#AtoZChallenge | Hand support with a little frozen rice and patience

I thought I was developing arthritis in my hands. I had some numbness and general low level achiness. After a trip to my doctor, it turns out the likely culprit is carpel tunnel. There’s a family history so not surprising. What was surprising is that I didn’t think of it first.

While surgery may be in my future, I decided to try some short term treatments including making a hand support to use when typing on my computer and laptop.

When my husband brought back the large bag of white rice from the grocery store, I immediately put it in the freezer. In researching this project, I learned more than I wanted to about the potential for bug eggs in my rice. After one week in the freezer, I was hoping to say goodbye to any little critters that might be lurking.

Then it was onto the project. This one is fairly straight forward.

Using the keyboard is fine but using the mouse is more problematic putting more strain on my hand and wrists. I decided to start there. I organized my craft supplies when we redecorated our office a few years ago. I have a bookcase cabinet with two lateral filing drawers at the base. In the top one, I’ve stashed odds and ends from previous craft projects. When I looked through my stash, I had the perfect size piece of cork and some fabric remnants from my youngest’s own project making mouse pads.

Step 1)
I cut a piece of chipboard the same width as my cork allowing about 3” more in length where I planned to put the wrist pad. I glued the cork to the top of the chipboard using my glue gun although I think regular glue may have been a better option for this step. The glue from the glue gun dries quickly and if you don’t get the cork glued down fast enough it can leave a little bumpiness. I only have one small spot as a result of my lack of speed but again, next time I would use regular glue.

Step 2)
I had already washed and ironed my material scraps. I cut a piece that matched the size of my mouse pad leaving extra length all around the outside edge. Using a glue stick, I folded and glued the outside edge to the bottom. I folded the and glued the corners down first first and then folded and glued the side edges. I cut a matching piece of chipboard in the same dimensions and covered it with fabric using the same process. I then glued the wrong sides together so I had fabric covering both the top and bottom.

Step 3)
I cut a scrap for the wrist rest. This doesn’t need to be perfect so I estimated based on the size I had left open at the bottom of my mouse pad. When estimating the size, I left a  ½” all around for the seam allowance. After cutting it out, it was a simple process to sew around the outer edge leaving an opening. I then snipped the corners and turned the material right side out.

Step 4)
I added the rice using a cake decorating bad since I didn’t have a funnel on hand. This was a messy, two person job. My husband held the cake decorating bad in place as I filled it with rice and kept pushing it down with a bamboo skewer since it kept getting stuck. When done, there was more rice in the sink than in my wrist pad but somehow I got it filled.

Step 5)
Once it was filled, I sewed the open edge closed and then used my glue gun to glue it to the base of the wrist pad.

I made a matching longer hand rest to use with my keyboard. That only required sewing a rectangular piece and then filling it with rice. I left too small an opening so filling it was a little painful but eventually it was ready to be sewn shut.

I love the final look of my matched set.

If I were going to do this project again, I might use a little less rice. I think mine might is slightly overfilled but that’s a minor issue. The goal is for my hands to have a more ergonomically correct resting place during the way too many hours that I spend at a keyboard.

I’ve been using the hand rests for a few months now and I especially love the mouse pad. I’d say that my hands are in less pain and much happier, but I’ve also been painting walls and trim at a family home every weekend so my hands are still sore although likely less than if I wasn’t using my new hand rest at the computer.

I wonder if I can make something to help support my hands when I’m holding a paint roller? I have plenty of rice left.

Do you use a mousepad with a hand rest?

I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2021. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Craft Projects for my Home. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.

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22 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | Hand support with a little frozen rice and patience

  1. mollyscanopy says:

    Great idea! Another trick is to use your computer or device’s dictation software. I had a shoulder injury a few years back and typing was agony — so I would dictate the text of emails, etc. then just clean up any typos using the uninjured arm. It’s amazing how much new technology can help! https://mollyscanopy.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa says:

    Great idea to use rice, and perfect way to hold it! I do not use a hand rest. So far so good, but I’m living on borrowed time I guess. My daughter-in-law had surgery on both wrists.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary-Anne says:

    Ouch. I had carpal tunnel many years ago while studying for my Grade 8 Piano exam. Love your craft solution. When I had a rotator cuff injury that made knitting difficult I learned portugese knitting, and I also learned to crochet left handed. Us crafters can’t be slowed down by our aches and pains!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tami Von Zalez says:

    I am not sure if I have carpal tunnel but the dr. has diagnosed that the tendons in my hands are inflamed. They especially hurt with mousing. I have eliminated all of the extracurricular hand activities – quilting, sewing, pulling weeds. Thinking about voice dictation so I can continue working full-time.

    Liked by 1 person

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