RSI problems

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RSI problems

Postby wiz » Mon May 09, 2005 5:03 pm

Has anybody had a problem with Repetetive strain injury? I have just finished a code bashing session and I was getting concerned because my right hand was starting to sieze up ( No sniggering at the back!) and I started thinking that I would not be able to finish my customers job on time. I have not had this before in 23 years of key bashing and I don't want it again. Do the fancy keyboards help? Does anything help?
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Postby M0PHP » Mon May 09, 2005 5:30 pm

After several hours of solid coding I sometimes get a pain in the top of my shoulder and sometimes in the wrist which I put down to RSI. I just remind myself to take a longer break. Must also get some to give me a massage ;)
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Postby 1slipperyfish » Mon May 09, 2005 5:47 pm

or a rubdown with codliver oil? :D
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Postby wiz » Mon May 09, 2005 5:53 pm

As long as it's not from you!

There, I've started you off on the right track already.
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Postby davecs » Mon May 09, 2005 6:24 pm

There are many forms of RSI, from some which do permanent damage to some relatively minor inflammations. The best cure for the minor inflammation is to take your breaks, and some aspirin. If that doesn't work, see your doctor because you might have trouble.
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Postby Nigel » Mon May 09, 2005 6:45 pm

After many years of programming I was starting to get the occasional twinge in my wrists - three things have helped keep that at bay :

1. A Microsoft Natural keyboard. They take a few days to get used to, but for heavy typing work I don't want to use anything else now - it's so much kinder on the wrists. I know it kind of goes against the grain to use MS anything, but I've found that their hardware (keyboards, mice etc) is generally rather good.

2. An optical wheel mouse. Especially when using a graphical IDE.

3. A gel-filled support for my mouse wrist. Gel-eez make good ones.

But anything's better than the keyboards you used to get with Norsk Data terminals
:roll:
Hope this helps,

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Postby wiz » Mon May 09, 2005 6:52 pm

I ought to add that I have now compounded the problem with stupidity by using a power drill at home. I couldn't hold it properly and it twisted out of my hand and the handle whacked me on the wrist. It appears that the biggest problem is with my brain functions.
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Postby pixel8ed » Mon May 09, 2005 8:01 pm

Like you, I started getting RSI symptoms within the last 12 months after >20years of trouble free computer use. Most of it is in my mouse hand so... lessen mouse use (more keyboard shortcuts), take more breaks, adjust at your seated posture. Buying an LCD monitor (so I wasn't squinting or hunching so much) and changing my work seating helped me. Lessening my computer time (ie in my own time) helps a lot too when I feel it coming on.
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Postby nordle » Mon May 09, 2005 10:18 pm

The cod liver oil idea could be a good one, not the massage, but just the supplements. I had a project last year and was typing for 7-10 hours with a 1 hour break, after 2 months my tendons around my knuckles were inflamed, making typing VERY painful.
This year, a new project, but this time I had been taking cod liver capsules a month before starting and changed keyboard to a flat one with laptop type keys and a gell wrist pad mouse mat:

http://tinyurl.com/a4mtf (cod liver capsules 1000mg)
http://tinyurl.com/dgfr9 (logitich ultrax keyboard)
http://tinyurl.com/drdtu (mouse mat)

No problems this time round.
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Postby jjmac » Tue May 24, 2005 10:39 am

>>
Has anybody had a problem with Repetetive strain injury?
>>

Yes, or so i think. It can be dealt with in various ways. Basically by breaking up your sessions and getting the blood to circulate is a good idea. Moving around, stretching, light exercise. walking etc.

The optical mouse point is a good idea too, along with ergonomics/posture awareness..

The problem with that stuff is the way it can creep up on you over time. And the eyes too .... screens can stuff em around as well.


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Postby wiz » Tue May 24, 2005 4:56 pm

I think I got a wake up call about working to such a tight deadline that I grafted at the keyboard far longer than I would otherwise have done.

From now on I'm working sensible hours with proper breaks and hopefully I'll get back to normal. ( Normal being middle aged with a creaky knee, deteriorating eyesight, damaged wrist & various other faulty parts )
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Postby Marrea » Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:42 pm

Interesting reading through this. I am a secretary and have been bashing away at keyboards for just over 38 years now, with no adverse effects at all from the physical action of typing. Until, until ... I started doing digital imaging using Photoshop LE several years ago and was spending long periods holding down the mouse button while doing selections. I didn't suffer any pain but developed a small ganglion on my right upper wrist, which almost certainly was caused by the pressure involved in holding down the button and moving the mouse around at the same time.

I thought, this is not good. So I went out and bought a Wacom tablet and pen and have been using that ever since whenever I want to do some "Photoshopping". The ganglion disappeared and has not reappeared.

How do you guys usually type? Do you touch type (as opposed to "two finger" typing)? Do you have your hands gently hovering over the keys so that your wrists and forearms follow a more or less straight line (ie like a piano player)? Or do you rest your wrists on the desk while you're typing, thus producing more of an angle between wrist and forearm? This latter method I believe can cause considerable strain over time. And with modern computer keyboards, you only need to press the keys very gently - no need to hammer them like you had to on the old "sit up and beg" manual typewriters I used when I first started work !!
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Postby M0PHP » Sun Jun 12, 2005 3:59 pm

Firefox gives me RSI.. I use my little finger and middle finger for the Ctrl+Tab combination (probably completely wrong fingers) but it's been so convenient and I've gotten used to it now :(
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Postby Nigel » Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:02 pm

I don't touch type, but I do use more than two fingers (three on one hand and two on the other normally, with the right thumb for the space bar & the left little finger for the shift key). I don't need to look down at the keys too often these days.
I do tend to rest my palms on the built-in wrist rest on my MS natural keyboard, or on the flat area in front of the keyboard on my laptop. Either is better than resting them on the desk, although I know I really ought to have them hovering above the keyboard like a proper typist.

Probably the worst typing position I have used was 20+ years ago when using VT100 terminals for programming - the keyboard connected to the vdu by means of a long curly cord, and we found you could lean back in the chair with your feet on the desk alongside the screen and the keyboard in your lap whilst programming... which, of course, we all did whenever the boss wasn't around. Green screens, flourescent lighting, no windows - too many years of that is why I now wear glasses!

I know what you mean about holding the mouse button down for extended periods - that's why I insist on wheel-mice these days (I found myself doing it whilst scrolling through long documents or web pages). I've used a Wacom tablet - they're great for any type of drawing/painting work, but I find them unnatural for anything involving lots of clicking. It's probably just me... ;)
Hope this helps,

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Postby Marrea » Sun Jun 12, 2005 6:03 pm

Nigel wrote:Green screens, flourescent lighting, no windows - too many years of that is why I now wear glasses!


Yup, I'm quite convinced it was constantly staring at computer screens day in, day out, which accelerated my need to wear glasses.

And I often wonder what all this thumb pressing on mobile phones is doing to people's hands.

We can't seem to do without modern technology but it does have its downsides unfortunately.
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