Back and neck pain might be nothing new to you if you spend the better part of your days behind computers. What you may not know, however, is how bad it could get if your keyboard lacks ergonomic features. When you experience the following symptoms, take it as a sure sign that your workspace needs an ergonomic keyboard for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS):
- Pain in the fingers, arms, wrists, forearms, or shoulders
- Numbness or tingling sensation in the hands or fingers
- Hand or wrist weakness
- Sporadic shock-like sensations in the fingers
If you’ve experienced these symptoms, then you know how they can frustrate your work and personal life too. In fact, this is what drove me to search for keyboards designed specifically to address these ailments.
If you were to do a quick search for keyboards for carpal tunnel, many options would pop up, but very few have proven effective in helping to treat this condition. To narrow down to the best of them all, I probed these keyboards’ ergonomic features, especially the design, and other factors such as ease of learning, operating system compatibility, and type of connectivity.
Take a look at what I found to be the best keyboards for CTS.
- Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard – BEST OVERALL
- Keychron K2 Version 2 Wireless Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
- Logitech K350 Wave Ergonomic Keyboard – BEST BUDGET
- KINESIS Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard for PC
- Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business
What Is The Best Keyboard For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? [ Reviews]
1. Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard
For this Logitech keyboard, ergonomics and versatility come first. It borrows a shape that reduces strain on your wrist and forearms while including features that guarantee support and comfort while you type. Although it may cost more than its rivals, the value it offers makes up for the extra cost.
- Design: split and tented
- Connectivity: wireless
- Curved keyframe
- Scooped keys
- Pillowed wrist rest
- Certified by United States Ergonomics
- Compatibility: Windows and MacOS
The curved and split keyframe on this ergonomic keyboard encourages a more natural typing position where your fingers, wrists, and forearms are not strained. Even the pillowed wrist rest is curved, to provide more support to your wrists by ensuring you don’t bend them as you type.
What I love more about the palm rest is the adjustability. It doesn’t matter whether you’re seated or standing—the tilt legs on this part allow you to adjust it to a position that’s more comfortable for typing.
Logitech went the extra mile to design the keys in the shape of a bowl to allow for easier and more precise typing. The scooped design also relaxes the muscles in your hands, saving you from the discomfort that comes with typing for long hours.
- Ergonomically designed to promote a healthier typing posture
- A three-layered palm rest that’s comfortable, easy to clean, and resistant to stains
- An adjustable wrist rest that makes the keyboard more versatile
- Scooped keys that allow for easier, faster, and more precise typing
- Dedicated buttons for easy access to functions such as print screen
- Wireless connectivity making it more convenient
- Compatibility with both Windows and MacOS, as well as bluetooth and USB-mini receivers, adding to its versatility
- Relatively more expensive
- The keyboard layout might feel tight at first but it won’t take you long to get used to it
Logitech ERGO K860 does many things right, but it goes the extra mile when it comes to wrist support. It’s also versatile enough to be used for different typing setups.
Overall, you can hardly go wrong with this laptop, no matter what your typing needs are. That’s what makes it the best keyboard for carpal tunnel.
2. Keychron K2 Version 2 Wireless Gaming Mechanical Keyboard
Keychron K2 Version 2 has no curves or split keyframe, but because it’s a compact ergonomic mechanical keyboard, it’s ideal for anyone looking to end those awkward shoulder postures that make typing uncomfortable.
- Design: compact
- Connectivity: wireless, bluetooth
- Compatibility: Windows, MacOS
- RGB backlight
Because of its configuration, this keyboard allows you to align the mouse with your shoulder. It has a shorter width than most standard keyboards, meaning your arms and shoulders won’t be moving in a way that could lead to pain or injury.
Despite having a reduced size, this keyboard still has most of the essential keys, such as the arrow and shortcut keys, and dedicated buttons for easy access to functions such as screen capture. In addition, the package includes extra keycaps for the two operating systems it supports.
- A compact design that promotes proper typing posture
- Rechargeable 4000mAh battery makes it a convenient option
- Supports both Windows and MacOS as well as multiple device connectivity
- RGB backlight helps you stay focused even in darker environments
- No palm rest but the inclined design makes up for it
As much as it doesn’t offer much support to the wrists and fingers, Keychron K2 Version 2 would be suitable for those looking to prevent repetitive injuries to the shoulders caused by poor typing posture.
3. Logitech K350 Wave Ergonomic Keyboard
Nearly every part of this carpal tunnel keyboard prioritizes comfort, from the smooth-to-press keys and wavy design to the curvy layout and cushioned palm rest. All these components work together to help you type with ease and achieve the right posture while at it.
- Keyboard design: wave-shaped and curved
- Palm rest
- Wave-shaped keyframe
- Connectivity technology: wireless
- Battery life: up to 3 years
- Compatibility: Window-based PCs
While the wave-shaped design does give the keyboard a stylish look, the bigger advantage is the freedom to maneuver across the keys without straining your fingers. Whether you have short, medium, or long fingers, this keyboard will guide them into the right typing posture.
Knowing that your hands deserve to rest comfortably, Logitech added a cushioned palm rest to this unit. Even when you’re not typing, this part will still serve as a convenient place to relax your hands.
You will be happy to know that despite all these extras, the keyboard doesn’t sacrifice functionality. You can transition from a standard keyboard to this model without relearning anything.
- A wave-shaped design that helps you achieve the best finger position for typing
- A palm rest for hand and wrist support
- Smooth-to-press keys make typing enjoyable
- Wireless connectivity for more flexibility and convenience
- No need to relearn the layout for those transitioning from a regular keyboard
- Relatively affordable
- It’s not rechargeable; you’ll have to buy batteries, which isn’t entirely inconvenient since they may last longer, especially if you don’t use your keyboard often
Logitech 350 might just be the solution you need to overcome wrist pain. It has also been a welcome relief to those recovering from carpal tunnel surgery. The results will be even better if you pair it with an ergonomic mouse.
4. KINESIS Freestyle2 Ergonomic Keyboard For PC
An exceptional thing about the KINESIS Freestyle 2 is that it doesn’t limit your hand, finger, or arm movement. Such freedom might just be what you need to keep all the symptoms of CTS at bay. It makes it easier for users to type comfortably for long hours.
- Design: compact, split, tented
- Compatibility: Linux and Windows
- Low force ergonomic keys
- Connectivity: wired
You can completely separate this keyboard into two modules in order to achieve a shoulder position that feels right for typing. And when you feel your forearms could use a neutral position, simply tent the keyboard up to a degree that enables you to type effortlessly.
These two modules can also be combined to form a compact design that allows you to place the mouse in the ideal position to lessen the strain on your arms and shoulders.
Even the keys are ergonomic. Not only do they require minimal activation force but they also offer impressive tactile feedback. You can type for hours without worrying about finger fatigue or imprecise typing.
- Split, tented design ensures proper wrist, forearm, and arm posture
- Great at reducing awkward shoulder postures due to a compact design
- Uses a keyboard that eliminates finger strain and hand cramps while improving your typing speed and accuracy
- Wired connectivity makes it super responsive and ideal for gaming or streaming
- Available in two split configurations (9-inch and 20-inch) to suit your typing needs
- No wrist help but it’s available as an accessory
- Doesn’t support MacOS so keep this in mind before placing your order
CTS manifests in different ways and the KINESIS Freestyle2 seems to have figured out how to address this condition in whatever form it comes. It does not have a wrist rest, but if you add it as an accessory, you’ll end up with the best keyboard for carpal tunnel syndrome that you count on for comfortable, pain-free typing.
5. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard For Business
Even though the Microsoft Sculpt has an unusual shape, every aspect of its design encourages neutral typing positions. This version even has a separate number pad that you’re free to use anywhere you want in your workspace or detach when not in use. Isn’t that cool?
- Type: Split, tented design
- Cushioned palm rest
- Angled keyframe
- Separate number pad
- Connectivity: wireless
- Compatibility: Windows and MacOS (needs remapping)
An angled middle section on this model keeps the wrists in their most neural position, ensuring you’re relaxed as you type away.
The split design further adds more support, not just to your wrists but also forearms by encouraging typing postures that are friendly to your carpal tunnel.
When you take short breaks from typing, simply rest your palms on the cushion to relax your muscles and ease the tension in your hands.
- Ergonomic design and keyframe save your wrists and arms from pain and discomfort
- A comfortable wrist rest that will prevent fatigue in your hand muscles
- The separate number pad gives you more flexibility when it comes to setting up your workspace
- Wireless design makes it more portable and flexible
- You may find the split key layout unusual at first, but with time you will get used to it
People who experience various types of discomfort in their wrists and forearms can find enough help with Microsoft Sculpt. But if you want your fingers and shoulders to feel the same amount of support, you might not like this option. However, if that’s not a huge concern to you, the Sculpt keyboard may be just what you need to double your productivity.
What’s Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome, often abbreviated as CTS, manifests in the form of pain, numbness, or tingling sensation in the fingers, wrists, or arms. It occurs when there’s excess pressure on the median nerve, which travels through the arm, carpal tunnel, and ends in the hands.
CTS is common in people who use their computers for long periods of time to type or perform other tasks. Actually, the list of those at risk is long. It includes pregnant women, diabetic individuals, trauma patients, and just about everyone in a profession that requires them to move their hands and/or fingers repetitively.
Although a carpal tunnel keyboard will make typing more comfortable and even reduce your risk of developing CTS, we nonetheless recommend that you seek medical attention first, especially if your condition is severe.
It’s a condition that should never be left untreated because it could lead to much worse complications.
How To Choose The Best Keyboard For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The most important thing you should understand when you go shopping for these keyboards is that they come in all sorts of shapes and styles, each great at addressing specific CTS symptoms. It would therefore help if you knew what to expect from the most common designs.
Split keyboards take two forms. There are v-shaped models and those with separate modules. Separated models offer more flexibility when it comes to shoulder and arm support, while the v-shaped varieties tend to have ergonomic keyboard layouts that provide great support to the fingers.
Just as the name implies, these are keyboards that take the shape of a tent or pyramid. Instead of your hands being flat, they will be raised at an angle of your choice, with the thumb being higher than the little finger.
Most split models have this design as well. It helps your wrist and arms achieve healthier postures that reduce the risk of CTS.
Compact keyboards tend to be smaller than your standard keyboard. The shorter width gives you the flexibility to adjust the mouse to positions that prevent poor posture, which often causes shoulder pain and other related complications.
Other equally important factors you should keep in mind include:
- Ease of learning – Do you need to relearn using the keyboard?
- Availability of a palm rest – This part provides support and comfort to the wrist
- Affordability – Some models are more expensive than others so narrow down to a unit that suits your budget and needs
- Operating system compatibility – Does it support Windows, MacOS, and/or Linus?
- Type of connectivity – Available options include wired, wireless, and bluetooth-enabled. Each has its upsides and downsides.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can carpal tunnel be cured?
Carpal tunnel can be cured. Treatment options might range from surgical ones like carpal tunnel release to non-surgical ones like physical therapy, wrist splinting, and pharmaceuticals, depending on the severity of the condition. In some situations, a combination of these treatments could be applied. Consult a healthcare practitioner to find the right treatment for your CTS.
Can typing worsen carpal tunnel?
The answer is yes. Prolonged typing can exacerbate carpal tunnel syndrome, especially if proper ergonomic practices are not followed. The most appropriate things to do when you have this condition is to take regular breaks, utilize ergonomic tools, and maintain proper posture when typing to lower your chance of worsening (or developing) carpal tunnel syndrome.
How long does it take to get carpal tunnel syndrome from typing?
The connection between typing and CTS is still a subject of debate. One popular study, however, agrees that cumulative keyboard strokes put you at risk of CTS.
That said, the process of developing CTS is complicated and influenced by a number of factors, including time spent typing, the ergonomics of your workstation, your typing style, and personal susceptibility to the condition.
Health professionals advise that you take breaks, practice proper posture, and use ergonomic furniture and equipment to prevent the development of this condition.
So, What’s The Best Keyboard For Carpal Tunnel? [Winner & Parting Shot]
Anyone who spends long hours in front of their computers typing has every reason to use a keyboard for carpal tunnel. You may not be at risk of developing CTS, but there are a dozen other ailments that could threaten your overall well-being and productivity.
Take this chance to get yourself a model that will change your life for the better. If you’re not sure which option to choose from our list, I would recommend you consider the Logitech ERGO K860 Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard.
This particular unit leads the rest because of its exceptional ergonomic features. It offers both support and comfort to your fingers, hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders. No part of you will be left out. Even if you like typing while standing, it will still adapt to your needs.
I understand you may have more specific needs, so go through the rest of the keyboards once again to identify a model that best suits your CTS condition. Whatever model you choose, the results are going to be great because each is tried and tested.
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