Can't use right hand

Numbness / pins and needles started in my right (dominant) hand a few months ago and have gradually been getting worse. Using that hand to write, type or use a mouse is harder, and actually makes the numbness worse.

I’m trying to type / mouse using my left hand only, but it’s quite frustrating and full of mistakes, a bit of a blow when I’m trying to do my job which requires typing and drawing diagrams. I’m lucky that my Employer wants to be supportive, they’ve already done things to accommodate my leg problems and I can’t fault them. Where I’m struggling is to find adaptations that might actually help. Googling brings back lots of suggestions from left handed typing courses to left handed keyboards but there are so many options I’m hoping someone out there actually has some experience of trying such things. Voice recognition software isn’t appropriate for my job as I’m a computer programmer so it’s not like I’m typing normal sentences.

Also, any experience of ways to actually help drawing / writing, I try and use pens with grips but still find it makes the numbness worse. I suspect if there was a mad contraption that made writing easier then I’d have heard of it, but if you never ask you never know!


Hi Trippy, would be worth asking your GP to refer you for physio. There are exercises which might help your hands… and if there are gadgets that would help, the physio will know.

You can buy very chunky pens. Not sure if that would help. Any of the disability shopping sites will sell them.

Keep in mind that your hand may well improve again. As I was just saying on another post, things still come and go with PPMS so doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it for life.

Some sites sell ‘therapy putty’ which can help hands. It’s just putty that you squeeze and play with when watching TV or whatever.

Another exercise is to get a bit of string or a shoelace and keep tying knots in it and then unpicking the knots. All helps to keep the fingers flexible.

For now I would say seeing a physio would be the way to go.

Hope it improves quickly,

Pat xx

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Thanks, I should have said I’ve been told there’s a delay getting into Physio. They’ve been great before so I’m sure they’ll this time, but waiting 6 months with a problem doesn’t exactly help me do my job.

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I thought I’d post back in case anyone else searched in future - I got to physio who referred me urgently to the occupational therapist, after a 4 week wait I got to see them and they suggested Access To Work, the DWP body. Having been passed around a bit I was a bit sceptical, but they have been brilliant. They arranged an assessor to come out to work and we talked for an hour or so, she recommended a smaller soft touch keyboard that makes it easier to reach the keys with one hand, and less painful if I use the other. Then a special type of mouse that sits under the keyboard so you don’t have to switch from mouse to keyboard, which is quite disruptive. Then a recording tablet that automatically transcribes conversations and I can annotate the important bits. I’m not sure how good that will be with the many varied accents in the office but will give it a go.

What really impressed me was that my assessor listened and was knowledgeable. She made a few other suggestions but understood when i explained that it maybe wouldn’t be quite right, and suggested other things that took my comments into account.

To anybody facing work issues I wholeheartedly recommend Access To Work, i felt like my assessor should have had a magic wand as after several months of frustration she came up with answers. You can find them by googling them. The website doesn’t give any indication that they can actually be a source of advice, but the advice they give is awesome.


That is really good to know Trippyspice… great info.

We hear so much negative (justifiable) stuff about government schemes it’s good to hear about something which works well.

Also good that it’s on the board… as you say… for people searching for info.

Pat xx


That sounds really positive Trippyspice, so pleased they have helped.

Whilst I no longer work, your information will undoubtedly help a lot of others.

Pam x

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I agree, great to hear positive reviews on these schemes, excellent news for those struggling with some of the difficulties we face.

Cath x

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I also had a good experience with Access to Work. As you say they listen to what you have to say and try to find a solution to the problems. I was given a new chair that was fitted for me, a laptop raiser, a daylight lamp, a toilet raiser and a swivel seat to help me get in the car (to be able to go to work)