“I couldn't use the PC for more than 15 mins before being forced to stop and have to rest the hand for the rest of the day.”
Dealing with wrist injuries doesn’t seem like an issue until it suddenly is. And if you are someone who loves being active and whose whole work revolves around using the computer, that’s when the issues become serious problems.
Paul Weston used to love off-road biking, practicing Martial Arts, and what today is called, “free-running”. He never broke a bone nor had an injury from doing sports.
He was active and fit, worked in IT, and the idea that one day he wouldn’t be able to use a normal keyboard without severe pain seemed an impossibility.
In 2001 however, a freak accident happened.
One night while he was sleeping, Paul’s arms got trapped between the wall and the bed and he somehow managed to tear his rotator cuff.
For those of you who are not familiar with anatomy, injuring your rotator cuff will result in weak shoulders. If left untreated, the pain will make performing basic activities like typing on a keyboard, harder and harder over time.
Paul used to work long hours at support desks. After the accident, he was no longer able to use a normal keyboard without experiencing serious shoulder pain. This was a major problem.
Spending the whole day in front of the PC, without proper break periods and exercise, will put great strain on your back, shoulders and overall posture. As you can imagine, offices and other desk jobs don’t have ergonomics on top of their priority list.
Due to the terrible desk setups at work, Paul’s shoulder injury started to affect his wrist.
He decided to seek the help of a physiotherapist but unfortunately, the problems only got worse.
Over the next 19 years, Paul developed almost every wrist problem that you can think of.
In 2018, after another unsuccessful physiotherapy attempt, Paul lost the use of both his hands. He developed carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow.
For someone as active as Paul, losing the ability to use your hands properly means losing contact with the outside world.
“Being housebound, my PC has been my only link to the outside world for the last decade.”
With physical activities out of the question, Paul’s only contact with the world was his home PC.
He tried all kinds of keyboards and setups in his search of finding the perfect solution that would help his pain.
He found Microsoft’s Natural range as the only decent alternative to a normal keyboard but it lacked the mechanical switches and other features that he wanted. During this time, he also tried a couple of programmable pads with different types of switches but never found anything that would work.
That’s when Paul found our Kickstarter Campaign and decided to give the Dygma Raise a try. He became one of our first backers.
However, his past experiences still made him skeptical about any new ergonomic product that when he received his Raise, he didn’t even bother setting it up until the next day.
“My initial feeling on delivery day was a very mix one of both happy and sad; great, it’s finally here, but I bet I won’t be able to use it”
However, once he finally set it up, Paul saw an instant improvement. He kept using the Raise every day since.
Splitting the keyboard allows his hands to sit in a natural and comfortable position. He uses an extended cable to have both sides ever further apart and in full alignment with his shoulders and his chair’s armrests. He opted for Cherry Brown switches, for reduced finger fatigue.
He also has a trackball to help reduce the shoulder motion which works great with the Raise.
Paul’s case is a perfect example of how to avoid or alleviate wrist and shoulder injuries with an ergonomic keyboard.
“Here we are, a couple of weeks later now, I've been able to use the pc almost every day. Even typing this would have been impossible to do in a single sitting back at the start of the month!”
If you ever ask yourself “why does my wrist hurt” or you’re looking for ways to prevent wrist injuries while gaming or doing regular PC work, a split ergonomic keyboard might be the answer for you.
"It really has changed things for me, and for that, I am eternally grateful, I never thought it would work out this well.”