Correct posture, desk height and mouse level do wonders for the situation.

There are a few RSI aids out there... I did a google for "RSI arm support" and there's quite a few products to choose from. A buddy of mine uses one of [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.ergo-ite…"]these[/]="http://www.ergo-ite…"]these[/], and love his. Claims to have eliminated his RSI.


gdoubleyou Wed, 06/07/2006 - 10:07
I use a Wacom Graphire USB tablet and stylus for 90% of all my computer navigation.

The motion used is much smaller than the required movements for a mouse, It's more like flexing and doesn't really engage your joints.

The buttons are programable, and it's cheap at $99.

I've been using some form of tablet for navigation for over a decade, the only problem i have is misplacing the stylus.