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Prevention of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injuries)

How do you overcome the "pain-in-the-neck"?



9:57 am on Jun 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm interested to know if any of you actually do daily exercises to prevent RSI? Today I feel like my arm has gone numb, so will have to give in and do regular stretches.

Do you take regular (smoke/coffee) breaks? I tend to stay stuck to my desk for hours unless I need food.

So that's why that guy is making those funny moves...


1:32 pm on Jul 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

For specific problem of 'pain in the neck' the following will help. Put 7-9 drops in one small bottle of white sugar pills and take 4 pills at a time ( as a single dose). Every thing is available at a good homeopathy shop.

Cicuta Virosa 30C

alternating with

Cimicifuga Racemosa 30C

every hour for 5- 6 hours.

Then evaluate, if you feel an improvement, continue for 3 days reducing dosage to once every 2 hours.

I take this for my Spondylitis pains SOS and it fixes the problem for months...

May even cure it permanently. I am a strong advocate of homeopathy ...


3:30 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had problems with my wrists for years, slowly improving after much care and time.

I've got a "carpal lock", I think it's made by anatech inc. The support is on top. I use it at home when my wrist is worse than average, and it works very well.

I also use workrave, it does help. Breaks are key. Also try to limit your non-working computer use (weekends, vacations ...). It's also amazing how many mouse/keyboard clicks be do every day. After so many 1000's it's no wonder something complains.

Excercise. This is really important. Being strong helps a lot. In winter I cut trees with a chainsaw for 5-8 hours, once a week. Even that helps my wrists (and really builds a strong gack). I'm sure there are better exercises for the wrists.

Learn to use your mouse with your other hand. Don't swich the buttons so you can use any mouse.

Get an ergonomic split keyboard. Does wonders. It saved one of my hands.



3:49 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

(and really builds a strong gack)

Remind me stay away from your gack.


8:20 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

also, don't forget to apply ice


7:55 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

...mouse that is ergonomically design with a "hump back" and contoured sides for optimal thumb and finger placement.

...but if you usually use the mouse left-handed, don't use one that's contoured for right-handed thumb and finger placement. Might sound silly, but the pressure points are in the wrong place - learned this one the hard way with nerve pain after a couple of days of intense graphics work. A mouse shaped for left-handed use may be the best, but an "ambidextrous" one that's equally curved on both sides is better than a specifically right-handed one.

I've been toying with the idea of using a trackball or touchpad for ergonomic reasons, but when I'm working on graphics (about one-third of my computer time) I need the cursor control a mouse can give me. The idea of using both is interesting - has anyone had problems with configuration, or with the computer "recognizing" the two different devices?

(Great thread, BTW - I was gone for awhile so didn't see it until now.)


12:34 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I just added my trackball that was usb with no problems.
Now both work fine and I can switch back and forth whenever I want.


8:18 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Instead of a mouse, trackball or touchpad, you can also use a pen as a mouse.
They come with a pad on wich you have to move the pen.
Works perfectly :)
It's even better for working with graphics.

It does however takes some time to get used to, but once you know how to use it; you don't want anything else anymore!


5:10 pm on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Interesting options - Thanks.

The touch pads I've been looking at specifically are set up somewhat like ones on a notebook computer in that they're integrated with the keyboard, but the keyboard is full-size. The most ergonomic one I've seen is a split keyboard and the touchpad is located directly below the "split" in the space bar. This sets things up so you don't have to reach off to the side to use the mouse, which I've found to be my biggest problem - due in large part to a job with repetitive motion that I had for 13 years in my "pre-computer" days, which permanently screwed up my shoulder. This might not be a problem for everyone, but I do much better if I can keep my hands centered in front of me.


2:11 pm on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

How do pens rate when it comes to pressing the buttons a lot? Is it better than clicking the mouse, or does it slow you down?


5:21 pm on Jul 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Using a pen takes quite some time getting used to.
The left click is actually the tip of the pen wich you press down on the tablet. That makes it very easy to do a left click.

The right click is a button on the side of the pen, wich is a little harder to use. Especially when you're not used to a pen. But after some time you get used to that and it isn't a problem anymore.

Main thing is that you have to get used to it, don't expect to get used to it in a day. That will take some time.

As for the amount of time you need to do a click.
Left clicking is much faster than a regular mouse. Those games where you have to click on a number of places in a short period of time are much easyer with a pen.
Allthough rightclicking does take a little more time than a normal mouse. But it won't affect your productivity ;)

[edited by: DoppyNL at 5:22 pm (utc) on July 24, 2006]


8:43 am on Jul 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I was looking at a certain brand beginning with W and they have two buttons on the pen, which can be set to anything you want. The tablet also has some buttons and a scroll wheel. Looks completely awesome if you ask me.

On this manufacturer's website, there is also an article with a photographer who was getting pains in his wrists, until he changed to a tablet and pen. Now he has found all kinds of new ways to improve working.

The site also has a series of diagrams showing the use of muscles in the arm with a pen compared to a mouse. The pen is ergonomically better, according to them.


3:20 pm on Jul 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Keyboars, mice...useless, unless you actually understand WHY the pain is there.

I had serious symptoms recently, untill I completely reevaluated my workplace. 3 pieces of advice:

1) Excersise
2) Take frequent breaks
3) Reevaluate your workplace.

That's it. The pain is there because (a) you sit wrong, and (b) your other mussles get weaker day by day, making your hand and wrist work harder. That's it.

This book helped me understand a bit "Pain free at your PC":

Someone mentioned trackball Logitech mouse - I've tried it, when you sit wrong, it just makes pain go to a different place.

Also, someone else mentioned "I just use mouse with the other hand" - well, the pain is there because you sit wrong, so you do not eliminate the source by doing it. You still keep hurting yourself that way, only instead of hurting right hand for 8 hours a day you hurt both hands for 4 hours each. JMHO


3:34 pm on Jul 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What if it's not possible to take regular breaks? I can't just get up and do some exercise in the office!


3:54 pm on Jul 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Exactly my point.

By exersise I certainly did not mean "pump 200lb iron". I know a couple of semi-pro athletes, who say that 80% of all people in gyms do exersises WRONG. And that includes trainers. No, god no. There are many OFFICE exersises that you can do anywhere.

I used to work in a 14-story office building, and the room was crammed with people. By the end of the day, I'll get headaches or become lightheaded - that is in addition to hand pain. So I ran the stairs - down to the first floor and up to the 12th (where we worked), a couple of times a day. Gave me exersise and needed oxygen that was missing in the office. A girl I know used to run across the bridge and back before she changed a job - about 4 miles; don't need to go to that extreme though.

If it is not possible at all to take regular 5-minute breaks every hour, it is slavery, and no paycheck is worth that. I'd suggest to find another place to work.

Hester, get that book I mentioned above, you'll see what I mean.


5:21 pm on Jul 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What if it's not possible to take regular breaks

Hester, I also can't really get up and do exercises in the office. I installed RSI Guard which I find a bit irritating, but some exercises are useful eg. every now an then flex your fingers, stretch your arms out, do 360's with your ankles, stand up once in a while, side-to-side neck streches and close your eyes for a few seconds.

An important note is that your lower arm should be about parallel to your desk and should form (at least) a 90 degree angle with your upper arm. Your keyboard and mouse should be close to your body, to prevent you from streching out towards it. Not an expert on any of this, but all of this has really helped me over the last few weeks. I tried a tablet for a bit, but didn't have the patience. After reading "DoppyNL's" comments, I might just take the time to get used to it.


9:30 pm on Jul 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Switching to a trackball and attaching a megamouse tray to my chair arm pretty much completely eliminated my elbow and neck pain entirely.

Used to have more trouble with my wrist and elbow when I had my arm stretched out to operate the mouse...Now my arm sits at a very natural angle hanging down from my shoulder.

Would prolly be even better if I got a vertical mouse.

I also take breaks and move around. My kids appreciate it because they actually get to interact with me (I'm homeschooling), it's better for my butt (as well as the rest of my body), and it helps with eyestrain, which I have problems with since I'm far-sighted.


3:43 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

And now we have the Zero Tension Mouse (ZTM), reviewed positively here:


The key to using the ZTM is to completely relax the hand. Moving in any direction required absolutely no bending of the wrist, although your arm will move more than usual. In fact, it is just as easy to move the mouse away from you as it is to move it closer to you. Generally, most mice require some sort of grip in order to be moved, while the ZTM earns its name by requiring no grip at all.

I'm not so keen on the blue plastic, but the review makes me want to seriously consider this device to help banish RSI!


11:25 pm on Jul 30, 2006 (gmt 0)
This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48

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