Guest Author - virginia hixson
The purpose of a wrist support is generally to limit flexion and or extension of the wrist, and most often to control lateral movement as well. Unfortunately, when wrist motion is limited, much of what we do during the day is compromised.
At a certain point in injury true motion restriction is what is needed. At that point, a splint that holds the wrist in one position is what is needed. AND, use of that hand should be severely restricted.
Itís very difficult to button a button, tie a shoe or use a mouse without some wrist motion. With a rigid splint, the result is static or isometric contraction as the wrist fights against the restraint in order to accomplish the task. Generally, what happens is that the movement is approximated by the elbow and shoulder. Unfortunately, these joints are not designed to perform the needed motions. The result is very awkward.
If the condition is prolonged, this can result in risk to the elbow and shoulder from the awkward positions, far out of their neutral positions. The more force necessary and the more time these positions are held, the greater the risk.
Mousemitts.com is a company based in a small California mountain community between Santa Cruz and Saratoga, close to Big Basin State Park.
The products are simply designed, the materials basic, and the quality very good. I have a set of Soft Splints that I bought about 10 years ago. Although I donít wear them every day, they have stood up to a fair amount of abuse over that time.
Mousemitts designs their products to fit loosely, so the support comes from shape and fit rather than constriction.
The only issue I have had with the Soft Splints is that over the years, the hemming around the finger holes has come out Ė but the fingers are too long for me anyway. They were light-weight enough that I could fold the finger tunnel back on itself making the glove stronger. This will not be an issue with their newest fabric.
What I particularly liked about these items was the weight and shape of the wrist support. Most of the padding is on the little finger side of the wrist, so it doesnít interfere with keying or mousing. It provides mild support and restraint, with enough flexibility that elbow and shoulder motions are not affected. Essentially, they remind you of good hand and wrist position by giving you tactile feedback. Thank goodness, the company has left this design element in place.
I just received the new pair of Soft Splints I recently (shipping time was just about a week). The sizing is a little smaller and the pad is slightly bulkier.
The soft splints were developed for those with arthritis, where finger warmth is something to be desired. Thatís why the Soft Splint has fingers. The fabric is light weight however, and breathes. Even with the heavier fabricI can were them without discomfort on a hot day (up to 85į) as long as I'm not working in the sun. Past that, I tend to use the shorter version, the Mouse Mitt.
I am a glove size 7 and got the medium. It is just barely too small. In order to position the pads where I like them (at the base of the palm on the little finger side), I need to keep pulling them down. They may relax with time and become quite nice. I know the fingers of these won't frey.
Although I prefer the previous fabric and pad, the Soft Splint is still a good product. I prefer the Soft Splint because there is support with no real feeling of restriction. The new fabric will feel better for those with arthritis, and they are designed specifically for this group.
The Keyboarder pad shape and position is more central on the wrist / bottom of the hand. It is more of a pad than a wrist support. The hand piece is there ONLY to keep the pad in position. I find it not as useful for aiding in management of side to side wrist motion or aiding in mouse hand position. It does provide some wrist stabilization and assists in protecting the carpal tunnel area (as does the Soft Splint).
These items are easily ordered on-line through the mousemitt.com website.