RSI, back problems and bad posture

When I grew up I had some issues with my back. Nothing special, more normal bad posture and spending too much by the computer. When I got my first RSI problems. I forgot my back problems until I talked to a therapist one and a half years ago that got me thinking about RSI as a secondary effect from bad posture and back problems. That’s the most important help I’ve ever gotten!

Your RSI issues might be caused by problems in your back!
Your RSI issues might be caused by problems in your back! Image from Wikipedia.

A while ago I started reading the book It’s Not Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! It helped me get more pieces in place. It’s by far the most important book for all computer users! Much of my own ideas and experience are similar to those in the book. Here are my three most important factors to beat RSI (all are presented in the book as well).

  • Get stronger in your back, shoulders and neck. By far the most important step has been to strengthen my back. If you’re back hurts it tries to tell you something. If you don’t listen, it might have to tell you through your arms. Three years ago I had never been to a gym. Now I’m a regular.
  • Do some high pulse work out. Not sure why it works but it does. The best explanation for this is that your muscles heals better if you get more blood passing them. If I have pain in my arms when I go running it disappears immediately. It’s so nice!
  • Care about your work place and work habits. Stop using a tiny laptop, get a good keyboard, chair, desk, mouse and monitor. Also try to make your work less intensive. Take breaks. If possible do pair programming. It not just helps you cure your hands but also produce better code. It’s a win-win! Stopped do instant messaging. Remember; it’s nicer to meet or call your friends!

Publicerat av Ola

WordPress, UX och e-handels frilans. Driver varumärket Sten. Jobbar som lärare inom webb, media och IT på NTI Gymnasiet.

Ett svar på ”RSI, back problems and bad posture”

  1. RSI is a complicated issue. Whilst the causes of sport injuries are resolved when they are being treated, the causes of RSI (CANS, etc) are usually not during the treatment: poor posture needs to be reeducated, stress must be analysed and reduced, ergonomics must be fixed, etc.

    Teaching people proper posture is not feasible by means of words only. Photos and videos help, but what is needed is proprioception: One needs to feel what is right vs. what is wrong. Mirrors help a lot in this respect.

    These ideas are pushed on Constructive feedback is most welcome, in the interest of those suffering musculoskeletal disorders.

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