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!
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!