If you work for long hours on a computer, it can cause wrist pain. In worst-case scenarios, it may lead to permanent damage to your wrist muscles and tendons.
A keyboard wrist pad is an add-on product that supports the wrists when typing on the keyboard. It prevents wrist pain by aligning the incorrect positions of your forearm, wrists, and fingers. There are three different types of wrist pads, namely, foam, gel, and memory foam.
Do your fingers feel a tingling sensation when typing? Do your hands feel persistent numbness? Typing for long hours can cause these problems. These signs indicate carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis. If you don’t want to suffer from wrist pain, then you need a keyboard wrist pad.
What Is a Wrist Pad?
A wrist pad is simply a device or paddling that supports your wrists when typing on a computer keyboard.
A wrist pad or wrist rest contains memory foam or gel. The pad keeps your wrists in an ergonomic position and prevents tension on your wrist muscles and tendons.
What Happens If You Get a Wrong Wrist Rest?
Selecting a wrist rest may sound like an easy task, but it’s important to get the right one. You can suffer from many problems if you don’t have a right wrist rest. A poorly made wrist rest can wear out quickly and prone to deflating. Instead of preventing wrist pain, it can cause more harm to your wrist. A wrist rest made with the wrong material can become dirty or result in sores on your skin.
Since you need a wrist rest for long-term use, it is important to select a good quality product. It is important to identify the harmful effects of a poorly made wrist rest to understand the importance of selecting the right product. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis.
Even though completely preventable, many computer and office workers suffer from tendinitis. Tendons are fibrous tissues, which connect the muscles to your bones. They play an important role in the functioning of your limbs.
Inflammation of a tendon is called tendinitis. The pain can be severe and caused due to bad posture and overuse of certain muscles. People suffering from tendinitis have to rest the affected area for a long period and take proper medication. Since it affects their work schedules, many of them neglect the treatment. If untreated, tendinitis may lead to carpal tunnel.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Caption: Overview of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It is a medical condition caused due to a compressed median nerve in the wrist. A narrow passageway on the wrist’s palm side connecting the arm to the hand is the carpal tunnel. You can find the median nerve and some important tendons in the carpal tunnel.
The carpal tunnel constricts when tendons are inflamed or become irritated, which results in the compression of the median nerve. A carpal tunnel can cause severe pain. The compressed nerve can cause itching, tingling, numbness, and burning sensation to your palm and fingers. Like tendinitis, carpal tunnel requires proper medication and complete rest to the affected area.
Does a Keyboard Wrist Pad Work?
You can prevent tendinitis and carpal tunnel with a keyboard wrist pad.
You have to follow three important rules to avoid tendinitis and carpal tunnel.
The first is the right alignment of the fingers, hands, and arms. Second, these components should move together as a unit. Finally, there should be no restriction of movement. Breaking any of these rules can stress muscles and tendons. If the problems persist, it may result in tendinitis or carpal tunnel.
If you’re a regular computer user or a gamer, a wrist pad can help avoid breaking these rules.
A wrist pad aligns your wrists and arms in a way that your hands and fingers move with them simultaneously. The wrist pad aligns the keyboard with them, and all components work in unison. A proper wrist pad can prevent obstructions that limit movement in subtle ways.
Types of Wrist Pads
There are three types of wrists pads in vogue, namely foam, gel, and memory foam. The pads are made of different materials, and the cleaning process varies accordingly.
Foam Wrist Pad
The foam pad is made of washable cloth, and you can wash it when it catches dust. Frequent washing and washing it with other clothes can tear away the interior foam and lose its firmness.
- Durable stitching
- Non-skid rubber base
- Washable material
- Medium firmness
Gel Wrist Pad
Gel wrist pads contain elastomeric block polymer gels. The wrist pad has a smooth surface and can catch dust easily. You can clean the surface with a damp cloth. You can also use a sponge or disinfectant wipes to clean its surface. Its smooth surface and absence of a non-skid backing feature can cause accidental wrist pain.
- Easy to clean
- Curved wrist rest helps in preventing wrist pain
- Durable material
- Ventilation channel to prevent over-warming
- Weak gel pillow
- The surface gets dirty easily
Memory Foam Wrist Pad
It is made of superfine fabric. Sometimes gel is used with fine quality fabric. Don’t wash memory foam wrist pads. Mildly spray clean water and, after 15 minutes, clean it with a sponge.
- High-quality memory foam surface
- Washable material
- Non-skid base
- Not much flexible
- Produces foul odor after using for a long time
Which Keyboard Wrist Pad Should You Buy?
The keyboard wrist pad comes with its pros and cons. Depending on the individual and the level of usage, some pads may work better than others, and some users prefer none at all. Listed below are some of the keyboard wrist pads broken down into usage scenarios.
For Casual Users
If you’re a user who spends less than a few hours typing on the keyboard, then a pad made of gel is the right fit for you. Kensington Duo Gel Keyboard Wrist Rest is the best option for users who prefer gel to foam. If you’re a casual gamer or use a mechanical keyboard, this gel wrist rest perfectly suits your needs.
It provides optimal comfort and functionality. It also solves the usual problems that come with gel wrist rests, such as over-warming. The ventilation channel keeps your hands dry and cool and prevents over-warming.
CushionCare Keyboard Wrist Pad is the best ergonomically designed foam wrist pad with optimum functionality. The non-slip backing feature can be of great help to serious gamers, as they often slip wrists. You get a mouse pad free when you purchase the wrist pad. You also get a three-year warranty.
For Laptop Users
For laptops and thin keyboards, Fellowes Memory Foam Wrist Rest is the best. It has a non-slip backing feature and is extremely durable. It comes with jersey covering.
What Is the Price of a Keyboard Wrist Pad?
The price of the wrist pad varies depending on the quality and level of usage. If you’re not looking for long-term use, you can get it for less than $10. But if you want a long-lasting quality keyboard wrist pad, then you can get it at $13 and above.
Can I Use a Computer Wrist Pad on a Laptop?
You can use a computer wrist pad on a laptop, but you don’t get the same comfort level as it is designed for computers. Computer wrist pads are thick, and laptop wrist pads are thin. You can feel the difference in comfort level immediately.
Which Wrist Pad Is Best, Foam or Gel?
If you’re a serious gamer or work long hours typing on a computer, a foam wrist pad can be a good fit for you. But if you spend less time on the computer, you might opt for a gel wrist pad. The foam pad is made of cloth and doesn’t skid even in rough use, preventing accidental wrist strains. Gel pads may not handle the rough usage, and the smooth surface can cause skidding. The skidding can result in wrist strains.
It can’t be said with certainty that you need a keyboard wrist pad or not. Some have benefited from its use as it has helped with chronic wrist pain issues. For others, it aggravated the issue even more. The issue lies in choosing the right wrist pad. If you read the article up to this point, then you’re armed with enough information to select the right wrist pad for you.